ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION HAILING JUNE INTER-KOREAN LEADERS SUMMIT AS MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH20001031
Without a vote, the General Assembly this morning adopted a resolution on peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula. It also discussed its agenda items on global partnerships and on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the related General Assembly special session.
By the terms of the resolution, the Assembly recognized that the historic Summit meeting, held in Pyongyang in June 2000, between the two leaders of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea represented a major breakthrough in inter-Korean relations and in realizing eventual peaceful reunification. It also welcomed and supported the inter-Korean Summit and the Joint Declaration adopted on 15 June 2000 by the two leaders.
The Assembly encouraged the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to continue to implement fully and in good faith the Joint Declaration and other agreements reached between the two sides, and thereby consolidate peace on the Korean peninsula and lay a solid foundation for peaceful reunification.
The resolution was introduced by both the representative of the Republic of Korea and the representative of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Koreas representative described the historic meeting in Pyongyang -- and the June 15 Joint Declaration -- between the leaders of the north and south of Korea as an epoch-making event. It had laid a solid foundation for ensuring durable peace on the Korean peninsula and for achieving national reunification -- a long-cherished desire of the Korean nation -- and thus contributed to peace and security in north-east Asia and the rest of the world, he said.
The Republic of Korea's representative said he believed that, if adopted, the resolution would greatly encourage efforts to bring durable peace, laying a solid foundation towards reunification of the Korean peninsula, and also contribute to promoting peace and security in east Asia and beyond.
Introducing the agenda item titled Towards global partnerships, Germanys representative said the initiative for this debate had been based on three fundamental assessments. Firstly, that globalization had become a fact of life and no Member of the United Nations should be left out of this process. Secondly,General Assembly Plenary - 1a - Press Release GA/9800 45th Meeting (AM) 31 October 2000
that globalization had led to the emergence of new "global players", in particular from the private sector, and, therefore, there was a need for new partnerships and enhanced cooperation between all actors. Thirdly, that this cross-sectional issue was of such importance that all Member States of the United Nations should be involved.
Saint Lucia's representative said the result at present of cooperating with the private sector had been the acquisition of developing economies by developed economies, constituting exploitation and colonization. Only developed countries were able to benefit from global partnerships. Any discussion of further cooperation must include the establishment of a unit in the United Nations to monitor international corporations and hold them accountable. A code of conduct for transnational businesses must also be discussed.
The Assembly's President, Harri Holkeri (Finland), introduced the subject of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the General Assemblys special session. Last summers five-year review of the World Summit and the special session of the Assembly had underlined the need for urgent action by all constituencies of society at international, regional and national levels, including governments and civil society.
The representatives of France (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Singapore, Egypt, India, Brazil, Romania, Pakistan, Togo, Japan, United States, Viet Nam, Russian Federation, China, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Argentina and Chile also spoke.
The Assembly will meet again today at 3 p.m. to continue consideration of implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the special session of the General Assembly in this regard.
General Assembly Plenary - 3 - Press Release GA/9800 45th Meeting (AM) 31 October 2000
Assembly Work Programme
The General Assembly met this morning to take up consideration of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the special session of the General Assembly; peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula; and its agenda item entitled Towards global partnerships.
Peace, Security and Reunification on Korean Peninsula
The Assembly had before it a draft resolution on Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula (document A/55/L.14). By the terms of the resolution, the General Assembly would recognize that the historic summit meeting, held in Pyongyang in June 2000, between the two leaders of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, and their joint declaration represent a major breakthrough in inter-Korean relations and in realizing eventual peaceful reunification. The Assembly would and welcome and support the inter-Korean summit and the joint declaration adopted on 15 June 2000 by the two leaders.
It would encourage the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to continue to implement fully and in good faith the joint declaration and other agreements reached between the two sides, thereby consolidating peace on the Korean peninsula and laying a solid foundation for peaceful reunification.
Furthermore, the Assembly would invite Member States to support and assist, as appropriate, the process of inter-Korean dialogue, reconciliation and reunification so that it may contribute to peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the world as a whole.
