H.E Mr. Ján Kubis, Minister for Foreign Affairs
26 September 2008
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JÁN KUBIŠ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, said the international community was increasingly confronted with old problems exacerbated by a new set of challenges that included a deficit of global leadership. The world should exercise leadership through the United Nations in the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies. Noting the theme of this year’s Assembly, “the impact of the global food crisis on poverty and hunger in the world”, he pledged support for the work of the Task Force on Global Food Crisis.
Slovakia was helping developing countries increase food supply in a sustainable manner as a part of the broader European Union’s efforts. He said fairer international trade rules should be adopted to stimulate agricultural production in developing countries. The United Nations needed to expedite a compromise agreement at the World Trade Organization negotiations.
He said that overall progress on the Millennium Development Goals had been uneven at best, and the rising prices of food, energy along with climate change threatened to reverse the existing advances. The targets could still be reached if the world doubled its efforts and worked together. He noted that, as a former recipient country, Slovakia now provided ODA and expertise with other traditional and emerging donors to help others achieve the Goals. In a new midterm strategy, Slovakia would focus its aid on the least developed countries and strengthening partnerships with United Nations development agencies.
The Assembly President’s decision to focus on democratization of the United Nations this year was welcome. He noted the need to strengthen the United Nations capacity to deliver as one in the areas of peace, security and development, humanitarian assistance and environment, wile taking into account gender equality, sustainable development and human rights. He also noted the need for reform of the Security Council, and expressed support for the ambitions of Germany, Japan, Brazil and India to become permanent members.
He commended the African Union for its increasingly active role in putting an end to the most serious crises in Africa, particularly for UNAMID and for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). He said the European Union and the United Nations were currently working together in about 20 operations. He noted that nationally owned security forces were important to preserving peace, particularly in post-conflict societies. Since its membership in the Security Council, Slovakia had done a lot of work with security sector-reform-related efforts in South Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Making reference to recent developments in Georgia and the Middle East, he noted his support for pursuing peace while observing international law, sovereignty, territorial integrity and without the use of force and unilateral action. He also affirmed his support for the emerging Afghan Government and enhanced United Nations cooperation in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. He also expressed concerns at the inability to close the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme.