Statement by H.E. Sr. Marc FORNE MOLNE
Head of Government of the Principality of Andorra
at the World Summit for Social Development 
Copenhagen, Denmark March 11th. 1995

Translations in English, French and Spanish from the Angolan Catalan.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

 I am the Head of Government of a small State, the Principality of Andorra, 
located in the heart of the Pyrenees, a community that had been well 
defined, both culturally and geographically, long before the existence of 
the first idea of Europe, that of Charlemagne, more than 1000 years ago.

 After a peaceful change In our secular Institutions, we have been admitted 
into the international community, joining the United Nations and the 
Council of Europe.

 We are, at the same time, a very old nation and a young State. We have our 
own language that we fraternally share with all of the Catalans. I have the 
honour to address you in it. But, as with the great majority of Andorrans, 
I could also express myself in two other languages that share the same 
Latinate origin: Spanish and French. Because we are a country of 
coexistence, integration and peace.

 Our presence at this Summit is framed by the modesty of our reality and 
the smallness of our problems, once we look at them from the outside in, in 
comparison with the scope of the tragedies that humanity has faced in this 
century now drawing to a close, tragedies that will leave bad memories for 
so many reasons, for the old human plagues of war and famine, that always 
ride together. But we are also motivated by the excitement of being able to 
participate in the betterment of the living conditions and the progress of 
all the peoples of the earth, with whom we feel solidarity.

 Poverty is not inevitable. It is a human ill that we can fight if we 
decide to do so together. All the nations of the earth, large or small, 
every day more integrated in an economic and cultural world of global 
proportions, must be able to sit at the same table to share and gradually 
offer to ail of their citizens concrete tools that will allow them to 
ameliorate and to enhance the quality of their lives.

 Presently, in Andorra, we are starting to apply a national plan of social 
services that will contribute to the balanced development of Andorran 
society, the general welfare and the quality of life of all the 
inhabitants, thanks to a model based upon the fact that people, families 
and institutions assume their proper responsibilities, with the shared goal 
that everybody may live with dignity and with autonomy, contributing to and 
enjoying social progress. We want to take into account the latest debates 
on the so-called Welfare State, to be found in the documents of the United 
Nations and of the European Union, in order to avoid sterile imitations and 
the most common dysfunctionís of this model: very high social expenditure, 
heavy-handed State control and an excessive bureaucracy, lack of efficiency 
in the distribution of resources, an excessive protectionism that engenders 
the dependency of the citizens, and the demobilization of social 

 Quite to the contrary, we believe that we must give much more support to 
the work of non-governmental organizations that have demonstrated they are 
the best administrators of the resources put at their disposal, inside the 
States as well as in the form of international aid to the more deprived 

 Neither Andorrans nor indeed anyone can pretend to give lessons or to have 
the solution to the great challenges that shake us and that, sometimes, 
might make us doubt the capacity of human beings to solve their future on 

 But I want to say that I believe that we have progressed, that we are 
going forward. Unemployment, poverty and marginalization are not new 
problems for today's world. The world has always had them, but today we are 
conscious of them, and this gathering proves it. It is the first step, 
certainly cautious, but it lays the first stone along the path to their 

 This path that we are now starting will be long, and we must follow it to 
remind ourselves of the great principles that, in our understanding, should 
always inspire us: peace, respect of the environment, dialogue between 
peoples and between generations, as the most genuine application of the 
ideals of democracy and of solidarity.

 Peace: we Andorrans have experienced very closely the consequences of two 
world wars and the extreme cruelty of a civil war. We know it because we 
have lived with those that have suffered them and have helped them, we know 
the enormous suffering that war produces and value as the best treasure the 
peace that we, Andorrans, have always been able to maintain.

 Respect for the environment: regarding this topic, nobody can be satisfied 
with the uncontrolled progress of the last decades. We must guarantee the 
quality of the existence of the men and women of tomorrow, and this will 
only be possible if the preservation of the environment of all the planet 
is one of our absolute priorities, in word and in deed.

 Dialogue and solidarity between peoples: it is neither good nor desirable, 
neither for individuals nor for peoples, to be rich surrounded by the poor, 
to be healthy in the midst of sick people, to be free surrounded by 
oppressed people. We are all members of a single humanity, inside our 
hearts we all speak the same language, we all love our children and our 
parents, we all live in the same world.

 Dialogue between generations: As the fourth commitment of the declaration 
shall read:

 "We will acknowledge and encourage the contribution of people of all age 
groups as equally and vitally important for the building of a harmonious 
society, and we will foster dialogue between generations in all parts of 

 This is a contribution of the Principality of Andorra to the declaration 
of Copenhagen. I wish to thank, from this podium, all the countries that 
made it theirs when our representative to the United Nations presented it.

 Andorra proposed this addition to the declaration very justifiably, since 
in our country the percentage of youth is high in comparison to the total 
of the population. These are young people that live in the present, but who 
are not uprooted from the past.

 Dialogue between generations is one of the foundations of social 
integration. All that induces a greater integration will bring about 
progress. Solidarity between different generations that share the same 
historical period is primordial in order to ensure cohesiveness and 
guarantee the application of innovative ideas, without which there cannot 
be any lasting development.

 This double dialogue between peoples and between generations of each 
people, must allow us to surpass those atavisms that oppose progress, new 
and perverse forms of exploitation of resources and also the modern 
dictatorships of those who pull the strings of speculation, dismissing all 
political wills and the interest of peoples. Maybe it is already time to 
find international mechanisms of protection and of enhancement for an 
economy productive of wealth and of the work of citizens and of 
enterprises, so that they do not find themselves considerably reduced or 
let go, in one or the other financial tempest, any week-end.

 I have stated at the beginning that poverty is not inevitable. Andorra, 
within the limits that are imposed upon us by the fact that we are a small 
State, fully assumes its responsibilities as a member of the community of 
nations, and we do so because we share the hopes of our great human family.

 Hopes that find ail of their echo in the admirable setting that welcomes 
us and that has allowed us ail to open paths of convergence towards ever 
more shared objectives, for the good of humanity.

  Thank you very much. 

The electronic version of this document was prepared at the World Summit for Social Development by the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the United Nations Department for Public Information.This version has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 25/01/2000 15:35:30
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