The draft resolution was sponsored by Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte dIvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
Implementation of Outcome of World Summit for Social Development and of special session of General Assembly
The General Assembly had before it a report of the Secretary-General (document A/55/344) on the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly entitled "World Summit for Social Development and beyond: achieving social development for all in a globalizing world.
On the recommendation of the World Summit for Social Development, the General Assembly decided in 1995 to convene a special session in the year 2000 to review and appraise the implementation of the outcome of the Summit, and to decide on further initiatives for social development. The twenty-fourth special session of the Assembly, entitled "World Summit for Social Development and beyond: achieving social development for all in a globalizing world", was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 26 to 30 June 2000.
The Assembly adopted an outcome document, entitled "Further initiatives for social development", which consists of: a political declaration reaffirming the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development; a review and assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit; and proposals for further initiatives for social development. Part II of the report contains an analysis of the outcome document with sections on context, role of governments, economic and social policy, financial stability and international financial architecture, poverty eradication, employment, social integration, gender, health and education for all, greater integration of developing countries, Africa and the least developed countries with economies in transition in an increasingly globalized economy, and debt and resources for social development.
The report also contains a section on further follow-up action, which states that the Geneva outcome document constitutes an important proclamation by Member States on how to promote social development in the context of globalization. It established a number of specific mandates for further action by the inter- governmental bodies of the United Nations system, particularly by the Economic and Social Council. Many of the issues addressed at the special session would be subject to further deliberation at upcoming major intergovernmental conferences within the United Nations system, according to the report.
HANNS SCHUMACHER (Germany), introducing agenda item 173, "Towards global partnerships", said that the initiative had been based on three fundamental assessments. Firstly, that globalization had become a fact of life and no Member State of the United Nations should be left out of this process. Secondly, that globalization had led to the emergence of new "global players", in particular from the private sector. From this followed the need for new partnerships and enhanced cooperation between these actors, the United Nations and its Member States. Thirdly, that this cross-sectional issue was of such importance that all Member States of the United Nations should be involved. Based on the statements made by heads of State and government during the Millennium Summit, he continued, as well as reactions which he had so far received on the project, he trusted there was broad consensus on those three assumptions.
A rather procedural approach had been chosen for this resolution, he said. As a first step, more information, more clarity, more transparency and coherence in action were required. The draft envisaged three requests of the Secretary- General. First, that he seek the views of Member States on how to study, promote and enhance the cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector. Second, that he seek the views of those partners on how to render their cooperation with the United Nations more effective. Third, that he submit a report on this matter to the next General Assembly. Germany invited all interested delegations to join this endeavour. It was worthy of their best efforts.
YVES DOUTRIAUX (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and Norway, said it was the role of the United Nations to lead. Nothing would prevent these changes from continuing, and if the United Nations ignored them, the world body would be marginalized. Full and open discussion was necessary on this important idea. The European Union welcomed the fact that the Millennium Summit was able to launch the debate on global partnerships, promoting greater opportunity for participation by the private sector and non-governmental organizations. The Union had decided to develop strong partnerships for the development and eradication of poverty. How the mandate given by the Millennium Summit attendees could be implemented must be the focus of the Organization, as noted in the Secretary-Generals report. The European Union would play a strong part in the development of global partnerships.
DESMOND WEE (Singapore) said that the real tragedy about the word globalization was that it had generated positive and negative reactions even before its real meaning had been fully understood. Clearly, it was the most ferocious force to step onto the world stage. It was changing the texture and fabric of international society beyond recognition. For example, how could one possibly manage or even understand international economic activity without taking into consideration the needs, interests and aspirations of multinational corporations?
It was also clear that massive flows of capital would be required if the huge disparities around the globe were to be altered, he said. In the early decades of the United Nations, the general assumption was that capital flows would pass from government to government. Today, private sector flows far exceeded intergovernmental financial flows, and could be used to assist development.
Singapore did have one concern about the Global Compact Initiative, he said. One of its goals was to foster greater respect for labour rights and environmental standards in developing countries. In theory, these were noble goals. In practice, these goals were often used to promote new kinds of protectionism. Those who managed the Global Compact process must not allow themselves to be used as tools of protectionists.
