NEW YORK, JULY 8, 2002

Mr. President,
Ms. Deputy Secretary-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor and privilege for me to be elected President of the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am really very grateful to all Member States, particularly the Group of the Eastern European countries, for the confidence with which they duly entrusted my country and myself in this election.

I would like also to highly commend the work of President Han, the facilitators and other colleagues who have worked really tirelessly on the resolution we have just adopted today. This is really important achievement that will ensure smoother transition of responsibilities of the United Nations General Assembly Presidents and will, of course, enable me and all future Presidents to be better prepared for the demanding tasks ahead.

During my presidency, I am committed to work towards effective implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus and the outcome of World Summit on Sustainable Development. I will pay special attention to the foremost task of the UN - maintenance of peace and security, including conflict prevention and, of course, fight against international terrorism. I am confident that regular consultations and mutual cooperation among the principal UN organs are crucial for better functioning of the Organization. And I am obviously aware of the need to build on the ongoing process of the revitalization of the General Assembly.

Mr. President,
The Czech Republic has always been a strong advocate of the notion of the United Nations, its values and its principles. As an active participant in drafting the Charter of the United Nations, Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic, witnessed the evolution of the United Nations into an institution, whose role in maintaining international peace and security, cooperating in economic, social, and humanitarian areas, and promoting respect for human rights, is extremely important and I believe irreplaceable.

With the support of the Vice-Presidents, the Chairmen of the main committees and all other distinguished colleagues, I would like to further enhance our work, facilitate dialogue and consensus- finding in the spirit of constructive cooperation and mutual understanding. I am convinced that I can count on the experienced assistance of the Secretary-General and his staff which I want to make full use of. I believe that we, together, can make the work of the General Assembly much more dynamic and result-oriented, the on-going process of the UN reform more efficient and the entire United Nations more coherent.

Let me conclude, Mr. President, by saying that I look forward to a fruitful cooperation with all 189 - and soon to be 191 - delegations of the Member States in the work of the 57th United Nations General Assembly.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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