LIBYA CALLS FOR REDEFINITION OF TERRORISM AS MILLENNIUM SUMMIT CONTINUES; SRI LANKA MAKES PLEA FOR INTEGRITY OF SOVEREIGN STATES20000908
While the objective behind the establishment of the International Criminal Court was to punish perpetrators of the most serious crimes against international security, the Rome Statute was designed to try only the weak, and as such it could not be accepted, Abdurrahman M. Shalghem, Secretary of the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of Libya, told the Millennium Summit of world leaders this morning.
That Statute, he continued, could neither be signed nor ratified unless it was modified in a manner that guaranteed the trial of all perpetrators of aggression, drug trafficking and massacres, as well as those who committed aggression against international forces. Terrorism also assumed many forms. Threats to use the brutal force of sanctions, or of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, all constituted forms of terrorism, as did the conditions imposed by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). For the international community to combat terrorism, it should define terrorism and the causes behind it, as well as all acts of violence.
During the morning session, the Summit heard from 19 Presidents, seven Prime Ministers, one Vice-President, two Deputy Prime Ministers, six Foreign Ministers, one Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and two Chairmen of delegations.
Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, said that for many years his country had had an extraordinary armed conflict within its territory that had complicated the lives of the entire population. A very small group, schooled in and devoted to violence, stood outside the processes of peaceful society and participatory governance and continued to battle the State. Through systematic terror, they had achieved a national and international notoriety and rejected all overtures for dialogue.
Surely, he continued, when the security and integrity of one State were threatened by an armed group within it, it behooved other States to deny that armed group any encouragement, succour or safe haven. Sri Lanka, a democratic
* On pages 2 to 20 the meeting number should read 7th. Fifty-fifth General Assembly - 1a - Press Release GA/9757 Millennium Summit 8 September 2000 7th Meeting (AM)
State, committed to tolerance and dissent, was especially vulnerable to the deployment of force against it by any group within its boundaries. An internal armed challenge to any nation anywhere was a challenge to all countries everywhere. Unless all States, particularly democratic ones, agreed to come to the aid of another in peril, democracy itself would be imperiled everywhere and would not survive.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said many in Africa were stuck with old problems stemming from slavery and colonialism. They were burdened with the colour line, which decreed that 70 per cent of the countrys best arable land was still owned by a 1 per cent minority. A land reform programme had been instituted to rectify the imbalance. What had been the response of the former imperial Powers? They called the implementing party land-grabbers, and accused it of reverse racism. When would the globalized world spare the peasant a patch of land to till? When would the ugly anomaly of history with respect to land ownership be resolved to enlarge freedom? Why was a system that was the root of poverty allowed to go on?
Surin Pitsuwan, Foreign Minister of Thailand, said that while the main focus in many countries in the past had been to achieve faster growth at all costs, his country believed that it was adequate for its people to achieve an economy that was self-supporting, with the generated wealth equitably shared by all. In coping with present-day economic pressures, a country and its people should try to live within their means, in moderation, and without extravagance. That was one of the keys to achieving genuine human development and security.
This morning the Summit heard from the Presidents of Gambia, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Romania, Republic of Congo, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Malawi, Philippines and Comoros.
In addition, the Prime Ministers of Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Cambodia, Sweden, Denmark, Malta and India addressed the Summit, as did the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam and the Captain Regent of San Marino.
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bhutan and the Vice-President of Paraguay also spoke this morning.
The Deputy Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Luxembourg, Uganda, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Burundi and Angola, and the Chairmen of the Delegations of Lebanon and Burkina Faso also addressed the Summit.
The Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. to conclude the three-day Millennium Summit of world leaders.
General Assembly Plenary - 3 - Press Release GA/9757 5th Meeting (AM) 8 September 2000
Summit Work Programme
The General Assembly met this morning to continue to hear heads of State and government participating in the Millennium Summit.
YAHYA A.J.J. JAMMEH, President of Gambia: It is disheartening to observe the proliferation of conflict situations in different regions of the world. To make Africas determined effort at conflict prevention, resolution, management and peacekeeping successful and sustainable, I call on the international community to provide greater moral and institutional support for the attainment of these noble objectives. The present imbalances and lack of fair adjustments in our participation in the process of globalization should also be addressed, so as to enable developing countries to take advantage of world economic growth by mobilizing both domestic and external resources for sustained economic growth and development.
The environmental threats faced by the international community, as clearly indicated in the Global Environment Outlook 2000 of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), concludes that special attention should be paid to the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption within the richer segments of all countries. I would like to reiterate my Governments commitment to the Malmo Declaration and emphasize the need for development assistance far beyond current levels if we are to register any success in meeting the goals and targets we have set ourselves.
The promotion of peace and democratic values and principles is linked to the development of good relations between Governments. For that reason, my Government considers the failure of the United Nations to respect the dignity and rights of 23 million Taiwanese to membership to our Organization as a serious setback to the professed universality of the United Nations and a gross contradiction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Likewise, the economic embargo on Cuba has proven to be very counterproductive, and it is my Governments hope that the international communitys recent change of attitude would usher in renewed cooperation and reconciliation with that great country.
MIGUEL ANGEL RODRIGUEZ, President of Costa Rica: Last century bequeathed us innumerable achievements but also grave shortcomings. We must not forget that every year 11 million boys and girls under five die of preventable causes, that 130 million girls and boys are without access to primary education and that millions of lives were lost during the last century due to war. Costa Rica has reduced its infant mortality rate by 17 per cent, and has only 4.4 per cent analphabetism; we are delighted that the number is even smaller for women. My country abolished its army over half a century ago in order to invest in education and health, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Economist, our health system surpasses those of developed countries. Even so, by itself, my country cannot do more to redirect the millions of dollars that are spent in weapons and armies worldwide to human development. This would require the commitment of all of us.
Knowledge, information and the access to new technologies are currently the necessary foundations to build higher standards of life. The new frontiers lie in the realm of technology. This year we are united by the commitment to close the digital divide in order to prevent the growth of injustice and inequality. Costa Rica recently launched the Communications without Frontiers programme and became the first nation to provide free electronic mail to all its population. Today, the worlds poorest societies suffer the grave consequences of the artificial increase in oil prices. According to the International Energy Agency, 77 million barrels of oil are consumed every day. On the basis of the Costa Rican experience, the increase in oil prices makes it impossible to create adequate health services for 1.1 billion people worldwide, to build homes for 28 million poor families in Latin America, Asia or Africa and to provide primary education to 550 million girls and boys or secondary education to 430 million adolescents.
