H.E. MR. SLOBODAN CASULE
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
AT THE 57th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
NEW YORK, 17 SEPTEMBER 2002
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to congratulate to you, Your Excellency, on the
assumption of the most prestigious duty of President of the fifty-seventh
session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. My delegation is
fully confident that your skilful leadership will bring success to this
I avail myself of this opportunity to congratulate also the outgoing President,
H.E. Mr. Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea for the tireless efforts
and dedication in performing his duties.
The United Nations community has recently become richer with the admission
in the membership of the Swiss Confederation. Though the valuable contribution
of this country to the United Nations goals was undisputed even before its
formal membership, I congratulate the Swiss Federation on this decision.
We are also looking forward to the imminent membership of East Timor.
The heinous acts of September 11th 2001 which struck New York, Washington
and Pennsylvania have brought the international community to a critical
juncture faced with an ultimate challenge: how to find the way to successfully
cope with the indiscriminate effects and devastating consequences of acts
of international terrorism.
The promptness with which the world reacted and the solidarity expressed,
gathering around the broadest possible coalition ever against terrorism
was an exemplary one. The United Nations took the lead in combating international
terrorism. The Republic of Macedonia, itself a victim of terrorist aggression,
has joined the international coalition and is making its contribution to
Two days ago, on Sunday, 15 September, we had the fourth free, democratic
elections in Macedonia. They marked the progress achieved over the past
year and the fact that they went smoothly, reaffirmed our commitment to
democracy and the rule of law. They also reaffirmed the maturity of Macedonian
society, Government and its citizens, thus once again establishing its position
as an equal and respected member of the European family.
Our elections, as an outstanding democratic achievement are more than proof
that all along Macedonia stood for political and democratic solutions. They
are outstanding example that democracy, elections and political freedom
are the most effective mechanisms for a society and its needs, the most
efficient answer to violence as an instrument for achieving political goals.
Terrorism has more than once proven itself an unworthy ally, more than that,
a dangerous bedfellow, that always as a rule, turns against those that use
it in their pursuit of social change or justice.
Therefore, there must be no double standards when dealing with political
extremism and terrorism because, as we proved it, there is not one issue
that cannot be dealt with politically, better yet, as we have done, through
The obligations contained in the Framework Agreement of 13 August 2001,
the signing of which brought an end to the crisis, have been carried out,
thus confirming the political commitment of the Macedonian Government and
Parliament to implement the Agreement.
The recent history of crises has shown more than ever the importance of
cooperation and solidarity among the countries of our region, as well as
of developing regional collective security mechanisms in the South Eastern
Europe. Macedonia, on its part, is making every effort to give its contribution
to strengthening the cooperation within various regional organizations and
initiatives. Further improvement of good-neighborly relations remains one
of the priorities of the foreign policy of the Republic of Macedonia.
Speaking about Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia, let me once again reiterate our firm
position for the necessity of full implementation of the Security Council
Resolution 1244. The Republic of Macedonia has provided continuous support
to the efforts of the international community since the very beginning,
and has always met the requests of UNMIK and KFOR in regard to the successful
fulfillment of their mandate. We support the UNMIK policy of "benchmarks"
and believe that it will facilitate the building of a democratic, multi-ethnic
society and strengthening of the rule of law in Kosovo.
Let me recall that the Agreement on Delineation and Demarcation of the border
between the Republic of Macedonia and the FRY, whose implementation on the
ground is about to start soon.
At this point, let me stress that the efforts aimed to undermine the validity
of the Agreement as the one we witnessed early this year by the local self-government
and Assembly of Kosovo, should be definitely rejected and nullified. We
support the reaction of the SRSG Steiner and the Security Council in determining
this action null and void.
There are still many challenges ahead of all of us in the region. All our
good will and efforts to provide sustainable stability will not yield results
unless we seriously address the real problems present in the region as a
consequence of 10 years of wars and instability. Organized crime, various
forms of trafficking in drugs, arms, human beings etc, which most often
spur extremism and terrorism, have not been adequately taken into account.
National measures do not suffice to eliminate these phenomena. Strong involvement
and support of the international community is also indispensable.
