Human rights, sense of dignity must be part of development, Polish President tells UN

Bronislaw Komorowski, President of Poland. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

25 September 2013 – In his address to the United Nations General Assembly today, the President of Poland highlighted the importance of respecting fundamental human rights and helping people regain a sense of dignity as they enter the path towards sustainable development.

“This is necessary…. in order for their original potential to serve development and enrich the diversity of the human civilization,” President Bronislaw Komorowski told the 68th General Assembly high-level debate.

“Poverty and underdevelopment are not just human rights issues and attempts to undermine the dignity of the individual and entire social groups, but they are also the reason why individuals and nations are unable to ensure survival on their own,” Mr. Komorowski added.

Recalling Poland’s experience following the fall of Communism in 1989, the President was Poland was a “poor country, economically ruined and badly indebted,” but “just one single generation can be enough o make unbelievable progress.”

While there is no single path for sustainable development, the European development model present within the EU should be considered in other regions of the globe, Mr. Komorowski said describing a system which “strives to combine democracy and human freedom, economic competitive, social justice, and solidarity.”

Turning to the theme of climate change which makes up one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) being discussed today by world leaders, along with a sustainable development agenda for once their deadline is reached in 2015, Mr. Komorowski highlighted preparations for the Climate Change Conference (COP-19) to be held in the Polish capital of Warsaw in November.

Since 1989, Poland’s GDP has gone up by around 400 per cent and its emissions dropped by over 30 per cent as compared with the baseline year, testifying that “it is possible and realistic to execute the scenario of economic growth with curbing the growth of harmful emissions,” the President said.

In his statement, Mr. Komorowski also discussed UN reform, particularly relevant given what he termed a “lack of capacity and efficiency” in the Syrian dispute with Member States supporting individual sides instead of making them stop fight and commit to peace talks.

Related, Poland has announced that it would pursue a seat on the Security Council for the 2018 and 2019 term.

Mr. Komorowski is one of scores of leaders to speak at the annual session at which heads of State and Government and other high-level officials present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance. Begun yesterday, the General Debate concludes on 1 October.

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