General Assembly

General Debate


New York, 24 September 2003

Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to address you for the first time on behalf of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. The state union of Serbia and Montenegro was created in the interest of peace, stability, democratic right to the freedom of choice and getting fast on a European track. We have assumed the responsibility to prevail upon the policy of no¬compromise in the Balkans. We have assumed the responsibility to demonstrate that in the region which used to be burdened with divisions and conflicts, it is possible to work out an agreement that will push us forward.

We are certain that our life can be better if all of us in the region commit ourselves to that goal, if all of us in the region turn to the future, if all of us in the region look to Europe and people that shares the same goal. That is why we are sure that life can be better for all peoples. With this hope, we subscribe to all those that perceive terrorism as one of the greatest evils facing the present-day world.

We can defeat terrorism only if we all join forces. That is why multilateralism for us has no alternative and the United Nations is a guarantee for that. Both today and tomorrow.

Terrorism is not a problem only for the rich countries. As the Secretary-General said yesterday, it is a problem of every man and every country the same as it is the problem of parents who lost their children just because they chose to swim in the river and belonged to a different religion and nationality.

We deplore their death, the same as we deplore the terrorist attack in Baghdad, death of innocent people, death of Sergio Viera de Mello. We condemn this as all humane, civilized and progressive people do. But it is not enough. We have to strive that such things happen no more.

The activities of the United Nations in Kosovo demonstrate that with good intentions on all sides there is hope to create preconditions for dialogue, instead of hatred and conflicts, so that people discuss and resolve the problems instead of creating new ones. We are glad that one of the crucial issues to the stability of the entire region - the issue of Kosovo - is at a threshold of dialogue, as we have called for.

We have been encouraged by the announcements by the representatives of the United Nations that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina could start by mid October and that it has been supported within the Contact Group. I hope that it will also be supported in Pristina, as it is supported in Belgrade. In this undertaking as well, the role of the United Nations and its representative in Kosovo is extremely important.

For its part, Serbia and Montenegro will do its utmost to ensure the success of the dialogue. This is a chance that we have to take advantage of, in the interest of European and democratic future of the region. We have to be patient and persistent.

We are aware that we cannot change the past. But we can do a great deal to improve our present and future. We seek peace for all people left without their homes. There are more than 650,000 of them in Serbia and Montenegro and we want them to live where they believe they belong.

I am sure that within the Tripartite Agreement with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina we shall soon find a common solution that will ultimately resolve this problem. From our own recent experience we know a lot about victims and suffering. That is why we call for an end to violence in all parts of the world - in Baghdad and Iraq in Jerusalem and in the Middle East.

We are convinced that the international community and the United Nations, primarily the Security Council will find a way to stabilization and life in peace and freedom for all people. The human race has only one world to live in.

We stand ready to contribute to peace efforts, through peace operations, to protect peace and defend the right to a democratic future of each nation.

Of course, we are primarily committed to the stabilization of the situation in the region of the Western Balkans, cooperation among the countries in the region, fight against organized crime and full cooperation with The Hague Tribunal. No crime should be left unpunished and all perpetrators should be brought to justice. Our goal is to join European integration's as soon as possible as well as Partnership for Peace. The Salonica summit of the European Union and the countries of the Western Balkans defined clear goals. Serbia and Montenegro will not let go this chance for European future. We have a responsibility to create a better, more peaceful and dignified life for generations to come.

This is an obligation not only for us in Serbia and Montenegro, but an obligation of the entire progressive people, this a motive and force keeping us together in the United Nations to do all we can so that the good may prevail upon the evil, for peace to prevail upon conflicts, for democracy to prevail upon dictatorship, for economic prosperity to prevail upon poverty. We can do it together. This is not a utopia, this is a realistic possibility which will be successful to the extent we are able to work together. Serbia and Montenegro trusts it can be done.

Thank you, Mr. President.