Check Against Delivery
H.E. Mr. Rashid Abdullah Al-Noaimi
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS Of THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
His Excellency Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-Shamsi
Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates
In the General Debate
of the Fifty Sixth Session of
the United Nations General Assembly
New York, NY
12 November 2001
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
I have the honor to convey to you, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, our sincere congratulations on your election to the presidency of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly. Your election to this high office shows the high regard the international community has for you personally as well as for your friendly country, South Korea, with which we have good relations. We are confident that your experience in international affairs will lead to the achievement of positive results, and we wish you and the members of the General Committee complete success.
I also extend my thanks to your predecessor, His Excellency Harri Holkeri, for the valuable efforts he exerted in conducting the work of the previous session.
I should also like to take this opportunity to congratulate secretary-general Kofi Annan on his re-election for a second term to this high office and being awarded, with the United Nations employees, the Nobel Peace Prize. We express to him our appreciation for the persistent efforts he has exerted and continues to exert, efforts that are bound to contribute to enabling the Organization to accomplish its lofty mission of maintaining international peace and security and achieving international sustainable development.
This session is being held at a very critical stage when the United States of America has been subjected to the most horrid and dangerous forms of organized terrorism that did not only target the lives of thousands of innocent civilian men, women and children, but also all the moral codes and values underlying the human and cultural principles that are the root of the concepts of the United Nations Charter, the provisions of International Law, and the foundations and bases of all the legal, political, economic and social regulations that shape the nature of our international relations as a whole.
The United Arab Emirates, which was deeply shocked after this reprehensible, immoral and criminal act, renews today from this rostrum its strong denunciation and condemnation of these savage acts and all other forms of terrorism, wherever they may be; they constitute the clearest challenges to international peace and security in the twenty first century. We offer our condolences and expressions of sympathy to the American government and people and the families of the victims of this tragedy. We also announce our complete support for and cooperation with the United States Government as well as all the regional and international efforts aimed at tracking down the perpetrators of these brutal acts, bringing them to justice and eliminating this dangerous phenomenon.
What is needed in this matter is careful investigation to find out the
real culprits who carried out this evil act and not to jump to hasty suggestions
or conclusions that might allow the real perpetrators to escape and wrongfully
punish other people.
As a matter of fact, this terrorist operation invites us to re-think the ways to face terrorism, in all its kinds and forms, including by groups, by organizations and by States, in addition to combating intolerance, extremism and racism. The United Arab Emirates has called upon the international community more than once to unite and cooperate in confronting this phenomenon and the danger of terrorism. We are prepared to participate in any international campaign organized in this respect. At the same time, we call upon the international community to work towards enhancing the mechanisms and amount of relief and humanitarian assistance sent, at the present time, to the people of Afghanistan who have grown fatigued by fierce wars for over two decades and are presently facing the largest and most dangerous internal and external migration the country has ever witnessed.
The results of the changes in the nature of international relations we witness today, and the accompanying accelerated manifestations in the fields of globalization, technology, modern communications and economic openness, have not all been limited to achieving the positive side in the lives and interests of certain States and peoples; on the contrary, these changes have contributed to widening the security, economic, social, cultural and informational gap and differences between the peoples of the developed and the developing countries. At the same time, they have helped to spawn new situations of conflict, civil and ethnic war and other problems that threaten the social fabric of communities while undermining sustainable development: such are the phenomena of organized crime, illicit drug trafficking, international terrorism, possession of prohibited weapons, violations of human rights and other grave trans-boundary scourges. Accordingly, we believe that the first steps to be taken to confront the totality of these problems require, primarily, finding a clear, comprehensive and balanced strategy of regional and international cooperation which takes into consideration, as a matter of priority, the extent to which the concept of international security and peace on the one hand, and the problems of humanitarian neediness and sustainable development on the other, are closely linked together.
In this context, we stress the importance of the assumption by the United Nations, in cooperation and coordination with other regional organizations, of a larger role in international affairs in order to face the growing challenges of our modern world. We also consider that the issue of reforming and expanding both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council is of great importance since the Council is the body entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security. Of equal importance is the need to work persistently to provide the necessary democratization and transparency to its decision-making policy so as to avoid the double standards policy. In addition, there should be a strengthening of mutual cooperation and coordination between the Security Council and the other principle organs of the United Nations such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the International Court of Justice in order to contain more effectively the growing problems threatening the peace, security and stability of the world.
