13/09/2002
Press Release
GA/10048



Fifty-seventh General Assembly

Plenary

5th Meeting (PM)


VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ URGES WORLD LEADERS TO REAFFIRM

COMMITMENT TO ADDRESS ROOT CAUSE OF TERRORISM


China, Russian Federation Call for Creation

Of New International Security Architecture in Increasingly Interdependent World


The President of Venezuela told the fifty-seventh General Assembly this afternoon that commemorating the tragic events of 11 September with renewed solidarity to combat terrorism was not enough.  The occasion also called for acknowledgement of a stark truth:  current economic inequities and the frustrations born of widespread poverty and despair acted as fuel for the fires of terrorism.


As the Assembly’s general debate continued, Mr. Chávez urged world leaders to reaffirm their commitment to comprehensively address the root causes of terrorism.  Condemnation of terrorism must be accompanied by condemnation of all the scourges that ignited it, he said. Effectively fighting terrorism necessitated a new decision-making process, which would also advance the war against poverty. To that end, he urged the creation of an international humanitarian fund, which could be fed from a variety of sources, including a percentage of national military expenditures; reapportionment of the debt burden of poor countries; or confiscation of monies earned from the drug trade and corruption.


Many of those sentiments were echoed this afternoon by a succession of foreign ministers who also urged world governments to address the economic and social conditions that encouraged terrorists.  Those conditions often set off or exacerbated regional tensions that threatened international peace and security, they said.  The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, S. Jayakumar, said many developing countries remained insufficiently integrated within the world economy. That problem could be addressed by capacity-building and infrastructure development and the elimination of trade barriers.


He added that perhaps the battle against terrorism could be fought on a more philosophical level.  Some terrorists had tried to depict the current global anti-terrorism campaign as a war against Islam, feeding stereotypes and exacerbating prejudices.  That was obviously untrue, but the international community should not ignore the extent to which the appeal of extremists resonated with the marginalized and disenfranchised.  In times of uncertainty, organizations such as the United Nations should play a key role in promoting tolerance and understanding between nations and cultures.


Tang Jiaxuan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, said the time had come not only to consider how to eradicate the scourge of terrorism, but to also take a broader look at security issues facing every nation and to identify ways to achieve lasting peace and universal security.  Indeed, security was no longer a “zero sum” game -– solely a military concern.  It had permeated politics, finance, science and technology, culture and any number of other non-traditional sectors as countries had become more and more interdependent. 


That new development required new ideas for safeguarding security, he said. China proposed a new concept, which featured mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.  That concept was aimed at increasing mutual confidence through dialogue and promoting common security through cooperation.  It required the recognition of all countries as members of the international community and respect for efforts to eliminate hidden dangers and security threats.


Ahmed Maher El Sayed, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, stressed that, despite the gravity of the events that took place on 11 September, the world neither began nor ended on that sad day.  Combating terrorism was not meant to be the lens through which the world viewed every issue and problem.  A viable remedy for terrorism could only be found if the tributaries of hopelessness, anger and frustration that fed the propensity for evil were drained.  The international community should not confuse terrorism with the legitimate right to defend against aggression, occupation, the usurpation of rights or attempts to erase cultural identities.


He said the Palestinian people continued to suffer under an oppressive occupation that adhered to policies reminiscent of the ages of darkness and chaos. If Israel had a genuine desire for peace, it must desist from aggression against the Palestinian people and agree to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.  The discussion on peace and security in the Middle East also related to the situation in Iraq, which must be dealt with in the context of United Nations resolutions. He affirmed Egypt's rejection of inflicting military strikes against Iraq, which must, for its part, respect the legitimate international will.


Also participating in the general debate this afternoon were Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait; Choi Sung-Hong, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea; Igor Ivanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Jorge Castañeda Gutman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico; Sukru Sina Gurel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Brian Cowen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland; Maria Soledad Alvear, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile; and Guillermo Perez-Cadalso Arias, Minister for Foreign Relations of Honduras.


The fifty-seventh General Assembly will continue its general debate tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.


Background


The Assembly met again this afternoon to resume its general debate.


Statements


HUGO CHAVEZ FRIAS, President of Venezuela, highlighted the intensive activity engaged in by Venezuela this year.  It had started the year by receiving the Chairman of the “Group of 77” developing countries, and at Monterrey had spoken on behalf of the countries of the South.  Continuing with the same momentum, it had worked on coordinating the Group’s work for Johannesburg.  Venezuela had also struggled to find better openings in the international  economic and social agenda, and wished to end the year in the same spirit of cooperative international engagement.


