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Mr. President,


Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor and privilege for me to deliver this statement on behalf of the delegation of His Majesty, King Mswati III.

I bring with me the greetings and warm wishes of His Majesty King Mswati III, Her Majesty The Indlovuhazi, the Government and the entire Swazi nation to all our friends and fellow members of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Swaziland offers her warmest congratulations to you `on your election to the Presidency of the 56th Session of the General Assembly. We are confident that, with your proven abilities and leadership, you will guide us to success in our deliberations at this time of crisis in global affairs.

At the same time, I wish to express our appreciation to the outgoing President, His Excellency Mr. Hard Folkzen of the Republic of Finland, who, by his astute and judicious leadership, brought to a successful conclusion the works of the Fifty-Fifth Session.

The Kingdom of Swaziland would further life to commend the Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan for leading our organization so effectively throughout his tenure thus far. We will depend on his highly developed sense of diplomacy, and his undoubted commitment to achieve global peace, stability and equitable development. The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to both the Secretary-General and the United Nations -attests to the aforementioned attribute.

We are also most grateful for the continuing dedication and hard word? of the staff of the United Nations, whose efforts are needed all the more in these challenging times. In this regard, we call upon all our fellow members to demonstrate their support to the Secretary--General and his staff by honoring their financial obligations, so that our organization can have sufficient resources with which to meet the widening scope of its activities.

Mr. President,

We are meeting one year after the historic gathering of world leaders when the international community sought to redefine and articulate a common vision for the future of all its citizens. The goals to be achieved were clearly set out in the Millennium Declaration as an outcome of the Millennium Summit. Today we have the opportunity indeed, the responsibility to evaluate just how far we have come in that mission which we set for ourselves through this Organization. We need to address honestly our shortcomings in commitment and action and to further device practical and realistic strategies that will result in measurable progress in areas identified for urgent action.

The Kingdom of Swaziland therefore believes that the promotion of sustainable international peace and security must be one of the main priorities for the United Nations, because it is clear that our collective aim of raising the living standard of our peoples is only possible in conditions of global stability and with nations living harmoniously alongside one another.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Swaziland joined the rest of the world in condemnation of the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11th to which the international community must respond because such acts are an assault on human decency and humanity. These acts cannot be justified in any other circumstances. The Kingdom of Swaziland repudiates such acts and aligns itself with all those peace loving people around the world in not only condemning such acts but calls for their eradication. To that end, the Kingdom of Swaziland will do all in her power to prevent acts of terrorism, and to ensure that the support and financing of terrorism cannot take root on Swazi soil.

We once more offer our sympathy and prayers to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Mr. President,

Future global stability is also threatened by the spread of weapons of mass destruction as well as the unabated proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Vigorous and urgent efforts are needed to eliminate these weapons. In this regard, we. welcome the successful conclusion of the two UN Conferences on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty as well as the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects. We deem their outcome as timely and necessary.

Mr. President,

Whilst, much has been done through the process of reform effected by the Secretary-General, it is also recognized that there has been very little progress made so far by the open-ended working group to address the most important aspects of the reform, that is, the restructuring of the Security Council. More intensified efforts should be made to bring to conclusion the deliberations on this issue and we look forward to your leadership, Mr. President, towards advancing negotiations for a lasting solution. The Kingdom of Swaziland is still committed to the process of the reform for the expansion of the Security Council in both categories of its memberships. In that regard, we continue to support the African position for two permanent seats and three non-permanent seats to be allocated to Africa.

The Kingdom of Swaziland believes that the United Nations, in conjunction with regional organizations, must take on a more pro-active role in preventative diplomacy, to head off potentially explosive situations. We need an effective early warning capability to deal with emerging conflict situations, and much closer collaboration between the Security Council and the Office of the Secretary-General, in our efforts to meet security challenges wherever they may occur.

 Mr. President,

At this time, "our organization is understandably focused on global security. The crisis in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a component of the overall challenge and continues to pose a significant threat to security both in the Middle East and wider afield.

The Kingdom of Swaziland believes that the only solution to the continuing instability in that region is through peaceful dialogue, and a return to the spirit of compromise and understanding that has characterized the relationship between the two sides in the past.

We commend the efforts of all who are trying to bring lasting, sustainable peace to the Middle East, and we offer our encouragement and support to the achievement of this goal.

Mr. President,

On the African Continent, security challenges continue to cause suffering and restrict the development of many millions of our people. While this is undeniable, it is also clear that Africa is tabbing on the responsibility herself to find solutions to the crises affecting a number of her nations.

The peace processes in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia/Eritrea and Angola, all have benefited from the involvement of our regional and sub-regional groupings and from the efforts of dedicated African men and women.

The Kingdom of Swaziland supports unequivocally these efforts and we join our fellow African member states in calling for continued and enhanced support for them from the United Nations and individual countries, and for commitments in word to be followed up by action.

Mr. President,

In developmental terms, there is a new wind blowing through all the countries of Africa, bringing fresh hope to our peoples for improved standards of living, and the removal of the burdens of the past.

