H.E. MR. ANATOLIY
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF UKRAINE
GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 56TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
10 November 2001
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Distinguished Mr. President, Distinguished Mr. Secretary-General,
Allow me at the outset to congratulate the President of the 56th General Assembly session Dr. Iran Seung-soo on his election to this important and responsible post.
On behalf of the Ukrainian delegation, I would like to assure you of
our full support and to wish you every success in your work.
Taking this opportunity, I would also like to express our appreciation to your predecessor, Mr. Harri Holkeri, whose political wisdom and diplomatic skills allowed the 55th General Assembly session to achieve important results.
A year ago, at the Millennium Summit, we, the representatives of the nations of the world, were perceived as heralds of a new age.
At that memorable meeting, the United Nations heard the words that gave humanity hope for a new and just model of international relations in the new century.
Freedom. Equality. Solidarity. Tolerance. Mutual responsibility.
These fundamental values enshrined in the Millennium Declaration outlined the path, which the peoples of the world will follow in the new era.
However, while striving to breathe the fresh air of the future, we instead
swallowed a mouthful of ashes and dust.
On September ll the modern world was brutally wounded.
Death of innocent people shocked all those who cherish the universal values of life and freedom.
The terrorist acts in the United States demonstrated that the philosophy of hatred, which has no religious, ethnic or linguistic affiliation, became one of the key challenges of the contemporary world.
This threat requires an urgent and clear international reaction.
While sharing the pain of the American people, Ukraine fully supports the resolve of the United States to give an effective rebuff to perpetrators, patrons and instigators of the terrorist acts.
Without any hesitation, we joined the global anti-terrorist coalition, because we recognize the need to unite the efforts of the international community to counter new threats. The military campaign in Afghanistan targeting the core of world terrorism is the first stage and a necessary element of these efforts.
At the same time, it is evident that the Afghan people, who live in a state of permanent humanitarian crisis, became a hostage of terrorists.
As a result, this crisis cannot be brought to an end without consistent
political and diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a solution.
Ukraine welcomes the activities of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, and supports their constructive contribution to the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan.
We are convinced that efforts to further strengthen and improve international legal mechanisms for combating terrorism should be also given a powerful political impetus.
In this context, speedy conclusion of the work on the draft comprehensive convention on terrorism gains special importance.
I am also pleased to mention that the proposal of my country to convene a Ministerial meeting of- the Security Council to discuss further steps in the global response to international terrorism was unanimously supported by the members of the Council.
There, is no doubt that in the course of such a meeting vital steps will be made to identify key means and methods of combating terrorism.
We also continue to maintain that there is a need for proper institutional
arrangements to coordinate and complement individual efforts of Member
States in combating international terrorism and to ensure that the legal
instruments we elaborated are implemented in the most efficient manner.
This entity should not become another bureaucratic body, but rather an effective mechanism to contribute to the consolidation of international efforts in this area.
To honor the memory of thousands who perished in terrorist attacks and to further unite our efforts in fighting the scourge of terrorism, I would like to propose, on behalf of the Government of Ukraine, to declare September 11 a United Nations Day to Combat International Terrorism.
I hope that this proposal will find support of the General Assembly, which would establish this Day as a symbol of our remembrance, unity and resolve.
Ukraine welcomes this year decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize to the United Nations and to its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
He is exactly the kind of leader that the United Nations needs today
as it faces new global challenges.
Are we ready to stand up to these new challenges?
Do we fully realize that the aggravation of the situation in the world is determined by deeply rooted causes of the existing international inequality?
And, finally, how will the 56th session of the UN General Assembly be remembered - as a session that put an end to the age of illusions, or as a forum that consolidated the UN family?
The United Nations enters a new period of its history.
Ukraine is strongly convinced that, on a strategic plane, the strengthening of the UN's status as the core of the modern system of international relations should become the primary task of this Organization.
The terrorist acts in the United States have united and consolidated the international community.
Why does it have to take the tragic loss of thousands of innocent lives to realize that there is a vital need for unity of its actions?
From our standpoint, the essence of United Nations leadership lies in ensuring an effective response to the new challenges to security, both at global and regional levels.
This role, however, cannot be played effectively without improving the existing model of making and implementing decisions at the international level.
