Item 44: Follow-up to the outcome of the United Nations Millennium Summit
Statement by H.E. Mr. Jan KAVAN
President of the United Nations General Assembly
4 October 2002

Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we open our first joint debate on two very important agenda items: the work of the Organization and the Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit. Let me first express my appreciation to the Secretary-General for his introduction of both reports and specially for his determination to pursue the goals of the Millennium Declaration. Both Reports are comprehensive, yet concise and provide a very good basis for our deliberations.

More than ever, the call for multilateralism in maintenance of international peace and security resonates through the Organization. The joint concentration of Member States on the fight against international terrorism produced some results throughout the past year. It is necessary, however, to commit ourselves to further strengthening of the UN legal framework, including a renewed effort to negotiate the comprehensive convention against terrorism.

Despite some positive developments, we have witnessed growing tensions and escalation of conflicts in many parts of the world. To be more effective in the area of peacekeeping, we must continue to implement its reform measures, including enhancing rapid deployment capabilities, taking action on lessons learned and generating sufficient resources, to name just a few.

Our efforts should, however, first and foremost, concentrate on preventing conflicts before they arise. The recently increased attention to the concept of prevention of armed conflict is therefore proper. The United Nations can contribute through effective and timely use of the existing preventive tools, such as early warning systems, mediation and political guidance, good offices, fact-finding and goodwill missions, or preventive deployment and disarmament.

Equally important are policy advice and development cooperation in the areas that are crucial for conflict prevention, such as good governance, capacity building and poverty eradication. I believe that the resumption of the work on the initiative of the General Assembly, in drafting the resolution on conflict prevention will secure that this topic remains high on the agenda of the current Session. I do hope that during our Presidency, we will be able to reach a consensus on this important resolution. We will definitely not spare our energy to achieve this goal.

During the 57th Session, I am particularly determined to devote special attention to the issue of the coordinated and integrated follow-up of the outcomes of the major United Nations international conferences of the past decade, especially the Millennium Summit, and the Monterrey and Johannesburg Summits. I am convinced that such an approach will yield a positive and effective input to a more coherent and relevant review of the implementation of those conferences. In this respect, I rely on your support and active participation in the work of the Plenary and Main Committees, that would result in a synergy of the different views to formulate a holistic approach to the follow-up of the conferences.

Allow me to add a few comments on the Report on the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The report provides a good overview of the accomplishments and shortcomings on the road towards attaining the Millennium Goals. The Report concludes that sufficient progress has been achieved in a few countries only and that prospects for meeting the Millennium Development Goals are, at best, mixed. I hope that our debate will help us to identify gaps and to formulate strategies for the future, as spelled out in the GA resolution 55/162.

Millennium Development Goals became the basis of the economic and social policy of the United Nations Organization and international development cooperation. Their implementation must remain our top priority. Now, with the first report on the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration presented, it is time to engage ourselves in the search for the most effective approach in the follow-up mechanism, formulating a set of requirements for monitoring and review of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals to ensure due results at the due time.

We have to keep in mind that credibility of the United Nations is based not only on its ability to articulate political goals but also, and primarily, on its ability to mobilize political will for their implementation.

Thank you for your attention.

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