The United Nations can and must answer the challenges of the new millennium. In order to eradicate war, we must restructure the Security Council. To promote peace, in terms of social justice, democracy and development, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) must stand on the same equal footing with the Security Council.
HUGO BANZER SUAREZ, President of Bolivia: More than half a century ago, when the San Francisco Charter was signed, World War II had ended and peacekeeping and the maintenance of international peace and security had become the primary responsibility of the United Nations. Disputes would be resolved by peaceful means and in that way an era of hope was ushered in. Nevertheless, the end of confrontation between East and West did not bring substantial benefits in the economic realm for the less developed countries.
We have gathered here to give thought to a new agenda that includes current challenges and prepare effectively for future ones. This Millennium gathering has to involve much more. It was urgent to enter into agreements and commitments on several topics. The new millennium should mean major commitments of historical significance to lead our countries into the new century on a basis of equity, justice, tolerance and dialogue.
Ultimately there is a close relationship between freedom and poverty and poverty and violence. Human beings who live chained to poverty and misery are not free. There can be no economic or political stability if we dont address social inequality. We must equate different interests within the framework of inclusive prosperity. There must be a commitment to combating poverty. According to the Secretary-Generals report, more than one billion people live on less than one dollar a day. Globalization must be used as a tool to remedy that situation. What is lacking is agreements that promote economic development which is equitable and will distribute revenue better. We must have open economic markets, and differentiated special treatment for certain countries. It is also vital to relieve countries from the stranglehold of debt. To carry through such an enormous mandate, we need a strengthened Organization, whose mandate needs a fresh impetus.
EMIL CONSTANTINESCU, President of Romania: We can either sum up the old millennium or look at the new. An innocent beginning of a new millennium is impossible. But after the bloody conflicts of the last century, perhaps the world can now glimpses a culture of peace. The United Nations has played an unceasing role in the development of this culture. It is a major stakeholder in the future.
The United Nations is a pragmatic institution and represents the whole of humanity. It is indispensable to the management of globalization. It spreads benefits and levels imbalances. As acting President of the Conference on New and Restored Democracies, Romania has made a proposal to develop a common code of conduct for protection of minorities.
The basic role of the United Nations, however, is the prevention of armed conflicts. Romania has actively participated in United Nations peacekeeping efforts. It will continue to do so. It will also renounce the assessed reduction it has so far enjoyed as a member of the C Group for peacekeeping contributions. This is because it believes that the nations of the world, united, can confront the future with mutual peace and respect.
JORGE BATTLE IBAÑEZ, President of Uruguay: There is a rather simple formula: we should not do unto others what we do not want done to us. To transform this formula into reality, we Uruguayans have shared throughout the twentieth century in all initiatives aimed at organizing the life of peoples along the lines of peace and freedom. The United Nations Charter is a font of unquestionable political wisdom. To uphold it in good faith and without duplicity is our greatest challenge. If we were indeed to uphold it in this way, many of our problems would be reduced or vanish. War, violence and poverty spring from deep-rooted causes. We will not honour our commitment simply by addressing these effects. What is essential is to address the causes.
One of the most important tasks of the United Nations in the next millennium must be to guarantee our right to create and to produce, as well as our right to offer and sell our products. Free trade, so much talked about and so little practiced, is more necessary than ever in a planet made smaller and much more interdependent by globalization. Our region has already undergone a period of globalization, the so-called Atlantic civilization of the second half of the nineteenth century. This globalization consolidated the existence of a nation in which equity, justice and freedom reigned, and markets were open to the fruit of our labour and to the products of our land.
Todays reality is different, and that is a negative factor in the lives of our people. In this forum we must make the decisions and undertake the commitments that will determine our future life and the life of future generations.
ALBERTO FUJIMORI, President of Peru: The most important outcome of the Summit will be a continuing consideration of means by which to secure the economic resources to reduce extreme poverty. One avenue is to use for this purpose the accounts and properties seized from drug traffickers.
This will require the establishment of mechanisms to differentiate between legitimate and ill-gained portions of bank accounts, and to protect the privacy of monies not illegally obtained. That is a worthwhile effort. It will be a significant step forward in the fight against drug trafficking; at the same time it will be an important contribution to the betterment of poor countries, which are the worst harmed by the actions of criminal organizations.
One proposal is to use confiscated funds to finance the ever-postponed crop substitution strategies. Replacing coca leaves, poppies or marijuana with alternative crops will rescue peasant populations presently entrapped by necessity in illegal agriculture.
ERNESTO ZEDILLO, President of Mexico: Mexico is convinced that the political independence of nations and self-determination of peoples should be fully respected, even in this new era of economic, financial and information globalization. Globalization offers great opportunities but at present its benefits are unevenly distributed. From first hand experience, we Mexicans know that globalization is not the problem. In fact, it is the reverse: globalization can be part of the solution, or as expressed by the Secretary-General, it must become a positive force for the entire world population in solving its real problems -- poverty, marginalization and inequality.
In some cases, countries do not participate due to lack of political and economic freedom or due to the lack of democracy. Others, even enjoying democracy, cannot participate as the lack of education, health and nutrition prevents them from exercising their freedoms and from taking advantage of globalizations potential. Thus, the great importance of firmly committing ourselves to working hard to achieve the targets contained in the declaration on education, health, employment and equality. Mexico supports these targets and subscribes to the idea of elaborating national and collective action plans to attain them.
We cannot advance our purposes without an overall reform of the United Nations to make it more democratic and representative, more efficient and useful for all, to attain greater legitimacy and authority before the peoples of the world.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID, President of Indonesia: While not all problems can be solved, the United Nations has developed into an institution capable of tacking global problems. Some say the United Nations is obsolete. But improvements will come in time. I would like to welcome the new millennium as a time when the United Nations can develop into a more powerful body.
At breakfast this morning with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other heads of State, we discussed the potential of information technology for development. With the assistance of the new technologies, the third millennium will be important because nations will be able to coordinate their efforts and work together. The work of regional organizations, such as the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other international bodies, sometimes overlaps. Nevertheless they aid and support the efforts of nations to achieve sustainable development.
