Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me at the outset, Mr. President, to convey to you, our cordial congratulations and regards on your election as the President of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly. I am convinced that your competence and active cooperation with the UN Member States, will pave the way for a successful and fruitful session.

At the same time, I wish to join all previous speakers in expressing our deep gratitude to H.E. Mr. Harri Holkeri of Finland, for the outstanding work accomplished in his capacity as President of the previous session.

I would also like, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Moldova, to renew our warmest congratulations to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the well-deserved award of the Nobel Peace Prize and for his re-election to another term. His tireless efforts in redefining the role of the United Nations in this changing world, enjoy the appreciation and support of the Republic of Moldova.

Mr. President,

The barbaric terrorist attacks of September 11th radically changed the international security environment. The terrorism has become the most serious and immediate threat to security and stability of our societies. A challenge was possed not only to the United States of America, but to the entire world community. We fully share the assertion made by the President of the United States, Mr. George W Bush, in his statement before this Assembly that "this threat cannot be ignored" and that "civilization, itself, the civilization we share, is threatened".

The fight against international terrorism has clearly become a priority of the United Nations. Currently, we are seeing an strong international coalition emerge which, in the short term, is determined to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist acts and, in the long term, to eliminate this evil from the face of the earth.

Aligning itself with the ranks of this coalition, the Republic of Moldova strongly condemned the indiscriminate large-scale terrorist attacks which took place in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. At the same time, Moldova have unreservedly supported the actions undertaken by the United States in the name of legitimate defense and in accordance with the United Nations Charter and Security Council resolution 1368 (2001). Likewise, we support the global and multidimensional approach adopted by the United States in the war against terrorism.

The Republic of Moldova has demonstrated its political will to combat the terrorist activities through concerted efforts with other countries in the framework of various regional and sub-regional organizations, including OSCE, Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, SEECI, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), GUUAM, etc.

Internally, the appropriate national authorities drafted and adopted anti-terrorist legislation in order to comply with relevant regional and UN conventions, thus acting in compliance with the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). The Republic of Moldova is a state-party to 6 of the 12 terrorism related UN treaties and protocols. Measures are also underway to enable our country to accede to most of remaining sectoral anti-terrorist conventions. With this in mind, I signed this morning, on behalf of my country, the "International Convention for the Suppression of Financing Terrorism.

Mr. President,

The tragic events of 11 September have shown that the international community must seek with renewed determination to resolve the longstanding international problems, on which terrorism feeds. From this perspective, we must urgently address the conflicts around the world, their root causes and, implicitly, the factors which could nurture the development of terrorism.

In this context, I feel obliged to add my voice to those who see the phenomenon of separatism also as a root cause of conflicts as well as a threat to international peace and security. Besides being anachronistic in a globalized and interdependent world, the separatism affects the very basis of multicultural societies and poses grave danger to the sovereignty and integrity of States. Like the scourge of international terrorism, it emphasizes what divides and segregates rather than unites and integrates. As a country affected by separatism, we are alarmed at persistence of this scourge and the connections it may sometimes have with other serious criminal activities, including terrorism. This is why, in our opinion, this issue, among others, must be taken into account by the United Nations Member States in their efforts to elaborate and implement a comprehensive and efficient anti-terrorist strategy.

Mr. President,

The fact that I place a particular focus on the issues of conflict settlement and separatism is not accidental. Over the years, my delegation informed this Assembly about the efforts being made to resolve the conflict in the Transdnestrian region of the Republic of Moldova. At my turn I am obliged to note with regret the lack of any noticeable development towards a comprehensive settlement. Despite the reasonable compromises proved by the constitutional authorities, the separatist regime continue to remain opposed to any proposals aimed at elaborating a special status for the region as a constituent part of the Republic of Moldova. The few political documents worked out with the active mediation of the OSCE, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, and signed by the parties are interpreted unilaterally, contrary to their true sense, by the Transnistrean leaders.

Another matter of continuing concern it is the fact that in recent years,` there has been recorded in this region illegal production of different types of armaments.

Through some third countries, these types of armaments have reached other conflict zones, supporting terrorist and criminal groups, as well as secessionist movements.

A complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign troops, munitions and armaments as stipulated in the Istanbul OSCE Summit Documents, and as required by the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), would undoubtedly facilitate the peaceful and lasting settlement of this conflict.

In this connection, I would like to emphasize that my Government is encouraged by the recent efforts by the Russian Federation to reduce its CFE Treaty-limited equipment, located in the Transdnestrian region of the Republic of Moldova. Given the considerable progress that has been already made, we certainly hope that the process of destruction or removal of foreign combat weaponry will be completed before the Bucharest OSCE Ministerial Meeting this December. I would like also to express, in this context, our gratitude to those members of the OSCE which are contributing financially to an OSCE Voluntary Fund, established in accordance with the Istanbul decisions to assist the process of weapon destruction or withdrawal.

Mr. President,

The United Nations role in peace and security remains an essential part of its global responsibilities. The Republic of Moldova reiterates its convinction that the best strategy for maintaining international peace and security is to address the root causes of conflicts. In this regard we fully support the Secretary General's efforts to move the United Nations from a "culture of reaction" to one of "prevention".

