Leaders had taken to the world stage since 24 September to spotlight hopes and gains, as well as profound concerns at the start of a session that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said could be the “most consequential” in a generation.
During the sixty-ninth General Assembly debate, senior Government officials sounded the alarm about the unprecedented combination of challenges they faced, from combating a virulent form of terrorism — which some said was taking terror to a new era and a new level — to addressing its underlying causes and those of unresolved conflicts criss-crossing the globe. The Ebola crisis crippling West Africa, along with the impacts of climate change on island nations struggling to contain it and competing priorities for a new development agenda, also led debate.
Much of the focus today revolved around small island developing States, particularly on their vulnerabilities to climate change. Delegations, from both the Caribbean and Pacific regions, described their search for adaptation and mitigation frameworks in light of their countries’ constrained capacities, including the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Bahamas, who warned, “If we do not resolve climate-change issues, there will be no Bahamas.”
Voicing a similar concern, Belize’s Attorney General and Foreign Affairs Minister called climate change the most pernicious of mankind’s problems. The cost of mitigating the damage in his country and building resilience was prohibitive, he said, calling on the large emitters to cap global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Indeed, many small island developing States had reached a “tipping point”, declared Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration. He agreed that the adverse impacts were a serious challenge to those countries’ sustainable development efforts. However, the former President and Special Envoy of the President of Maldives stressed that, as history had showed, those States were not just viable, but valuable in finding common solutions to common problems. It was not size but smart ideas which made a nation's destiny.
Concerning the post-2015 development agenda, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados said that in design, delivery and implementation the blueprint must address the unique vulnerabilities and challenges of small island developing States. Bhutan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs suggested that the new agenda must be guided by a clear home-grown vision that placed people’s welfare as its central objective.
No one should be left behind, asserted Benin’s representative, stressing the importance of the upcoming financing for development conference in 2015 and of building the productive capacity of least developed countries. Even amid divergent priorities in the Assembly, broad agreement emerged that effective global partnerships were crucial for the success of the post-2015 agenda.
Despite climate challenges facing the Latin America and the Caribbean region, the area was one of peace and tranquility, said Suriname’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. He cited in particular the region’s nuclear-weapon-free status and its interdependency, which he said was a driving force of its multilateral and bilateral relations. Most importantly, implementation of people-oriented socioeconomic policies guaranteed regional peace.
Ongoing conflicts on which there was little or no international consensus was another focus of the day’s debate. Oman’s Foreign Affairs Minister said that the Middle East was going through a difficult phase as it grappled with several crises. His Government supported the call for an international conference to free the region of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons.
In closing the debate, General Assembly President Sam Kutesa (Uganda) urged the formulation of an ambitious and inclusive transformative agenda, accompanied by adequate implementation means. He said that the Assembly, as a unified body, could make a real and meaningful change in people’s lives and the health of the planet.
Also speaking in the debate today were ministers, senior officials and representatives of Eritrea, Belarus, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Ecuador, Solomon Islands, Mauritius, Paraguay and Cabo Verde.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
WINSTON G. LACKIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Suriname, said that some arguments used to invade Grenada were similar to those used to justify military involvement in Ukraine. He had studied the reasoning behind the recognition of Kosovo as an independent country, comparing it with the stand against the alleged annexation of Crimea. He had tried to understand the value of a referendum in the case of the Malvinas, and the value given to the referendum held in Crimea. In sharp contrast to the turbulence and challenges, Latin America and the Caribbean were a relatively unique area of peace and tranquility. “Why is this region showing us the way forward?”, he asked.
First, he said, the region was nuclear-free. Second, at the political level, interdependency had become the driving force of multilateral and bilateral relations. Both small and large States interacted on the basis of established treaties and the principles of mutual respect. Regional entities, such as the Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), had played an important role in furthering those principles. Third and most importantly, the implementation of people-oriented socioeconomic policies guaranteed regional peace.
He said that more than 90 per cent of Suriname’s territory was covered with forests, which annually absorbed 8.8 million tons of carbon, while annual emissions were 7 million tons of carbon, qualifying his country as a carbon negative economy. Paradoxically, it had become a vulnerable country as a result of climate change. Rising sea levels would damage or destroy its coastal ecosystems, including arable land, erode gross domestic product (GDP), and damage or destroy the homes of more than 80 per cent of the population. Changes in rainfall patterns and rising temperatures would lead to an increase in health risks, a decrease in hydropower production, and a reduction in access to river pathways.