Reaffirming the feelings of solidarity and condolence felt by the people of Venezuela upon the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September, he condemned those who planned and committed the attacks and pledged that Venezuela would work to combat the scourge of terrorism in all its facets.  However, the complexity inherent in the disquieting situation of the world today needed to be recognized.  The condemnation of terrorism in all its forms needed to be accompanied by a condemnation of the causes of terror, which had made the world a kingdom of injustice, poverty and inequality. 


The only path to peace was through justice, he said.  The world’s leaders must resolve to acknowledge that the current economic situation acted as fuel for the fires of terrorism.  Unbridled neo-liberalism had led to great poverty and despair among the peoples of the earth.  The condemnation of terrorism needed to go hand in hand with a decision-making process, which would make advances in the war against poverty possible.


Urging the creation of an international humanitarian fund, he suggested that it could be fed from a variety of sources:  from a percentage of the military expenditure of the world’s countries; from a portion of the funds annually transferred from the developing to the developed world by poor countries servicing an external debt that seemed eternally to rise; from a portion of the monies that stemmed from the drug trade; from the billions stolen from poor countries by the corrupt; or from a tax levied upon major speculative transactions.  Given that today’s international financial institutions were not equipped to deal with the scourge of poverty, hundreds of Marshall Plans were needed to save the world’s poor from death and hell.


Returning to the subject of terrorism, he stated that Venezuela herself had fallen victim to terror in the past year.  On 11 April, there was an attempted coup d’état.  An insurgent group had succeeded in taking him prisoner and holding him incommunicado for 48 hours.  The coup leaders could not, however, prevent the Venezuelan people from gathering in the streets, copies of the Constitution in hand, to demand the return of the democratically elected Government -- a government that in the past year had doubled the budgets for education and health, had reduced infant malnutrition and increased access to drinking water.  Thus, the people of Venezuela were well aware of the nature of terrorism, and were grateful for the international community’s unconditional condemnation of the perpetrators of the coup.


AHMED MAHER EL SAYED, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, said despite the gravity of the events that took place on 11 September, the world neither began nor ended on that sad day.  Many peoples had suffered from and resisted terrorism before.  It was a global phenomenon that was not associated with any particular country, continent, race or religion.  Combating terrorism was not meant to be the lens through which the world viewed every issue and problem.  A viable remedy for terrorism could only be found if the tributaries of hopelessness, anger and frustration that fed the propensity for evil were drained.  The international community should not confuse terrorism with the legitimate right to defend against aggression, occupation, the usurpation of rights or attempts to erase cultural identities.


He said the Palestinian people continued to suffer under an oppressive occupation that adhered to policies reminiscent of the ages of darkness and chaos. If Israel had a genuine desire for peace, it must desist from aggression against the Palestinian people and agree to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.  Thus, the independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, could be established and join all the Arab States that had demonstrated their readiness to establish normal relations with Israel.  The discussion on peace and security in the Middle East also related to the situation in Iraq, which must be dealt with in the context of the United Nations resolutions.  He affirmed Egypt's rejection of inflicting military strikes against Iraq, which must, for its part, respect the legitimate international will.


Any just consideration of the international economic situation would conclude that it was impossible to continue the present disparities in the distribution of wealth among the peoples of the earth, the lack of democracy in international economic decision-making, the persistence of arbitrary trade practices and monetary policies against the interests of developing countries.  The African continent had launched the New Initiative for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union.  If African States, by formulating those initiatives, had adopted an approach for building their future on the basis of the highest ideals, then the international community for its part should support that approach, open markets for their products, inject foreign investment into their economies, and assist them to solve their problems.


The persistence of volatile conflicts and the dangers of weapons of mass destruction from States, organizations or individuals made it incumbent upon all to address disarmament issues with more diligence.  His country had repeatedly called for ridding the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction, with nuclear weapons at their forefront, and to place all nuclear facilities in the region, without exception, under international supervision.  The stability of the region would be achieved only when Israel acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as it was the only State in the region that had not done so.


S. JAYAKUMAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, said the tragedy of 11 September 2001 had served as a catalyst for global unity against the common threat of terrorism.  “9/11 focused its globalized nature and stressed the need for coherence and coordination in international cooperation.”

