Fifty-sixth General Assembly
47th Meeting (PM)
ASSEMBLY SPEAKERS LINK FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
TO ACHIEVEMENT OF OVERALL UN GOALS
We must not let cruel acts of terrorism divert international attention from the ambitious goals of the Millennium Summit, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway told the General Assembly this afternoon, as it continued the general debate of its fifty-sixth session.
The United Nations was the most important venue for solving global problems, he said. Therefore, ending poverty, eliminating infectious diseases and upholding respect for human rights and the rule of law must remain among the priorities of the Organization, alongside the fight against terrorism. For all those priorities, Member States must exhibit the necessary determination and provide the necessary resources. The alternative was facing painful consequences.
Other speakers this afternoon made a direct link between the wider concerns of the Organization and the fight against terrorism. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cambodia said that it was significant that one of the main challenges of the Millennium Declaration was managing the negative side of globalization, which had become a security issue.
Since growing interdependence was the order of the day, he said, it was essential to work together to build a true community of nations, in which gaps between developed and developing nations were reduced, where security menaces were eliminated, where the threat of global epidemics was lessened, and where poverty was alleviated.
All those problems, he said, were problems contributing to terrorism. Conflicts, such as that in the Middle East, also contributed. The proliferation of nuclear arms and illegally traded small arms and light weapons were also linked.
Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, the President of Guatemala, said the struggle against terrorism was the struggle against inequality in international economic relations and against ignorance. It was also the struggle against injustice, discrimination, intolerance, exclusion and poverty. In Guatemala’s own case,
long-term peace would be easier in a context of economic growth than in a framework characterized by serious fiscal restrictions and increased demands upon the Government.
The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said that fighting terrorism could not be separated from the task of preventing organized crime and the spread of small arms and other weapons, and of containing and ending conflict. The conditions of poverty and despair that bred ignorance, hatred, violence and extremism must be properly and effectively addressed.
Most of the targets set by the Millennium Summit were not new, he said. They were the determined results of global conferences of the 1990s, or derived from the body of international norms and laws that had been codified over the last 50 years. What was needed in the new millennium, therefore, was not more technical or feasibility studies. Rather, States needed to carry out commitments already undertaken and to implement strategies already worked out.
Algeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said that his country had endured the horrors or terrorism for decades. While he reiterated the importance of universal adherence to international instruments against terrorism, it was also necessary to confront its roots.
The denial of the rights of people to self-determination, the worsening of marginalization and poverty, continuing economic inequalities, the deterioration of the environment and arms proliferation were all linked, he said. In that regard, conflict in the Middle East, Western Sahara, and Afghanistan itself needed to find just and permanent solutions.
The representative of Japan said the achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan was particularly important, not only to eliminate the hotbed of global terrorism, but also to lay the foundation for long-term stability and development of the country and the region. Japan intended to play an active role, both in a peace process for Afghanistan and in the reconstruction of that country. Japan was ready to host a conference on those issues as early as possible and in cooperation with relevant countries and organizations.
Also speaking this afternoon were Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, and Crown Prince Albert of Monaco.
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Mauritania, Portugal, Ecuador, Madagascar and Côte d’Ivoire also made statements.
The representative of Oman also spoke.
Representatives of the United Kingdom, Iraq, and Kuwait made statements in exercise of the right of reply.
The General Assembly will meet again at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Monday,
12 November, to continue its general debate.
The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its general debate. (For more background information, see Press Release GA/9957 of 10 November.)
The Assembly was expected to hear from the heads of State or Government of Guatemala, Samoa and Kuwait, as well as the Crown Prince of Monaco and other high-level government representatives.
ALFONSO PORTILLO CABRERA, President of Guatemala: I come from a small country that mirrors the grave problems of today’s world. We still do not enjoy the benefits of the great scientific and technological achievements, but we still suffer from social inequalities. Today, the struggle against terrorism is the struggle against inequality in international economic relations, it is the struggle against ignorance and injustice, discrimination, intolerance, exclusion and poverty. We are making strenuous efforts to advance in our own peace accords. I can point to significant progress, but I must also admit to some setbacks, which are due primarily to an unfavourable international environment. Full compliance with the commitments embodied in the peace agreements would be easier in a context of economic growth than in a framework characterized by serious fiscal restrictions and increased demands upon the Government.