OSMAN MOHAMMED SALEH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Eritrea, said that, while the world had changed, the United Nations had remained stuck in the past. In Africa, in the Middle East and on all continents, extremism, terrorism and intolerance were spreading. Quoting the Secretary-General, he said it was a "terrible time for the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter". Restoring the relevance and credibility of the United Nations meant fundamentally restructuring the Organization. This had been clear since efforts to impose a "unipolar" world had been unsuccessful.
Eritrea's perspective was informed by its history, he said. The Eritrean people had been denied the right to decolonization because of United States’ interests in the East Africa and Red Sea region. When the Eritrean people had embarked on a 30-year armed struggle for national liberation, the superpowers had supplied arms to crush Eritrea's right to self-determination, and the United Nations had ignored Eritrea's plight. The United Nations had failed to uphold an internationally endorsed border decision, also imposing "unjust" sanctions on his country. All this had damaged the entire Horn of Africa region. He called for the Security Council to "end the illegal occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory", and to lift sanctions on his country.
YOUSEF BIN AL-ALAWI BIN ABDULLA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Oman, said that the Middle East was going through a difficult phase as it grappled with several crises, upon which there was no international consensus. The Palestinian question was at the centre of conflicts in the region. Israel was continuing to resort to military force as a tool to achieve its security, he said, calling upon both sides to resume negotiations in order to reach a settlement that would provide peace and security for Israel, and respond to the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people. He further urged the Syrian Government and National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to return to the negotiating table based on the Geneva Communiqué.
Regarding the situation in Yemen, his Government welcomed the agreement between that country's President and political powers, he said, calling upon all to uphold the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference. Turning his attention elsewhere in the Arab world, he said Oman condemned the terrorist acts perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS). Oman had taken several steps to avoid violence and extremism, consolidating good governance and establishing other legislative instruments, including an independent judiciary. On international commitments, his Government supported the call for an international conference to free the Middle East region of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
VLADIMIR MAKEI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, said his country this year celebrated the seventieth anniversary of its liberation from the fascist occupiers, and was remembering all victims who had paid with their lives for the nation's freedom. Today, much like in the past, the "mighty of the world" believed that only their vision and development model were universal. His country had gotten used to alien political and economic models being foisted upon it. No less dangerous were similar attempts at imposing on it extraneous cultural preferences. For example, they were forced to renounce the values of a traditional family, and recognize instead the diversity of the institution's forms. He called that "just another way to subdue the resisters to the capital by turning them into soulless slaves".
Speaking on the post-2015 development agenda, he said the document must include many other areas, particularly the fight against human trafficking, and the strengthening of the traditional family. The agenda should be realized through thematic and effective global partnerships among States, international organizations, civil society and the private sector. A "powerful and responsible State" must remain the central pillar among all other partners, he added.
WILFRED ELRINGTON, Attorney General and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, said that sustained and inclusive economic growth and safeguarding the future of the planet — aimed at sustainable development with the eradication of poverty and hunger at its core — were imperatives for his country. “[W]e must inspire and equip all actors in our societies with the requisite tools to shoulder their responsibilities and partake in the dividends of sustainable economic growth with equity and social justice,” he said. However, without cooperation and support from developed Member States, multilateral agencies and reformed policies of the international financial institutions, his country’s efforts to attain the post-2015 development agenda would be stymied.
He welcomed adoption of General Assembly resolution A/RES/304 on sovereign debt restructuring, expressing hope it would lead to a multilateral treaty that would increase the efficiency and stability of the international financial system. Climate change was the most pernicious of mankind’s problems, and while there was consensus as to its causes and cure, the political will to take urgent action to combat it was lacking from the major emitters. The cost of mitigating the damage in his country and of adaptation was prohibitive. The large emitters must commit to capping global warming at 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.
