BY H.E. MR. JEAN PING
Mr Secretary General,
Allow me at the outset to express a few words regarding the victims of
the hurricanes that have recently hit with full force the southern part
of the United States, Jamaica,Grenada and Cuba and on this occasion to
express all our compassion and solidarity to the Governments and populations
of those countries during this terribly difficult time they are facing.
It is for me a singular honour and a true privilege, to assume, as of
today, the presidency of the United
The solemn opening of this session provides me with an opportunity to again express my deep gratitude, both for the tribute that has been paid to Africa and for the confidence that has been placed in my country, Gabon, its people and the initiatives of its President, His Excellency El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba.
Let me also convey my sincere congratulations to my predecessor, His Excellency The Hon. Mr. Julian Hunte, for the work he accomplished, in particular in the field of the revitalization of our work. I am also grateful for the great willingness and support that he and his cabinet showed throughout the transitional period.
I pay tribute to the Secretary-General for his efforts towards a more
peaceful and more just world,
In that tribute I associate all of the United Nations personnel, who work with such courage and dedication, often in extremely perilous conditions, at times paying the highest price for the cause of peace.
For my part, I wish to assure all representatives of Member States that
I am entirely at their disposal to
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
The present session is opening in an international context that is constantly and rapidly changing, marked by multiple threats and numerous challenges.
In that situation, the peoples of the world more than ever turn their gaze towards the United Nations - the sole universal forum where the concerns and aspirations of all mankind are expressed in all their diversity.
The General Assembly must fully carry out the role assigned to it by
the United Nations Charter, by
For my part, I intend to gear my endeavours to that end, in close cooperation with Members States and the other principal organs of the United Nations.
The many areas of conflict and humanitarian crises, the proliferation
of weapons, the resurgence of
Another question which we must pursue through consultations is that of
human cloning for purposes of
The dramatic repercussions of armed conflicts on the peoples of the Middle
East, Africa, South America,
The situation in the Middle East, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian
question, demands sustained
It is undoubtedly in that cradle of age-old civilizations that the future
of all of us is, in
The climate prevailing in Iraq and Afghanistan, inter alia, is still a source of great concern.
In Africa, wars constitute the dominant source of insecurity, impoverishment and political instability. The Darfur crisis in the Sudan and the recent massacres of refugees on the border between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are, alas, such deplorable situations.
It is therefore urgent and crucial to reconsider the coordination between
Similarly, there is a clear need to organize the international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region -an idea which has been accepted in principle.
Where peace processes are already underway, it is vital to do everything
possible to support them by
Above all, we must ensure that sufficient resources are provided for
post-war reconstruction efforts so as to prevent the possible reversion
to instability and to avoid the risk of anarchy. Our Organization cannot
The proliferation of weapons - especially small arms and light weapons
- is contributing to an
We must all work to that end.
We must act quickly so as to find the best means to combat terrorism
more effectively. Indeed, the scope
Yet, while issues of peace and security daily demand our attention, they
should not divert us
We must therefore take action, together, on both fronts simultaneously.
In this regard, I would like to
If we truly wish to reduce disparities between and within nations and to increase our chances - and those of future generations - of living in a more equitable and secure world, we must abide by the development commitments that we have undertaken, especially those in the Millennium Declaration and the Monterrey Consensus.
We have no other choice. Our respective nations and peoples expect a
great deal. We cannot turn a deaf
We must also vigorously combat trafficking in human beings, in particular
in women and children.
The most disadvantaged continent - Africa -has taken its destiny into
its own hands. Our
The New Partnership for Africa's Development is an expression of the steadfast determination of the peoples of that continent to break with decades of pessimism.
Africa has the political support of the international community in that respect. It has also adopted a number of concrete measures, including the Peer Review Mechanism, with a view to promoting peace, good governance, human rights and democracy.
But Africa also expects all of its development partners, in particular those of the Group of Eight, to fulfil their commitments entered into within that framework.
I should like to draw the attention of the international community to
the necessity of better
In that regard, the forthcoming Mauritius conference on the implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action for The Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States will be an important stepping stone.
Hunger and malnutrition are also urgent problems whose impact is crucial
for disadvantaged populations.
It is therefore vital that the General Assembly focus its efforts on eradicating hunger and poverty in the world.
It is essential for the General Assembly, working together with the Economic
and Social Council, to
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
We must strengthen relations among the General Assembly, the Security
Council and the Economic and
It should also enable us to preserve the role and authority of the General Assembly as the central deliberative body of the United Nations and the expression of the common will of the 191 States Members of the Organization.
To be sure, significant progress has already been achieved in revitalizing
our work. We must, however,
At the global level, it is clear that the changing circumstances of today's
world call for our
Thus - and this cannot be overemphasized - we must strengthen the role and authority of the United Nations and provide it with all the resources necessary to enable it to fulfil its many missions.
Similarly, we must encourage greater cooperation between United Nations
organs and regional and
The commemoration next year of the sixtieth anniversary of the Organization
will provide us with an
For my part, I shall ensure that the General Assembly assumes its responsibility
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
I invite all the members of the Assembly to work together with a view
to adapting the United Nations to
I will need all of your support in order to accomplish the delicate
task that you have entrusted to me. Finally, I would like again to assure
all Member States that I am entirely at their disposal to work together
with them and to be ever attentive to their concerns and, of course, to
I thank you.