As far as our international relations are concerned, significant progress had been made in the process seeking to resolve a historic dispute between ourselves and Belize. In keeping with the principles of peaceful settlement of disputes between States, we have confirmed with deeds our vocation for electing dialogue as the means of settling disputes. The commission of facilitators appointed last year, within the framework of the Organization of American States, will soon submit its report. Its fundamental aim is to work out and propose courses of action that will enable headway to be made in the legal resolution of the dispute.
With regards to other international conflicts, we hope that the divisions that persist between brothers in the Middle East, Asia and Africa will be amenable to peaceful resolution through dialogue. I also wish to reiterate our concern over the situation of the 23 million citizens of the Republic of China in Taiwan, whose aspiration to be represented in international organizations has not yet been fully satisfied, and which in our opinion could make a positive contribution to the promotion of peace and democracy in the world.
Principal matters of concern to Guatemala are among the following. The United Nations needs to adapt to the exigencies of globalization and of the post-cold war era. One of the most important reforms is that of the Security Council. We support any collective action by the international community to combat the scourge of terrorism and are convinced of the need to strengthen our collective capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts, both between States and at the national level. United Nations peace operations provide an adequate basis for achieving this purpose.
As regards nuclear disarmament, we insist on the need for progress toward the total elimination of nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons; the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons; and the use of anti-personnel mines and other explosive devices. In a world characterized by ever greater interdependence, multilateral diplomacy plays a crucial role in the fight against environmental degradation. Finally, the United Nations should continue devoting itself to the elimination of world poverty. The benefits of globalization should be widely and evenly shared among all countries, a goal which requires actions both at the country and at the international level.
SHEIKH SABAH AL-AHMAD AL-JABER AL-SABAH, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait: The massive condemnation of the terrorist acts committed against the United States on 11 September reflects recognition by the international community that the real target of the assault is the political, economic and social stability of the world order. Let me reaffirm our full backing and support for all the efforts and measures adopted by the international coalition to destroy the dens and bases of terrorism, with a view to stamping out its roots and apprehending the perpetrators of these criminal acts. In this regard, we call for the completion of work on the evolution of a tight international legal system, with which all countries of the world would comply in good faith to eradicate this evil.
In pursuance of Security Council resolution 1373, Kuwait enacted specific measures to plug any loopholes that might be abused in charitable fund-raising activities and to make sure that any charity assets would be used solely and exclusively for their original legitimate purposes. Our competent authorities are now in the process of taking further enforcement measures to ensure universal and strict compliance. At a time when we condemn all acts of terrorism, we are really surprised to hear some voices start to mount intense and relentless campaigns linking terrorism with Islamic thought. These allegations are an obvious injustice to a divine faith revealed by God to humankind to ensure human mercy and compassion on the planet. A faith that advocates peace, that calls for tolerance, that promotes love and amity and renounces bigotry and extremism.
With regard to the overall situation in Afghanistan, Kuwait maintains that international efforts should be maximized now to bring about long-awaited peace and security there. National reconciliation and a national coalition Government, elected by the people of Afghanistan and representing all factions and ethnic groups, are perhaps the most viable means to ensure the country’s sustainability. In the meantime, while we express our deep regret for the civilian casualties among the Afghan population, we sincerely hope that the ongoing military operation against the bastions of terrorism will cause no injuries to the innocent unarmed population, who are totally powerless and helpless.
The eyes of the world have been mesmerized for over one year now by the valiant uprising of the Palestinian people. It came as a natural and legitimate response to the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Israeli Government’s retreat from the accords it signed with the Palestinian side. The obvious policy of the Government of Israel is to reject any Palestinian, regional or international initiative. They slam every door; they ponder their oppressive measures, they trigger one crisis after another. Their overriding goal is to abort the peace promise born in Madrid in 1991. It is precisely against this backdrop that the United Nations, the international community and the United States must assume a special responsibility to mount an effective drive to force Israel to fulfill its undertakings and commitments. These commitments include those relating to the city of Jerusalem, with a view to preserving its Arab and Islamic character.
