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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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At the Closing of the General Debate

New York, 26 September 2009

Mr. Chairman (Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya), Mr. Secretary-General,
Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegation, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to participate in this annual meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly. This high-level meeting is a reaffirmation of the strong political support for ASEAN-UN cooperation, which I am sure will continue to be strengthened. It is also a good opportunity to exchange views on a number of important issues and challenges of peace and development that confront us at national, regional and global levels.

The 64th Session of the General Assembly has a wide-ranging agenda. I believe the ownership of setting this agenda, and implementing it, rests with the Member States and regional groups.
These are your priorities. My role as the President of the Assembly is to facilitate our work, promote open and inclusive consultations, and to act as a bridge builder, aligning all sides behind common objectives.

It is in this context that I would like to outline a few issues that have emerged as major priorities for the 64th Session.

On climate change, the 22 September Summit hosted by the Secretary General has provided a strong political momentum for achieving success at Copenhagen in December. We need to maintain this momentum and fully utilize the intervening period to overcome the differences that might delay the new global agreement on climate change.  

Development will also be high on our agenda. It is crucial to review the implementation of the goals and commitments of the Millennium Summit and the 2005 World Summit. One of our major pre-occupations would be to prepare for a substantive outcome of the September 2010 high-level event with a special focus on the implementation of the MDGs. We shall also follow-up on the recommendations of the June 2009 Conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development. I believe, we would also need to focus on food security and health issues and consider how technology should be used to best address these challenges.

The current international political environment provides an ideal setting to give a new momentum to the dialogue among civilizations to promote world peace, harmony and development. I will work with you to promote this objective.

Finally we cannot be oblivious of the objectives of international peace. There are immense challenges in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. And we must advance the collective objective of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East including resolution of the Palestinian question. For global security, we would also need to capitalize on the positive environment that is taking shape for global disarmanent and non-proliferation.  

In conclusion, we need collective responses to tackle these challenges. I believe ASEAN has a lot to contribute to all these issues. As a group, and also individually, we know and appreciate your efforts and contributions for peace and security, including peacekeeping, mediation and conflict prevention and resolution, as well as for development, humanitarian and other priorities. This is the essence of multilateralism, which I am committed to promote in partenrship with all Member States and groups.

I thank you.

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