BOTSWANA

STATEMENT
BY
HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA

AT THE FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK- 17 SEPTEMBER, 2002


Mr. President,
Secretary General Kofi Annan,
Distinguished delegates,

1. Mr. President, let me begin by stating that our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the United States of America as they commemorate the first anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington. The events of that day compel us to unite and adopt effective measures to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.

2. I take this opportunity to reaffirm Botswana's strong support for the work of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) established to monitor the effective implementation of Security Council Resolution 1373(2001). The international community must maintain its unity and remain vigilant to ensure that such acts of terror never happen again.

3. Mr. President, it is my pleasure to extend to you and your country, the Czech Republic, the warm congratulations of Botswana on your election to the Presidency of the Fifty-seventh Session of the General Assembly, and to wish you a successful term. I assure you of the full co-operation of my delegation.

4. I also wish to pay tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Han Seung-Soo of the Republic of Korea for the skilful manner in which he conducted the work of the fifty-sixth Session.

5. Let me place on record that we appreciate the good work which our Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, is doing to reform UN Funds and programmes. The reform process is contributing to the strengthening of the capacity of these bodies to deliver assistance to Member States in a more coherent and efficient manner.

6. Mr. President, I join others in congratulating and welcoming into the United Nations family two new Member States East, Timor and Switzerland.

7. In East Timor the United Nations demonstrated its commitment to the Principles and Purposes of the Charter by playing a pivotal and decisive role in ensuring that the people of East Timor can, at long last, exercise their right to national selfdetermination.

8. I am also delighted that Switzerland has now taken its rightful place in this world body. The United Nations has indeed been strengthened and its universal character has undoubtedly been enhanced.

9. Mr. President, we live in a world of diverse cultures and traditions. And yet we are united by our common humanity. There is no alternative to coming together to address the many dangers that threaten humanity. No one country can hope to successfully confront these global challenges on its own, be they under development, poverty and insecurity or the threat to peace.

10. These are challenges that require global solutions and the participation of all global stakeholders to confront them. It is for these reasons that the United Nations remains an important unifying institution for all of humanity. It is the only institution that can play the important role of fostering partnership, co-operation and multilateralism.

11. As nations, especially small states, we have high expectations of what multilateral co-operation can do for us, and how it can change for the better the lives and destiny of the peoples of the United Nations. In this regard, we cannot fail to speak about the varied and complex challenges developing countries continue to face, particularly the continent of Africa. Despite consistent efforts in the past to assist Africa, there are still widening disparities in development between the continent and the rest of the world.

12. Africa continues to experience high level of poverty, which is aggravated by, among other things, the unfavourable global economic environment and conflicts. These challenges are further compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

13. Mr. President let me hasten to state that to acknowledge the existence of problems does not mean that the future is entirely bleak. There are positive developments that give reason for hope for the realisation of the aspirations of our people.

14. Africa has committed herself to creating an environment conducive to economic growth and development. We have taken concrete steps to ensure that Africa is united and better prepared to face up to its problems.

15. We have taken the first step in a broad and comprehensive process to bring our countries together through the establishment of the African Union. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) which was considered by this Assembly this week, is one of the major initiatives of the African Union.

16. Botswana is convinced that NEPAD provides a sound basis for building real partnerships within the continent as well as with the rest of the international community.

17. Mr. President, it is important to reiterate Africa's deep appreciation of the support and assistance that we have received and continue to receive from the international community. We particularly welcome the resolution that has just been adopted by the General Assembly mandating the United Nations Funds and Programmes to support the implementation of NEPAD.

18. Botswana is also happy with the decision of the G8 Countries to join hands with us to ensure the success of this initiative. We stand ready to make our contribution so that the noble objectives of NEPAD can be attained.

19. Mr. President, central to the achievement of Africa's development objectives is a commitment by the international community to implement the decisions of the UN world conferences. We need to work assiduously to implement the Monterrey Consensus which identifies sources that can be used to finance the development goals that we have set ourselves. Potential sources include; the mobilisation of domestic resources; the mobilisation of external resources including foreign direct investment; increased financial and technical co-operation; and the resolution of the debt crisis.

20. The Monterrey Consensus also recognises trade as an engine of growth and development. The international community therefore has a responsibility to ensure that developing countries can participate in world trade. In this regard, we view partnership agreements such as the Cotounou Agreement and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA I and II) as important steps towards fulfilling some of the objectives of the Monterrey Consensus.

21. Mr. President, HIV/AIDS remains, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to economic and social progress in the world. Its devastating impact on the African continent is well documented. There is no doubt that no one country has the capacity to deal with the problems associated with this epidemic on its own. If we are to conquer it, we will need a strategy that combines efforts on a broad front.

22. Botswana is immensely grateful for the support she has received from the United Nations and other co-operating partners in her efforts to fight the epidemic. I also wish to commend the Secretary General for his tireless efforts in mobilising the international community to support our efforts. I am sure that with the help of the international community, we will still be standing when the dust settles.

23. Mr. President, Botswana is pleased to note the commendable efforts that the United Nations continues to make in the maintenance of peace and security in various parts of the world.

24. With the continued assistance of the United Nations and the rest of the international community we have reason to be optimistic and hope that the Continent of Africa will soon find peace.

25. We have closely followed the Organisation's initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in areas of disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of the former combatants into civil society.

26. We welcome the ongoing consultations between the various parties to the conflict. We are anxious, however, to see full fledged negotiations that can lead to a lasting political settlement. The people of the DRC yearn for peace, national reconciliation as well as the social and economic development of their country.

27. We therefore call upon all parties to demonstrate greater determination and a sense of urgency in the search for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in that country. Peace in the DRC is possible and necessary, but in the final analysis, it depends on the political will of the signatories to the Lusaka Peace Agreement.

28. Mr. President, I wish to salute the efforts and indomitable spirit of my immediate predecessor, Sir Ketumile Masire. He has been tireless and unwavering in his mission of facilitating the InterCongolese Dialogue.

29. I also wish to place on record Botswana's appreciation of the efforts and determination of President Mbeki of South Africa. He has invested substantial time, energy and resources to find solutions to the conflict in the DRC.

30. Mr. President, Botswana welcomes and commends the historic step taken by the Government of Angola and UNITA in signing the Memorandum of Understanding on 4t" April 2002 as an Addendum to the Lusaka Protocol. The people of Angola have opted for peace. They expect the international community to help them consolidate this peace. Let us not fail them. They have suffered enough.

31. Mr. President, conflicts and instability in other parts of the world such as the Middle East and Afghanistan are of serious concern to us. We look to the international community within the framework of the United Nations to play a greater role in the peaceful resolution of these conflicts.

32. Mr. President, let me conclude by reiterating Botswana's continued support for the United Nations and express my delegation's appreciation to the U.N. Secretary General whose visionary leadership has continued to guide our Organisation.

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