The submission of periodic sub-regional and regional reports to the Security Council on disputes that may potentially threaten international peace and security is another important and necessary measure. The unequal attention given by the international system to certain conflicts or conflict situations still remains a matter of great concern. In order to be successful, preventive strategies must reach all communities that are experiencing emergencies.

From this perspective, my delegation highly appreciates the commitment of the Secretary General to further develop and implement regional prevention strategies with regional partners, and financial, development and humanitarian organs and agencies of the United Nations. Indeed, the United Nations and its partners have extraordinary capacity in the development field and that the challenge is to use them more effectively and in a synergetic way.

The credibility of the United Nations is questioned every time when decisions mandating action in a specific crisis or conflict are not matched by timely and appropriate deployment of peacekeeping personnel and equipment. The experience of recent years has clearly shown that the UN' capacity to meet an expanding and increasingly complex range of peacekeeping demands needs significant improvement. We are pleased to notice that over the past year, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has been strengthened. Nevertheless, we need to continue our efforts to lay secure and adequate foundations for an effective UN peacekeeping system. In this respect, the Republic of Moldova supports the implementation of a number of practical measures proposed by the Secretary General in his second report (1 June 2001) with a view to achieve the broad objectives envisioned by the Brahimi Panel. In particular, Member States should provide support to enhance the rapid deployment capabilities of the United Nations through the involvement of the United Nations standby arrangements system.

Given this context, I would like to inform you that Moldova has already established the legal and institutional framework for its future participation in the peace-keeping operations and the UN stand-by arrangements system. Currently, the Republic of Moldova is making considerable efforts to prepare its future contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations. In this connection, the Republic of Moldova would appreciate the assistance of the UN Member States in sharing experience, gained in PKOs, and in training of Moldovan peacekeepers.

Mr. President,

While we seek to enhance the United Nations capacity in the areas of conflict prevention and peacekeeping, we must also strengthen the international cooperation for the promotion sustainable development and the elimination of poverty world-wide. Development and poverty elimination are issues of tremendous importance to many Member States, as well to my own country, whose economic development has been gravely affected by the illegitimate actions of an separatist entity as well by some negative consequences generated by the process of globalization.

Since the beginning of this year the world economy have experienced a certain slow down. In the aftermath of 11th September events, this tendency has deepened. Under these circumstances, the problems of both developing countries and countries with economy in transition have become even more acute. We hope very much that the developed countries as well as the relevant international organizations will support in a more substantive way the countries in need. The debt relieve, for instance, will allow those countries to free financial resources and redirect them towards real economy.

The issues related to development and poverty elimination received the highest priority from the Heads of State and Government during the Millennium Summit. Therefore, we do stress the necessity to translate those commitments into effective action. Indeed, none of the millennium development goals can be reached unless significant additional resources are made available. The International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held next year offer a unique opportunity to find the required resources to meet those goals. We hope very much that the outcome of these two significant international events will be successful in this regard.

The Republic of Moldova remains further open for all forms of co-operation and is willing to contribute, as much as possibilities permit, to the achieving of the common goals of the sustainable development and economical stability. We consider that through a comprehensive approach, based on other states experience as well as on the cultural specific character of the country or region, we will be able to identify and apply the best strategy for a sustainable development.

Mr. President,

If the United Nations is to remain relevant and credible, it must maintain a strong commitment to a continuing programme of reform and renewal. The reforms that have been made and implemented in recent years have already helped to strengthen and revitalize the Organization. However, much remain to be done and, in particular, we must to intensify our efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects. The Republic of Moldova believes that this reform should be guided by the principles of equitable geographic representation, democracy, effectiveness, efficiency, transparency. It is on this foundation that we can modernize the composition of the Security Council and bring it into line with the substantial increase in the general membership of the UN. In this context I would like to reiterate the position of my country that the Security Council should be enlarged, both in permanent and non-permanent categories, and that the Eastern European Group should be given one additional nonpermanent membership seat.

Also, our country welcomes the process of revitalization and improvement of the General Assembly's efficiency and, at the same time, supports the efforts to restore the central role of the Assembly as a debating and main representative body of the UN.

Mr. President,

This year, the Republic of Moldova celebrates the tenth anniversary of its independence. During these ten years, as a member state of the United Nations, we have been fully sharing the common values, responsibilities, achievements and setbacks of our Organization. Since then, we also achieved many significant results in our internal development. Much more remains to be done to this end. Nevertheless, we laid down foundations of a democratic society, where the basic human rights and the rights of national minorities are fully respected. The main achievement has been the consolidation of the Republic of Moldova as a peace-loving independent European country.

Mr. President,

The dramatic change of the situation in the international arena in the aftermaths of September 11th tragic events calls for a new vision and a redefinition of the concrete mechanisms for realizing the fundamental objectives of the Organization, which spring essentially, from the founding philosophy of the Charter of the United Nations.

In this respect, the Organization should draw conclusions from its own past and, relying on a permanent support from the States, should accomplish new tasks from the perspective of adapting to the imperatives of time.

I voice our hope that the proceedings of the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session will be conducted in a spirit of solidarity and with a realistic and constructive approach to the complex issues confronting the world at the beginning of this century. The delegation of the Republic of Moldova is committed to contribute, alongside other Member States, to the fulfillment of the lofty goals of the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. President