H.E. DR. ION BOTNARU
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
57TH SESSION UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 20TH SEPTEMBRE 2002
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Moldova I join other delegations in congratulating you on your election as the President of the 57~" Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to your predecessor Dr. Han Seung-Soo for that competent manner in which he managed this high forum during the dramatic time of the previous session. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the Swiss Confederation as a member of our Family of Nations, which formalizes its long and productive involvement with the United Nations. We look forward to welcoming East Timor as the 191'st Member of the United Nations in the near future.
One year after terrible attacks of September 11 we commemorate the innocent victims of those crimes. As a result of that tragedy the world has changed fundamentally in many ways. The international community agreed to start fighting terrorism in all its forms. The international antiterrorism coalition led by the United States succeeded in significantly undermining the capacity of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and the removal of the Taliban regime, which hosted it. The General Assembly, Security Council had taken prompt actions resulting in the mandatory measures aimed at eliminating all forms and manifestations of terrorism requiring member states to take administrative, financial control, legal and others measures. The immediate, effective and what is even more important - united reaction by the United Nations to a new level of terrorism threat shows the continued importance of our organization, its viability. Once more we realized and capacity of the UN to fulfill successfully its noble mission to unite and mobilize us for this intransigent fight.
The Republic of Moldova supports these actions and reiterates our commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms. My country has been undertaking concrete actions towards the implementation of all UN relevant deciisions and especially the Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1390. First of al, concrete steps have been taking in consolidating our domestic anti-terrorist legislation. Moldova presented to the Counter Terrorism Committee timely two relevant reports. Only months after those tragic events the Moldovan Parliament adopted the "Law on combating terrorism", "Law on preventing and combating money laundering". Relevant modifications were introduced to the Criminal Code. With the recent adhesion to the International Convention for the Suppression of terrorist bombing" and the Convention against taking of Hostages, as well as the ratification of the International Convention for Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, Moldova is about to conclude the process of its accession to those 12 main international instruments related to combating terrorism.
At the same time as a new independent state we asked for expert support in implementing some of these complex measures. Moldova has proved its political will to combat terrorism by also actively participating in the realization of new efforts taken in the framework of many regional and sub-regional organizations, namely OSCE, South- East Europe Stability Pact, South-East Europe Cooperative Initiative, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation, GUUAM, etc.
We call on all member states for new efforts in order to conclude the text of the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism.
The stabilization and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan is a test for the international community and our organization. Considerable progress has been achieved, and we must commend the job done under very difficult conditions by the anti-terrorism coalition, the efforts made by international donors, and foremost the efforts made by the Afghanistan leadership lead by President Hamid K;?rzai. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi repeatedly urged international community to maintain its strong and active support for the Government and people of Afghanistan We share the view, that stability for Afghanistan must be seen through an inclusion of all countries in Central Asia in a broader stabilization process by increasing their support from international financial organizations.
There can be no doubt that there is an urgent need ]"or more substantial efforts to bring an end to the Middle East conflict. Unfortunately, violence persists, taking a huge toll on both sides. This year has been marked by successive terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and disproportionate use of force by Israel on the Palestinians. We support efforts made by the Quartet to get the peace process working again on the basis of relevant UN resolutions in order to achieve the peaceful coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestinian state within secure and internationally recognized borders.
We share the concern expressed here by many previous speakers on the situation around Iraq and call Baghdad to immediately comply fully and promptly with all relevant Security Council Resolutions.
The Republic of Moldova as a country with economy in transition attaches great importance to United Nations agenda for development and, in particular, the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey this year, the Doha Development Agenda, the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development constituted an essential step in the convergence of international efforts in such vital areas as the eradication of poverty and the reversal of environmental and resource degradation.
External debt burden, lack of necessary resources, week financial and banking
system, frequent natural calamities and droughts are undermining most of the
efforts made by our government. Unfortunately, some recommendations implemented
at the request and on insistence of some international financial institutions
proved to be less or even totally ineffective. While accepting its primary responsibility
for the well being of their citizens, many governments in the developing world
are still looking for promised resources.
My country welcomes the coming into force on July 1 of this year of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which inaugurated a new era in the affirmation of fundamental human rights on a world stage. Moldova started preparations in order to join the ICC, which we believe will become an effective, competent and fair legal instrument.
The recent debates in the General Assembly on the "New Partnership for Africa's Development" demonstrated that the world strongly supports the unprecedented integration processes on the African continent. The Republic of Moldova welcomes the creation of the African Union. We share the view that the United Nations, all international community must remain fully engaged in resolving the conflicts that still prevail in many parts of Africa.
Conflict prevention is the central challenge facing the United Nations. The Secretary-General called for our organization to move from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention. Poverty, inequality, injustice are named most frequently as causes of conflicts. Separatism is also one of phenomenon provoking instability and conflicts in many parts of the world. While we are mentioning the improvement of situation in the Balkans, there are still a number of so called "frozen conflicts" in the post soviet area, which creates instability for the whole region. Despite many years of negotiations the separatist regime in Transnistria is continuing to blatantly ignore any efforts made by the Moldovan Government, OSCE, by oppressing the local population and violating elementary human rights. By inventing new obstacles to the process of the withdrawal of foreign ammunitions and weapons, the separatist regime is putting at risk the fulfillment of the Istanbul OSCE Summit decision which was also reaffirmed by the relevant United Nations General Assembly resolution, concerning the withdrawal of all foreign forces and armaments from the territory of the Republic of Moldova by the end of this year.
Another reason for our deep concern refers to the existence of a huge quantity of unregistered arms at the disposal of their paramilitary structures. At the industrial units of the former soviet military complex situated in that region, the separatist authorities produce different types of weapons, which are delivered through third countries to other hot spots, thus assisting terrorist and criminal groups, as well as other separatist regimes.
The considerable changes that occurred recently on the international arena have highlighted the overwhelming role, which has to be played by the UN in order to consolidate democratic values and institutions, to assure the peace and stability. My delegation fully supports the efforts made by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan toward reforming the Organization. Some steps have been taken to revitalize the work of the General Assembly. The reform of the Security Council will make it more equitable and consistent with the expansion of the international community and will better reflect new realities. We support the expansion of permanent and non-permanent members, so as to let those member states, wishing and being able, to better contribute to the maintenance of international peace and stability.
The United Nations has also contributed to the economic and social development of my country. UN agencies and especially UNDP actively participated in the implementation of many important programs, thus helping our young democracy to survive in finding lasting solutions to so many challenges. We commend also the activity of the UNICEF representation in Moldova for helping the newest generation of our citizens to navigate through this difficult period of transition.
In conclusion, Mr. President we would like to take this opportunity to express my government's warmest appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the efforts he exerted in order to maintain peace and security, for his outstanding contribution in promoting and fostering the role of the United Nations. The award of the centennial Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and its Secretary-General was highly appreciated all over the world. In the annual report on the work of the organization the Secretary-General writes: "Developments during the past year have affirmed the Organization's increasing relevance in world affairs; but a review of the work of the Organization is also a reminder that much still needs to be done to achieve the aims and goals of the Charter and the Millennium Declaration".
Let us work even harder in order to ensure that the United Nations is able to meet the challenges of the 21'st century.
Thank you for your attention.