AHMED ABOULGHEIT (Egypt) said there was no doubt that the changes in world relations and the international economic framework opened new prospects to bring the private sector and civil society into the United Nations. However, some matters must be considered carefully while changing that relationship. There should be a balanced approach to certain aspects of work proposed in the relationship change, so that all Member States would be served. Choosing among sectors or employing a principle of selectivity should be avoided. The change should not be made in the interest of a small number of nations, as had happened in many multilateral conventions.
He said that in order to achieve such a balance, one had to look into modernizing the financial mechanisms so as to guarantee assistance from the private sector was available to poor nations. Involvement must not merely result in a further imbalance in the mechanisms of the United Nations. There should also be no overriding of the sovereignty of nations.
The objective of any new relationship - development -- should not be risked through adopting some resolutions without proper consultation with all Member States, he said. In particular, attention to, or consultation on, such subjects as intervention by the private sector must take place in order to avoid merely serving the protectionist interest of a small number of States.
RATTAN LAL KATARIA (India) said it was true that when the United Nations had tried to lay down a code of conduct for transnational corporations, it had been assumed, at least by the companies, that the United Nations was an antagonist, not a partner. However, even then, the United Nations worked far more closely with the private sector than was often realized. To take one example, the global immunization programmes - one of the success stories of the United Nations system - depended on vaccines developed and produced by the private sector.
He said it would be a sign of true global partnership if pharmaceutical companies in the developed world were to try to develop vaccines or cures for diseases that affected only the poor citizens of the developing world. There would be less profit for them in it. Their help would primarily be a recognition of a human obligation, he said. He asked if they were up for it. Neither the Roll-back Malaria Initiative nor the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) could do very much without a global partnership with the multinational pharmaceutical companies. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, set up by the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations and pharmaceutical manufacturers, was the sort of partnership that was needed.
It was important to recognize the role of a third partner, global non-governmental organizations, which were often based in developed countries, he said. Unlike democratically elected governments, they had no responsibility beyond their advocacy and their consciences. Often, they took crusades on to pyrrhic victories, hurting the very people in the developing world in whose name they claimed to speak. They were bound by no code of conduct and their engagement could, therefore, go in different directions. Equal responsibility was the key. While governments of developing countries were listed as only one actor in a cast that included donor governments, international companies and local and international civil society, the responsibility for economic and social failure rested only with the host governments. That was unfortunate and unfair when most developing country governments now were vulnerable to pressure from transnational companies. As developing countries competed for foreign direct investment, there was a danger of a rush to the bottom, as far as social policy was concerned.
GELSON FONSECA (Brazil) said that, in trying to keep pace with globalization and interdependence, the United Nations system had been interacting more intensely with civil society. The Organization and non-governmental organizations had been working together in pursuit of sustainable development, human rights, improved standards of living, womens and childrens rights, sexual and reproductive health, poverty eradication and external debt reduction. The United Nations was increasingly seen as an organization that made an irreplaceable contribution to the establishment of enabling frameworks for development. Non-United Nations Members also had a genuine aspiration to participate more in those processes. Over the last 10 years, there had been a number of spontaneous partnerships between the United Nations and non-State actors in many areas, he said. The Global Compact, launched last year, was an important initiative to engage non- governmental organizations and the private sector in efforts to achieve the goals set by the United Nations in areas such as poverty eradication, sustainable development and social justice. The experience of participation of civil society in the global conferences of the 1990s was that they contributed to their success.
The United Nations was essentially an organization of States, and must be kept accountable to its Members, he said. Efforts to work with non-governmental organizations and the business community were part of that institutional context. Cooperative arrangements with other stakeholders would benefit from an approach that was based on transparency, commitment to United Nations goals, and a fair distribution of responsibilities, as well as full respect for the mode of operation of the Organization, he said. In pursuing partnerships, the United Nations must carefully safeguard its unique basis of legitimacy, by ensuring equitable participation of non-governmental organizations and companies from all regions. They could play a positive role in advancing shared United Nations values and goals. Getting a clear and comprehensive picture of where we currently stand is an essential prerequisite to building consensus as to where we should head in the future, he said.