The ultimate objective of Kuwait’s foreign policy is to consolidate security and stability throughout the Arabian Gulf region. The goals will remain unmet, unless and until Iraq implements, all relevant Security Council resolutions. Time and again Kuwait has drawn the attention of the Security Council and the Secretary-General to the non-peaceful intentions of Iraq. Accordingly, Kuwait has called on the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on the Iraqi Government to honour all its obligations. That will make it possible to lift the sanctions affecting the brotherly people of Iraq, and to allow Iraq to reclaim its normal status as an active member of the regional order and the international community.
TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Samoa: There can be no question as to the need for an effective response from the international community to the terrorist attacks of 11 September. We need to bear in mind, however, that fighting terrorism cannot be separated from the task of preventing organized crime, the spread of small arms and other weapons, and of containing and ending conflict. We also need to be sure that the conditions of poverty and despair that breed ignorance, hatred, violence and extremism are properly and effectively addressed.
Most of the targets set by the Millennium Summit are not new. They are the determined results of global conferences of the 1990s, or derived from the body of international norms and laws that had been codified over the last 50 years. What is needed, therefore, is not more technical or feasibility studies. Rather, States need to demonstrate the political will to carry out commitments already undertaken and to implement strategies already worked out.
It is impossible to visualize progress and development without access to modern information systems. The remarkable growth of information and communication technologies (ICT) is opening up boundless new possibilities for accelerated economic and social development. But the ability to translate the full potential of ICT differs from country to country. Samoa needs to develop its capacity to do so, but for a developing country like my own there is no real option but to take full advantage of the digital revolution. We will therefore be supporting every global effort to call attention to the need to bridge the digital divide.
I reflect the aspiration of all small island States in saying that we need to do much more in terms of concrete actions –- actions that will only be meaningful if we have the full support of the international community. Overcoming the well-recognized vulnerability of small island States like my own, and the exposure of island communities to the effects of global climate change, natural disasters, environmental damage and global economic shocks, will be an essential element of sustainable development in all small island regions.
The struggle against climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is also a matter of fundamental development. This is so because the adverse effects of climate change endanger economic and social progress. This is most certainly the case for small island States, which are widely acknowledged to be amongst the most vulnerable and the least able to adapt. The world community’s response to climate change, therefore, requires significant, long-term changes in economic and social behaviour. In this task as well, the United Nations has an urgent and vital responsibility.
ALBERT, Crown Prince of Monaco: The tragic circumstances under which this session takes place oblige us to contribute with more determination than ever to the struggle against terrorism. Monaco firmly supports everything done by the Organization to this end. The Assembly chose to respond in a total spirit of consensus, which is rare. By adopting resolution 1373, the Security Council did not hesitate to use its powers under Chapter VII. Improvement of the regulatory action of the Organization is indispensable and of the highest priority. Yesterday, I signed the instruments of ratification for the International Convention on the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism.
The Millennium Declaration and recent global conferences on small arms and on racism also deserve special attention. They can make a contribution to improving international security. Monaco recognizes the competence of the Committee established by the Conference on Racism. Recent events also require us to think about international economic and financial cooperation. The globalization of exchanges of products and services must also be a part of our intellectual and practical efforts to allow human beings to recover their just and legitimate role. Regional and subregional cooperation is conducive to such long-range goals. My country is making a contribution in the Mediterranean region in the fields of sustainable development and environmental protection.
Another source of rapprochement between communities is multilingualism, for which our Organization must set an example. Monaco intends to emphasize its unquestionable advantages for understanding other people during the debate on the subject. The Monaco delegation will also state its views during the consideration of the ocean and the Law of the Sea. Monaco has always been committed to the protection of the maritime environment. Respect for the resolutions and decisions of our Organization, as well as implementation of the programmes of action of recent conferences, is a contribution to which Monaco is dedicated.