Among domestic initiatives was a programme of infrastructure works, which would lead to better transport of goods produced in his country, while providing employment for many young people, he said. And while the Government spent 26 per cent of its budget on transforming an inherited colonial educational system to one that met the needs of an independent twenty-first century country, that was not nearly enough. Thirteen per cent of the budget went to the health sector and aimed first at prevention. On the role of women and girls, he called for support of their financial health based on the Beijing Platform for Action. In closing, he said that it was a false dichotomy to pit development against the environment, which was why the world must embrace the sustainable development approach.
MAXINE PAMELA OMETA MCCLEAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, said that in design, delivery and implementation, the post-2015 development agenda must address the unique vulnerabilities and challenges of small island developing States. It must also make provisions for middle-income countries, which were often overlooked on the presumption that, by virtue of their GDP per capita, they did not require international assistance. That measure could not be the sole defining criteria for accessing concessionary financing. The social, economic and environmental vulnerability of countries such as hers must also be taken into account.
On climate change, she said that her country had implemented a cross-sectoral green economy initiative, which prioritized natural resource protection policy intervention, business and investment choice, human development programming and the facilitation of export market development strategies. However, she added, those efforts to transition to a green economy would be undone if the international community did not take action to address climate change.
SAMUEL SANTOS LÓPEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, said that the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda should begin with the central concern of not having achieved the Millennium Development Goals in all developing countries. The future agenda should promote sustained economic growth and inclusive, participatory social development, environmental protection and human dignity. At the same time, it should allow for sufficient flexibility in responding to the needs, priorities and particularities of each country and region, bearing in mind the non-existence of a single model for development.
His country, he said, worked in a proactive way in various international and regional forums promoting policies of peace, unity and understanding among nations. The "Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Nuestramérica" had been a factor of unity, complementarity and economic integration in the region. As well, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States had deepened those countries' political, economic and cultural integration process, and the region had been declared a zone of peace. Moreover, within the Central American Integration System, the countries were working together to fight the scourge of drug trafficking and organized crime, and to convert the Gulf of Fonseca into a zone of peace and development.
MOHAMED WAHEED HASSAN, Former President and Special Envoy of the President of Maldives, said that, for the last eight decades, his country had been on "a journey to consolidate democracy", last year overcoming unprecedented challenges by entirely peaceful means. The experience of the Maldives showed that holding elections alone did not instil democratic values in a society. What was needed was to shift the way people thought, and for democratic values to find a place in the hearts and minds of the people. Policies needed to be rights-based, and people needed to be rights-minded. On international affairs, he said that Palestinians were still being denied their right to a sovereign nation of their own.
On terrorism, he said that misinformed yet talented young people could easily be lured into fanaticism and extremism, and that Islam's identity as a religion supporting innovation, knowledge and scholarship was slowly eroding. The world needed to define the way it dealt with the so-called “Islamic State”, which was a terrorist group, not a religious group. The Government and people of Maldives condemned those groups and joined fellow Muslims around the world in saying "not in my name". After noting the unique challenges faced by small island developing States, including climate change, he added that history had showed that those States were not just viable, but valuable in finding common solutions to common problems. It was not size, but smart ideas, which made a nation's destiny.
FREDERICK A. MITCHELL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas, said that the environment, fighting crime and containing illegal immigration were his country’s top priorities. “If we do not resolve climate change issues, there will be no Bahamas,” he warned. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change should be the primary intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to that issue.
Addressing violent crime was central to domestic peace and survival, he said, pointing to the proliferation of gang activity, illicit drugs, and small arms and ammunition trafficking as issues of concern. As such, his country was involved in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, and had ratified it on 25 September. The Bahamas would also rely on social intervention programmes like the Urban Renewal initiative in order to fight the illegal drug trade and serious crime.
At the same time, the country was grappling with illegal immigration, he explained. The recent Memorandum of Understanding signed with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was one part of a multifaceted strategy aimed at stemming the flow of undocumented foreigners into Bahamian territory. A new fleet of vessels had been purchased to support ongoing work in that area. Recently, the Bahamas had entered into key fishing and migration agreements with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti. Despite challenges, bilateral relations remained strong. That was all the more reason why the Bahamas found the economic embargo by one neighbouring country against another “counterproductive to the peace and good order of the region”, he said.
