REPUBLIC OF PALAU
OF HER EXCELLENCY
THE 58TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I bring you greetings and good wishes from the President of the Republic of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., the People and the Government of the Republic of Palau.
Nearly sixty years ago, in his final inaugural address, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reflected on the lessons of the first half of the 20'h century. He said, and I quote, "We have learned that we cannot live alone at peace. We have learned that our well- being is dependent on the well being of other nations far away. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community."
Those words have more resonance today than ever before as Palau and the world enter into the 21St century. The Republic of Palau is enjoying rapid development that has come with its independence nine years ago this October first, However, at a time of rapid globalization when events halfway around the world, and most recently at our backyard, can profoundly affect our safety and prosperity, Palau realizes that it must join the international community in this new challenge to protect our people at home and our way of life. To this end, the Republic of Palau reaffirms its unwavering support of the war, led by the United States, against terrorism. We all benefit when nations come together to deter aggression and terrorism, to resolve conflicts, to prevent the spread of diseases, to prevent the spread of dangerous weapons, to promote democracy and human rights, to open markets and create economic and financial stability, to raise standards of living, to protect the environment-to face this myriad of challenges that no nation can meet alone.
Globalization, however, also brings about risks. Outlaw states and ethnic conflicts threaten regional stability and progress in many important areas of the world. Weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, drug trafficking, and other international crimes are global concerns that transcend national borders. Other problems originating overseas such as resource depletion, rapid population growth, environmental damage, new infectious diseases such as SARS, pervasive corruption, uncontrolled refugee migration-all of these and more have increasing significant implications on every nation's security. National economies will suffer if global economy is unstable or markets collapse, and the highest environmental standards such as the Kyoto Protocol, will not protect small, struggling island countries, such as Palau, if other countries do not join the global effort to bring about peace and stability.
Protection of the environment is a major concern to us. Decisions today regarding the environment and natural resources can affect every nation' s security for generations. Environmental threats do not heed national borders, but can pose long-term dangers on every nation' s security and well-being. Natural resource scarcities and resource depletion can trigger and exacerbate conflict. Environmental threats such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, introduction of nuisance plant and animal species, over-harvesting of fish and other living natural resources, and the transnational movement of hazardous chemical and waste directly threaten the health and economic well-being of every peoples of the world. For Palau, the immediate danger is the sea-level rise.
Another issue that we wish to address is that of cloning of human beings. We believe that any global and comprehensive ban on human cloning must include a ban on the cloning of human embryos for research purposes.While the goal of finding cures to chronic illnesses is laudable, the method of creation and destruction of human life for advancement and economic gain comes at too high a price. We believe that adult stem cell research is a promising field of study that can provide an ethical source of stem cells for investigation. The international community must not allow human life to be devalued in any way; we encourage all states to adopt such measures as may be necessary to prohibit those techniques of genetic engineering that may have adverse consequences on the respect for human dignity.
In public health, we note that many peoples around the world are suffering and dying each day from the scourge of HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, cancer, polio and other similar diseases. Combined international support for public health "beyond the clinic walls" must be advocated and put into practice if we are to eliminate some of these challenges to quality human life. Such international support and collaborative efforts were recently manifested during the recent spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). I also urge all members of this august body to support and ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recently adopted by the World Health Assembly this year. More importantly, we should combine our efforts to implement the mission of this Convention to control tobacco use that contributes to diseases and death throughout the world.
The United Nations is to truly represent all peoples, with discrimination and exclusion eliminated from its operational practice. To be effective at ensuring international peace and security, all nations, large and small, must be represented in the United Nations. The Republic of China (Taiwan) can no longer be kept on the sidelines of the most important international organization and the leading forum for international dialogue. Over the past half a century, the hard working people of Taiwan have transformed their country into the world' s seventeenth largest economy and a vibrant democracy. In 1996, Taiwan had its first direct presidential election and in 2000, accomplished its first peaceful transfer of executive powers. Since then Taiwan' s popularly elected government has acted in accord with UN resolutions to combat international terrorism and to support humanitarian relief in countries throughout the world, and yet it is still excluded from the process. Our experience with SARS has shown us that exclusion can bring no benefits to anyone. The 23 million Taiwanese people have the equal right to have a voice in the United Nations and should be welcomed by all members of this body.
The central purpose of the United Nations is the preservation and advancement of world peace. It accomplishes its peace-making and humanitarian assistance effort through international cooperation. Its 191 member states, large and small, rich and poor, and with different political views, strive to collectively address global challenges and advance world peace. Together, they consider and decide on the world's most pressing problems. And so with these, I ask the world here today, at the United Nations 58th General Assembly, to study and discuss the roots of terrorism and possible solutions including inter-religious intervention, to promote conservation standards to protect our earth environment, to promote world public health, to protect the human dignity by banning the cloning of human embryos, and to continue our quest for peace and security for all peoples of the world.
Thank you very much.