The United Nations had a comparative advantage in that regard, he said, because of its consultative, coordinating and facilitative functions.  But ultimately the contributions made by the United Nations depended on the political will of its Member States to make its laws and norms work.  Because some terrorists tried to depict the war against terrorism as a war against Islam, it should encourage further dialogue among civilizations in order to promote tolerance and understanding.


Noting that adverse economic and social conditions encouraged terrorists, he suggested that international economic integration was the only guarantor of prosperity for all.  “The war against terrorism has to be waged with both guns and butter”, he said.  That would require capacity-building and infrastructure development within developing countries and the elimination of trade barriers and protectionism in the developed countries.


He also expressed his country’s gratitude for the opportunity to serve twice on the Security Council.  “A key lesson that we have learnt is that, for all its imperfections and occasional failings, the Security Council does work”, he said.


SHEIKH SABAH AL-JABER AL-SABAH, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister  for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, said the events of 11 September, along with the consequences they triggered, had changed the global landscape and created a multitude of new challenges to a world now collectively engaged in fighting terrorism.  Experience had shown that combating terrorism, however, was a universal responsibility and that no one country, irrespective of its resources or determination, could control it.


Because of that reality, the United Nations remained the most appropriate and effective mechanism for the study and analysis of terrorism, for identification of its causes, and for coordination of efforts to stop it.  Further, the United Nations was the appropriate body for defining Member States’ responsibilities and obligations in that regard.


He said the signing, ratification and scrupulous enforcement by all Member States of the 12 United Nations instruments designed to combat terrorism was perhaps the most viable means for establishing a solid common ground in the struggle.  Kuwait, for its part, renounced all acts of violence and extremism, which contravened not only international norms and treaties but the tolerant and compassionate teachings of Islam, as well as other religions and humanitarian concepts.


In the same vein, he said, and in order to consolidate world efforts in combating terrorism, Kuwait reiterated its support for convening an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations with a view to reaching an agreement on a clear and specific definition of terrorism.  Success of global efforts to eradicate terrorism depended to a large extent on the ability of the international community to address major serious issues and challenges that had become a source of despair, misery, frustration, isolation and a perception of injustice for a number of peoples in all parts of the world.


TANG JIAXUAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, said that on the anniversary of the 11 September terrorist attacks, the time had come not only to consider how to eradicate the scourge of terrorism, but also to take a broader look at security issues facing every nation and to identify ways to achieve lasting peace and universal security.  Indeed, security was no longer a “zero sum” game.  Security was no longer exclusively a military concern.  It had permeated politics, finance, science and technology, culture and any number of other non-traditional sectors as countries had become more and more interdependent.


That new development required new ideas for safeguarding security, he said. China supported a new concept which featured mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.  That concept was aimed at increasing mutual trust through dialogue and promoting common security through cooperation.  It required the recognition of all countries as members of the international community and respect for efforts to eliminate hidden dangers.  It was in that spirit that China had been working hard to promote mechanisms for a regional security dialogue and cooperation within the frameworks of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum and in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


He went on to say that China was actively committed to international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.  It also supported the consolidation and strengthening of relevant international regimes and mechanisms.  The international community should make every effort to prevent the dangerous trend of weaponization in outer space, he added.  It should also press ahead with cooperative efforts to combat terrorism, focusing particularly on proven terrorists –- including East Turkestan forces, which had been trained, armed and bankrolled by the Taliban and Al Qaeda –- who must be stamped out.  He called for political dialogue to address burning issues on the international agenda, namely, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the situation between India and Pakistan, and the matter of Iraq, in which the United Nations should play an important role.


Finally, he said there was but one China –- composed of both mainland China and Taiwan -- in the world.  Achieving national reunification was China’s unswerving goal.  In January 1995, China’s President had made an eight-point proposal on how to develop cross-Straits relations and to promote peaceful reunification.  Despite some positive signs since then, Taiwan authorities had gone out of their way to block the development of those relations, with Taiwanese “independence” forces lurching further down the road to separatism.  That was an open provocation not only to the Chinese people but to the universally held notion of one China.  While working hard to promote cross-Straits cooperation, China firmly opposed all forms of Taiwanese “independence” activities.  All such activities were doomed to failure and the grand cause of national reunification would triumph.


