MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EDUCATION
OF THE FEDERATION OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
15 SEPTEMBER 2002, NEW YORK
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Allow me first to salute fellow leaders whose tireless work and timeless commitment within and beyond the halls of the United Nations, help to shape a more secure world for our peoples. Improving the human condition is a charge to which we must remain resolute. This we can achieve only through meaningful partnership.
2. Mr. President, last year's efforts and the promise of community building should not be excluded from this year's agenda. To build community partnership is crucial; but more importantly we need equity. To fulfill expectations of a better world, and to extract the lauded benefits of globalization, much harder work is required to reduce the gap between rich and poor nations and the haves and havenots in our societies.
3. How can we explain the excruciating truths of a global market place where countries which are technologically-deficient and heavily dependent on agriculture for their survival are encouraged and even coerced into opening their economies and to embrace free trade while larger and richer economies systematically subsidize their domestic agricultural output, mostly for political reasons, at a rate of between 22 to 60 percent annually. Mr. President, your mandate this year, a very critical one, will be to ensure that the peoples of the world who suffer as a result of this inequity, can truly renew their faith in us and believe again in the values of the United Nations.
4. My delegation has said repeatedly that globalization is not a bad thing. However, it continues to be managed badly. We insist that the current structure of the global economy is inherently flawed. It serves to reward the powerful and punish the weak. While we appreciate that our world is undergoing profound and necessary changes, we cannot countenance abandoning the principles and values that bind us within the human family and the family of nations.
5. Globalization must include true universal equity in its application of shared responsibility and good governance. The selective processes by which the agendas of the powerful few are advanced to the exclusion of the small, poor, and economically vulnerable states must be addressed with a willingness to correct it. My delegation firmly believes that the United Nations is uniquely positioned to respond to this challenge. Hence, my government questions attempts to transform certain United Nations organs such as UNDP into advisory bodies, and away from development assistance, which poor developing countries need now more than ever.
6. The United Nations must evolve as a dynamic, receptive and representative body to stem the tides that threaten us. It must build or strengthen social safety nets in many developing nations not oversee processes geared at dismantling them. We must recommit to improve lives and to reenergize our fight against poverty, hunger and ignorance. The United Nations has a significant role to play in this endeavor. Improved coordination of United Nations agencies is critical in achieving these objectives.
7. Mr. President, my delegation hopes and urges member states to pledge their support to making sure that the three conferences sponsored by the United Nations this year, Financing for Development, the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Summit on Sustainable Development bear fruit. We remain hopeful that continued dialogue, partnership and the instrumentality of the United Nations would enable us to make meaningful progress.
8. Mr. President, a year has passed since the barbaric acts of September 11. The foundations of our worldviews have changed dramatically as has the way we look at ourselves and our commitment to personal, national and international security. Again, St. Kitts and Nevis unreservedly denounces any act of terrorism anywhere in the world. We do not believe that the indiscriminate killing of innocent people as an expression of despair or oppression is an acceptable means of redress. We value highly the sanctity of life and my government is committed to its protection. We will work together in the United Nations to find international solutions to address this outrage. Let us ensure that the continuing war against terrorism is waged within the structures of international institutions such as the United Nations.
10. Year after year, we call on the international community to join our noble campaign to halt the transshipment of nuclear wastes through our region; but this call goes unheeded. I reiterate our appeal today.
11. Mr. President, representation is crucial to the peoples of the world, and as my delegation has done in the past, I wish to reemphasize the status of the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Membership in this organization is in itself a validation and celebration of a people's fundamental human rights. We lament the continued stalemate that results in the exclusion of the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan from the United Nations Family. The contribution of the twentythree million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the global market, to the international community in the areas of technology, technical assistance, and development assistance is unmistakably significant. Its participation in international activities can rival and in many instances, surpasses that of many developed countries who are full members of the United Nations. It is unfortunate and most regrettable that the United Nations has been unable to create a meaningful and practical formula that would allow the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to resolve this impasse that belie the genuine hopes and desires of millions of people who adhere to the principles of the United Nations Charter and whose nation is a model international citizen.
12. We have witnessed how involvement by the international community can facilitate positive developments such as the emergence of nationhood. On behalf of my government and in my own name, I welcome East Timor to the United Nations family. I salute you and your great leaders and pledge my government's support in working with you in the years ahead on issues of mutual interest and of interest to the international fraternity of nations. I also extend the hand of welcome and friendship to the government and people of Switzerland. You have observed the United Nations for many years so you are not a stranger to its proceedings. The organization will benefit greatly from your participation and St. Kitts and Nevis looks forward to collaborating with you in the future.
13. Mr. President, the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region is a real and growing threat to our security on a number of levels. In human terms, it threatens to devastate families and create a generation of orphans. On an economic level, it places a tremendous burden on the health resources of our countries, and has already begun to undermine the economic infrastructure of our countries. The most productive and able-bodied are at risk and those infected with the disease are less and less able to contribute to the economic activity and growth of their countries. Instead they require medical and financial support. Resources earmarked for other areas have to be redeployed to address the new pandemic.
14. It is clear that pharmaceuticals and governments who support them can do much more to reduce the cost of antiretroviral drugs. Private sector companies must also do more to assist employees and families suffering from HIV/AIDS. It is regrettable that the $10 billion required by the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are yet to be realized.
15.In conclusion, Mr. President, St. Kitts and Nevis repeats its call for new paradigms to redress the inequities of globalization. We urge the international community to develop appropriate frameworks to promote fundamental freedoms, not only in terms of political rights to self-expression and the right to vote, but also human rights to economic development as a comprehensive whole. Only when we respond to the genuine needs of humankind; only when the hungry are fed; the vulnerable made strong, the weak, dispossessed, disenfranchised and the oppressed are empowered, and feel a sense of belonging and are free to participate fully in issues about their future; can we have a world where anarchy, terrorism, interstate conflicts and war recede. What we ask for is attainable. We simply call on the United Nations to facilitate systems where partnership, collective responsibility and respect for each other are allowed to flourish. This is possible once states realize that national policies in a global economy have international consequences. Politics may still be local, but when we take action locally, we must remember that we are also global citizens. Thus, a principal goal of globalization should be to level the playing field to provide equal opportunity. Strategies, as a consequence, should reflect confidence - building measures for free trade and sustainable development.
I thank you.