We also appreciate the constructive role played by peacekeeping forces in containing the hotbeds of existing conflicts and disputes. We consider that the contributions made by the United Arab Emirates within the framework of these operations, including its participation with armed forces and provision of humanitarian and medical assistance in Kosovo, embody its belief and conviction that international security is a common international responsibility.
The United Arab Emirates always believes in the necessity to resort to peaceful dialogue and negotiations as an ideal method to resolve disputes among nations. We, therefore, look forward to the Islamic Republic of Iran responding to the peaceful initiatives of the United Arab Emirates calling for finding a solution to the issue of Iran's occupation of our three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Moussa, either through direct negotiations or by submitting the dispute to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.
We also hope that the visit to Tehran of His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, on 23 July 2001 and that of Mr. Mohamed All Abtahi, the Iranian President's envoy, to Abu Dhabi on 6 August 2001, will contribute to the serious efforts being made to find a peaceful solution to the issue of Iran's occupation of our three islands, promote confidence building and enhance the principle of peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness.
Furthermore, the United Arab Emirates expresses anew its welcome for the acceptance by the two brethren States of Qatar and Bahrain of the decision of the International Court of Justice in settlement of their previous disagreement on the disputed areas. It also expresses its satisfaction with regards to the arrangements made for the demarcation of the boundaries between the countries of the area, which represents an important factor in strengthening the foundations of regional and international peace and security.
The situation between Iraq and the United Nations has been going on for 11 years and the Iraqi people are still suffering from the continuation of the international economic sanctions imposed on them according to the reports of the Secretary-General and the regional and international humanitarian organizations, although the Oil-for-Food Programme has contributed to alleviating the suffering of certain sectors of the Iraqi people, it clearly does not constitute the practical mechanism required to contain and deal with the human tragedies and far-reaching destructive effects which these sanctions, have inflicted and continue to inflict not only on the level of the infrastructure and institutions of the basic services Sector of the Iraqi people, but also with regard to people's most elementary necessities by way of nutritional, medical, educational and other care. We, therefore, call for finding a political formula acceptable to all concerned that will ensure lifting the sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people and maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq at the same time.
The re-establishment of the ties between Iraq and Kuwait require efforts
to resolve the problems that have arisen as a result of Iraq's occupation
of Kuwait, of which the most important is to ensure the return, in compliance
with international resolutions, of the Kuwaitis and nationals of other
countries who are held as prisoners of war or detained in Iraq.
We welcome the Security Council resolution last September to lift the international sanctions imposed on our brethren Sudan. We also demand that the Security Council follows the same procedures in. regard to the international sanctions imposed on our brethren Libya, especially now that its government has fulfilled its commitments under the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Since the twenty eighth of September of last year, the occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed human tragedies and acts of violence because of the policy of State terrorism pursued by Israel against the Palestinian people, including aggression, mass murders and physical liquidations of the Palestinian cadres. So far, they have led to the loss of the lives of more than 750 martyrs and tens of thousands of other innocent casualties, half of whom, are children and women. The present policies of Israel, which include the reoccupation of territories, the expansion of settlements, the demolition of homes, the occupation of Orient House-the official headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority, the seizure of Palestinian institutions in Al-Quds ash-Sharif, as well as the deliberate destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure constitute a challenge, and grievous violation of resolutions embodying international legality, customary and International Humanitarian Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the protection of Civilian persons in times of War. These policies are also a shameful breach of all the agreements and protocols signed between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
The United Arab Emirates, therefore, expresses its support for the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of its own independent state with Al-Quds ash-Sharif as its capital, and utterly rejects and condemns all the flagrant Israeli violations committed against the Palestinian people. It calls anew upon the United Nations, especially the Security Council and its Permanent Members as well as the European Union and other States that have an effective and influential role to play in international affairs, including in particular, the United States of America, to assume their political and legal responsibilities away from the policy of alignment and double standards, but rather by taking the necessary and needed actions to force Israel, as the occupying power, to immediately and urgently halt all kinds of blockades, attacks, arrests, provocative policies and illegal settlement that are being committed against the Palestinian people, their lands and all that they hold sacred. Within this framework, we also call for establishing on an urgent basis and without any further delay an international mechanism to provide legal protection for the Palestinian people.