CHOI SUNG-HONG, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, said that the global community had responded decisively to terrorism,   with the Republic of Korea an active member in the international coalition, contributing also to the rehabilitation of Afghanistan.  Though terrorism could never be justified, it was important to consider that deprivation, lack of good governance and marginalization could help breed fanatics.  The international community should take a holistic approach to the problem.


In addition, he said, his country was fully committed to multilateral collaboration in disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Universal compliance with non-proliferation regimes was essential; he also hoped for an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty and an expeditious conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.


East Timor was but the latest effort for which the United Nations deserved praise and in which the Republic of Korea had actively taken part, he said.  His country’s contribution to peacekeeping operations had grown tenfold over the last three years, and it intended to strengthen its involvement further.


The Korean Peninsula, he said, was still volatile, but the “engagement policy” was a strategy for peace designed to lead to eventual unification.  After some ups and downs, inter-Korean meetings had finally resumed, and ground would be broken next week for the reconnection of railways and roads between North and South, with tremendous symbolic significance.  The risk of war was at an all-time low, but challenges remained, in particular, regarding the light water reactor project, for which safeguards must be implemented.


Of international importance, he said, was more equitable economic, social and technological development, cooperation in the promotion of democracy and human rights, combat against transnational crime and the expansion of non-permanent membership of the Security Council.  His country reaffirmed its commitment to helping make the United Nations better able to meet such challenges.


IGOR S. IVANOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, reflecting upon the results of the common struggle against terrorism and outlining further objectives, noted that the most important outcome was the creation of the broad international anti-terrorist coalition.  That coalition, he suggested, could be turned into a support structure for security and cooperation centred around the United Nations.  Common agreement on the core issues of world order and on strengthening the international legal framework against terrorism was needed in order to prevent fanaticism and extremism, as was unconditional implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and an effective Code of Protection of Human Rights against Terrorism.  The absence of real progress in negotiating a comprehensive convention on combating terrorism was of concern.


Declaring that the stability and credibility of the emerging international system depended upon the maintenance and strengthening of strategic stability, he urged that the conventions on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the nuclear-test ban be universalized.  The very risk of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons falling into terrorist hands multiplied the destructive potential of international terrorism.  Preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space needed to be an integral part of the non-proliferation process, as well:  outer space should be a zone free from any kind of weapons. 


The United Nations, which had been engaged in the settlement of regional conflicts since its establishment, needed to demonstrate again the effectiveness of its multilateral mechanisms by supporting a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, as well as in a number of African countries.  Though it required great human, material and financial resources, a strong political will to implement the provisions of the Charter pertaining to peaceful dispute settlement was needed.  The situation in Iraq also needed to be addressed with the aid of United Nations instruments and international law.  The entire international community would benefit from a steady enhancement of the role of the Organization in peacemaking.


While there was not any justification for terrorism, the Russian Federation did recognize that progress on a fair and sustainable world financial and economic structure would help combat many challenges, he said.  Additional progress was needed on the protection of the environment.  Importantly, he noted, the evolution towards a Global System of Counteraction to Present-Day Threats and Challenges, as suggested by the Russian Federation last year, had already begun; now, additional impetus should be given for its adoption at this session of the General Assembly.


JORGE CASTAÑEDA GUTMAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said that responding to the challenges of the world today required more imagination and vision than ever.  The complexity of many issues, namely, the fight against terrorism, deepening poverty and ending protracted conflicts could only be accomplished through a multilateral approach.  As the world’s chief multilateral organization, the United Nations and its Security Council should play a leading role.


He said that States should not turn away from broad cooperation.  That was particularly true in the case of Iraq.  He welcomed the statement made yesterday by the United States, which had affirmed the leading role to be played by the Security Council in ensuring that Iraq adhered to its international obligations. Still, Mexico cautioned against unilateral action and supported the position of France, which had outlined a time frame for Iraq’s compliance with Council resolutions.  He added that it was important to give Iraq time to meet its obligations, as had been done in other contexts, other times and at different latitudes.  The international community should determine clear evaluation of Iraq’s weapons capability, as well as its will or ability to use those weapons.


