H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, President of the 57th Session of the General
Assembly of the United Nations
New York, 20 September 2002
Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies
closing this year's General Debate, I would like to make a few
the outset, allow me to express my sincere appreciation for
the kind words of support and assurances of co-operation that
you extended to me and the Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly.
We will do our utmost to fulfill your expectations.
high level of participation at this year's Debate underscored
the importance of our gathering. Among the 188 speakers, we
have heard 33 Heads of State, 14 Heads of Government, 14 Deputy
Prime Ministers and 110 Foreign Ministers. The important statement
of the Secretary-General emphasizing the fundamental necessity
and continuing relevance of multilateralism as the guiding principle
of our Organization and world affairs generated a sound base
for our deliberations.
debate during the past 10 days was rich and colourful touching
upon crucial issues approached from different perspectives.
Yet again, the annual debate at the General Assembly proved
to be a unique platform for exchange of opinions that will guide
our activities during the whole session.
opening of the General Debate followed the day of mourning in
commemoration of the attacks of September 11th. Throughout the
entire debate we reminded ourselves of the need to uphold the
unprecedented unity of the anti-terrorist coalition and continue
our common fight against international terrorism. I do not recall
a statement that would not place the fight against terrorism
and the importance of addressing related issues as a top priority.
year's debate has had a major impact on the state of international
affairs, as clearly demonstrated by the development of the situation
in Iraq. Time and concrete actions will show if the Iraqi offer
is credible. I hope, however, that the call for both multilateralism
and compliance with the United Nations resolutions, so eloquently
expressed in this Assembly, will shape future policies towards
urgency to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ever
more pressing and represented a major concern for most speakers.
The latest Quartet negotiations introduced a plan outlining
a three-phase roadmap to achieve the shared vision of two States
- Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security.
The recognition of security, political, economic, humanitarian,
and institutional dimensions is an integral part of the plan.
There is no need to stress that support for the endeavours of
the diplomatic Quartet and compliance by both parties are essential
for further progress and that much more detailed work still
has to be done.
the time of last year's General Debate, Afghanistan was a war-torn
country with leadership that oppressed its own citizens and
harbored the most despicable terrorist organization in the world.
The changes that Afghanistan has experienced since then are
unprecedented. On the first day of our debate, a democratically
elected president of a completely different country addressed
this Assembly. Despite all the progress achieved to date Afghanistan
faces major security challenges and is in dire need of continued
humanitarian and developmental assistance. The international
community and major donors have played - and must continue to
play - a decisive role in the positive changes in Afghanistan.
have listened very carefully to the statements of the distinguished
representatives concerning the economic development and prosperity
of their countries and regions. The message was apparent and
clear - there is no development and prosperity without peace
and stability. We have to dedicate our time during the 57th
Session of the General Assembly to further addressing and confronting
the issues of poverty eradication, HIV/AIDS, equitable distribution
of the benefits of globalization and preservation of the environment.
address these issues, many of you stressed the need to concentrate
our efforts on meeting the targets and timeframes laid out in
the Millennium Development Goals. The time has come to translate
the outcomes of Monterrey and Johannesburg into achievable policies
and concrete actions.
very special attention during this year's General Debate was
given to the issues of Africa's development and its future,
including UN support to the emerging New Partnership for Africa's
Development initiative. I appreciate the conclusions of the
high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on NEPAD
and I believe that question of Africa and its development will
remain high on our agenda.
the debate, supportive references have been made to the continuous
process of reforming the United Nations. Many of you expect
that the role and function of the General Assembly will be revitalized
and rationalized, and that discussions on ensuring more equitable
representation in the Security Council will continue.
conclusion, I would like to thank you all for your active participation
that made our debate fruitful and successful. I appreciate that
many speakers, though not all, have kept - more or less - to
the agreed time limit of 15 minutes. I am convinced that shorter
and comprehensive statements have greater and more unequivocal
impact than long surveys of numerous issues, national and international,
and they make our work more efficient. I also greatly appreciate
the support and assistance provided to our deliberations by
the UN Secretariat. My gratitude also goes to the City of New
York and our host country for their hospitality and security
brief remarks could not reflect on all the diverse views, ideas
and initiatives expressed during the debate. Your concerns will
be addressed in the upcoming meetings of the Plenary and Main
Committees. Let me express my belief that our work will continue
in a constructive and productive way.