Let me conclude this part of my statement by informing that the Republic
of Macedonia will once again this year submit a resolution on Maintenance
of international security-goodneighborliness, stability and development
in South-Eastern Europe. The resolution addresses the complexity of the
problems of disarmament, stability and development of this region.
The struggle against terrorism must not defer us from other important issues
on the UN agenda. The Millennium Summit and the Secretary-general's "Road
Map Toward the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration"
go hand in hand in identifying the direction of future United Nations activities
to which we commit ourselves: eradication of poverty, struggle against HIV/AIDS,
conflict prevention, protection of the environment. Indeed, most of the
targets set out in the Millennium Declaration derived from various international
forums and global conferences from the 1990s and before. However, that does
not undermine, in any way, the complexity of identifying and implementing
the appropriate strategies for achieving these goals on different levels.
Globalization remains one of the most important issues on the international
agenda. It is obvious that there are some essential problems that need to
be addressed immediately. In the new millennium, it is crucial for the International
community to address the development agenda in a more comprehensive way,
hand in hand with improving the status of protection and respect of other
fundamental human rights and freedoms. In this context, the implementation
of the goals set at the of the International Conference on Financing for
Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and with the
Summit on Children, the most important United Nations events of this year,
require strong political will and commitment on the part of the member states
in the forthcoming reviewing period.
There is a need to build stronger partnerships with other relevant organizations
beyond the UN System such as WTO, WB, IMF, the business community, NGO's
and others in order to have them closely engaged in the process. The fact
that every fourth Member-State of our Organization is classified as least
developed is certainly of no credit for all of us. That is why this issue
has to be given highest priority.
On disarmament matters, while the United Nations Conference on Small Arms
and the adopted Programme of Action marked a significant first step on global
level towards preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in
small arms and light weapons, we deem there is a need for an enhanced follow-up
process. The problem of small arms and proliferation has been of particular
concern for the Republic of Macedonia and the broader region, especially
after the civil unrest in Albania and the conflict in Kosovo. This poses
a serious threat not only to the security and stability of my country, but
also for the broader region. Therefore, it is necessary to take strong action
to combat the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.
The strengthening of the role and relevance of our Organization should remain
to be one of the topical issues on the United Nations agenda. Additional
efforts should be made in particular to strengthen the United Nations preventive
and peacekeeping capacities.
Of no less importance is making progress on the issues of equitable representation
and reform of the Security Council. We are looking forward to the deliberations
this year within the openended working group hoping to produce meaningful
progress in making the Security Council more representative and more transparent,
while preserving and improving its effectiveness for the maintenance of
international peace and stability.
The Republic of Macedonia has been from the very beginning a strong supporter-
for the establishment of the International Criminal Court and one of the
first sixty states to ratify the Rome Statute, which entered into force
on July 1, 2002. We support the efforts for the ICC to become truly universal,
while believing that the concerns expressed regarding the possibility of
politically 'motivated procession can be addressed in a way that would not
compromise its spirit.
The world today faces new challenges. Undoubtedly the most important of
these is the redefinition of the very essence of international relations.
This effort to instill new values is questioned by regimes and rouge leaders
that belong to the past, that have, as a contradiction to progress, survived.
We are all mesmerized by the development of events surrounding Iraq, and
the Middle East as a whole.
Problems like these demand solutions. Many measures are considered today,
but they must be based on a common conviction that our main task is to construct
a new and better world, and that these extraordinary steps are not our goal.
Therefore, it is the firm conviction of the Republic of Macedonia, that
our most important tool must be dialogue and mutual understanding.
We know this best. The Republic of Macedonia had more than a good reason
to be among the co-sponsoring countries in proclaiming last year, 2001 as
the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, being in the heart of the Balkans
and south-eastern Europe, where over the centuries different cultures and
civilizations left numerous traces and where Christianity and Islam have
struggled for predominance and various ethnicities have interwoven.
As a follow-up and practical contribution towards implementation of the
Plan of Action, the President of the Republic of Macedonia will host in
November of this year, in the UNESCO City of Ohrid, a regional forum on
dialogue among civilizations, a first gathering of this kind in the region
of South-eastern Europe, to be held on the highest level, also with participation
of various NGO's, civil society representatives and intellectuals.
I thank you.