The achievement of security and a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East requires that Israel should strictly comply with the agreements and protocols it has concluded within the framework of the peace process as well as with the relevant resolutions embodying international legality which call upon Israel to withdraw completely from all the Palestinian and Arab territories including Al-Quds ash-Sharif. It also requires the removal of the existing settlements, the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, the withdrawal from Syria's Golan Heights back to the borders of June 4th 1967 and from Lebanese territory in accordance with all the United Nations resolutions, including in particular resolutions 242, 338 and 425 as well as with the principle of land for peace.
Israel's possession of prohibited weapons, especially nuclear weapons,
is a direct threat to regional and international peace and security. We,
therefore, renew our demands to the international community to exert
the needed pressures on the Israeli government so that it may get rid of these prohibited weapons and subject its nuclear reactors to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, thus contributing to the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf region. In this context, we stress that comprehensive international disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, and the improvement of international systems and arrangements for non-proliferation have top priority in the area of regional and international security requirements. We are, therefore, gravely concerned by the pursuits and efforts of certain States that persist in the acquisition of this kind of dangerous weapons. We also renew our call to these States to put an immediate end to such actions that threaten regional and international peace and security. We urge these Governments to have recourse to reason and good sense, to take up their common responsibilities in the peaceful settlement of their regional problems, to implement their obligations under the whole series of comprehensive disarmament conventions and arrangements, including, measures to gradually liquidate their stockpiles of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and their conversion to peaceful purposes in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
We are following with deep concern the political and military events that have arisen in many regions, particularly south and south-east Asia and in certain African countries and the Balkans. We, therefore, stress the need for the parties concerned to have the necessary political will and try to resolve their problems by resorting to dialogue and peaceful means based upon the principles of International Law and the resolutions embodying international legality. We welcome, in this context, the recent visit to India by the President of Pakistan and hope these relations will develop towards reaching a just and lasting settlement of the outstanding problem between the two countries so as to achieve security and stability in that important strategic part of the world.
Despite the encouraging rates of economic growth and recovery achieved
by certain countries in the last few years as a result of the information
revolution, globalization and the formidable technological
development in the fields of communications and free markets, international reports have recently indicated a slowdown in economic growth in the world as a result of the lack of a clear strategy of regional and international economic cooperation, which has in turn led to an aggravation of the economic imbalance between the countries of the north and those of the south. While the countries of the north enjoy prosperity, those of the south continue to suffer from poverty, unemployment, diseases and environmental pollution. Therefore, The United Arab Emirates, which is used to extending financial, development, investment and humanitarian assistance to many developing countries, including countries affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts, calls upon the developed countries to continue and increase their official and unofficial assistance to these countries. It is equally important that the international and regional development and financial organizations and institutions should play a larger role in this aspect in order to lighten and abolish the debt burden, especially as far as the poorest nations are concerned. We also call for the need to ensure the exports of the developing countries access to the markets of the developed countries without any obstructions or tariff barriers as well as to enable those countries to acquire the technologies used for peaceful purposes with a view to helping them to contain their economic problems and integrate themselves more effectively in the flow of the world economy. Furthermore, experience has proved that the stability and growth of international economic and commercial relations necessarily require enhancing dialogue and mutual cooperation and coordination between the countries of the north and those of the south, in addition to the adoption of a policy of economic reform which has become an urgent necessity in order to rescue the economies of the developing countries from stagnation and marginalization which, to be achieved, is in need of the removal of barriers that hinder investment and trade, the reduction of customs tariffs, the liberalization of trade and giving priority to the development of the private sector as the motor of growth, in addition to, enabling these countries to participate in decision-making at the international level with regard to economic and financial policies.
We call upon the World Trade Organization to reinforce the developmental dimension in the different multilateral trade agreements by activating the clauses relating to special preferential treatment in favor of developing countries and rectifying the flaws of certain agreements of the World Trade Organization that affect the development policies of the developing countries and their export receipts.
Finally, we renew our call to the developed countries to implement immediately the program of work adopted by the Second United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries held in 1990 and other resolutions issued by the United Nations as well as the recommendations contained in the report of the high level Meeting on Integrated Initiatives for the Implementation of the 1997 Plan of Action of the World Trade Organization for the Least Developed Countries.
In conclusion, we hope our deliberations on the items of the agenda
of this session will lead to positive results that will enhance the measures
aimed at confidence-building and achieve security and stability in this
world with all its vast and ever-changing variables.
Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.