Continent-wide groupings can help in achieving solidarity among nations. Sometimes there are different interpretations of events. On the problem with East Timor and developments in Indonesia, the minute of silence that the Secretary- General called for on the first day of the Millennium Summit to honour the three international relief workers killed in Atumbua is an example of the role and importance of the United Nations. Because of the many such incidents and conflicts around the world, the United Nations must increasingly take over as an international mediator. As an optimist, I look forward to the new millennium and the opportunities that it will bring.
DENIS SASSOU NGUESSO, President of the Republic of Congo: The issues tackled at the recent South-South Summit in Havana, such as combating poverty and maintaining peace and security, are matters to which my country attaches the highest importance. We wish to take up these challenges even though we have to do so in a State that has been weakened. Peace is the priority because we have to rebuild a war-torn country. We have a three-year interim reconstruction programme in place whose implementation requires the support of the international community. A major national debate on a national constitution will take place soon, prior to our national elections.
Peace in the Congo will always be fragile unless Africa once again finds its footing. The conflicts that are dividing it, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, must be settled. The responsibility lies particularly with the international community. It is time to save the Democratic Republic of the Congo and see that the Great Lakes region and Central Africa are given what they need so that a comprehensive peace can emerge. It is time for States in the area to combine their efforts and express their will in practical terms. We must quickly contemplate an international conference to bring together all the countries in Central Africa and the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In the north of my own country the war next door has caused the influx of between 70,000 and 100,000 refugees fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I appeal to the United Nations and the international community to take a look at our common past and history and see clearly what has been done. As the second millennium comes to an end, I appeal to humankind and the international community to acknowledge that the trade in African slaves was a crime against humanity. It is a matter of history, and one we must not forget. Only then can the bleak page of the last millennium be turned and put behind us. When we come to a crossroads, there are signposts that must be read. The United Nations is at a crossroads and together we must put it on the right road, which is reform, as suggested and demanded by the majority of our nations. The time has come to build an equitable family of nations, with stronger powers for the Assembly and wider membership in the Security Council.
ROBERT MUGABE, President of Zimbabwe: The Millennium Summit is a good time to ask whether the passage of time has marked a qualitative change in the human condition. Are all the peoples of the world truly in the twenty-first century? Many in Africa must say no. They are stuck in the old problems, stemming from the days of slavery and colonialism. They are burdened with the color line by which 70 per cent of the best arable land is owned by a one per cent minority. A land reform program has been instituted to rectify the imbalance. What is the response of the former imperial Powers? They have called the implementing party land grabbers and accused it of reverse racism. The color line has not disappeared with the last century.
Our conscience is clear. We will not go back. We will continue to effect economic and social justice for all our people without fear or favor. The world has shrunk into a global village. Time and distance shrink inexorably but the challenges remain. Those challenges are not issues concerning the superhighways but to the age-old question, who is my neighbour? Is my neighbour in the next region or continent friendly? Can we live in peaceful coexistence?
Another question: when will the globalized world spare the peasant a patch of land to till? When will the ugly anomaly of history with respect to land ownership be resolved to enlarge freedom and enable them to live like the rest of mankind? Why is a system at the very heart of poverty allowed to go on? We are either makers of a new world of social justice or we remain in the old world of conquering nations operating with old agendas and shrinking others rights. The time has come to leave the legacy of Victorian colonialism behind.
BURHANUDDIN RABBANI, President of Afghanistan: A combination of extreme poverty, with extreme inequalities within and between countries, is an affront to our common humanity, a tragic situation which requires urgent global solidarity. Global solidarity requires the rich countries to open their markets wider to poor countries products, as well as to provide deeper and faster debt relief and better development assistance. The Economic and Social Council should be further strengthened, enabling it to fulfil its duties enshrined in the Charter.
After two decades of ceaseless suffering, it is our earnest wish that the Afghan nation may enjoy peace and security at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We seek the creation of a broad-based government in Afghanistan under the auspices of the United Nations, so that our nation can start the task of reconstruction and development in an environment removed from the conspiracy and foreign interference which have turned our land into a terrorist training camp, a centre for drug smugglers and a base for spreading instability.
OMER HASSAN AHMED ALBASHIR, President of the Sudan: The United Nations is the ideal mechanism to enhance international cooperation and global partnership. A recommitment to its principles will achieve its goals. The Summit declaration, including elements such as solidarity, tolerance, freedom and pluralism will advance them.
The Millennium Summit provides the impetus for overcoming the challenges facing international cooperation and development by canceling the external debts of the heavily indebted poor countries, facilitating market access and implementing the 0.7 percent commitment to official development assistance (ODA). The present scientific and technological achievements are mankinds common heritage. The international community should work out guarantees so the achievements are not turned into a monopoly. While their protection as part of intellectual property is recognized, development partners should avail the wealth to all humanity and enable developing countries to make use of the innovations in overcoming problems of food production, health, education and environment.
The international concern for the armed conflict in southern Sudan is understandable. The Sudan is working to resolve the conflict by trying to implement an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire, negotiating peace initiatives and reaching a just settlement. The support of the international community is needed and appreciated. The Sudan will work for the goals of the United Nations based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of others.
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, President of Nigeria: Although the world has generally become a safer place to live in, thanks to the contributions of the United Nations, we must all feel deeply worried that the message of hope which this Organization has been spreading has yet to reach the millions for whom it is intended. For the vast majority of our peoples, grinding poverty has remained a fact of their everyday existence. The national governments to whom these millions look up now find themselves in the unenviable predicament of helplessness, incapable of bringing meaningful changes to the well-being of their peoples, because of the heavy burden of external debts which have crippled their capacities for national initiatives.
The new millennium will require us to live and work together increasingly as members of one human family. However, up to now, globalization has meant prosperity only for the chosen few of the industrialized countries. For us in the developing world, globalization will continue to ring hollow until we see its positive effects on our fortunes. In short, globalization has to be seen to mean the eradication of poverty. Then and only then will the true spirit of good neighbourliness reign in the new global village.