LYONPO RINZIN DORJE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bhutan, shared some lessons his country had learned with respect to development, noting that, while they may not be universal, certain principles might have relevance. First, he said, development must be guided by a clear home-grown vision that placed people’s welfare and happiness as its central objective. Second, good governance was critical to unlocking the potential of a country and its people to pursue effective development and peace. Third, within the broader development objective, the eradication of poverty must remain an overarching pursuit. Fourth, strong partnerships were essential to delivering the post-2015 agenda. Finally, he said, conservation of the environment for sustainability was critical, stressing that, if the basic necessities of life, such as air, food and water, were polluted or contaminated, then none of the higher-order needs in life, such as education, health care or employment, could be met.
Noting that efforts to reform the Security Council remained in deadlock, he said that while a consensus decision was the most desirable way forward in multilateralism, the international community must not allow the absence of consensus to obstruct progress indefinitely, especially in the area of peace and security.
ALVA ROMANUS BAPTISTE, Minister for External Affairs, Internal Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia, said that diplomacy was a prime instrument for pursuing normalized relations among all States. The rapidly changing nature of international relations created the need to subject the United Nations system to new levels of critical examination, and to strengthen and reform the Organization's internal machinery to truly reflect today's geopolitical reality. There should be no resumption of the Cold War. It was time to "divest ourselves of any residual effects" of the Cold War, such as the blockade imposed on Cuba, which should be removed from the United States Terrorist Watch List. His Government also called for the participation of Taiwan in international organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Taiwan had much to offer in terms of technological, economic and social development.
Turning to the current session's theme, "Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative post-2015 Development Agenda," he said two issues of paramount importance to his country were reparations for slavery and the recent conclusions of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The case for reparations should be elaborated upon beyond the relationship between Caribbean nations and relevant European Governments. There was a need to determine a clear and effective strategy for SIDS by which they could translate the Conference’s outcome document, the Samoa Pathway, into concrete results. Saint Lucia stood for freedom, democracy, non-discrimination, sustainable development, poverty eradication and special and differential treatment for those States.
RIMBINK PATO, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of Papua New Guinea, said that the recent Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, held in Samoa, had been a great success. The adverse impacts of climate change, however, continued to pose a serious challenge to the sustainable development efforts of those countries, and many had reached a tipping point. Building on the political momentum generated, the international community should conclude a legally binding agreement in Lima and Paris in 2015 to collectively address the adverse impacts of climate change, he said.
The imminent deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, and the transition to the post-2015 development agenda, was a crossroads for the international community. After noting the achievements of his Government on reaching selected Goals, he outlined elements of Papua New Guinea's economy before turning to social issues. Gender empowerment and equality remained a cornerstone of his Government's sustainable development agenda, and on foreign affairs, he noted his country's supply of troops to peacekeeping missions in Sudan and South Sudan. He condemned all forms of terrorism and, touching on areas of other concern to Papua New Guinea, highlighted the international nature of the Ebola threat. On decolonization, he urged the United Nations to support that process in New Caledonia.
LEONARDO ARIZAGA, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Political Integration of Ecuador, recalling an attempted, but failed coup d'état in his country four years ago, said that because democracy had prevailed, his Government had been able to continue to build a better future for its people. In the past seven and a half years, it had lifted 10 per cent of the population out of poverty and reduced unemployment to 4.9 per cent, the lowest rate in Latin America. Public investment in Ecuador was highest in the continent, and three times that of the Latin American average. Additionally, his Government had substantially reduced child and youth labour, noting that 82 schools had been added to the international baccalaureate association. To address global warming, Ecuador had promoted renewable energy sources with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, optimized the use of raw materials and reduced waste as much as possible.
Highlighting aspects of Ecuador’s foreign policy, he said it prioritized strengthening South-South relations by creating new spaces for regional governance. In that regard, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) remained national priorities. In January 2015, Ecuador would assume the pro tempore presidency of CELAC. He said it was unacceptable that the United States' blockade of Cuba had persisted for more than 20 years. On other matters, he called for a solution through dialogue to the dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom on the Argentine Islands. On Palestine, he called for an immediate end to operations of the Israeli army and its attacks against the civilian population in Gaza. Noting that his country would be the headquarters for the Africa-South America Summit, he said it wished to strengthen the relationship between Africa and Latin America and, for that reason, had decided to open new embassies in Africa in the search for new opportunities.