He said Mexico was taking an active role in building a new world order.  Its focus on building constructive dialogue between nations was reflective of the democratic changes that had taken place within its own society Government.  In recent months, Mexico had initiated the Puebla-Panama Plan, an ambitious regional development initiative aimed at coordinating the efforts of public, private and social sectors of Mexico and all of Central America.  The objective of that plan was to implement joint investment and development projects throughout the region. Within that framework, Mexico believed that the progressive negotiation of an immigration agreement was most urgent.  Indeed, the labour flows between countries in the region must be seen as an opportunity to bridge the development gap and redirect the process of globalization.


He said Mexico’s enhanced international activism was also evidenced in its work with the United Nations.  It had sought to build a new international architecture to improve relations for all in the coming years.  Mexico had also vigorously promoted the renewal of efforts to ensure financing for development.  It had hosted the International Conference on Financing for Development last March, and the outcome of that historic meeting -– the Monterrey Consensus -– was now the foundation for future worldwide sustainable development efforts.  He added Mexico was also actively promoting human rights and democracy.  The obligation to uphold those rights was the obligation of all governments and societies.  With that in mind, Mexico had harmonized its legislation with relevant international instruments.  A particular focus had been placed on protecting and promoting the human rights of vulnerable groups and indigenous people.


ŞÜKRÜ SİNA GÜREL, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister   of Turkey, said that since 11 September it had become clear that terrorist organizations had much broader international networks than anticipated.  Noting that the scourge was not confined to nor could it be identified with any particular geography, religion, race or culture, he described terrorism as “the most blatant violation of human rights” and there could be no leniency towards it.


It was for this reason that Turkey had been calling for intensified international cooperation again terrorism and had been actively engaged in the work of the United Nations fighting the scourge.  He said it was incumbent upon all Member States to adopt the existing international legislation and to review their relevant national laws accordingly.  “We urge those States that have not done so to become parties to the 12 international conventions on specific terrorist offences”, he said.


In the aftermath of 11 September, peace and stability in the Middle East had gained even more importance and urgency.  Yet, the present outlook of the ongoing conflict did not leave much room for optimism because violence persisted, taking a huge toll on both sides.


BRIAN COWEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, began by giving full support to Secretary General Kofi Annan’s opening address to the fifty-seventh session, in which he called on States to uphold international law and maintain international order.  “Either we stand by the international system and the rule of law or we invite anarchy”, he said.  The terrorists of 11 September 2001 would have succeeded if States were provoked into abandoning those values and laws.


He said conflict prevention was the central challenge facing the United Nations and agreed with the Secretary General’s identification of situations pertaining to Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India/Pakistan as the most serious threats to world peace.  He urged Iraq to respect its obligations and implement in full and without preconditions all the Security Council resolutions addressed to it.  In addition, international instruments and regimes to control the spread, and bring about the elimination, of weapons of mass destruction should be strengthened and fully implemented.


Economic injustices which created the conditions for conflict should also be tackled.  “It is only through the development of integrated strategies that address the underlying causes of conflict -– poverty, injustice and the abuse of fundamental human rights and freedoms –- that the international community can bring about long-term peace and stability”, he said.  The Millennium Summit Declaration had endorsed that approach.  Respect for human rights was an equally important dimension of conflict prevention.


Examining developments in Ireland, he said much progress had been made in reducing tensions there.  “The considerable record of achievement, however, has not made us complacent about the difficulties and challenges that remain.”  Continued street violence could have a corrosive effect on community confidence.  The problem would be dealt with through more effective policing measures, he said.

MARIA SOLEDAD ALVEAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, observed that the terrorist attacks of 11 September marked a turning point in contemporary history.  It was now necessary, she said, for governments to forge positive responses to work together to confront the problem resolutely.  The changes that the world had undergone in the past year had also created new challenges and responsibilities for the international community.  Risks had become global, with no frontiers.


She said that, in that environment, traditional notions of security -– formulated around threats to State actors -– had been overtaken.  A safer world required that a consensus be built and new approaches developed, taking account of the multidimensional nature of the threats and placing people at the centre of its concerns.  “With this new attitude towards security, we must promote throughout the world a comprehensive approach to dealing with these new threats so that we can achieve a world free from fear and poverty”, she said.


Against that backdrop of change, a new concept of human security had emerged.  International terrorism was a negation of the values that made possible civilized coexistence and the opportunity for global diversity.