SORIN DUCARU (Romania) welcomed and supported the initiative taken by Germany that the General Assembly examine and recommend measures aimed at improving cooperation between the United Nations and other relevant actors, including the private sector. His country believed that, in order to cope with global issues, such as combating poverty, achieving sustainable development and seeking peace, security and human rights for all, there was a need for global solutions based on global cooperation and partnerships.
Romania was a staunch advocate of multilateralism, he said, supporting an improved system of global governance embodying common values, rules and practices that would consider globalization not as a threat but rather as an opportunity not to be missed. The United Nations was uniquely placed and equipped to mobilize common action when a change in approach was needed, he said. The fact that the Secretary-General, in his report, and world leaders, in their Millennium Declaration, had recognized the need to develop strong partnerships with the private sector and with civil society organizations would, in itself, contribute to the Organizations goals and programmes, especially in pursuit of development and poverty eradication.
Romania subscribed to the idea of bringing together governments, civil society and the private sector because it would allow for a stronger, broader consensus on new global standards, he said, and would help implement and monitor those standards. He was encouraged by the Global Compact initiative launched by the Secretary-General at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, since it provided an entry point for the business community to work in partnership with United Nations organizations. There must be enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant actors, including effective participation from all regions of the world and, in particular, developing countries and economies in transition.
SONIA R. LEONCE (Saint Lucia) said she fully recognized that the private sector in the form of transnational corporations, rather than countries, now made up over half of the worlds 100 biggest economic units. Production by transnational corporations had grown faster than global gross domestic product (GDP) and global exports. It was necessary for governments to work in partnership with the private sector, since that sector was in control in the economy. But before extending that partnership, there was a need to examine the prospective partner. Partnership implied joint action and shared benefits.
Companies were bought and sold across borders at an unprecedented scale, she said. Foreign investment volumes had been driven to new records. The World Investment Report for 2000 noted that the world top 100 transnational corporations were the principal drivers of international production. We are being asked to continue to form partnerships with economic giants, stronger by far than most governments and in control of the global economy, she said. Most of the growth in foreign direct investment flows had been via cross-border mergers and acquisitions, rather than greenfield investment. The principal acquirers of firms based in developing countries had traditionally been transnational corporations in developed countries.
The result at present of cooperating with the private sector was the acquisition of developing economies by developed economies, she said. That was exploitation and colonization. One side benefited, while the other was controlled and exploited to sustain the benefiting partner. Only developed countries were able to benefit from global partnerships. Any discussion of further cooperation must include the establishment of a unit in the United Nations to monitor international corporations and hold them accountable. The discussion must also include a code of conduct for transnational businesses, which must set global standards. The United Nations had to be strengthened to assume its leadership role in that regard. She proposed, therefore, the adoption of a simple procedural resolution to get the item on the agenda and a full substantive discussion before going any further.
SHAMSHAD AHMAD(Pakistan) said it was the Member States that were the decision-makers in matters concerning the United Nations partnership with other relevant actors. It was true that the historic Millennium Declaration had called for the establishment of partnerships with the private sector with a view to eradicating poverty. However, before embarking on partnerships with the private sector, it was essential to reaffirm the primacy of governments. Governments were the representatives of peoples and States. States were constituted from people, and the structure of international relations consisted of the interaction of States. International relations were, in fact, inter-State relations. There was no substitute for the State, he said. The United Nations needed to protect and preserve the State and its primacy, as enshrined in the Charter and in international law.
Pakistan was actively involved in, and committed to, the concepts of sustainable development, poverty eradication, human rights and labour standards, he said. The most pragmatic way to achieve these values was to ensure the continued strength of States. The corporate private sector served a limited purpose, had a narrow scope and was driven by a monolithic culture. Civil society also had a different structure from the State. No organization could argue that it was an equal of the United Nations. The United Nations had the central role in promoting development, and the world must rally around the United Nations in partnership. It was important that the General Assembly decided on the parameters for partnerships. Partners had to shape their activities to promote the objectives of the United Nations, he said.