We must all be concerned about the persistence of internal conflicts, especially in Africa, which have proved to be very brutal and devastating. The destruction of lives and property and the effects of conflict on the weaker members of society, namely children and women, remind us as members of the United Nations that our objective of world peace is still beyond many communities. Our aim in the new millennium must therefore include a renewed determination to resolve these conflicts and prevent new ones, so that together all humanity will reap the benefit of peace and march forward in harmony and prosperity.
Sultan HASSANAL BOLKIAH of Brunei Darussalam: The disparity between North and South continues to grow, as poorer nations struggle to keep pace with the first world. Globalization could lead to the marginalization of developing and less developed countries if they do not adjust to maximize their benefits. These are challenges that go beyond the ability of individual governments to tackle. In the twenty-first century, the role of the United Nations as the conscience of the world is crucial to balance the interests of successful and less successful nations in the new era of globalization. It is a conscience that needs to moderate the results of the winner-takes-all paradigm of free-market competition.
As globalization makes our world ever more interdependent, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate ourselves from events that occur beyond our immediate regions. There are few matters that are local problems anymore. This point was brought home in 1997 by the far-reaching effects of the financial crisis that swept throughout Southeast Asia. We cannot have a world in which the knowledge-based economies are racing along the information highway while the less developed countries are lagging behind and struggling with disease, famine and poverty. The best way to ensure a stable international order is to provide developing and less developed countries with knowledge and opportunities for economic, social and technological advancement.
This will require renewed commitment from all Members of the United Nations. It would entail a far greater responsibility than we have taken on so far. This can be achieved if we all come together in a concerted effort. I, therefore, appeal to all members of the international community to accept this responsibility. We must allow the United Nations to concentrate its energies on recreating the world as we would all like to see it.
ISLAM KARIMOV, President of Uzbekistan: There is and there can be no comprehensive international security without the security of regions and the national security of individual States. The Central Asian region is currently becoming a target for expansion and aggression by the forces of international terrorism and extremism. The war in Afghanistan stands as a principal source of this threat. The areas bordering Afghanistan have been turned into the shortest and most suitable routes for the transport of hundreds of tons of heroin. This illustrates the convergence of two monstrous phenomena -- international terrorism and the narcotics business. I would like here to mention the Uzbekistani proposal for an international counter-terrorism centre within the United Nations, as well as the creation of a nuclear-free-zone in Central Asia.
In focusing on the entire complex of regional problems, one cannot pass over the issues of ecological security and the environment. The Aral Sea Basin crisis has grown to become a global problem, causing negative effects on people's health and compromising the genetic heritage of future generations. I would like to propose the establishment of a council on the problems of Aral and its Basin under the auspices of UNEP.
In the context of this Summit, we believe that the following steps are necessary. First, to conduct a phased, gradual reform of the United Nations Security Council. We propose that Germany and Japan be admitted to permanent membership. Second, we suggest the expansion of the authority of the Secretary- General. And finally, we support the strengthening of the role and responsibility of the Security Council in prevention of military conflict.
BAKILI MULUZI, President of Malawi: Although poverty reduction is the central goal of Malawis policies, our efforts continue to be hampered by factors beyond our control, including trade imbalances and unpredictable weather patterns that lead to droughts. Today, the countrys basis of economic survival, tobacco, is being phased out due to international anti-smoking initiatives. This is forcing Malawi to diversify its economy. While we do so, we will need the partnership of the international community. Malawi is weighed down by debt, which is one of the great injustices of the times. While Malawi appreciates the benefits of the HIPC Debt Initiative, total debt cancellation would be a much better help.
While the HIV/AIDS pandemic has inflicted havoc on Malawis modest development goals, the costs of drugs that help slow its impact are prohibitive. The international community has the moral obligation and responsibility to ensure that cheaper drugs are available to our poor countries, and through grants, not loans. I am appealing for grants because our countries are already burdened by external debt, hanging like a noose around their necks, he said.
Malawi welcomes the Secretary-Generals recommendations on peacekeeping operations because the United Nations needs a mechanism for quick decisions on their deployment during emergencies. Since developing countries still face obstacles in accessing the developed worlds markets, the developed world must help ensure that we have effective access to global markets and can meaningfully participate in globalization. As long as globalization benefits only a few, the world cannot claim to be democratic, and those who gain from such imbalances cannot have a clear conscience.
MARIA DOMENICA MICHELOTTI, Captain Regent of San Marino: The United Nations must play a pivotal role and be a most effective instrument of cohesion and cooperation. A culture of solidarity and collaboration, which guarantees a future of real development especially for the poor countries, is of paramount importance. At the beginning of this new millennium, fighting the poverty and indigence which affects a huge number of men and women is a moral imperative. It demands stronger commitment on the part of the international community. Access to digital technologies can play a fundamental role in the education of people in areas where traditional infrastructures can hardly be introduced.
The Republic of San Marino, as a clear example of solidarity and proud of its 1,700 years of history, welcomes and is ready to support the United Nations intention to promote and finance projects aimed at ensuring knowledge and use of information technologies in developing countries. San Marino wishes to offer its contribution through training groups of young volunteers who shall then ensure access to information technologies by those who, at present, cannot take advantage of this huge development potential.
The Republic of San Marino believes that the United Nations is crucial for the protection of the lofty ideals of peace, justice and the respect for the rights of individuals. Only through the continued exercise of its moral authority, can the United Nations proceed effectively and in a concerted way to cope with global issues. These issues are a burdensome legacy of the recent past, and a daunting challenge for the twenty-first century.
JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Philippines: We enter the new millennium with super-Power confrontation behind us. But true peace remains elusive. While the threat of a world war has now receded, wars and violence between states and within states continue to erupt. The world remains a violent place. Terrorism recognizes no borders. Ethnic and religious conflicts are a cause of dehumanizing violence. We -- the largest assembly ever of the world's leaders -- can make our collective legacy to humanity if we lay the foundations of an international partnership that will truly advance peace.
We should adopt preventive diplomacy as the principal global tool for peace. But where the use of force is unavoidable and justified, it should be guided by clearly defined international legal norms and practice. We should transform the culture of reaction in the United Nations into a culture of pro-action. We should intensify our work on disarmament. It is ghastly that while 1.2 billion people eke out an existence on less than a dollar a day, the world spent 145 dollars per person for military forces in 1997. The most important element in the United Nations reform is the restructuring of the Security Council. We should also provide this Organization with the resources it needs.
