MR. ANATOLIY ZLENKO,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF UKRAINE,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 57TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
14 SEPTEMBER 2002 NEW YORK
It is a great honour and pleasure to congratulate you, the representative
of the Group of Eastern European States, on your election to the high post
of the President of the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
On behalf of the delegation of Ukraine let me wish you success and assure
of our support.
I would like to address the words of respect and gratitude to your predecessor,
H.E. Mr. Han Seung-soo, and to pay tribute to his confident and fruitful
efforts at the helm of one of the most dramatic sessions of the General
I would like to take this opportunity to convey cordial congratulations
to a new welcome member of the United Nations, the Swiss Confederation.
We look forward to having the Democratic Republic of East Timor as a member
of the United Nations shortly.
We consider joining the United Nations by these states a truly historic
event, which testifies to the viability of our great family of nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The first days of the 57th session of the General Assembly began with the
commemoration of the victims of the horrible terrorist acts of September
During the past year not once we reflected whether these events would rest
as tragic moments in history, or would they prove to be a turning point.
We have been searching for the answer to the question, which represents
the most difficult challenge to the humankind.
How to save the fundamental and inalienable right of every person - the
right to life?
For Ukraine the notions of terror and terrorism are not just words.
For decades the Ukrainian people lived under oppression of terror, which
was raised to the rank of state policy.
Next year Ukraine will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the induced
famine, which in 1932-33 took lives of over 7 million Ukrainians. This most
tragic event in our modern history, caused by the totalitarian regime, was
a brutal act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
At that time the world failed to respond to our tragedy.
Nor did it recognize early enough the face of fascism, when certain politicians
and states thought that this evil would bypass them.
The consequences of such inaction turned out to be enormous.
Today, at the beginning of a new millennium, I am confident that each of
us would like to rely upon the encouraging impulse of changes, which took
place on the international arena.
To rely upon this unifying force, with which the world responded to the
events of September 11.
In the face of the challenge of terrorism the international community demonstrated
its determination and resolve.
Tangible results have been achieved by the antiterrorism coalition.
We regard the fight against terrorism as one of the aspects of a broad and
long-term process - a comprehensive international action, aimed at abolishing
the philosophy of hatred and intolerance, which is exacerbated by conflicts
in various regions of the world.
The need for a new philosophy is particularly acute on the security front.
Success of the international presence in Afghanistan, completion of the
peace-keeping mission in East Timor, normalization in the Balkans evolve
alongside the dramatic developments in the Middle East, the so-called "frozen
conflicts" in the post-Soviet space, which remain unresolved, persistent
security problems in Africa.
In this context, the United Nations has no right to limit itself to passive
observation and uninvolved analysis.
At the Millennium Summit the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma put forward
an initiative on developing a comprehensive strategy of the United Nations
for conflict prevention. We hope that ongoing discussions in the United
Nations on the recommendations made by the Secretary-General on this issue
will contribute to bringing a real shift from the culture of reaction to
the culture of prevention.
The United Nations is capable of utilizing its consolidating force in the
strengthening of the legal basis of international relations. We highly value
the contribution of the United Nations to this process, which brought into
force the Rome Statute and led to the establishment of the International
Criminal Court. This mechanism of international justice was designed to
protect and strengthen the principle of supremacy of law, to eliminate impunity
and to provide accountability for the commission of such serious criminal
acts as aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and military crimes.
Today it is highly important to ensure the effectiveness of the Court and
to preserve the integrity of its Statute.
Another priority task in this sphere is to conclude the elaboration of the
comprehensive convention on international terrorism. This year Ukraine became
a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist
Bombings and the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. Upon
the completion of relevant domestic procedures on the International Convention
for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, Ukraine will be a party
to all 12 universal instruments against terrorism.
A number of tasks facing the international community in the social and economic
spheres are defining the further role of the United Nations as a unique
forum for dialogue between developed countries, countries with economies
in transition and developing nations.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council has a special role to play
in this process. As a member of ECOSOC, Ukraine favours the need for advancing
the reform of the Council and for the strengthening of its coordinating
This process would, inter alia, significantly strengthen the potential of
the Organization in ensuring consistent and effective implementation of
the provisions of the Millennium Declaration, Monterrey Consensus and the
outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit.
For what can unite us more than the vital need for establishing effective
mechanisms to ensure sustainable development of the humankind in the twenty-first
The right to life is inconceivable without the right and opportunity to
live in dignity.