On United Nations reform, he said his country had put forward proposals for change aimed at making the Organization more efficient, democratic and inclusive. The Security Council, he added, should be composed of groups or blocs to establish balance. Turning to Julian Assange, to whom his country had granted asylum, he said Ecuador would continue to work tirelessly until a solution was found in that case, for which it sought support from the United Kingdom and Sweden. He noted the recent increase in demands of transnational companies against the people of the South. Those multi-million dollar disputes, such as the Chevron case in Ecuador, had threatened tax resources and State legitimacy, and could compromise development plans in the region and elsewhere in the world. In that context, UNASUR was creating a regional arbitration centre to provide legal advice in investment disputes, create a code of conduct, and, with other regions, establish an observatory for transnationals, with the aim of launching support mechanisms to respond to States' requests for assistance in resolving disputes.
JEAN-FRANCIS RÉGIS ZINSOU (Benin) said that the current session's theme was of prime importance to least developed countries. The post-2015 development agenda must take into account the past 15 years of implementing the Millennium Development Goals and must place extreme poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth at its centre. No one should be left behind. In that regard, he stressed the importance of the Financing for Development conference in 2015. Noting that that the Istanbul Programme of Action aimed to halve the number of least developed countries by 2020, he stressed the importance of building their productive capacity. His country had hosted a ministerial conference on partnerships for productive capacity in least developed countries, and he urged consideration of that topic during the current Assembly session.
Benin was among the top 20 countries that had made the most progress in achieving the Millennium Goals in absolute terms, he said, citing improvements in education and health, among other sectors. Girls’ enrolment in school had increased, and the country’s universal health-care system and free health services for children under five had saved many lives. His Government had mitigated poverty by supporting micro-credit institutions. On peace and security, the United Nations was vital to supporting the Sahel region. There and elsewhere, it was crucial to address the root causes of conflict and tackle such threats as translational crime, which hindered economic growth. On human rights, Benin had abolished the death penalty, he said, urging other States to accede to the relevant convention or adopt a moratorium on the matter. In March 2015, Benin would hold a global symposium on religious harmony, with an emphasis on Islam-Christian dialogue.
COLLIN D. BECK (Solomon Islands) said that, while his country's scorecard on the Millennium Development Goals was mixed across all eight targets, it remained committed in consolidating its gains and had begun to build a foundation to integrate the new development agenda at all levels. Noting that a politically stable environment was critical to sustainable development, he said that recent legislation passed by his parliament in May allowed political parties to operate in a regulated and systematic manner. To address gender violence, the parliament had passed legislation to protect families from domestic violence, deal with its perpetrators, and provide practical support for the victims.
Stressing that small island developing States represented a special case for sustainable development, in that view of their unique and particular vulnerability, his country sought closer relations with the United Nations and wished to see the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sub-office in Solomon Islands upgraded to country-office status. After three decades of United Nations management of Solomon Islands’ relations from abroad, it was time to invest in the relationship at the country's capital. The Solomon Islands' partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum under the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) continued to create positive conditions, including by allowing a limited re-arming of the national police force.
On decolonization, he said all parties must cooperate to honour their commitments under the Charter and the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. His country was among those in the Melanesian Spearhead Group that followed the question of New Caledonia in the United Nations Decolonization Committee. On climate change, he said the magnitude and intensity of flash floods that had occurred in his country in April had caused loss of life and the destruction of homes and infrastructure, with damages amounting to 9.2 per cent of the country's GDP. However, despite such challenges, it was on track to developing two hydro projects in two of its provinces, in partnership with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In partnership with Japan, it was expanding its port facilities to promote and enable domestic, regional, and international trade. With the support of Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, Solomon Islands had constructed several domestic airports and some 18 bridges, further uniting the country's scattered population.
MILAN JAYA NYAMRAJSINGH MEETTARBHAN (Mauritius) said that 2015 would be a crucial year for the United Nations and the international community in the effort to adopt a post-2015 development agenda, with sustainable development goals. Also in 2015, hopes were pinned on the adoption of a new, legally-binding, global climate agreement. It would also be the year the United Nations celebrated its seventieth anniversary. Despite such gains, inequality — both among and within nations — was still a matter of great concern. Within the United Nations itself, the principle of equality was not always honoured. The twin pillars of the Charter — peace and security on the one hand, and development on the other — had been undermined by the pre-eminence of political issues, which were still largely seen in terms of safeguarding dominant interests rather than from a global cooperation perspective.
