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Trinidad and Tobago
H.E. Ms. Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister for Foreign Affairs

27 September 2008

Statement Summary

PAULA GOPEE-SCOON, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, said the increasing frequency and ferocity of hurricanes and other natural disasters had exposed the dire need to provide early warning systems and capacity-building programmes in vulnerable regions like the Caribbean.  Such disasters had also revealed sharply the imperative of purposeful action on climate change at national, regional and international levels. 

For its part, her Government recognized the need to promote clean energy alternatives, the development of new and renewable energy options and the proper protection and management of forest areas in partnership with the public and private sector at national and international levels.  Moreover, efforts aimed at addressing the current energy crisis also required international cooperation and partnership, she added, noting that Trinidad and Tobago sought to partner with African countries to develop long-term strategies for the sustainable development and use of their energy resources. 

The United Nations must take the lead in the management of the global food crisis, as the crisis threatened the achievement of some of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular, eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.  Member States must use all resources at their disposal to solve the crisis, including a recommitment to the work –- and recommendations -– of FAO.  Regionally, food security must also be pursued in the context of the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy, which provided for the integration of production and cross-border investment in agriculture.

Like poverty and hunger, terrorism remained a “major scourge” and members of the international community must embrace multilateral solutions to the challenge, she continued.  The reform of the Security Council was indispensable to the transformation and further democratization of the United Nations.  Failure to reform it could serve to undermine its authority in maintaining peace and security and its ability to discharge its other obligations.  Nationally, her Government had recently reformed its development policy and Trinidad and Tobago was now on track to meet or exceed all Millennium Goals. 

However, there were many States that would not achieve those Goals and the international community should assist them by honouring previously agreed-upon commitments.  The follow-up conference on the implementation of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus would also be an opportunity to further support developing countries and to forge a global partnership in a spirit of solidarity.

Turning to the “nefarious” narcotics trade, she said drug trafficking was closely linked to the illegal proliferation of small arms.  Regional efforts to confront those challenges should be supported by international and multilateral efforts.  To that end, she called for the inclusion of international drug trafficking as one of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.  The Criminal Court specifically, and international law in general, had contributed to the maintenance of international peace and security and Member States should show full respect for those instruments. 

[Source: GA/10757]

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