A series of historic agreements by all African countries indicates a new era of optimism for the continent, as well as the start of a new relationship with the rest of the world. The continent will no longer tolerate the notion of unconstitutional governments, and we have all confirmed our belief that transparency and accountability are the watchwords of governance that places people at the center of development.

We also believe that trade with the rest of the world is the lifeblood of our developing economies, encouraging the creation of businesses, inward and local investment, and increasing employment. We therefore commend those countries and trading blocs that recognize the importance to Africa of freeing up their markets for our goods and services and encourage others to follow suit.

The birth of the African Union is a signal to the rest of the world that Africa means business, and is ready to back up its rhetoric with action. The New Africa Initiative proposes a partnership that is based on support to an Africa that recognizes and accepts its responsibilities, from a world that understands our priorities for development.

We commend the initiative to those who would help Africa to emerge from the disappointments of the past into a prosperous and secure future.

Mr. President,

We are on the edge of a global recession and its effects will be felt hardest amongst those of us in the developing world.

After a decade of encouraging talks of the benefits of globalization, we are discovering the hard truth that we are nowhere near the stage of being able to gain advantage from a world of liberalized trade. This must now surely be plain for anyone to see.

Globalization in its unfettered form is likely to do more harm than good to the small, vulnerable economies unless measures are put in place to protect them in the short to medium term. There must be agreed ground rules to regulate the conduct of free trade in goods and services to ensure an equitable exchange between unequal partners.

Considering the intrinsic links between peace, security and development, the United Nations has an even bigger responsibility to increase its efforts to secure resources to finance development, especially for those of us most at risk in these times of economic uncertainty.

We believe it is the responsibility of the wider international community to continue to provide resources, to assist developing countries to fight their way out of poverty.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Swaziland continues to develop quietly and peacefully, according to the wishes of her people.

Our review of the constitution was completed earlier this year and the recommendations of the people will now be drafted into a legal document for final approval by the nation next year. This vital nation-building process will result in a constitution that is based entirely on the wishes of the people themselves, and we are confident that it will serve the best interests of the Kingdom for many generations to come.

Poverty alleviation remains the top priority for the Kingdom, and we continue to mate great efforts to achieve this aim through a series of economic measures, such as investment attraction, increased trade, and the stimulation of local entrepreneur-ship.

We are embarking on an ambitious program to maximize the potential of our tourism and industry sectors and in this we need the support of the international financial institutions, as well as of the UNDP and her associated agencies.

Mr. President,

Despite our best efforts and in common with all developing countries, the Kingdom is finding progress difficult to achieve in the face of huge obstacles, with the greatest undoubtedly being the threat to our future posed by the HIV/AIDS crisis.

During the UN HIV/AIDS Summit held here in June, we made clear the scale of the disaster facing our nation with an infection rate of around 26%. There is no doubt that the spread of HIV amongst the population represents our greatest development challenge and we are working hard in a combined, national effort to overcome the devastating effects of the pandemic.

But we cannot do this alone. We need substantial support to implement our strategy of education, prevention, care and counseling. Finances, drugs, expertise and guidance are all urgently required.

The very survival of our nation is at stake, and we appeal once more to the United Nations and to the international community at large, to not abandon us at this moment of supreme necessity.

Mr. President,

It could be said that there has been an inauspicious start to the twenty-first century, with the globalization of terrorism and the reality of a global economic recession at the forefront of our minds.

This places all the more responsibility on the United Nations to harness the resources and commitment of the citizens of the world for the benefit of humankind. In this regard, there is a compelling need to include all peoples of the world, as envisaged by our founding fathers and as enshrined in the principle of universality.

Acknowledging the importance of this principle, the Kingdom of Swaziland raises the question of the inclusion once more of the Republic of China on Taiwan in the activities of the United Nations and her associated agencies.

We appeal on behalf of the twenty-three million people of the Republic of China for their right to representation in the United Nations organization. The government and people of the Republic of China have shown themselves to be wholly committed to observing the principles and spirit of the universal declaration of human rights and of the charter of the United Nations. In addition to the peaceful democratic transition that took place last year, the recent admission of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the World Trade Organization attests to the significant contribution the Republic of China has made in international trade and will continue to make.

The Republic of China has shown time and again her willingness to participate in efforts to bring about true global peace, development and security, and her commitment to utilize her resources for the benefit of humankind.

 The Kingdom of Swaziland has been at the forefront of efforts to support the re-admittance of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the United Nations, and our position on this important issue remains unchanged.

We therefore appeal to our fellow members to support the establishment of a working group, to examine in detail the exceptional international situation relating. to the Republic of China on Taiwan, with a view to ensuring that its twenty-three million people can contribute actively to the. international community, through participation in the United Nations and its related agencies.

Mr. President,

At the Millennium Summit, we the members agreed to seize the opportunity to forge a new era of optimism for the world, based on equality, peace and prosperity. That opportunity is fast fading, and we need to re-double our efforts and determination to make that vision a reality.

The Kingdom of Swaziland renews her commitment to the charter and aims of the United Nations and offers to her fellow members the assurances of continued support to all the activities that will help the world to achieve a better future for all her peoples.

Thank you, and May Almighty God bless us all.