HIS HIGHNESS SAYYID SHABIB BIN TAIMUR AL SAID
FOR THE SULTANATE OF OMAN
Mr President, Excellencies and the August members,
It gives me great honour to represent His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, in participating in this event and to convey His Majesty's warm greetings and sincere wishes to this forum on the commencement of the Third Millennium with hopes and aspirations for a better future for the people of the world.
It pleases me to offer my heartiest congratulations to you, Mr President, on your election for the Presidency of this Session, which we are sure will be brought to a successful conclusion.It is indeed my pleasure to address you today on this occasion to consider the progress achieved by my country in implementing the outcome of the Copenhagen Declaration, and Program of Action agreed at the World Summit for Social Development. Many changes have occurred since,primarily the progressive globalisation of the World Economy as the most prominent feature during the last three decades. We therefore thank the United Nations for the initiative of organizing this session to consider the progress made by the World Community and various countries in the field of social development globally since the Summit and to put forth new recommendations and objectives. The importance of this session lies in the fact that it will discuss the achievements made in the previous years towards social development for all, with special emphasis on the new conflicts and constraints appearing now on the horizon. Among these are, of course, the problems relating to the mechanism of operating the World Economy and establishing inter-actions and relationships globally. Such conflicts and constraints are given special concern in terms of developing countries in order to ensure that they are not marginalised. Based on the international consensus on the importance of social development on one hand, and the priority given by my Government to a sustainable development, on the other, the Sultanate of Oman had, since its modern renaissance in 1970, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, launched a comprehensive programme to achieve a sustainable development. Indeed, we were among the developing countries to give the social sector our utmost concern since the early 70s.
The Sultanate, since that
time, had endeavoured with a strong desire to make the Omani individual the
paramount goal in its development plan, and this commitment is strictly endorsed
and closely followed through by the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan,
and his Government, in sparing no effort and resources in the protection of
our community from poverty, unemployment and social disintegration. The government
has also made great strides in the integration of women in participating in
all aspects of sharing in the development of Oman.
It was very timely for the Sultanate of Oman that the Copenhagen Summit for Social Development in 1995 coincided with the first stage in establishing the future vision of Oman's Economy by its programme for Oman 2020. Our vision for the future is based on several principles; most important of which is human resource development to enable the Omani citizens to effectively participate with all their energy in preparing Oman for the Millennium.
Mr President,The Sultanate of Oman has made great strides in the field of social development based on the guidelines of the first Summit held in Copenhagen in numerous fields. Highlighting some of these were the basic services in educational training, health care, productive work opportunities and the provision of adequate habitat for our population. We also take pride in the decrease of infant mortality from 250 per 1,000 births in the seventies to 18 per 1000 as was recently reported by the World Health Organisation. The Secretariat of this Session has been provided with a comprehensive regional report on social development in the Sultanate containing further details on such achievements. Once more the convening of this Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in pursuance to that of the first Summit also coincides with the preparation of our sixth five year plan. No doubt again we will benefit from the discussions, deliberations and recommendations of this meeting. Our commitment in participating, endorses our solidarity with the World community to the recommendations made at the various international conferences in this field. Attendance of the various conferences has played a major role in the Sultanate's efforts to effectively institute legislative policies to enhance human development in the Sultanate and these deliberations have shed light on deficiencies in order to eradicate them. Before I conclude this speech, I would like to add the voice of my country and its representatives to the voice of millions living in poverty around the world, who are deprived of the basic necessities of an acceptable standard of living and I sincerely hope this Session will result in a concerted effort and co-operation from all countries to achieve a sustainable development for those in need and which will in turn help us move closer towards a just and peaceful world.
We believe, without doubt, that our World of today has become into a merging entity in an unprecedented manner. My country believes in the need for international co-operation in all fields between North and South on the one hand, and the Southern Hemisphere on the other. In this way we will achieve the objective of a secure and peaceful international community which was the ultimate goal of the founders of the United Nations.
I thank you all for allowing me this opportunity to express the thoughts and wishes of my country and its representatives.
Thank you Mr President.