KIICHI MIYAZAWA, Member of Parliament and former Prime Minister of Japan: The United Nations has to do many things to eliminate terrorism. It is imperative that we faithfully and immediately implement Security Council resolutions 1368 and 1373. It is also important that all Member States accede to and observe the 12 international conventions relating to terrorism. They must also accelerate work for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Equally important is strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention in order to prevent the production of certain biological weapons, such as anthrax.
Japan is making various efforts to eliminate terrorism. It will immediately begin the ratification process of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, and on 30 October it signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Japan is ready to cooperate with developing countries in the fields of controlling the financing of terrorism, immigration control, aviation and maritime security, anti-personnel mines, and measures against biological and chemical weapons. It is extending emergency economic assistance to Afghan refugees, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries, and will provide up to $120 million for Afghan refugee assistance efforts by United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organization.
The achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan is extremely important not only to eliminate the hotbed of global terrorism but also to lay the foundation for long-term stability and development of the country and the region. Japan intends to play an active role both in the peace process and in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Since 1996 we have been calling for a Conference for Peace and Reconstruction in Afghanistan, and I reaffirm that Japan is ready to hold such a conference as soon as possible, and cooperate with relevant countries and organizations.
JAN PETERSEN, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway: Norway pledges its full support to the global coalition against terrorism and to the United States in its efforts to defend itself. We are taking concrete steps to drain the financial resources of terrorist networks. The use of military force against the Taliban was the only available option, due to its support of terrorist networks. However, we must work in parallel for a political solution to the question of Afghanistan, and ensure humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance to that war-torn society. We must also help improve respect for human rights there.
In the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the only way out of the current stalemate is the full implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Report. There must be an immediate end to terrorism in the region, and the cycle of violent action and reaction must be broken. Simultaneously, confidence-building measures must be implemented, step by step. The parties must then find a way back to the negotiating table quickly, to resolve the causes underlying the conflict. Norway will continue to support efforts in that regard and stands ready to help restore the economic and social infrastructure in Palestinian areas.
Norway is also determined to do what it can to promote long-term peace and stability in Africa, where the bulk of the conflicts dealt with by the Security Council are found, including assistance for building a sound foundation for good governance and development there. Developments in Burundi are encouraging, and Norway supports the deployment of a multinational security force, which hopefully will improve the still-fragile situation.
As the United Nations is the foremost tool for solving global problems, we must not let the cruelty of terrorists divert attention from the ambitious goals set during the Millennium Summit. Ending poverty, eliminating infectious diseases, and upholding respect for human rights and the rule of law and other goals must remain priorities, along with the fight against terrorism. For all those objectives, we must show steadfast determination and provide necessary resources and financial support. The alternative is facing even more painful consequences.
DAH OULD ABDI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mauritania: We observe today that the painful events of 11 September have brought about a new reality: terrorism, instead of being a marginal phenomenon, terrorism has become a key problem; it ignores boundaries and can only be combated by way of a global strategy. No one should suggest that the fight against terrorism is that of one civilization against another, or the affirmation of the supremacy of one civilization over another. On the contrary, we need to act together to show that the elimination of terrorism constitutes a new phase for the global community.
Our country has noted with satisfaction the sustained efforts and successive calls for peace in the Middle East, in order that the people of the region can live in peace, security and prosperity. We hope that the peace process will return to the principles of the Madrid Conference, notably the principle of “land for peace”, and that it will also adhere to Security Council resolutions 242, 238, and 425. We also hope to see a return to stability in the Gulf region, with respect to the independence and territorial integrity of Kuwait as well as the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. We also demand the lifting of the embargo imposed for more than 10 years against the Iraqi people.
With regard to Western Sahara, our country supports the efforts of the Secretary-General and his personal envoy, James Baker, to find a definitive solution which will guarantee stability in the region and benefit both parties. As for developments in the Lockerbie crisis, it is now up to the Security Council to take the necessary measures to lift the embargo imposed upon Libya. We also salute all efforts deployed with the aim of regulating the conflicts that are bloodying the African continent and annihilating its efforts at development.