There had been a number of attempts to bypass some States when building partnerships, he said. There were valid concerns as to the opaque process that had been pursued in the name of the United Nations. He asked if that process was an attempt to impose conditions. That question had to be resolved before partnerships were embarked upon.
The Assembly then turned its attention to consideration of peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula
LI HYONG CHOL (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea), introducing the draft resolution, said the historic meeting between the two leaders of the north and south of Korea constituted an epoch-making event. It had laid a solid foundation for ensuring durable peace on the Korean peninsula and for achieving national reunification -- a long-cherished desire of the Korean nation - and, thus, contributed to peace and security in north-east Asia and the rest of the world. Ever since the Pyongyang Summit and the announcement of the June 15 Joint Declaration, the north and south of Korea had taken a series of specific practical measures aimed at implementing the Declaration, he said. The draft resolution jointly submitted by the north and south of Korea, co-sponsored by more than 100 countries, reflected the expectations of the international community that present developments would lead to a durable peace and reunification.
It was also of great significance that the north and south of Korea had jointly submitted the draft resolution for the first time in history, he said. The adoption of the draft resolution would be an important step towards encouraging the north and south of Korea in their efforts to achieve peace, security and reunification.
SUN JOUN-YUNG (Republic of Korea) also introduced the draft resolution. He announced that the following countries had become co-sponsors of this draft resolution: Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Djibouti, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gambia, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The draft resolution noted the major breakthrough in south-north Korean relations with the historic inter-Korean Summit meeting in Pyongyang in June 2000: the first of its kind since Koreas division 55 years ago. Since that Summit, he continued, both sides had been active in implementing the agreements and expanding areas of cooperation. In parallel with the new developments on the Korean peninsula, a number of countries have established diplomatic relations with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, while others were undertaking serious talks to help shape a new political environment conducive to peace and stability in north-east Asia. Due to the positive turn in inter-Korean relations, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea were able to jointly introduce this draft resolution to the plenary of the General Assembly. He believed that, if adopted, the resolution would greatly encourage efforts to bring durable peace, laying a solid foundation towards reunification of the Korean peninsula, and also contribute to promoting peace and security in east Asia and beyond. He hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said that, on agenda item 183 on Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula, a truly historic moment had been reached. Few could have predicted one year ago that both the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea would be jointly tabling a resolution for adoption by consensus. All countries should welcome this development because these were difficult times, where good news on peace and security was hard to come by.
Historically, a most significant breakthrough between these two countries took place with the Summit meeting in Pyongyang on 13-15 June 2000, when the leaders of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea met and issued a joint declaration. As a consequence, the atmosphere on the Korean peninsula had improved significantly, specifically with the reunion of long separated families. In addition, work has begun on connecting the railroads between the two countries. Equally significantly, a joint Korean team had entered the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney, Australia.
He hoped that these positive developments would have implications far beyond the Korean peninsula, auguring well for peace and stability throughout the entire region, he said. Few areas in the world had experienced tension as sharply as the Korean peninsula had. Singapore felt honoured and privileged to speak in support of the draft resolution. Moreover, his country had good relations with both the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea and wished them all the best. He called on the Member States of the United Nations to support the resolution fully and stoutly.
KODJO MENAN (Togo) said the review by the Assembly of this item was very timely, following, as it did, the overwhelming expression of support of the international community for the historic Summit. The Joint Declaration reflected both countries determination to put an end to a five-decade long period of tension and to turn a page of their painful history, with the aim of peacefully reunifying Korea. Other events had occurred that had been in line with the Joint Declaration. A highlight had been the beginning of regular meetings of Ministers of Defence of both countries to carry out common projects aimed at laying the foundation for durable peace and security in the region and beyond.
Togo hoped the relaxation of tensions would lead to tangible results, he said. The objective of the draft resolution was to have Member States support this dynamic, which could lead to the peaceful reunification of Korea. The achievement of that relied primarily on the willingness of both Governments, but also relied on the willingness of the international community to support that process.
YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said the fact that around 150 countries had become co-sponsors of the resolution was ample testimony to the strong wish of the international community to support the efforts on the part of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to promote reconciliation between them, and to attain peace on the Korean peninsula where military confrontation still remained. That the resolution was proposed jointly reflected the spirit of cooperation created by the historic inter-Korean Summit meeting between President Kim Dae-jung and Chairman Kim Jon-il.
Japan sincerely hoped that the resolution would add yet another momentum to the process of reconciliation and cooperation commenced by the two leaders, he said. Japan, for its part, had been engaged in the trilateral cooperation between the Republic of Korea, the United States and Japan with the aim of creating a more stable and peaceful Korean peninsula. Japan was also engaged in normalization talks with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, while providing humanitarian assistance to Pyongyang. He hoped that Japans effort through these undertakings would help promote reconciliation and cooperation between the parties on the Korean peninsula.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he supported the draft resolution on Peace, Security and Reunification on the Korean Peninsula. This draft, jointly prepared by the Republic of Korea and by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, exemplified progress achieved in relations between the two countries, with the holding of the inter-Korean Summit in June 2000. The European Union had long pleaded for direct dialogue between the two Koreas and had welcomed the historic Summit in Pyongyang. Moreover, the Union congratulated President Kim Dae-jung and National Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il for their efforts.
The European Union supported the quadripartite talks between the two Koreas, China and the United States in search of a permanent peace settlement, as well as the framework agreed in 1994 between the United States and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. He pointed out that the Union was an active member of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation, whose work improved regional stability and helped to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The European Union had also provided assistance since 1995, particularly substantial food aid to alleviate food shortages in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
For its own part, the European Union planned to implement, to encourage the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea efforts to continue the inter-Korean reconciliation, measures to: increase the Democratic Peoples Republic of Koreas access to experience gained in confidence-building measures; implement preparatory measures for technical assistance; and examine the possibilities of improving the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea access to the European markets. Todays resolution invited Member States to support the inter-Korean process. The European Union fully associated itself with this call and intended to contribute.
JOAN M. PLAISTED (United States) said that the United States had encouraged broad international engagement with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea as that country addressed areas of international concern. Chairman Kim Jong-il had sent his special envoy, Jo Myong Rok, to Washington from 10 to 12 October to convey Chairman Kims views directly to the United States, which had resulted in the issuance of the 12 October Joint Communiqué and Secretary of State Madeleine Albrights historic trip to Pyongynag just last week. The Joint Communiqué noted that there were a variety of ways to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula. Those included the Four Party talks, in which the Government of China participated as an active partner. The Communiqué also noted the value of regular diplomatic contacts, bilaterally and in broader forums, and that the resolution of the missile issue would make an essential contribution to a fundamentally improved bilateral relationship and to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. It also detailed the following important areas of bilateral cooperation: access to a sensitive underground site in support of the Agreed Framework; humanitarian assistance; the recovery of the remains of United States servicemen missing from the Korean War; and support and encouragement for international efforts against terrorism.
The United States, he said, expressed its firm commitment to assist the continued progress and success of the inter-Korean dialogue and initiatives for reconciliation and greater cooperation, including increased security dialogue.
NGUYEN THANH CHAU (Viet Nam) said that the division of the peninsula was still burning a sore in the hearts of not only the people who lived on the two sides of the artificial demarcation line, but the international community as well. In that context, it was gratifying that at the United Nations a debate could be held in a positive manner on the destiny of the Korean people.
Viet Nam now enjoyed excellent relations with both the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, he said. It fully supported the Joint Declaration issued at the inter-Korean Summit that had taken place in Pyongyang in June. His country firmly believed that the implementation of the Declaration would further the cause of peace and security on the peninsula, and that the two Koreas would work harder together to take concrete steps to realize the Joint Declaration.
ANDREI GRANOVSKY (Russian Federation) said that his Government was a co-sponsor of the draft resolution and attached great importance to its adoption. He noted with optimism that since the historic meeting in Pyongyang, real practical measures had been taken, thus strengthening the course of peace. He hoped that those practical steps would be followed up with more cooperation in a number of different areas. The links between the two countries were clearly stronger as a result of the meeting, and he supported those positive developments. All States were interested in encouraging the direct dialogue that the two sides had embarked upon.
