to the National Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, President of the United Nations General
28 July 2003
(of the Parliament) "Lu'Olo" Guterres,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
is a great honour and privilege for me to address the Parliament,
both as a fellow Parliamentarian, and as the current President
of the United Nations General Assembly.
am equally delighted to have the opportunity to comment on the
work of the Organization and its agencies - how far we’ve
come in terms of Millennium Development Goals, the distance we
need to cover to achieve the objectives set therein, and the role
of Timor-Leste in the global mosaic that is the United Nations.
Timor-Leste enters its rebuilding phase, after an extremely difficult
period of destruction, I find that the national parliament, much
like the General Assembly, will be an important tool for its transition
in becoming a fully functioning, independent, sovereign State.
recall that a little over a year ago, as Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the Czech Republic, I had the honour to participate in the
independence ceremony of Timor-Leste, to witness the birth of
a new nation, as well as the formation of this national parliament.
Through this body, in its first session, Timor-Leste expressed
its resolve to join the United Nations, and became, in September
of that year, a full, participating member of the UN. Much like
in a family, the delegates were welcomed with open arms and brought
into various circles to engage in the discussions and deliberations
of innumerable, and at times, overwhelming agenda items.
I hope the delegates found at the United Nations is space for
reflection, dialogue and consultation on issues as diverse and
significant as political rights and freedoms, education and communication,
and democracy and the rule of law. And I am happy to see that
at the end of their participation in their first UN General Assembly,
Timor-Leste reiterated its commitment to the promotion and protection
of human rights with the ratification of a package of six core
international human rights treaties and four optional protocols.
I look forward to a sustained participation of Timor-Leste in
the work of the United Nations.
we face many development challenges worldwide, but as we’ve
discovered, it is no good tackling them bit-by-bit. All the world’s
big problems affect all the others, and thus we need to tackle
them all together, with a common strategy, a clear timetable,
and measurable targets. Fortunately, we already have them: the
Millennium Development Goals -- or MDGs –- adopted by all
nations less than three years ago, and confirmed at last year’s
conferences in Monterrey and Johannesburg as the core agenda of
international development cooperation.
give you an insight on the status of these goals, let me give
you some updates:
Currently, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty
has actually increased in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, central
and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
§ Only East Asia and the Pacific are on pace to meet the
poverty Goal, while South Asia is making good progress.
§ Africa, South Asia and the Arab States need to greatly
accelerate their progress if they are to achieve universal primary
§ Progress in promoting gender equality and empowering women
has been made in all regions, but sub-Saharan Africa lags behind.
§ Many regions are making progress in upgrading slums, improving
access to safe drinking water, and integrating the principles
of sustainable development into policies and programmes. But in
some places, such as East Asia, efforts to ensure environmental
sustainability are far too slow.
you can see, formidable challenges lie ahead if we are to even
come close to meeting the Goals.
think it is important to keep in mind that sustained growth and
development require not only sound national and global economic
policies and the absence of conflict nationally and regionally,
but also a universal sense of global security. The investments
in counter-terrorism need to be complemented by actions at the
international level, for example in the area of trade, to restore
the relatively optimistic global political mood that prevailed
when the Millennium Declaration was adopted. Another important
step that needs to take place is to provide developing nations
with better access to global markets, which of course means lowering
agricultural subsidies and bringing down barriers to imports from
understand that here in Timor-Leste much has been achieved in
the past year. Yet, there is still the issue regarding the instability
of the security environment, as well as the administrative, military,
and policy structures, however I would like to assure you, on
behalf of the General Assembly, that UNMISET will provide continued
support in strengthening these institutions.
as the first new nation to be born in this millennium, is a model
of what can be achieved. And rightly so, the international community
looks on with anticipation to see how Timor-Leste will overcome
the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction. I strongly believe
the global family will support its newest member in facing the
political, practical, and security challenges that lie ahead because
it sees in its future hope and optimism not just for itself but
for nations that will be born after it.
I conclude, President ‘Lu O’lo’, I would like
to take this opportunity to pay my personal tribute to your valour
and dedication during the long struggle of your people. Your role
thereafter as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly and as the
first Speaker of the National Parliament truly epitomizes what
can be achieved with courage, far-sightedness and conviction.
the first legislature of the independent state of Timor-Leste
all of you carry a historical responsibility and I wish all of
you every success in discharging it in the service of your country.
you for your attention.