We should work towards universal acceptance of human rights. Each time an individual's rights are upheld, all humanity gains. Each time they are violated, all humanity suffers. There can be no peace without development, and no development without peace. The United Nations should be at the center of efforts to establish a global economy that uplifts all peoples and nations. Leaders of oil exporting nations should consider rationalizing the price of crude oil with the view of helping the economies of developing nations. The world's peoples look to us with great expectations. They will want clear direction and concrete action.
AZALI ASSOUMANI, President of the Comoros: The world needs real peace -- an end to conflict and everything that tears apart the people of the world and victimizes them. This Summit must be a place where we come together to exchange views on the scourges that beset the world. The new millennium must be one of solidarity and development. What relations can we construct between North and South if there is no permeating culture of peace? No solidarity or partnership is possible where poverty and disease abound. These are the fundamental issues at stake.
The United Nations must play its full part, as the catalyst in a new world order. The Organizations entire system must be reformed in such a way as to embrace international partners. It must be a product of the will of both multilateral and bilateral partners. The people of the world are closer than ever, as a result of globalization. The United Nations must listen intently to every inhabitant of the global village and, while doing so, act completely and comprehensively. Conflicts have adverse effects that are not merely confined to the theatres of crises. Their consequences are felt worldwide and are both economic and social.
Peace requires local initiatives. This is especially true of the Comoros, which is right now pursuing such initiatives as it seeks a peaceful solution to its own crisis.
MEKERE MORAUTA, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea: To us, poverty, illiteracy and illness, conflict and crime, environmental degradation and political instability, are far more than concepts. They are part of our daily lives. Pacific Island States dependent on natural resources such as fisheries and timber require mechanisms that promote sustainable exploitation. The United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO) should take the lead.
Papua New Guinea remains committed to free trade and investment by 2020. We were disappointed with the failure to start a new WTO Round in Seattle. Talk of new preferential trading arrangements is also disappointing. We are concerned by the prospect of new links between trade rights and social and environmental development. It is reasonable to expect a commitment to international standards, but not reasonable to contemplate sanctions against those who are not able to meet arbitrarily imposed additional criteria.
For many, our very existence as nations is under threat unless the rising sea level is dealt with at once. Not all governments have accepted the Kyoto Protocol's emission targets, and not all will meet the agreed targets. The United Nations has to orchestrate further efforts with greater urgency and seriousness. The United Nations itself needs critical self-appraisal. Its failure to give due heed to the south-west Pacific is already costly. In particular, the circle of the Security Council needs to be expanded to include a voice for Asia and the Pacific.
ULUKALALA-LAVAKA ATA, Prime Minister of Tonga: Tonga welcomes the inclusion of economic vulnerability as a factor for determining least developed countries status. However, Tonga also recognizes that small island developing States are vulnerable to environmental changes. I therefore commend to you the work on the environmental vulnerability index carried out by the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, and register my appreciation to those Member States that have made available the resources for the completion of this study.
Small island developing States are acutely vulnerable to globalization, for the benefits are not yet equally shared and remain prone to the vagaries of market forces. Such states are ocean-bound, so efforts to harvest the living and non- living resources of the ocean are especially important to them. Thus the activities this year and in the immediate future of the States parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, of the Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea, and of the International Seabed Authority are of utmost significance to them, since they form the basis for pursuing arrangements that return a fair share of the harvest.
Tonga supports the endeavours of the Security Council and of the General Assembly to bring solutions and enduring peace to the troubled regions of the world. In supporting the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations, we endorse the call to review the formula for assessing our contribution, based on a fair and equitable arrangement and on the principle of capacity to pay. We also commend to you the recommendations of the Brahimi Panel report on peacekeeping.
HUN SEN, Prime Minister of Cambodia: Our biggest concerns at this time are to rapidly reduce poverty and the gaps between the rich and poor. It is also necessary to narrow the huge economic divide resulting from the negative impact of globalization which continues to spread in regions of the world. The most important challenge is to provide an opportunity and create conditions for poor countries to benefit appropriately from globalization. We must consider a new partnership between developed and developing countries to allow the latter to meet effectively the challenges of globalization.
As one of the poorest countries in the world, we are concerned about the overall decreasing trends of ODA. We fully support the strides to fulfil the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) of developed countries for overall ODA as soon as possible. There should be political will to write-off these excessive external debts. Priority should be given to the enhancement of the capacities of least-developed countries, such as Cambodia, for them to achieve the ultimate goals of social and economic development.
Cambodia agrees with the initiative for the creation of a new world order by establishing a new institution and putting forward a new agenda or by improving and redirecting the existing one, to ensure that all developing countries can benefit fairly and equitably from globalization. This also includes the reform of the United Nations. Cambodia welcomes the initiative of expanding the membership of the United Nations Security Council and expresses full support for Japan and India as candidates to occupy the permanent seats at the Security Council.
GORAN PERSSON, Prime Minister of Sweden: Human progress should be measured not by the achievements of the most privileged , but by the life that the most disadvantaged among us can live and enjoy. We are painfully aware that a great part of humankind is left to lag behind progress, each and every day having to struggle for survival and justice. Representing one of the richer countries in the world, known for its stable democratic tradition, I have to highlight a threat calling for a common response. In many rich democracies, democracy itself is questioned. Too many do not care to vote and resent political participation. Social rifts and unemployment are sowing distrust. Dark forces of racism and anti-Semitism are harvesting support. Some, blaming unfettered globalization, turn instead to insular nationalism.
This Summit can point in a more hopeful direction. It can become a reference for all those willing to act together for a better future. The future is not decreed by fate. It is shaped by people in cooperation. Nations that put the tools of development in the hands of all people are making more progress. A well-educated population, fair distribution of income, a social safety system encouraging enterprise and mobility -- those are keys to success in the new economy. Now globalization calls for a wider social contract, making market forces serve people better.
But once we are back home again, can we match words with deeds? Systematic efforts and consistent political will are essential. Have we come closer to the goals we have been discussing -- halving extreme poverty, providing clean drinking water and air, educating all children equally; responding adequately to climate change, HIV/AIDS, organized crime and corruption; respecting the free will, human rights, and participation of our people; keeping disarmament and other agreements we have signed, honouring our commitments to the United Nations, development, and peacekeeping? The answers should be a resounding "Yes". We have a future! We have it in common! This should be the powerful message of the Millennium Summit.
