Statement by
H.E. Dr. Per Stig Moller
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark

24 September

Mr. President,

At the outset of my intervention I wish to express the most sincere condolences on behalf of Denmark to the United Nations and the families of Sergio Vieira de Mello and all those who so tragically lost their lives in Baghdad five weeks ago. I also wish to pay tribute to the Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. She was taken away in an evil act beyond comprehension, while carrying out her great task. We will all miss Anna.

Mr. President,

Today we need the UN more than ever. We need the UN to provide a more secure world, to fight international terrorism, to resolve conflicts and to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We need the UN in ensuring fundamental human rights for all people. We need the UN to establish, implement and develop an international legal order based on the rule of law. And we need the UN in our combat against poverty and in securing sustainable economic growth.

Iraq has been a key challenge for the Security Council. A united Council provided the UN with a mandate to assist the people of Iraq in a wide range of areas, including facilitating and supporting the political process. Iraq, the UN and the international community as a whole suffered a tragic loss in the recent attacks. But it should not make us waver in our determination to continue working for a better future for Iraq. These evil attacks must not inspire other terrorists to threaten the UN's presence in Iraq. Sovereignty should be transferred to the Iraqis as quickly as possible, but the international military presence must be maintained until security is fully restored. And the UN's role and presence in this process must be strengthened.

Immense challenges lie ahead of us. Our goal is to ensure that the 21St century becomes the century where each and everyone live in peace, stability and with growing prosperity. A century where freedom, respect for the individual, for human rights and democracy become daily realities and not just abstract ideas for billions of people.

Mr. President,

Seen over time, the UN has a strong scorecard. We have managed to transform the paralyzed Cold War-organization into a key forum for international discussions and decisions in all fields.

Let me highlight three areas, where the UN could be even stronger:
First, the UN is at the forefront in the fight against poverty.

By agreeing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we have set ourselves measurable targets, by which we must all stand and be counted.

In Monterrey and Johannesburg the developing countries acknowledged responsibility for their own development, based on good governance, democrary and the rule of law.

Especially the African efforts must be highlighted and supported. Every individual on the African continent must feel the urgency of our collective efforts to improve their living conditions. Only then can the tide be turned on a continent that has been lagging behind for too long.

Denmark's commitment to development speaks for itself. Be it in terms of development assistance or be it in relation to trade liberalization. Especially to the benefit of the developing countries. Therefore the lack of results in Cancun was a disappointment. We needed results - for the developing world and for the global economy. We did not achieve it in Cancun. But Denmark will certainly work hard for results in the future - not least for the developing world.

Denmark supports a high level event in 2005 focusing on the commitments made in the Millenium Declaration in order to give new energy to the implementation of all the Millenium Goals. Denmark stands ready to account in full her efforts to achieve the Goals, including in the fields of trade and development assistance.

Second, the UN is essential for the establishment, implementation and development of an international legal order based on the rule of law.

The United Nations was created with a strong purpose and a great vision. The concepts and values of the Charter, of international peace and stability based on equality among nations and respect for their sovereignty is universal.

The strength of our values and principles must be measured by our ability to apply them to the realities around us. We must be ready to adapt our collective actions to the needs of the world.

Testifying to this is the immense work done in the fields of human rights, the rights of women and children, including the right to reproductive health care and services, the struggle against terrorism, and the efforts to control nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Furthermore, the establishment of the International Criminal Court is the single most important step in the modern history of international criminal law. It sends a strong signal that the international community will no longer tolerate that the most serious international crimes remain unpunished.

Denmark firmly believes that a democratic society based on the rule of law is the best guarantee for stable development. Both in terms of upholding fundamental freedoms and furthering social justice. Human rights are universal and must be applied by all states. It is imperative that all states are committed to co-operate constructively with the United Nations human rights mechanisms and overcome traditional attitudes of State sovereignty.

Third, the UN is at the core of the efforts to tackle old and new security challenges.

The Security Council has successfully taken on international terrorism and should continue to focus on how to deal with weapons of mass destruction.

Another pressing issue is how to prevent the breakdown of societies and address the root causes of conflicts. And if prevention is unsuccessful, how to deal with the breakdown of social order. A strategic vision on how to deal with the new challenges is urgently needed.

The Security Council still reflects the power structures that existed at the end of the Second World War. Consequently, a comprehensive reform is needed to make the Council more representative and at the same time safeguard the efficiency of the decision-making process. It is of equal importance that the Security Council ensures compliance with its resolutions.

The process towards more targeted and "smart" sanctions should be continued. We must ensure that the sanction regimes clearly monitor whether the targeted objects are in compliance with the aims pursued by the sanctions. Assistance to Member States in implementing sanctions should also be considered. Accompanying resolutions with incentives or carrot-and­stick-measures could be another option.

We would also welcome a strengthening of the division of labor and cooperation with regional and sub regional organizations. Over the past fifty years we have been building strong regional institutions to overcome our divisions and manage our problems.

With the NEPAD-initiative and ECOWAS' rapid intervention in Liberia, the recent developments in Africa are very encouraging in this regard as well. To further this development, we must all continue and expand our political and financial support to the strong and progressive African leadership.

Mr. President,

Denmark has over the years been active in world affairs and a strong supporter of the UN. We will continue to focus on areas where we can contribute to make the world a better place to live in. Denmark is therefore seeking to become a member of the Security Council 2005-2006.

If we become a member of the Security Council, we will work to further develop the efficiency and impact of the Security Council. We will work for increased synergy between military, political, humanitarian and developmental aspects of conflict management. We hope we can make a special contribution towards solving the different conflicts, which are still not settled around the world. And we will do our utmost to prevent new conflicts from arising.

Our aim will be to continue to build bridges between the multiple interests among the Members of the UN.

Mr. President,

Underpinning our vision of a strong UN for the 21St Century is the need to strengthen and reform our organization at all levels and in all its aspects. We express strong support for the Secretary-General and his persistent efforts in this regard. And we hope the Secretary-General's High Level Panel will provide new inspiration and fresh ideas.

But we, the Member States, must take the lead; the ball is in our court. We must enable the UN to take credible, efficient action to meet the challenges of this century - this Millennium. It is our collective responsibility and duty. As a member of the European Union, Denmark works actively towards these goals.

And I can assure you that all the Nordic countries strongly support the Secretary-General's proposals and are ready to face these challenges. Let us together ensure that the UN is ready too.

Thank you for your attention.