That is why my country actively supports the reform of the United Nations
We see this reform not as weakening of the foundations of the Council's work, but, on the contrary, as their strengthening by making sure that they better reflect the realities of the modern world.
This year, Ukraine is completing its term as a member of the Security Council.
I believe that the experience we gained will contribute to the advancement of the process of change.
We will consistently advocate the need to improve the Security Council's methods of work and to enlarge its membership.
As a Central European nation, Ukraine will actively lobby for an additional seat on the Council for this region.
In our view, special attention should also be paid to the philosophy of the United Nations peacekeeping activities and to the problem of sanctions.
For many years Ukraine, which is today among the 10 largest troop-contributors
to the United Nations peacekeeping missions, has been consistently supporting
the development of effective preventive mechanisms of the UN.
At the Millennium and Security Council Summits last year, the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, emphasized the need for the elaboration of a United Nations strategy for comprehensive conflict prevention based on a wide use of preventive diplomacy.
I am pleased to note that the recommendations on conflict prevention put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his June report echo the proposal made by the President of Ukraine.
We believe that the United Nations possesses the necessary experience and resources for enhancement of its role in this field, in particular through the establishment of regional centers to monitor potential areas of conflict, as well as through more active use of preventive deployment operations.
As for the issue of sanctions, we stand for the elaboration of a well-balanced methodology of their imposition, implementation and lifting.
This critical lever of influence should not be turned into a political
We are also confident in the overriding necessity to further consolidate international efforts of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Realistically assessing the capabilities of the Conference on the CTBT we hope it will result in the extension of the number of participants of this Treaty, which has been ratified by Ukraine last year.
I would also like to mention that next month Ukraine will complete the implementation of the third and last phase of strategic weapons destruction under the START Treaty.
On October 30 Ukraine destroyed the last intercontinental ballistic missile silo. In that way we turned one of the important pages in the history of nuclear disarmament.
We are ready to continue to make our contribution to secure effectiveness of the system of strategic stability in the world.
Ukraine stands for further elaboration by the UN of a universal approach to the issues of ensuring sustainable development and eradication of poverty in the world.
We hope that the outcome of the International Conference on Financing of Development will be a practical step in mobilizing national and international resources to solve these problems.
We also intend to take practical steps in resolving a complex of environment protection issues.
As a country that still suffers the pain of the Chernobyl tragedy, Ukraine counts on further active involvement of the UN Development Program and other operational bodies of the Organization in the process of eliminating the long-term consequences of this disaster.
Ukraine considers that cultural and spiritual disasters are no less destructive than natural ones.
The cultural mosaic of the world is the most precious and delicate treasure granted to humanity.
Ukraine has the honor to be the co-sponsor of the UN General Assembly draft resolution on the proclamation of the Year 2002 as the UN year of protection of the world cultural heritage and calls on the international community to support this initiative.
Vigorous work to protect humanity's historical and cultural heritage is not only-a vital necessity; it is also our moral responsibility before the past and future generations.
The year 2001 is an anniversary year for our country. On 24 August, Ukraine celebrated the first decade of its independence.
These were 10 years of complex processes.
The main result has been the consolidation of Ukraine as a peaceful independent European state.
We achieved sustainable economic growth as a result of consistent reforms. My country is an active participant of the European regional processes.
Ukraine contributes to the settlement of the so-called frozen conflicts, specifically in Abkhazia (Georgia) and Transdniestria (Moldova).
As a member of Group of Friends of the Secretary-General for Georgia, Ukraine is concerned over the slow pace of the Georgia-Abkhaz peace process.
Ukraine takes an active stand concerning the settlement of the situation in the Republic of Macedonia. Resolution of the centuries old Balkan problem is an ambitious and urgent task for Europe of the new century.
We also note with concern the escalation of tensions in the Middle East during the past year.
The entire history of the conflict in the Middle East proves that its vicious circle can only be broken through renouncing violence and reviving mutual trust and tolerance between the sides of the conflict.
The United Nations begins a new and complicated period of its activities.
It is up to us to see how the UN comes out of its encounter with the new challenges - united or divided.
I believe that the wisdom of this forum that has been nurtured through decades of hard and responsible work should serve as a guarantee of the optimistic scenario.
Thank you for your attention.