The Johannesburg Political Declaration and the Plan of Action outlined those
concrete directions, where the efforts of the world can be united today
for the improvement of living standards and social conditions of life, for
the protection of environment and for ensuring economic development of developing
When evaluating the outcomes of the Johannesburg, once again we come to
a simple truth: he who doesn't wait but seeks real opportunities, reaches
Ukraine was guided by this principle when it offered its initiatives at
the Earth Summit, which, "in our view, can bring practical and stimulating
The President of Ukraine proposed to elaborate innovative mechanisms of
financial stimulation of developing countries and countries with economies
in transition, in particular through the debt-for-sustainable-development
In our view, such step would make a positive impact on the rates of economic
growth and ecological development of nations.
It will become one of those concrete and realistic measures, which should
help our Organization to address most vital problems.
On 31 December 2001 Ukraine concluded its two-year term of membership in
the Security Council. As a member of the Council our country strived to
make its practical contribution to finding solution to critical security
problems in many regions of today's world.
It remains our country's position of principle that the Security Council
is the only legitimate organ that has the right to decide on the use of
force in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
At the same time we consistently stand for increased transparency of the
Council's work and hope that the advancement of its internal changes will
allow to start the process of comprehensive and long-awaited reform.
Making significant contribution to the peacekeeping activities of the Organization
will continue to be an important element for Ukraine's participation in
the United Nations efforts in the sphere of peace and security.
We believe that the key role, which is played by the United Nations peacekeeping
operations in the world, and personal contribution of each peacekeeper deserve
adequate recognition by the international community.
I am confident that everybody present in this hall will share this view.
At the current session of the General Assembly Ukraine will present a draft
resolution proposing annual observance of the International Day of United
Nations Peacekeepers as a way to pay tribute to the memory of fallen peacekeepers
and to honour the participants of ongoing and past missions. We hope that
it will be unanimously supported.
Thus, the first celebration of the Day of Peacekeepers will take place next
year, which will mark the 55th anniversary of the deployment of the first
United Nations peacekeeping operation.
Ukraine views positively the advancement of stabilization process in the
Balkans, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (Federal Republic
Adhering to a consistent position concerning the territorial integrity and
inviolability of borders of the Balkan States, Ukraine fully supports active
involvement of the European actors in an effort to further normalize security
situation in the region, which will facilitate the advancement of those
states towards European integration.
In contrast to a promising assessment of the situation in the Balkans, we
are compelled to voice our regret over the absence of progress in the settlement
of other problems, which are of particular interest for Ukraine.
Among them is the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.
The absence of confidence between the Georgian and the Abkhaz sides stands
on the way to a renewal of political dialogue. As a host country to the
Third meeting of the sides on confidencebuilding measures, which was held
in Yalta in March 2001, Ukraine stands ready to make practical steps in
cooperation with the United Nations and interested states in order to renew
"the spirit" of Yalta.
Speaking about the situation in Georgia, I cannot but mention that Ukraine
is deeply concerned over the situation related to the developments in the
Pankisi Valley and the rise in tensions in the relations between Tbilisi
Ukraine believes that the existing misunderstandings have to be resolved
only through peaceful means in compliance with the norms and principles
of the international law.
We call upon the parties to employ all political and diplomatic mechanisms
to arrive at a mutual understanding and to take all opportunities to achieve
detent in the current situation.
Ukraine unconditionally supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity
The situation in the Middle East also remains a source of deep concern for
Ukraine. It is quite obvious today that the parties have got stuck in the
circle of violence that contradicts true aspirations of both peoples and
breeds yet ever more hatred and desperation.
We fully support the efforts of the international community, first of all
of the "Quartet" and the countries of the region aimed at assisting
the parties to find peaceful ways of settlement of the conflict and to bring
to fruition in three years the "vision" of coexistence of two
states, Israel and Palestine, in security and within the limits of internationally
Ukraine, for its part, strives to contribute in every possible way to a
peaceful settlement. In April this year during his visit to the region President
Leonid Kuchma presented "Ukrainian proposals in the framework of international
diplomatic efforts aimed at peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict"
(A/57/69-S/2002/481)), which envisage a range of parallel steps in security,
economic and political spheres.