WANG YINGFAN (China) said that last June the leaders of the two Koreas had decided, with statesmanlike vision and wisdom, to hold a historic meeting which had positive results and contributed fresh momentum to efforts for peace and stability on the peninsula. The meeting was the crystallization of both peoples desire for peace, and it was in both peoples interests. The development was also conducive to peace and security in the region and in the world.
He said China expressed its heartfelt pleasure regarding this positive development, and hoped the momentum would be maintained. It had always attached great importance to peace and stability on the peninsula and had always supported discussion between the two nations. China fully approved of the better relationship. The two Koreas had requested that this agenda item be considered in the Assembly, and had submitted this draft resolution to assist them in their efforts. He appreciated the efforts of the international community to support peace and stability on the peninsula.
DAVID STUART (Australia) said he strongly supported the resolution on Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula and was happy to co-sponsor it. In addition, Australia was delighted at the success of the north- south leaders Summit held from 13 to 15 June 2000. He believed the meeting was a significant step towards improved communication between the Koreas and should lead to greater security in region.
Australia, he went on, had been doing its part to improve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. On 8 May, it had resumed diplomatic relations with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, ending 25 years of interrupted relations. Further, Australia had contributed $19.5 million via international organizations since 1995 in humanitarian assistance to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to relieve food shortages.
He hoped that the process of reconciliation would soon produce the long- awaited lessening of tension, because the Korean peninsula had been an area of extreme tension, he said. One effective mechanism had been the Agreed Framework, which offered a solution to concerns about nuclear developments on the peninsula. In that regard, Australia strongly valued the role of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization in reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation, and had given $17.9 million to it for oil to meet the needs of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, he said.
MICHAEL POWLES (New Zealand) said that New Zealands engagement in the Korean peninsula had begun 50 years ago with its participation in the Korean War. New Zealand still maintained a military presence in the Korean peninsula today, through participation in the United Nations Command. The flying of the New Zealand flag in the demilitarized zone was an important symbol of his countrys ongoing commitment to peace and stability on the peninsula.
The resolution before the Assembly marked the historic outcome of the June Summit meeting, he said. The Joint Declaration reached between the two leaders represented a major breakthrough in inter-Korean relations. He hoped that the easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula would bring an end to nuclear proliferation in his part of the world. Peace and stability on the peninsula was one of the guarantees of enhanced security and prosperity in north Asia and the Pacific.
JORGE VALDEZ CARRILLO (Peru) said he hoped that the draft resolution, of which Peru was a co-sponsor, would be unanimously supported. The purpose of the draft was to promote peace and security, which was also the purpose of the United Nations. The international community had to support the strengthening of the rapprochement between the two Koreas.
The rapprochement had received additional support from a number of Member States of the United Nations, and was an example of a broad-based cooperative effort, he said. The importance of the process of rapprochement between the two countries went beyond the geographical area and it would benefit the region as a whole, he said.
LUIS ENRIQUE CAPPAGLI (Argentina) said Argentina had strongly supported the inclusion of this item in the General Assemblys agenda, and had co-sponsored the draft resolution as well. By this, Argentina affirmed its support for the process of consolidation of peace and security on the Korean peninsula, at the same time as efforts were continuing for peaceful reunification. Those efforts had received international recognition with the awarding of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize to Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea.
In the same sense, he continued, the draft resolution contained a clear message for the international community that both States were working to continue the peace process. They had put forward a joint declaration for the consolidation of peace on the Korean peninsula.
Argentina asked Member States to help the process of dialogue, reconciliation and reunification between the Koreas by offering assistance, he said. He also noted the visit to Seoul yesterday by a delegation from Argentina.
The Assembly President, HARRI HOLKERI (Finland), announced that Eritrea, Monaco, Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti and Guinea had become co-sponsors of the draft resolution.