It is now proven that phenomena such as violence and extremism are the consequence of poverty and despair. That is why the international community needs to make greater efforts in the domain of solidarity and social development across the globe. Developing countries need more support from the wealthy countries, through an increase in investment and the opening of international markets to their products. It should also be noted that debt remains one of the principal obstacles weighing on the economies of developing countries and handicapping their capacity to evolve economically.
JAIME GAMA, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Portugal: I express my deep sorrow with regard to the tragic events of September 11. We are dealing with violence “without a face”, one that kills indiscriminately and must be confronted by the international community as a whole. Portugal has already signed 11 of the 12 international conventions against terrorism, and is strongly committed to implementing their provisions. Portugal has supported from the beginning the international campaign under way in Afghanistan, and considers that the underlying principles guiding the intervention should include the preservation of territorial integrity, the unity of the country, as well as the establishment of a broadly supported, multi-ethnic and representative Government.
The situation in the Middle East, namely in Palestine, is extremely worrying, to the point of placing international security at risk. The international community cannot spare any efforts to ensure that Israel and the Palestinians return to the path of dialogue. Only there will a solution be found that is equally just for both the Palestinian peoples -- who have fought for decades for the recognition of their homeland and for dignified living conditions within a sovereign and responsible Palestinian State -- and for Israel, which has the equal right to live in security and at peace with its neighbours.
My country profoundly regrets the continuation of the armed conflict in Angola and its severe humanitarian consequences. Portugal continues to reaffirm its commitment to the search for a political solution in line with the provisions of the “Acordos de Paz” of the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. Portugal encourages the Angolan Government to redouble its efforts to achieve national reconciliation and introduce political and economic reforms. We also appeal for a return to political means by those -- like the elements which inspire the more radical wing of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) -- that have resorted to violence against civilians.
I encourage the Secretary-General to intensify efforts to relaunch the peace process in Angola with a view to the adequate implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, so that this great country may finally guarantee tranquility to its citizens and regain the standing and role to which it is entitled in international life. Furthermore, the international community cannot now neglect the consolidation of the solutions achieved in East Timor, whose transition to independence is a clear success case for the United Nations -- and a special reason for pride for the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries. I take this opportunity to underline that the process has been conducted in an exemplary manner by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) under the leadership of Sergio Vieira de Mello.
HEINZ MOELLER FREILE, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador: The terrible terrorist events of 11 September were a perverse act that cut short the lives of many innocents. I would like to profess the profound grief and solidarity of the Government of Ecuador with the United States, and I issue the strongest condemnation of the attack. Ecuador lauds the actions taken by the Security Council and the General Assembly in condemning the attack. Similarly, the international community should work to formulate a global convention to combat this scourge.
The process of globalization and threats to international peace and security have been two major factors faced by nations in the last part of the twentieth century. Many countries have had to take a number of measures and have made many adjustments to meet the needs of this new world order. However, they cannot alone combat the challenges of globalization, which include dealing with the ups and downs of short-term capital flow and the absence of a truly open international trading system. The international community must help all nations overcome the negative legacy of the twentieth century, especially that of poverty.
Another important development at the end of the twentieth century was the increase in migratory waves, bringing people to all areas of the globe. Migration has been a positive factor, bringing fruitful exchange among peoples. It allows people to improve their lives and better meet their economic needs. The internationalization of markets and negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) must emphasize the free movement of individuals. Some countries have become net producers of migrants -- including my own, which has suffered a severe economic crisis in recent years. Ecuador has therefore taken a number of steps to protect migrants and their families. It has also signed an agreement between Ecuador and Spain to protect the nationals of both countries. The international community must take more steps to protect this vulnerable migratory segment of society.
Also in the economic arena, Ecuador deemed it fundamental to open trade to and reduce tariffs for developing countries. It shares the doubts of many developing countries about initiating a new round of trade talks within the WTO before the goals of the last round had been met. These goals include the strengthening of the necessary compliance regime for trade. Ecuador, having won the dispute over bananas, has never received its just compensation. That compensation was needed by developing countries to repair damage done by such illegal acts.
