New York, November 13, 2001

Check against delivery


Your Excellencies, Messrs. Heads of State,
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations,
Messrs. Delegates,
Friends All:

Allow me to join those who have come before me with words of congratulations to you on your highly deserved election as President of the Fifty-sixth Session of the General Assembly, and to express my confidence that under your competent direction this session will conclude its labor successfully. I also wish to transmit a most profound acknowledgment of the praiseworthy work achieved by the distinguished outgoing President, Mr. Hard Holkeri of Finland.

Likewise, I wish to pay homage to Secretary General Kofi Annan, not only for having been reelected to a second mandate with the consensus of the entire international community, but also for the recent and deserved high distinction awarded his person and the United Nations Organization with the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Mr. President:

The people and government of Nicaragua received with great consternation the news of the criminal terrorist attacks against the people and government of the United States on September 11. Since then, we have offered our solidarity and cooperation to the people and Government of the United States for the capture and punishment of all those involved in these abhorrent acts. The magnitude of these terrorist acts brings new and diverse challenges in the political and economic arenas as well as security. The enemies of peace and democracy have attempted to create a generalized climate of uncertainty and fear, for this reason, our first challenge is not to allow ourselves to be intimidated or paralyzed by their criminal threats and actions.

At the Central-American level, the Presidents of the isthmus subscribed this past 19th of September in Honduras to the "Central America United Against Terrorism" Declaration, where we strongly condemned any link between groups or sectors in the Central-American region. As of that date we began concrete initiatives directed to improve the systems of information between neighboring countries, increase coordination between the air and naval forces in the face of illicit traffic, achieve greater border vigilance, enable the exchange of information between agencies specialized in public security, increase the control of travel documents and strengthen security in airports and civil aviation.

Nicaragua is a party to those measures and dispositions that promote and safeguard international and regional peace and security through the prevention and the peaceful solution of controversies between States and the non-proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons of mass destruction, that contravene the principles of international humanitarian law.

It is our firm commitment to world peace and security that led my country to celebrate the III Meeting of Member States of the Ottawa Convention, despite its proximity to the date the acts of September 11th.

The Managua Conference allowed us to renew the commitment to Member States and establish with satisfaction the important advances in the crusade for the elimination of antipersonnel mines. The ratification of the convention by more than 120 States, the strengthening of the mechanisms for its implementation, the advances in mine removal, the destruction of mines stored in different parts of the world and the virtual embargo on the international commerce of these arms, are concrete steps in our labor of ending the suffering brought about by antipersonnel mines.

In this sense, I wish to formulate a vehement call to the States that have not done so, to ratify the Treaty of the Complete Prohibition of Nuclear Tests as well as the Convention for the Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines. Likewise, Nicaragua welcomes with satisfaction the Action Program to Prevent, Combat and Eliminate the Illicit Traffic of Small and Light Arms in All Forms, adopted this past 21 of July.

Mr. President:

Only a year ago, we celebrated the Millennium Summit, in which we made commitments tending to face the challenges of the XXI century and reaffirm our faith in the United Nations as a central instrument for promoting peace, security, prosperity and justice.

In order to respond effectively to the unpostponable challenges that the new millennium imposes on us, it is crucial to go forward with firm steps to reform the United Nations, making its policies and structures equal to the realities and aspirations of contemporary international society. Nicaragua shares the interest of all the members in the strengthening of our Organization, which will permit the optimization of its labor in maintaining international peace and security, the prevention of conflicts, the promotion of sustainable development and the battle against poverty.

In this sense, it is crucial to go forward with the reform of the Security Council, to the end that it can respond fully and effectively to the current needs and future challenges to our peoples.

On the other hand, the profound changes undergone by international society since 1945 impose on the United Nations the unpostponable need to reaffirm its universal vocation as a fundamental condition for facing the new challenges through the full and effective participation of all peoples, without differences or exclusions.

Nevertheless, this universal vocation cannot be fully realized so long as a democratic State and founding subscriber to the San Francisco Charter cannot participate as a full Member of the United Nations System.

It is known by everyone that the Republic of China is a democratic country and that its freely and transparently elected government is the only one that can legitimately represent the interests and desires of the people of Taiwan in the United Nations. We should not continue to deny the right to 23 million people who live in the Republic of China to be represented in the United Nations and share with us the efforts to promote peace and the development of future generations.

Let us recall that the Republic of China has played a positive role in the promotion of world trade, the eradication of poverty and the advance of human rights. These laudable efforts on national and international levels should be recognized by the United Nations, permitting the right that the Republic of China has to integrate itself anew into the international order of the UN, under the perspective of having achieved the fundamental conditions of a subject of International Law.

Mr. President:

Ever since I began my mandate in 1997, we Nicaraguans have taken transcendental steps in the important task of consolidating democracy and directing our Fatherland along the path of development.

The strengthening of the Rule of Law, the stabilization of the economy through the implementation of responsible financial and fiscal policies, the creation of effective spaces for the participation of civil society in national decision-making, the formulation of a long-term strategy in the battle against poverty, and the reduction of economic, social and environmental vulnerability, are attainments by Nicaraguans at the cost of many sacrifices, rooted in our road to sustainable human development.

Nevertheless, this process has not been lacking in difficulties, generated by the heavy burden of our external national debt, the international financial crises, the fall of the prices of our main export products, and the national disasters.

The elections held in my country the past 4th of November will pass into national history as an example of transparency, civics and a profound democratic conviction. The orderly and transparent development of the process, the broad citizen participation with less than a 10% abstention and the attitude of the people of Nicaragua are an expression of how much my country has progressed in the strengthening of its democratic institutions.

Mr. President:

We decidedly support holding the World Summit on Sustainable Development that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September of 2002, with the task of determining the actual status of the implementation of the commitments acquired at the Earth Summit.

As an expression of that will, we take note of the ratification of the Conventions on Climactic Change and Biodiversity, the labor realized by the National Council for Sustainable Development, and the participation by Nicaragua in large projects for the preservation of the rich ecosystems of the region, such as the Meso-American Biological Corridor and the Atlantic Biological Corridor.

Mr. President, Messrs. Delegates:

The new problems and challenges that humanity faces are greatly superior to our individual capabilities as States. For this reason, it is imperative to renew our commitment to the goals and principles of the United Nations, which will allow us to continue to advance in the building of a world that is more just, peaceful and secure for the coming generations.

Thank you.