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Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
H. E. Mr. Giadalla A. Ettalhi, Chairman of the Delegation

29 September 2008

Statement Summary

GIADALLA A. ETTALHI (Libya) said his Government had made all efforts to help solve disputes in Africa, notably Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan.  His country had always contributed to the framework of resolutions adopted by the African Union Council of Peace and Security.  He went on to say, the United Nations reform was vital, and commended efforts of the working group, appointed in the previous session, to address Security Council reform.

While that process had been slow, he welcomed the consensus reached on the working group’s recommendations.  Genuine reform would place decision-making in the hands of the General Assembly, and turn the Security Council into an executive instrument that enforced its decisions.  He called for convening a high-level meeting on United Nations reform in a European country.  In addition, Africa deserved a permanent Council seat on equal footing with other geographic regions.

Concerned at developing countries’ inability to attain the Millennium Development Goals, he reaffirmed the imperative for developed nations to fulfil assistance pledges.  He welcomed the convening last week of the high-level meeting on Africa’s development needs and supported the political declaration adopted at its conclusion.  Regarding financing for development, he discussed the launch of the “ Qadhafi Road” initiative as a way to link northern parts of Africa with western and southern parts.  It would be an important artery to enhance trade.

On other matters, he said corruption hampered attainment of the Goals and developing countries had suffered huge damages.  There were safe havens for stolen funds and plundered wealth, and it was unacceptable to remain silent on the matter, especially as such funds were often used by terrorists.

Libya was among the first to highlight the food crisis.  It had allocated $5 million for food security projects, and was financing seven others.  Developed countries could help Africa solve the problem by increasing development assistance devoted to agriculture, and investing in such projects as the Anka Dam project in Congo.  On climate change, he said that Libya, an arid or semi-arid area, suffered from desertification and water scarcity.  It had persistently made efforts to address those challenges, however, a comprehensive international agreement was needed, as were adaptation measures.

Explaining that Libya had voluntarily relinquished all programmes of weapons of mass destruction, he also noted the right to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes.  He strongly opposed using double standards in nuclear non-proliferation issues, and called for making the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction.  The Ottawa Agreement on anti-personnel mines should be reviewed, he added.

Terrorism was an obstacle to stability in various parts of the world, and he urged adopting a definition of that phenomenon.  Associating terrorists with a specific religion or culture was bound to inflame conflict, and such a situation was incompatible with international goals.  The Convention on the Status of Refugees contained a definition of refugee status, and it was regrettable that some had opened the door of political asylum for thieves who were trying to evade punishment, including terrorists.  The creation of international criteria was of paramount importance.

Palestinians still suffered Israeli occupation, he said, and the unjust embargo imposed on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israel would impede the realization of peace in the area.  Peace could be achieved only with the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland, and creation of a Palestinian State.  Occupation of the Syrian Golan must end, and he called for withdrawal of all occupation forces from Arab territories, along with compensation for damages.

[Source: GA/10758]

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