Ecuador was witnessing with great concern the unfolding of the conflict in Colombia. It supported the efforts of the Colombian Government to pursue peace negotiations with armed militant groups in that country. Ecuador hoped that effort would be met by a similar response from those groups. Such peace efforts were important in ensuring that the conflict did not spread to other countries in the region. The United Nations could play a great role in that regard. Solving global problems and buttressing collective security should be the main goals of the United Nations.
ABDELAZIZ BELKHADEM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria: The barbarous attacks of 11 September and their consequences highlight the fact that terrorism is a destabilizing factor of global proportions, both politically and economically. For more than a decade, Algeria has endured the horrors of terrorism. Mobilization and multidimensional action to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations have been undertaken on a global scale. Resolution 1373 was a major breakthrough. Algeria reiterates the importance of universal adherence to international instruments as well as ratification of regional instruments to combat terrorism.
While the urgent nature of the struggle against terrorism has made progress possible in a few short weeks, it is necessary to confront the very roots of terrorism to deal with those problems, which form a breeding ground for terrorism. This means that Islam, a religion of peace and tolerance, cannot be associated with terrorism. It also means that the anti-terrorist struggle is not aimed at any country, religion or civilization. The denial of the rights of people to self-determination, the worsening of marginalization and poverty, continuing economic inequalities, the deterioration of the environment and arms proliferation are all subjects awaiting solution. The Durban Conference Plan of Action against Racism and Discrimination provides a framework for building more harmonious and fraternal relations among all people.
There is a need to correct situations of injustice and denial of rights. In Palestine, the situation demands resolute action to put an end to the daily tribulations of the Palestinian people. Algeria reaffirms its solidarity with the Palestinian people and its inalienable right to an independent State, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital. It calls upon the international community to protect the Palestinian people by sending international observers. Only a solution based on international legality -- particularly Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, as well as the principle of land for peace -- can ensure a just and lasting peace for the region. Algeria reaffirms its solidarity with the brotherly people of Syria and Lebanon for the restoration of lands still occupied by Israel, and appeals for lifting the sanctions against the Iraqi and Libyan people.
The situation in the Western Sahara is a source of concern for the Maghreb and Africa as a whole. The United Nations Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has not been able to continue with the implementation of the Settlement Plan because of the significant number of challenges following the identification stage. Progress made by MINURSO must be consolidated. We call on the two parties involved to cooperate with MINURSO to conclude the referendum process. We call on the United Nations bodies in charge of the issue to strictly respect their mandate. Algeria reiterates its support for the holding of a free and independent referendum, organized by the United Nations, that allows the people to decide on its destiny.
HOR NAMHONG, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia: The deadly terrorist acts against the United States were, undoubtedly, crimes against humanity, and Cambodia fully supports international efforts in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. However, everything possible must be done to avoid civilian casualties.
In addition, the root causes of terrorism, as well as factors contributing to it, should be addressed. In that regard, a just and lasting peace in the Middle East must be implemented, including the establishment of a Palestinian State as quickly as possible. All nations must also join together to fight poverty and reduce the widening gap between developed and developing countries. It was important to recall last year’s Millennium Declaration, in which one of the main challenges was managing the negative side of globalization, which was also a problem of international security.
Another contributing factor to terrorism, the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS, must also be addressed in its development context. Practical solutions to the proliferation of nuclear arms and illegally traded small arms and light weapons must also be found. Cambodia supports a gradual reduction of nuclear weapons and respect for all existing nuclear treaties. It welcomes international progress in staunching the illegal trade in small arms, which it has been fighting domestically.
Security Council reform and the revitalization of the General Assembly are also important for addressing terrorism and other complex world problems. It is unacceptable that two thirds of the world population, residing in developing countries, are not equitably represented in the Council; Cambodia therefore supports an increase both in permanent and non-permanent members, with Japan, Germany and India candidates for permanent membership.
Since growing interdependence is the order of the day, it is essential to work together to truly build a community of nations, in which gaps between developed and developing nations are reduced, where security menaces are eliminated, where the threat of global epidemics is lessened, and where poverty is alleviated.