Inequality and vulnerability, he said, were increasing in rich and poor countries alike, and unemployment, precarious employment, lack of social protection, and access to human development and financial services were still of universal concern. Combating Ebola demanded robust action from everyone and required exceptional international cooperation. One in eight people in the world were undernourished, approximately 2 billion suffered from micronutrient deficiencies, and food demand, according to recent estimates, would see a 50 per cent increase. Supporting the Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, he said that sustainable agriculture was essential.
On the part of his country’s territory that remained under colonial rule, he urged the United States and United Kingdom to recognize Mauritius’ sovereignty over the Chagos and engage in meaningful discussions to resolve the matter.
JOSÉ ANTONIO DOS SANTOS (Paraguay) said that his Government was working to draft a social policy with an emphasis on such vulnerable groups as the elderly, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, disabled, women and youth. In Paraguay, indigenous peoples spoke native languages and maintained their cultures, he said, welcoming the recent World Conference on that disadvantaged group. He urged the organizations that worked with the United Nations in the area of democracy and social justice to set up shop in Paraguay. His country had been seeking to occupy a seat in the Human Rights Council for the 2015-2017 term, as it felt it could play a constructive role. His country would continue to promote the human rights of its population, including those of vulnerable groups.
Stressing the importance of social inclusion, he said that inequality was the main obstacle to development. "We must put a human face on our growth," he added, advocating for a people-centred post-2015 development agenda. There must be greater dispensation of financial resources. South-South cooperation was a complement to North-South and triangular cooperation. The countries most responsible for climate change should bear a greater burden based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. Landlocked countries, like his, should receive special treatment, owing to its geographic location, which constrained global market access, he said, drawing attention to the United Nations Conference on landlocked developing countries in November. As the Organization marked its seventieth anniversary next year, action must be taken beyond the festivities, he said, stressing that the post-2015 agenda should lead to real development and prosperity.
FERNANDO JORGE WAHNON FERREIRA (Cabo Verde), noting that island States were particularly vulnerable to climate change, said that finding solutions to its adverse effects was, for them, a matter of survival and territorial integrity. Thus, it was essential to mobilize political will and international cooperation on the issue. In that regard, he welcomed the adoption of urgent measures on climate change as a sustainable development goal, which required strategies to make Mother Earth more resilient and better equipped to pursue their implementation. In that context, the upcoming negotiations in Lima must create significant progress towards an agreement to be signed in Paris in December 2015. Expressing support for capping global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, he urged respect for the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
He expressed the hope that the Conference on Financing and Development, to be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, would provide clear directives and commitments towards completion of “unfinished business” on Millennium Goal 8. It would also help to redefine the criteria for allocating development financing based on the principles adopted in Paris and reaffirmed in Busan, Republic of Korea. Innovative mechanisms were needed for greater consistency in development, financing and supporting economic sustainability. The post-2015 agenda must be people-centred and aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and reducing inequalities among nations. It should take into account lessons learned from other internationally agreed goals and accelerate the development process.
The new agenda must also be rigorous with respect to human rights, he said, encouraging all Governments to consider the common good and the well-being of all citizens as they implemented development policies and programmes. He said the recent terrorist acts threatened territorial integrity and the stability of entire regions. “The systematic and massive violation of human rights and the barbarism that has come with it are altogether unacceptable,” he stated. With that, he called on the international community to take urgent measures to stop attempts to create chaos and suffering of innocent people. States had a moral obligation and collective duty to combat subversion of the universal principles of peace, tolerance, and respect for differences.
Right of Reply
The representative of Ukraine said that he had been surprised by the Russian Federation's statement that the situation in Ukraine had been provoked by Western nations. It was not Western States, but the Russian Federation, that violated international law. In 1981, the General Assembly had adopted the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States. There was no need to reinvent the wheel.
The representative of the Russian Federation rejected the speaker's "unjustified accusation" against his country and urged the Government of Ukraine to honour the Minsk agreement. What was occurring in Ukraine had been set out in the Russian Federation's statement on 27 September.