POUL NYRUP RASMUSSEN, Prime Minister of Denmark: The United Nations is the sum of our efforts, commitments and contributions. It is what Member States make it. Global problems have to be tackled globally. Therefore, we need a stronger United Nations. Many parts of the world, especially Africa, seem locked in a vicious circle of despair. We must act in support of Africas renaissance. We need to provide the right balance by putting people before markets. Only when the private and public sectors work hand in hand will we be able to realize the universal promise of globalization. Our support for the United Nations shapes its destiny. We need to do more.
Least developed countries need action on trade, debt and aid in order to catch up. Debt relief has the potential to make substantial amounts of resources available for development. The long-term decline in aid needs to be reversed. Far too few countries live up to their commitments. The United Nations process of financing for development offers an opportunity for renewed commitments and actions. Debt, aid and trade are not separate issues. A coherent approach is necessary to make a real difference. We have to narrow the gap between rich and poor, which requires a major effort on the part of industrialized countries.
We want an effective United Nations capable of meeting its mandate. For that we need reforms, and everyone has to pay their dues. The Secretary-General deserves credit for making the Organization leaner and more effective. The Security Council needs to reflect the present and future. In addition, the United Nations needs a sizeable and robust capacity for peacekeeping operations. Also, United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel have the right to security and safety. As preventive action should always come first, Denmark has decided to contribute $1 million to the Trust Fund for Preventive Action. It would be unfair to blame the United Nations for having failed our expectations. Only when we give the United Nations the necessary authority and resources it needs can we move towards a better world for all.
EDWARD FENECH-ADAMI, President of Malta: I believe there has been a change in the world's own self-image. The root of this change clearly stems from a desire to distance ourselves from the "siege" mentality out of which this Organization was inevitably born and to begin the new millennium aware that we -- the whole of humanity -- are embarked on the same voyage, on the same ship, and with very similar, if not precisely the same goals.
Globalization has served to heighten our interdependence. It has helped us to realize that no country's problems are strictly its own. Its onset has, however, coincided with changes in our manifestations of the value of solidarity. At home, many of us are reassessing the viability of our welfare systems, while abroad ODA has fallen rather than risen. Solidarity must have new manifestations, whereby advances in various fields, including those of science and medicine, are shared. In an interdependent world, it is in our common interest that they be shared.
Failing to act swiftly to prevent a widening of the digital divide will exacerbate the scourge of poverty that often, indeed too often, is the root cause of most conflicts. I would like to express Malta's support for the peacekeeping initiatives under way and hereby signal our intention to significantly increase our peacekeeping contribution, through a voluntary move from assessment Group C to Group B.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India: We are gathered here to voice the aspirations and dreams of 6 billion people for the twenty-first century. We cannot have true development without peace between nations and democracy within them. Democracy and peace continue to remain the best guarantors for unhindered development -- each secures the other. The danger of nuclear weapons continues to threaten global security in this new century. In the last century, India was forced to acquire these weapons in 1998, because the principal nuclear-weapon States refused to accept the almost universal demand for nuclear disarmament. India was in the forefront of the race for nuclear disarmament, but we raised our voice to no avail. The proximity of nuclear weapons in our neighbourhood made us especially vulnerable. Indias bitter experience has taught us that she has to be strong to defend peace. Nevertheless, our policy is based on responsibility and restraint, and we continue to press for universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament. India supports the Secretary-Generals proposal for an international conference to address nuclear dangers.
Of the many threats to peace, none has become as dangerous as international terrorism. Plural and open democracies are the target of the scourge of terrorism which strikes at the very root of tolerance, the mainstay of civil society in a free world. Standing before this gathering of leaders who have come together to chart the course of international cooperation in the new century, India calls upon the international community to act against terrorism before it is too late. Many statesmanlike words have been delivered from this high tribune, but the world must see the reality as it is. The acid test of sincerity of purpose is not words, but deeds. Terrorism and dialogue do not go together.
In a world in flux, it is understandable that the Security Council will continue to have a rather special role to play. It is, therefore, all the more necessary that it be made more representative of the larger membership. We hope this Millennium Summit will commit itself to an early expansion and reform of the Council. India is ready to play its role in an expanded Council. At this rare moment of the millennium, let us pledge to work towards bringing the vast human family closer together.
Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bhutan: Is it now five years since we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations? Yet the world is still not rid of the scourge of war. For all its imperfections, the United Nations is an institution for which there is no alternative. It has given hope in times of instability, crisis and war. For the smaller and more vulnerable nations, the world body has served to safeguard sovereignty and freedom. The United Nations today is vital to the promotion and conduct of international relations and behaviour, and I urge that it is time to pay more than lip service to the reform and expansion of the Security Council. Let us also ensure that the United Nations rests on a firm financial footing and that there is equitable geographic representation of permanent members in the Council.
Globalization is an all-embracing, irreversible revolution. Bhutan accepts it as a natural outcome of the continuing evolution of human society, accelerated by the miracles of technology. Just as all human institutions and cultural expressions are of our own making, so must the direction, pace and impact of globalization be guided to ensure that it serves to enhance our greater common interests and values.
Alleviation of the material poverty and spiritual hunger that undermine human dignity and the value of human life remains a great challenge for all our governments. We see people-centred, holistic development as an effective way to overcome the problem. In the process of promoting development and ensuring freedom from the uncertainty of survival and want of basic needs, humanity must not lose its soul. Financing is a constraining factor, not because of an absolute lack of it, but for the want of a greater political will to share available resources. Peace and security are prerequisites to human creativity and productivity. This Summit is holistic not only in the context of the new millennium, but because it is an affirmation by the largest-ever number heads of State and government of the relevance and importance of this world body. This is the moment to rededicate our countries to the high aims and ideals of the United Nations.
JULIO CESAR FRANCO, Vice-President of Paraguay: The start of the new millennium provides us with an opportunity to rethink our policies and anticipate the challenges facing our countries. The times point to a need to make changes both domestically and internationally. Global society requires us to adopt a development model that stresses the importance of developing competitive advantages. Countries like Paraguay have to tackle the challenges of a changing world order. Less capable countries need to design a development strategy that enhances their domestic institutions.