LILA HANITRA RATSIFANDRIHAMANANA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar: Africa pledges resolutely to take its destiny into its own hands. Positive development indicators are on the horizon and continental integration is on the way. Regional mechanisms for conflict prevention are operational. Nonetheless, in the context of globalization, the economic and commercial rules of the game are not always in favour of the developing countries. The WTO should encourage advanced countries to establish more favourable trade relations with developing countries. Integration within regional markets will make it possible for our countries to adapt steadily to the demands of the world market.
It goes without saying that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has our full attention. A special session needs to be convened on this question and a force deployed to protect the innocent victims. We need to support the Palestinians in their quest for independence and sovereignty. The principle of land for peace must be respected, in keeping with United Nations resolutions. Afghanistan, a hotbed of tension, has recently become a field of war. The fight against terrorism is legitimate, but the support of refuges and the civilian victims of war should be an obligation for us all.
We reiterate our commitment to disarmament efforts and reaffirm the urgent need to implement United Nations conventions condemning the production, proliferation and illicit sale of weapons. Madagascar is party to many multilateral disarmament treaties. Madagascar reiterates its condemnation of the terrorist barbarity that struck a sister nation. Terrorism is the very negation of everything we do to make of this world a universe of law, humanity and lasting peace. International cooperation in police and judiciary investigations must be consolidated.
The fight against terrorism also means understanding its causes and eradicating its roots. We need to remove all sources of support, destroy the logistical bases, the cells and the bases for financing. The time for dialogue is upon us, and it is not too late to become aware of its value. Dialogue does not mean tolerating misdeeds, or entering into complicity with the criminals. It means overcoming terrorism through a new understanding of the enemy. We need mutual respect in a new climate of understanding which takes “the other” into account.
ABOU DRAMANE SANGARÉ, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire: My Government attaches great importance to the global effort to eradicate poverty. For its own part, Côte d’Ivoire has implemented a number of policies aimed at fighting the problem of poverty, including improving health and nutrition services around the country. No effort will be spared to ensure that the needs of the most disadvantaged are met. A policy is in place to make sure people everywhere in Côte d’Ivoire have access to health care and other basic services. In order to meet those objectives, a favourable macroeconomic policy must be in place, and Côte d’Ivoire hopes to establish such a policy through good governance.
Last year in this room, States adopted various recommendations to support the Beijing Platform of Action. Among those goals was curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The problem of HIV/AIDS has become a major concern of the world, particularly in Africa. Thirty million people in the world are infected with HIV/AIDS, and more than 1 million of those are women and children. Eighty-three per cent of all deaths due to AIDS occur in Africa. If the pandemic continues to spread, nations in Africa will see a significant decrease in economic growth. African countries need to gain the know-how and master the strategies of those countries that had managed to curb the AIDS outbreak.
As it stands at the moment, the Security Council cannot be seen as a representative body of all the nations of the world. In order to make it more representative, it is vital and right to increase the number and diversity of countries on the Council. The reformed Council should aim at a new decision-making mechanism. The issue of the right to veto should be re-examined. The African region should have two permanent members on the Council, along with five non-permanent members.
The Government of Côte d’Ivoire encourages the creation of a global convention against terrorism. Such a convention would enforce an international legal anti-terrorist regime. In that connection, the role of the United Nations is crucial. It is also very important in its regulatory role, especially in regard to economic relations. Such relations are impossible in a world without justice, peace and security.
FUAD MUBARAK AL-HINAI (Oman): While we would like at this time to express solidarity with the United States in combating terrorism and defending its territory, innocent civilians must be protected and humanitarian aid provided in Afghanistan. All peaceful means to combat terrorism should also be investigated. Islam should not be targeted; neither should the fight against terrorism be an occasion to settle old accounts.
In the Middle East conflict, Oman lends its support to all efforts that aimed at achieving peace founded on justice, international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace. Israel, on the other hand, has ignored these principles and seeks to continue its occupation, depriving Palestinians of their right to self-determination. Oman calls on the United States and the Russian Federation, along with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to revive the peace process. It calls for Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and Shabia farms.