GUILLERMO PEREZ-CADALSO ARIAS, Minister for Foreign Relations of Honduras, said that Honduran democracy had been renewed in the last year through reforms dedicated to making the Government more transparent.  Expressing solidarity with the people of New York on the anniversary of 11 September, he condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and reaffirmed his Government’s unswerving commitment to combat the scourge.  Much had changed in the past year, yet other threats continued to loom.  Uncontrolled development, taking place at the cost of the destruction of the earth, needed to be addressed if the hunger and pain plaguing a large part of humankind was to be alleviated.


Another area in which reform was necessary, he said, was the structure of the Security Council.  Honduras would continue to press for abolition of the right of veto and for greater representation for developing States.  Furthermore, the time had come to secure participation at the United Nations of the representatives of all the peoples of the earth.  It was time to put to an end to exclusion of Taiwan from the United Nations.  In essence, his country was anxious to see a new United Nations in which all peoples and nations could enjoy representation and in whose work and resolutions there would be more balance and fairness.


That the International Criminal Court had come into effect merited recognition, and Honduras endorsed the principles of international law enshrined therein, including those of solidarity, respect for human rights, non-interference and the safeguarding of international peace and security.  It was important that the obligatory nature of the Court’s rulings be respected and that its universality be assured.  He also commented on the commitment to cooperation resolved upon by the countries of the Central American isthmus, which were currently working on setting up a customs union.  Such renewed integration offered collective opportunities to partners in development.  Although there were still practices in place impeding the full development of free trade, that renewed integration represented a determined collective effort to overcome them. 


Of grave concern at the present time was the situation in the Middle East, he said.  He appealed to the men and women of the region to repudiate violence and to give their children a chance to experience peace.  In addition, there needed to be concerted action for sustainable development, as well as action to counter the scourges of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, and homeless children.  Other great challenges facing the world demanded that the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) be expanded.


Rights of Reply


Exercising his right of reply, the representative of Pakistan said his delegation would take the floor to address the rhetoric delivered earlier by the representative of India.  Pakistan had hoped that India would respond to the call for de-escalation which Pakistan had issued yesterday.  Instead, Pakistan had heard the usual diatribe against it.  The representative had spoken about “nuclear blackmail”, but Pakistan would remind that speaker that it was India that had first moved its troops against Pakistan.  India had been the first nation to introduce nuclear weapons to the South-East Asian region.  It had also initiated nuclear explosions in 1998; declared itself a nuclear-weapon State; and announced a three-pronged nuclear doctrine, which boasted land, sea and air capabilities.


Moreover, the Chief of India’s army had once said that India was capable of a strike that could make doubtful Pakistan's continuation in any form.  That was nuclear blackmail.  Pakistan had proposed a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region for 20 years, and its President had even said its conventional defence was sufficient.  Let India respond positively to those initiatives, he said.  Dialogue was necessary when there were differences between two governments.  That dialogue must address the underlying causes of the differences, but the Indian Government had not acknowledged the need for such comprehensive dialogue.  Turning to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, he said Security Council resolutions did not become time-barred until they were implemented, and India was the biggest violator of resolutions on that matter.


Self-determination was recognized as an inherent right in the Charter -- it could not be extinguished until it was exercised.  The people of Kashmir had that right, which could not be extinguished by India.  Pakistan endorsed the call that Council resolutions must be implemented.  On the issue of elections in the territory in question, he said no election could be free and fair when it was held under the jackboots of some 700,000 troops.  No election could be fair when 25 of 40 members of Kashmiri political parties remained in Indian jails.  No one had to interfere with those “so-called” elections -- they had been dead on arrival.


He went on to say that the representative of India had mentioned the large numbers of Muslims in India.  While Pakistan would not debate figures, certainly that number would not go up if the Hindu majority continued the practice of slaughtering Muslims every few weeks.  India had said its signature tune was one of harmony, but Pakistan believed that tune had been designed to lull the world while it continued the carnage of innocent Muslims.  India posed as the largest democracy in the world.  Pakistan viewed it as the largest hypocrisy.  It was a country riven by strife and the apartheid of the caste system.  He urged the

international community to call on India to stop the massacre of Muslims and Kashmiris and to implement the resolutions of the Security Council.


Exercising her right of reply, the representative of India said it was regrettable that the representative of Pakistan had chosen to attack the Prime Minister of India, but given the tenor of Pakistan's statement to the Assembly yesterday, it was not surprising.  However, she did not wish to dignify the remarks of the representative of Pakistan with a response.


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