General Debate of the 64th Session (2009)
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His Serene Highness Prince Albert II
23 September 2009
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Prince ALBERT II of Monaco said it was necessary to clearly define and implement the Millennium Development Goals, which responded to the vital needs of all human beings. If the elimination of poverty remained the priority of the international community, then it was necessary that nations meet their obligations as the most destitute were also the ones who suffered from hunger and malnutrition, who did not have access to water, and who did not benefit from social services or basic medical services. Among the principal victims were women and children, including the 25,000 who died each day, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
On international cooperation, he said several hundred thousand people currently benefited from his country’s efforts in the areas of health, education and the fight against poverty. In that regard, Monaco urged that the effort towards reaching the goal of devoting 0.7 per cent of GDP to development assistance between now and 2015 be pursued. Such development assistance needed to be accompanied with long-term investments aimed at strengthening the capacities of developing countries, particularly through the transfer of appropriate technologies taking into account the imperatives of sustainable development.
With the recent food crisis as background, it was necessary to give agriculture the priority it deserved since food security depended on it, he went on. It was necessary to create a “new deal” for future generations. In that regard, donors must become partners for a new green revolution in Africa where agriculture, adapted to the specific conditions of the continent, would facilitate the empowerment of local populations.
An integrated management of water resources was mandatory, continued. The international community must be aware of the disasters and potential conflicts that would arise if it failed to do so, and the risks linked to poor sanitation conditions susceptible to cause outbreaks of infectious diseases and pandemics. Noting that desertification and drought phenomena were exacerbated by climatic change brought about by man, he said that a failure in the Copenhagen negotiations was not an option.
Further, countries must, together, succeed in defining a post-Kyoto Protocol agenda strictly in line with a low-carbon emission future, he said. For too long, scientific warnings had been neglected. The unparalleled mobilization of public opinion prompted the international community to adopt innovative measures to slow down the evolution of global warming.
During the past few months, the world economy had been sorely tried and tested, he continued. Although signs of recovery were beginning to show, conclusions needed to be drawn from the sombre year. The globalization of the economy and the interdependence that resulted from it called for a crucial reform of the international monetary and finical system. The G-20, at its Heads of State Summit in November 2008, had acknowledged the urgency of measures to be taken to spare the world economy from catastrophe worsened by panic in the financial markets.
Monaco was confident of the capabilities of the G-20 to lay out the basis for a new era. He said Monaco had been working for many months to fulfil the obligations it subscribed to and to comply with the required norms of OECD with a view to improve transparency and information exchange in fiscal and banking matters. The breach of trust spawned by the financial debacle had more than ever made it necessary that the measures taken by the G-20 be non-discriminatory towards all United Nations Member States. A consultative body would ensure the legitimacy of any decisions made.
He said it was of utmost importance to strengthen the rule of law and democracy institutions that were the guardians of sovereignty and peaceful co-existence among States. In that regard, Monaco supported implementation of the “responsibility to protect” as a symbol of the strengthening multilateralism in the service of all populations. That responsibility did not affect the exercise of responsible sovereignty which placed the individual in the forefront. Monaco would keep on working with its partners in order to implement best practices in the areas of protection, international assistance and capacity building with the common objective to save lives.