Regarding Iraq, the Security Council should focus and direct its attention and resources towards the implementation of a long-term weapons monitoring and inspection programme, in order to be able to lift sanctions on that country, while Iraq should fulfil its remaining obligations. Oman welcomes any signs of tension reduction in the region. Oman also welcomes the high-level dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development through partnership.
Oman supports all efforts to effect development while protecting the environment, as well as enhancing the effectiveness of international law. Regional cooperation in matters of mutual interest is particularly important. In all these areas, we wish all success during the current session.
Rights of Reply
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom), exercising his right of reply, said in response to remarks about the Chagos Archipelago made by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, that his Government maintained that the British Indian Ocean Territory is British and has been since 1814. It did not recognize the sovereignty claim of the Mauritian Government. However, it had recognized Mauritius as the only State which had a right to assert a claim of sovereignty, when the United Kingdom relinquished its own sovereignty. The Territory would be ceded when no longer required for defence purposes, subject to the requirements of international law.
He said his Government remained open to discussions regarding arrangements governing the British Indian Ocean Territory or the future of the Territory. When the time came for the Territory to be ceded, the British Government would liaise closely with the Government of Mauritius.
MOHAMMED A. ALDOURI (Iraq), exercising his right of reply, said he would like to clarify and correct some of the information in the statement by Kuwait. Firstly, the Acting Prime Minister had pointed out that his country was in continual and constant threats pertaining to the security of Kuwait. Iraq had made no such threats against Kuwait. Kuwait should remember that Iraq was under constant attack by American and British planes. That military aggression came from bases in Kuwait, and that was known and documented by the United Nations. Kuwait had to shoulder its international responsibilities here.
Also, no Kuwaiti or non-Kuwaiti prisoner of war could be found within his State, he said. All such prisoners were released as soon as the ceasefire was established. On the contrary, Kuwait had refused Iraq's proposal to create a mechanism to allow the two countries to further examine the issue of prisoners of war. Kuwait should cooperate with Iraq and provide it with information on the fate of Iraqis who had disappeared.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. AL-OTAIBI (Kuwait), exercising the right of reply, rejected the Iraqi representative’s claim that Iraq had not threatened Kuwait since the ceasefire, which was obviously erroneous. A great many declarations had been made threatening and undermining the security of Kuwait. Iraq had rejected renewing the commitment to the security and sovereignty of Kuwait, which had led to the lack of success of the recent Arab Summit. Kuwait had sent many letters to the Security Council alerting them to statements that had been made. He also rejected what had been said by Iraq concerning United Kingdom and United States planes –- those fell within zones of exclusion, and as for supporting those flights, those zones had been set up so that Iraq would abide by Security Council resolution 667. The planes did not need a base in Kuwait or elsewhere, as there were a number of aircraft carriers available to give support to such flights. As to prisoners of war, he was very sorry to hear what had been said. Iraq, for over 10 years, had still not implemented the relevant resolution 1284 on the subject. Iraq had not responded to statements asking it to comply. As to persons disappeared from Iraq, if the Iraqi Government was serious about finding out their fate, why did they not help to participate in the steps taken by the Red Cross and the tripartite committee on the matter?
Mr. ALDOURI (Iraq), exercising his right of reply, said once again that Iraq had never threatened Kuwait. It was in the interest of Iraq and the Arab community to have stability in the region. The question of the no-fly zones had already been dealt with and resolved through several resolutions of the United Nations and through the Secretary-General. The flights were an attack on Iraq, and providing facilities for the aggressor planes was a violation of the United Nations Charter. His Government reiterated its invitation for direct bilateral consultations to examine the question of prisoners of war and missing persons.
Mr. AL-OTAIBI (Kuwait), exercising his right of reply, said he would like to reply to the appeal made by Iraq to Kuwait to resolve the problem of prisoners of war. If Iraq was really committed and sincere about the issue, it would cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Why create a new mechanism to deal with prisoners of war when one already existed? The reason Iraq wanted a new mechanism was to take the issue outside of United Nations resolutions. Kuwait was asking only that the resolutions of the Security Council be implemented, and that Iraq live up to its responsibilities under those resolutions.
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