Our challenge is to create institutional models that will allow us to give priority to economic growth, equitable distribution of wealth, protection of the environment and greater equality among the sexes. We must focus on preparing a model for society in which political stability and economic growth leave no room for social exclusion and inequality. The breakdown of society weakens individual commitments and collective efforts. Societies that lose their sense of identity are in a weakened position.
Paraguay would like to ask that Taiwan be part of the United Nations system. Likewise, we can no longer delay a renewal of the dialogue on the Falkland/ Malvinas Islands, in order to find a peaceful and legitimate solution to that dispute. We need to enhance the quality of our policy-making and focus on creating conditions that will enable us to ensure the promotion of human rights.
LYDIE POLFER, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg: International society is constantly evolving. The results of the efforts by the United Nations need critical review, in order to improve the Organizations future effectiveness. With the Brahimi report, the Organization has embarked on a process of reflection on how it tackles conflicts. What is needed now is greater imagination and perseverance.
We also need to continue actions that favour balanced development, which will then be reflected in improved living standards for our people. As of this year, my country will devote 0.7 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) towards development assistance. The promotion of peace, justice and equality are the cornerstones of our Organization. The tragedies still affecting far too many of our nations result not from differences among individuals but from a lack of respect for those differences. Without a sense of equality, how can we imagine the solidarity of harmony among peoples and countries?
In the future, the United Nations will need to intensify its internal reforms. The Security Council must be enlarged to be more representative, and the Economic and Social Council needs to be revitalized. We hope that the Millennium Summit will be an important stage on the road to achieving a more just, fair and equal society.
ERIYA KATEGAYA, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uganda: The era of developing countries being mere producers of raw materials must come to an end. We must focus on adding value to all goods before putting them on the market. This, in our view, is the only way everybody can benefit from globalization and, in the long run, eradicate poverty. We must work to ensure that nobody continues to live in abject poverty. Globalization should not leave any country or anybody behind. With respect to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is our experience that it is a multi-sectoral problem which thrives best in poverty.
Although we would not like to advocate for debt forgiveness, per se, debt burden is a real problem. We also need to mobilize new and additional resources to address such issues as appropriate technological transfers, increasing agricultural productivity and, most urgently, the industrialization of developing countries. In the medium and long run, what will get poor countries out of the aid/poverty trap is investment and trade. The private sectors of developing countries must be promoted and strengthened. Developed countries must open their markets.
The lesson to be learned from our experience in Uganda is that debt relief is necessary to free up resources for investment and poverty eradication. But, if it is to be effective in improving economic and social conditions in the poorest countries, it must be accompanied by sound domestic and budgetary policies.
SURIN PITSUWAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand: In view of the immense challenges posed by globalization, my country believes that there is greater need than ever for a level playing field, so that countries can compete with the industrialized nations on a more equal footing. At the same time, we look to the United Nations as the democratic world organization that takes into account the interests of all countries on an equal basis, and acts in accordance with its basic guiding principles without any bias. Thailand supports the convening of a high-level international intergovernmental event on financing for development next year. Such a conference will help to address national, international and systemic issues in a holistic manner.
As the primary organ responsible for international peace and stability, the Security Council must also be reformed to enable it to carry out its tasks more effectively. Thailand supports the expansion of this bodys membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, based on the principle of equitable geographical representation. At the regional level, my country has espoused policies aimed at promoting the mutual interests and common prosperity of all the countries in its neighbourhood. In various international forums, the Thai Government has advocated the Mekong Agenda, with a view to fulfilling ASEANs vision of a region in which there is equitable economic development, reduced poverty and shrinking socio-economic disparities.
My country has also placed great emphasis on the promotion of human resource development in the region as a means of advancing economic and social development and alleviating poverty. While the main focus in many countries over the past decades has been to achieve faster growth at all costs, Thailand believes that it should be adequate for its people to achieve an economy that is self-supporting, with the generated wealth equitably shared by the entire nation. In coping with present-day economic pressures, a country and its people should try to live within their means, in moderation, and without extravagance. This is one of the keys to achieving genuine human development and security.
ABDURRAHMAN M. SHALGHEM, Secretary of the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of Libya: The objective behind the establishment of the International Criminal Court is to punish perpetrators of the most serious crimes against international security. But the Rome Statute is designed to try only the weak. Such a Statute cannot be accepted. It should neither be signed nor ratified unless it is modified in a manner that guarantees the Court will try all perpetrators of aggression, drug smuggling and massacres of innocent people, as well as those who commit aggression against international forces. Similarly, the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines deals only with simple weapons of limited effect. We, who are incapable of defending our lands and borders against the powerful who possess sophisticated weaponry, feel that humanity should focus its attention on the destruction of nuclear, chemical, ballistic and biological armaments, rather than mines.
Terrorism today has assumed many new forms. Sanctions are combined with resort to brutal force. The threat to use such force constitutes a form of terrorism, as do the conditions imposed by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WTO. In order for the international community to combat terrorism, it must, first and foremost, define terrorism and the causes behind it.
Distinctions have to be made between terrorism, and peoples legitimate struggle for freedom and struggles by persecuted groups against their persecutors -- also labelled by some as terrorism. There should be compensation for those who fall victim to terrorism and violence. Unless such issues are addressed, the signing or ratification of any international convention on terrorism will be to no avail.
MURATBEK IMANALIEV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan: The strategy of Kyrgyzstan's participation in worldwide affairs is a safe and friendly coexistence with all countries. This proceeds from the idea of the interdependence of the world and mutually beneficial and equal activities of all countries and people which is the basis of President Askar Akaev's "Silk Road Diplomacy" doctrine. The concept of the restoration of the "Silk Road" might be implemented only on the basis of everyone's access to all the achievements of the human civilization. Our vision of the "Silk Road" restoration process is the formation of a new culture of peace, a new culture of human existence, in a pure environment with the absence of suffering, hunger, poverty and illiteracy.