There is no alternative to commencement of peace negotiations between the
parties on the establishment of the Palestinian State, ending the occupation
and finding solution to the issues of borders, status of Jerusalem and refugees.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to confirm the readiness of Ukraine
to offer a venue on its territory and provide all appropriate conditions
for the conduct of such talks.
The achievement of final, just and durable peace in the Middle East is not
possible without the resumption of peace negotiations at the Israeli-Syrian
and Israeli-Lebanese tracks.
The development of the situation concerning Iraq cannot but cause serious
We rely on the United Nations potential in solving this problem.
The resolutions of the Security Council should be implemented in full.
We expect that the new round of negotiations between the United Nations
and Iraq will help to find ways to resolve this issue.
Today the world observes with hope the unprecedented integration processes
on the African continent. We hope that the birth of the African Union will
strengthen the spirit of African brotherhood and unity in responding to
the numerous challenges that confront the continent - armed conflicts, poverty
and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Ukraine welcomes the establishment of the pan-African Union and its far-reaching
plans of revival of the continent. We hope that "New Partnership for
Africa's Development" (NEPAD) will unite the nations of the world for
global partnership in support of peace, stability and development on the
The year 2002 marked important peaceful changes in Africa and brought new
hope for the establishment of lasting peace in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and
Eritrea and for the settlement of conflicts in Angola and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. However, despite these positive developments the
continent continues to suffer from armed violence, ethnic intolerance and
On its part Ukraine is ready to further continue and strengthen cooperation
and expand economic ties with countries of the united Africa, including
in the framework of a new global partnership for the development of the
Ensuring proper implementation of the principles of supremacy of law, creation
of conditions for economic growth and effective functioning of the institute
of the open society are the goals that remain fundamental in the national
policy of Ukraine, which is aimed at systematic advancement on the course
towards European and Euroatlantic integration.
It is through the prism of European integration that Ukraine views the processes
of implementation of domestic reforms and its foreign political activity.
The President of Ukraine has launched a program of political reforms to
ensure a transition to the parliamentary-presidential form of governance.
This process should bring about further democratization of the society and
lead to the consolidation of all domestic resources in order to achieve
European standards and strengthen concord in the Ukrainian society.
Our determined strategic goal is to become a member of the European Union
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which should finally ensure
indivisibility of the European political, economic and security space.
This course is meant to become a pillar of political stability, economic
prosperity and cultural renaissance of our country.
I cannot but mention in this statement a tragic problem for Ukraine, which
is related to the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
Ever more often the word "Chernobyl" is associated in the world
with a thing of the past, while for millions of Ukrainians it remains a
difficult reality of everyday life.
Our country has to address virtually on its own a complex set of technological,
social and economic problems, connected with the mitigation of the consequences
of the disaster, as well as with the closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power
plant in 2000.
We expect that our efforts will be supported by concrete actions on the
part of the international community, in particular, within the implementation
of the new United Nations strategy for addressing the consequences of the
In its turn, Ukraine is ready to offer to the humanity its own experience,
which was accumulated during the years of the mitigation of the consequences
of the Chernobyl catastrophe. In particular, our country is prepared to
provide assistance in utilizing the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the
surrounding territory as a testing ground for an international scientific
research center to work out technologies for the improvement of nuclear
safety, for mitigation of the consequences of accidents at nuclear facilities
as well as for rehabilitation of the environment.
Putting forward this proposal, we rely on the international support of our
aspiration to become a member of the United Nations Scientific Committee
on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, and hope that the unique experience
of Ukraine and its scientific and intellectual potential will be adequately
utilized in its work.
Guided by the aspiration to achieve practical results, we are also determined
to solve a broad range of other problems, which take an important place
on the agenda of our world forum. Undoubtedly, the fight against the HIV/AIDS
pandemic is one of the most challenging of them.
I would like to inform you that a regional conference for the countries
of Eastern Europe and Central Asia will be held in Ukraine in November this
year with the support of the United Nations and other international partners.
I take this opportunity to reaffirm our readiness to continue to make active
contribution to the consolidation of international efforts in the fight
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that a year after the American tragedy of September II each
of us realizes particular significance of the tasks facing the United Nations.
Looking forward to the new changes, we hope that in the cause of the protection
of civilization's values we will be guided by our wisdom, which will allow us
to avoid dramatic scenarios and protect the rights of every inhabitant of the
planet, every new individual who is coming to this world at these minutes of our
Thank you for your attention.