New York, September 30, 2003

Chairman of the Assembly,

Secretary General,

Chiefs of State and Government,


Chiefs of Missions,


Presently, the international community is going through a time of reflection and definitions. The great transformations humanity has experienced during the course of the last decade and the present challenges demand a greater responsibility of our nations to play an active role in the search for urgent solutions to the problems that affect us. This new session of the General Assembly presents us with an excellent opportunity to achieve this goal.

Today the Dominican Republic endorses once again its commitment to peace, the defense of human rights, security, sustainable development and the strengthening of democracy, indisputable pillars for the safekeeping of unwavering international peace.

The Reform of the United Nations Organization is an issue that has been on the agenda for a long time. The events that have occurred in the last years definitely impose the need to assume this task as a priority.

The revision of the United Nations Security Council is particularly imminent. Since the approval of Resolution No. 47/62 of the General Assembly in December 11, 1992 to the present time we have been constantly debating the various reform proposals, but it is now time to act on the structuring of a Council that is more representative and equitable of the Member States as well as on a greater transparency in decision-making, to strengthen its legitimacy as the warrantor of maintaining peace and international security.

Terrorism has emerged as a constant threat to humanity. The uncertainty and the pain have marked the beginning of the XXI Century. Our nations have the challenge to fight together, and at a global level, against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to promote an equitable development and a free society. Security problems demand decisive action against international terrorism, organized crime and the illegal traffic of arms and drugs.

Mister Chairman,

The Millennium Declaration established as one of its main goals the reduction of poverty by 50% by the year 2015. Notwithstanding some advancement in the established goals, poverty still represents a fierce calamity. The Dominican government has given this issue considerable importance, creating a Social Cabinet as the coordinating mechanism of all governmental institutions for social welfare, contributing to ensure that both national and international resources are distributed equitably and are allocated to those regions that require a social investment.

All countries must join efforts, accepting responsibilities, both common and different at the same time, to guarantee that growth and poverty are not on an equal footing and that in meeting the needs of the present generation we do not cause the destruction of the future generations' capacity to satisfy their own needs.

The positive outcome of the IV Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001, and of the International Conference on Development Funding held in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, provided key elements to reach the millennium development goals. In the Development Agenda of Doha and the Monterrey Consensus, a framework was convened to facilitate market access, improve the multilateral regulations to lead globalization and to increase financial aid for development.

However, we cannot but mention what occurred during the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) recently held in the city of Cancun, Mexico. Although an agreement was not reached because of fundamental differences in the positions regarding essential world trade issues, we are certain that this will not affect the multilateral system of negotiations. On the contrary, some member states maintain that this impasse may even be necessary to shape more equitable international agreements in the core of the WTO.

The important issue is not to lose the development perspective within the work program of the WTO as stated in the Development Agenda in Doha, because that agenda includes the aspirations of millions of people around the world, whose hope for progress lies on the opportunities of global economy.

Mister Chairman,

The position of the Dominican government in connection with the Middle East conflict is based primarily on the unconditional adherence to the regulations and principles of International Law, particularly those related with the peaceful solution of disputes; condemning the use of force and terrorism in all its forms; the compliance in good faith of international treaties, and the strict observance of the United Nations resolutions and its deliberating agencies.

Attached to these principles and in response to the humanitarian appeals of the United Nations Security Council, the Dominican Republic has been present in the efforts for the reconstruction of Iraq, with the purpose of contributing to the development of a secure and stable environment that would reinstate the sovereignty of the Iraqi people.

Similarly, our country supports the peace process outlined in the "Roadmap" submitted by the United States of America and endorsed by the Russian Federation, the UN and the European Union, and understands that a stop to violence cannot be postponed as well as the historic pledges of all parties to make sacrifices in favor of a definite solution to the conflict and a peaceful cohabitation among themselves.

The development of policies for sustainable development demands addressing the problems before they emerge. This implies advancing with the millennium development goals and moving forward, particularly on crucial issues such as energy and environmental protection.

In this respect, our nation reiterates its position, which has been expressed in other international forums, rejecting the international maritime transport of radioactive and toxic waste. This issue is linked to international security.

The importance of guaranteeing the rights for equality and equity for women and promoting their increased political participation has been a continuous concern of the Chiefs of State in various international forums. INSTRAW is the only institution within the United Nations System dedicated exclusively to the research and training of women, with its headquarters located in Santo Domingo, capital city of the Dominican Republic. The Dominican government calls upon Member States so they will, in accordance with their own possibilities, continue supporting the work of INSTRAW in the Dominican Republic with their contributions.

Our country commends the culture of peace, while making efforts oriented towards ensuring that in the classrooms at the primary level, children are taught the basics for mutual understanding, civic training and human rights.

Likewise, we believe that a solid and permanent democracy is an achievable goal. The challenges within this context are clear: a growing democracy, more respect for civic rights, freedom of the press, the exercise of political parties and the public opinion, dignity and transparency of all leaders, and moral legitimacy of everyone.

Deeply concerned with the spread of AIDS in our nations, the Government has made enormous efforts to comply with the commitments made in the Declaration on the fight against this terrible disease. In this respect, we call upon the need to increase international cooperation and efforts to guarantee the availability of drugs at accessible prices, based on the Doha Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Right to Health.

Mister Chairman,

The Dominican Republic salutes with optimism the role played by the UN and the OAS in their efforts to develop programs of humanitarian aid for the Haitian people. It is imperative to stress here the need for greater support from the international community to our neighboring Republic of Haiti and its neglected population.

Although aware that this issue has been excluded from the agenda of this General Assembly, we nevertheless wish to ratify our support for the aspirations of the Republic of China, Taiwan, to rejoin this organization, of which it was a member for many years. Our position is in line with the universal principles contained in the United Nations Charter, the basis of the regulations of International Law and the historical tradition of the friendly relations with Taiwan.

Mister Chairman,

On behalf of the Dominican government, may I congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this General Assembly, confident that your performance will be very beneficial and successful for the international community and a source of pride to your country, St. Lucia, and thus to our Caribbean community.

Likewise, we wish to express the rejection of the Dominican Government of the barbaric act perpetrated against the United Nations mission in Baghdad last August 19, and reiterate to the relatives of Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello and of the other deceased colleagues, our most heartfelt condolences.

We are all aware of the great challenges humanity is confronting. Our future depends on the actions we take now. In our hands we have the opportunity to meet the expectations of the nations of the world. Let us assume this challenge with due responsibility.

Thank you Mr. Chairman