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Sweden
H. E. Mr. Anders Lidén, Chairperson of the Delegation

29 September 2008

Statement Summary

ANDERS LIDEN (Sweden), noting that the Security Council, particularly its five permanent members, had a responsibility to uphold international law, said the Russian Federation’s invasion of Georgia was a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, and its subsequent recognition of parts of Georgia as independent States stood in contradiction to international law, including principles and commitments agreed in the context of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  Sweden supported Georgia’s territorial integrity and called on the Russian Federation to fulfil its obligations to withdraw its forces.

He said respect for human rights must be a part of all United Nations activities, including in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, as well in as the work of United Nations funds and programmes.  In addition, support for human rights was important in countering terrorism, where measures must be taken within a clear framework of international law if they were to be effective.  For instance, it was essential that the Security Council develop clear and fair procedures in matters of listing and delisting individuals being targeted for sanctions.  In addition, the International Criminal Court should pursue justice in a way that supported peace processes.

States had a responsibility to protect the people within their borders from human rights violations, he stressed, adding that, if a State was capable of doing so, it should ask the international community for help, as Kenya had done recently.  In cases where States were unwilling to do so, the Security Council must face its responsibility to protect.  In doing so, the Council must avoid taking unilateral action because it might risk aggravating the problem and undermining international law.  Women in conflict situations must have full access to justice.  Although the Security Council had passed two resolutions reaffirming rape and sexual violence as war crimes and crimes against humanity, more must be done.  Sweden also wished to see an end to the death penalty, an “inhumane form of punishment”.

Turning to nuclear proliferation, he said the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons formed the foundation of the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.  In order not to undermine it, especially against the backdrop of developments in Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the nuclear Powers must demonstrate a readiness substantially to reduce their own arsenals.

He said his country supported efforts to bridge “crisis management” and long-term development in post-conflict situations.  By chairing the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Government of Sweden hoped to contribute to the further development of the United Nations role in that area.  Sweden had hosted the first annual review meeting of the International Compact with Iraq, believing that partnership between the Iraqi Government and the United Nations was crucial.

As for climate change, he said his country would provide resources for a special initiative in its development cooperation.  Mindful that it would hold the European Union Presidency in 2009, the same year as the Copenhagen conference on climate change, Sweden would take special responsibility for putting an international climate agreement in place at that meeting.

[Source: GA/10758]

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