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
Secretary General Kofi Annan,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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