The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, the resolution on peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula, as contained in document A/55/L.14
The Assembly then turned its attention to consideration of the implementations of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the related special session of the General Assembly.
Introducing the subject, Mr. HOLKERI (Finland) said that last summer the five-year review of the World Summit for Social Development had been completed. The political Declaration and the five-year review document of the special session of the Assembly had underlined the need to focus attention and efforts on achieving more equitable, socially just and people-centred societies. There had been about 40 substantial initiatives or new international agreements to act in the Declaration, he said. One of the most important was the call for a rigorous analysis of advantages, disadvantages and other implications of proposals for developing new and innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for social development and poverty eradication programmes.
Another initiative had called for all United Nations agencies to integrate health policies more effectively into their programmes, including trade agreements. It called for increases in incentives for research to improve access of developing countries to affordable and effective pharmaceuticals, as well as action to strengthen workers rights and social protection for the most vulnerable of society. There was also agreement on the global target for poverty reduction, of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, he said.
There were urgent actions that must be undertaken by all constituencies at international, regional and national levels, including governments and civil society actors, he said.
The Assembly then decided that it would hear from the Observer of the Holy See and the Observer of Switzerland on this item. CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said that Switzerlands hospitality had played a big part in the success of the Social Summit review in Geneva in June 2000. He believed that review had reaffirmed the international communitys commitment to achieve the goals of the Copenhagen Conference, where its responsibilities had been declared. Given current events and trends, the degree of specificity achieved in Geneva was no minor achievement, he noted. Despite the problems that had been addressed and those that still existed, it was necessary to redouble efforts to see that initiatives were improved. He felt the highlight of the review was the setting of 2015 as the year for halving world poverty. Although some goals might appear utopian, they should be viewed as a way of lining up political will with technical expertise.
A significant matter was the international labour agenda, he said, which covered the global market and the responsibilities of corporations. Moreover, acknowledgement of the need to consider the rights of workers and of the need for a social net when workers lost their jobs represented important achievements. The issue of employment had been brought to the fore, and the health sector was now seen as a factor of development, not merely a service to be provided. Another matter of interest at Copenhagen + 5 had been transnational corporations relationship to taxation, tax shelters and tax havens -- all problems new to the international agenda. Chile proposed a careful study to develop new and innovative sources of development, and asked the Secretary-General to consider establishing a high-level commission similar to that which produced the Brahimi Report on Peace Operations.
Chile regretted the social consequences of globalization, whereby the market had become a tyrant, he said. It was clear that rules were needed to limit aspects of that process. While there had been criticism of the Copenhagen + 5 session, because some felt it was a forum against globalization, the United Nations had an obligation to search for solutions to problems.
Mr. DOUTRIAUX (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, said that the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen was a major breakthrough for development. The political will of the international community was manifested, with the three major goals being the eradication of poverty, employment opportunities and social integration. The Millennium Summit had reaffirmed those goals. The report of the Secretary-General showed the current situation, and included areas of satisfaction as well as disappointment. Despite progress made in several fields, much remained to be done in terms of education, the reduction of foreign debt, and the increase in inequality. He emphasized the primary role of the State in social development. Political will was required, particularly in several areas, such as human rights, social exclusion and gender equality.
The European Union deemed the topic of development funding important, he said. That had been very openly discussed in Geneva, and participants had emphasized their commitment to the 20/20 initiative. The European Union, therefore, attached great importance to the upcoming intergovernmental meeting on development funding. The objective of that meeting was to provide a more effective mobilization of national and international resources, with a view to halving poverty by the year 2015. He noted that the special session in Geneva had not led to satisfying results regarding the social dimensions of globalization.
With regard to gender equality, he said that when focusing on equality between men and women one must not forget the economic link inherent in the fight against poverty and gender-inequality. The feminization of poverty was a reality. Women represented the majority of the 1.2 billion people living on less than one dollar a day. He also noted that there had not been a consensus when the special session had dealt with the issue of good governance. The Geneva session was not the end of the Copenhagen process, but part of a long-term process that would come to deal with many other issues, such as development funding, least developed countries and the World Conference against Racism.
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