17 September 2002, New York

Mr. President,

Let me first extend my congratulations to Switzerland for its admission as full member of our organization. I am convinced that this country, so attached to its neutrality on the international arena, will bring a precious contribution to our common quest for peace in the world, at a time when it happens to be seriously threatened, notably by international terrorism. So welcome to the Swiss delegation to whom I wish full success in this Assembly.

Equally, our Assembly will soon have to confirm the recognition of the new State of East Timor, as a UN member. We hail the new independence of the Timorese people who chose freely and by exercising their right to self-determination, to become master of their destiny. We congratulate them again to have been able to assert their will, and wish them welcome among us, and a future of progress, prosperity and peace.

Two years ago, in this very place, the historic Millennium Declaration was adopted.

While bringing a collective answer to the challenges faced by the world relating to peace, security, and poverty eradication, the international community has shown a sense of responsibility that appears today as a forewarning if we consider the events that have shaken the world since then.

The tragic events of September eleven, commemorated a few days ago, have stressed the need for a collective response to the global threat of terrorism.

During more than a decade, Algeria had to face, alone, this plague of our times. It is gratified with the growing awareness within the international community and the measures taken to address it.

Algeria strived for the conclusion of conventions to combat terrorism, within each regional African, Arab and Islamic organizations it belongs to. These conventions have greatly contributed to enhancing the legal international framework needed for any efficient action internationally to fight terrorism.

We believe it is urgent to adopt a global convention to combat terrorism, which would constitute the normative framework to which would be added the various cooperation agreements in this field. Such a decision implies that we rise above our divergences on a definition of terrorism, one that would be acceptable for all, and avoid misperceptions we unanimously condemn.

We particularly refuse any association between Islam and terrorist acts, and we can absolutely not equate terrorism with the struggles of peoples deprived of their rights, leading an unequal struggle with the means and weapons available to them.

Mr. President,

Precisely because of the extreme attitudes of the Israeli occupation, the international community has identified the conditions to restore a just and lasting peace in Palestine and the Middle East. These conditions are built on rejecting violence, reviving the negotiation process based on the principle of land for peace, and -as a cardinal point - the realization of the Palestinian people's right to establish a State within recognized and secure borders, and accordingly, two States, the Palestinian and Israeli, living side by side in peace.

The Arab initiative in Beirut has set forth the outline of this settlement, based on international legality and the principle of land for peace.

This opening, welcomed by the UN and the peace process cosponsors, has reinvigorated a dying peace process. Algeria, whose solidarity and support to the Palestinian people in their commendable struggle for freedom and dignity have never failed, is convinced that the only means to restore peace, stability and security in this sensitive part of the world, is to meet the Palestinian's national legitimate rights, including their right to establish an independent State, with EI-Qods, as its capital city, and the total withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories, occupied since 1967.

Mr. President,

In Algeria's nearest neighborhood, in Western Sahara, twenty seven years after the former colonial power had withdrawn, the Sahrawi people are still claiming for their inalienable right to self-determination, in pursuance of Resolution 1514 (XV) and the resolutions that the General Assembly has been adopting and confirming every year since it has called, in 1966, for decolonizing the territory and for the self-determination of its people through a referendum.

The international community can neither remain unconcerned by the fate of these people, nor accept that the full and loyal implementation of the Settlement Plan and the Huston Agreements be constantly postponed.

Algeria, as a neighboring country of the two brotherly peoples, the Moroccan and the Sahrawi, will keep on sparing no effort in favor of international peace, and stability and unity of the sub-region. It has brought full support to the efforts of the Secretary General and his Personal Envoy, as well as its contribution to the settlement of the conflict.

The Western Sahara issue being addressed by the UN, in particular its Security Council, Algeria wishes that its relationships with neighbors would not be jeopardized by this dispute, and that the Maghreb Union resumes its activities and develops a confidence-based and fruitful cooperation among all member States.

Mr. President,

The present session is held at a time when globalization is accelerating, helped by the revolution of information and communication technologies. Yet, it still arouses questions on its advantages, the challenges it poses and the risks of marginalization and exclusion it constitutes for the developing countries, particularly for Africa.

The present session has also a particular character as it is the continuation of international conference on financing for development, and the World Summit on sustainable Development, which constituted two decisive steps for the future of international cooperation in favor of sustainable, balanced and equitable development.

While the process launched in Monterrey has identified the thrusts of intervention to mobilize funds and enhance financial and technical cooperation for development, the Johannesburg Summit has targeted the priorities in view of combating poverty, ensuring development sustainability, and international cooperation.

The right to development must be our main concern, and our endeavors should aim to strengthening international cooperation, by promoting manifold and renovated partnerships between the north and the south, based on the sharing of responsibilities and advantages.

In this respect, I would like to mention the recent conclusion of the Association Agreement between Algeria and the European Union. This constitutes a basis for the launching of a genuine mutually beneficial partnership.

The optimal internationalization of FDI, the significant increase in ODA, the management of the heavy burden of indebtedness, the opening of markets to the products of southern countries, as well as the reform of the international financial architecture to enable a greater participation of developing countries, obviously remain the majors concerns of the latter. These are matters to which we should make it a duty to find solutions as soon as possible.

Given the serious crises repeatedly shaking the world, the establishment of a more equitable international economic and trade order has become indispensable, and requires a firmer political will from the international community.

The outcome of the WTO Conference in Doha offers the opportunity to set up a more open and transparent multilateral trade system, which will help increasing the developing countries' share in international trade.

Moreover, I would like to commend the bilateral and multilateral initiatives taken in favor of the developing countries, the LDCs, in particular, and make the wish that such initiatives be followed by other concrete actions, so that international solidarity and sustained efforts towards building a humanized world, free of the germs of instability and violence, become fully momentous.

Mr. President,

The changes occurring at unprecedented speed in the world bear to a large extent uncertainties about the future of mankind. To face theses dangers, a clear tendency towards international solidarity has taken shape, not only in combating terrorism, but also in fighting poverty and preserving our environment. The major role of the UN is now obvious as regards the settlement of the problems encountered by all our peoples. In an endangered world, the UN has proved to be irreplaceable as it is the symbol of our common commitment to struggling for mankind's survival.

The UN achievements are impressive, be it for promoting peace and security, economic cooperation, social progress, humanitarian action, or developing international law.

These achievements made despite difficult times and the lack of means are an indication of the system's potentials provided that all Member States fully support its required enhancement.

The efforts aiming at rationalizing the UN activities, improving coordination and coherence of the system's action, give fair promise of greater credibility and efficiency.

Let me pay tribute to the Secretary General's leadership, in this endeavor that will bring about a stronger commitment from the States and boost the Organization's resources.

Strengthening the UN credibility and efficiency also implies adapting its structures so as to better reflect the new aspect of the international society, and adjusting its missions in order to address all the challenges posed to mankind.

The world of the new millennium cannot do without the United Nations. An organization meeting the requirements born of today's far-reaching changes is an indispensable tool in favor of global lasting peace and sustainable development.

I thank you.