Kyrgyzstan, like other Central Asian States, has encountered various threats, such as international terrorism and religious extremism. Terrorism has ceased to be a problem of any one State, but represents a threat to the whole global community. That is why the efforts of our countries should be supported by the international community as the leaders of the Central Asian countries have repeatedly declared. The role of the United Nations and the Security Council in this process is most important. My country will actively support the creation of an international system of measures for controlling terrorism and other forms of extremism.
The people of Afghanistan continue to suffer many burdens, violence and death. Moreover, this country became a source of terrorism, drug trafficking, and myriad other problems. We express our sincere desire to promote the prompt establishment of peace in Afghanistan and stability in the region as a whole. We all agree that a dialogue and desire to solve jointly all our common issues is far better than conflicts and wars.
LAKSHMAN KADIRGAMAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, on behalf of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga: At the core of this Organization we find the entity known as the State. If States weaken, so will this Organization. If States are diminished, so will this Organization be diminished. If the management of a developed State with more than adequate resources is a complex undertaking, how much more complex would be the management of a multi- ethnic, multi-religious, post-colonial, developing State where the legacies of centuries of a colonial past take more than one generation to erase? Where there is the use of armed force against a State, as in my own country, the complexities within a State compound themselves many times over.
For many years Sri Lanka has had an armed conflict within its territory. It has complicated the lives of the entire population. It is a conflict of an extraordinary nature. A very small group, schooled in and totally devoted to violence, standing outside the processes of peaceful society and participatory governance, achieving, through the practice of systematic terror, a national and international notoriety, rejecting all overtures for settlement of differences through dialogue, sustained by massive funding and other support from expatriates settled in countries of goodwill, continues to battle the State.
When the security and integrity of one State is threatened by an armed group within it, it surely behooves other States to deny that armed group any encouragement, succour or safe haven. That is my plea today on behalf of Sri Lanka. A democratic State, because of its openness, laws, traditions and practices, commitment to tolerance and dissent, is especially vulnerable to the deployment of force against it by any group within its boundaries. An internal armed challenge to any State anywhere is a challenge to all States everywhere. Unless all States, particularly democratic ones, agree to come to the aid of a State in peril, democracy itself will be imperiled everywhere. Democracy will not survive.
SEVERIN NTAHOMVUKIYE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burundi: I would like to describe the situation of my country, which has been undergoing a civil war for the past seven years. Two years ago here, President Buyoya of Burundi talked about the inclusive peace process that had just begun. Everyone, inside and outside the country, was skeptical about the outcome. Today, the Burundian people are turning a page in their history. The accord signed on 20 August in Arusha marks a leap forward for Burundi. It urges the Government to bury the hatchet of war once and for all and lead the nation along the path of development.
However, not everything has been resolved and there are still challenges to be met. The greatest challenge is to end the war, without which it will be impossible to implement the accord. Burundi is drained, destroyed and ruined at this point, after seven years of war, embargo and the freezing of international assistance. We now appeal to all our bilateral and multilateral partners to renew their partnership with Burundi without delay. We want to attain a fair and sustainable peace, which will enable us to make our modest contribution to the achievement of the goals of this Organization.
JOAO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister for External Relations of Angola: Globalization has had a major impact on international relations, changing all areas of human life and especially the development process in poor countries. But those countries still lack the capacity to take advantage of opportunities being created or to minimize unfavourable aspects of globalizaton. We are witnessing the imposition of equal rules on countries at differing stages of development, thus limiting competition for the weak. A new, fair and more sustainable economic order is necessary, as well as a new international financial order capable of reducing and closing the gap between rich and poor.
External debt should also be taken into account as a factor in increasing inequality. Far-reaching programmes intended to solve economic problems in developing countries have only increased misery and marginality, deepening the vicious cycle of debt, poverty and underdevelopment. Africa is the poorest of all continents. It should, therefore, receive global assistance, including debt rescheduling and even forgiveness. Its development should be financed by a global assistance fund linking economic reform to poverty eradication.
Angola fully concurs with the need to adapt our Organization to the present challenges of today's world. Especially important are current proposals for greater democratization and strengthening of the United Nations to facilitate the achievement of its unique mission - promoting a more dignified, prosperous and peaceful world, preserving and reinforcing the legitimate interests of all. Angola reiterates its firm support of equitable representation in and restructuring of the Security Council, with the aim of securing two permanent and two non-permanent seats for Africa on an enlarged Council.
SELIM TADMOURY (Lebanon): Lebanon is particularly proud to participate in this historically significant Summit, especially after the recent liberation of its southern part. Lebanon considers the liberation of its territory from Israeli occupation an incomplete step. Our ultimate objective is to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, based on Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights up to the line of 4 June 1967. Lebanon calls on the international community to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, and above all the right of self-determination, and to establish their independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Enhancing the United Nations mechanisms for peacemaking and promoting proper conditions for sustainable development requires the reform of the most important bodies of this Organization, namely the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. The reform of the Security Council should be based on transparency, rationalization of working methods and equitable geographical representation, in light of political and economic development since the end of the Second World War.
The long march of the United Nations, particularly during the past two decades, has witnessed valuable achievements in the human rights area. However, in spite of that progress, Arab territories remain under Israeli occupation. We remind the international community of the long ordeal of Lebanese citizens detained for years in Israeli-manned jails, in defiance of the principles of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. We call for their immediate release. Lebanon hopes that the final declaration to be issued after our Summit would be a renewed act of faith in the Charter of the United Nations.
MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso): This unprecedented gathering provides us with a special opportunity to ask ourselves about the future of humankind at the dawn of the third millennium. Despite the political will originally expressed in San Francisco in 1945, the United Nations was not able to save the world from the cold war and the arms race. The gap between rich and poor countries is today wider than ever. Our peoples wonder what globalization can bring them, what impact it can have on their daily concerns and well-being. We have come here to show our vision of the best way to manage globalization for the best interests of our peoples. Today, how committed are the rich countries to specific actions designed to prevent globalization from marginalizing the less developed countries?
We need continued reform within the United Nations. We will better serve the cause of peace by reforming the Security Council. We appeal to the conscience of humankind to allow the Republic of China to regain its rightful place in the United Nations. We welcome the report of the Secretary-General on the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century, which advocates major action to equip us to cope with the challenges and concerns of our peoples. Our hope is that the Summit will develop, based on the Millennium Declaration, a plan of action and mechanism to ensure its implementation.
* *** *