Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Distinguished Delegates,

I would like to start by congratulating you, Mr. President, on your election to the presidency of this 58th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We wish you great success in the fulfillment of this difficult and noble task.

The current session is taking place at one of the most troubled times in our era. The recent events in the Gulf region were a severe test of the capacity and readiness of the United Nations in providing appropriate responses to the challenges presently faced by the International Community. The impact of these events somehow diminished the cohesion of our world organization and weakened the trust among its members.

Something failed within the international security system which puts us in the position of having to make it more effective, immediately.

In fact, the present system of international security, created after the First World War, despite the merit of having, up to the present, prevented the outbreak of a new world conflict has, however, given signs of incompatibility in the global collective security interests of the members of the members of the United Nations, in relation to the new challenges of this

We urgently need to have an integrated system capable of dealing effectively with the major threats to the to international
stability in the onset of this 21st century, specifically terrorism and international organized crime; weapons of mass destruction; the internal conflicts, which unfortunately still plague our continent in particular; generalized poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Terrorism is today the most direct threat to the security of our countries, as one can conclude from the attacks that in the last two years killed thousands of civilians in the United States, in Russia, in Africa and in Asia.

With regard to armed conflicts, the situation continues to require urgent attention. During the last decade, approximately one third of the African states were either directly or indirectly affected by internal conflict, which resulted in costs as high as 15 billion dollars a year, besides causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, massive displacement of people, famine and malnutrition, and the dissemination of diseases such as HIV.

The prevalence of conflicts in Africa is a result not only of the divisions inherited from the post-colonial period and the cold war or of ethnic and religious differences. It is also a consequence of factors such as the fragility of national institutions, the marginalization of the African Continent from the world economy, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the consequent arms proliferation and the weak monitoring of national borders.

This situation must be swiftly reversed, since it can endanger the future of millions of Africans, and increase the risk for certain
areas of the Continent becoming true sanctuaries for terrorist organizations.

The improvement of the United Nations political institutions and security systems constitutes the most effective method to
face the threats hovering over humankind.

It is therefore necessary to establish new mechanisms outside of the traditional strategic doctrines. The international legal documents created by the United Nations in addition to the current alliances between States, has proved insufficient to respond adequately and in a consensual manner to such threats, particularly when such changes are sponsored by other entities which are not, themselves, States.

Because of its universal nature, the United Nations plays a central role in the management of the present and future challenges. But that is not enough. It is crucial that this role be performed within a more democratic and participative framework by its members, particularly in what concerns the major decisions on international peace and security.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Iraq and the Middle East are today the main pockets of tension in the world, where the combined efforts of both the United Nations are converging.

The continued loss of life in Iraq, the majority of which is that of innocent civilians, and among whom United Nations officials, including former UN Secretary General Representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello, are a reminder of the need for increased support by the International Community to insure the security of the Iraqi people, the building of new institutions and the beginning of the reconstruction of the country.

The will of the international community and certainly that of the Iraqi people is that Iraq become, in the short term, a viable, democratic state with institutions validated by its people, and a country living in peace with its neighbors.

The achievement of this goal implies the establishment of a political and institutional framework in which the UN plays an active role, specifically in the pacification and unification of the Country, the internal political dialog; in the process of national reconciliation, as well as in the establishment of new democratic institutions.

Angola hopes that the present convergence of positions among the members of the Security Council on the role of the UN in Iraq will facilitate the understanding relative to the transitional process in general and to the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

In the Middle East, Angola deplores the loss of civilian lives and the material damage caused by the escalation of the conflict. The rekindling of violence between Palestinians and Israelis represents the greater danger to the implementation of the road map for peace, whose ultimate objective is "the signing of an agreement for the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian
State living side by side and in peace with Israel and its neighbors", in our view, is the only solution capable of putting a definite end to the cycle of violence.

Mister President,


The end of the armed conflict in Angola, last year, and the success of the peace process are some of the most extraordinary political achievements seen in Sub-Saharan Africa, in recent years. With the attainment of peace in Angola, for the first time in several decades, the Southern African region became a zone free of conflicts, and it can now focus its human and material resources on reconstruction and development efforts.

Angola is today a country in a post-conflict stage, and it is committed to the tasks of overcoming the heavy burden left by a 40-year conflict; to focusing on the strengthening of its democratic process, which even during the difficult war period was never abandoned by its Government; and to the full resumption of its legitimate role within the regional and international context.

In the present circumstances, given the impact of the conflict on the human, economic, social and financial structures of the country, along with the inequities inherited from its colonial past, the current post-conflict stage that will lead to the building up of a new society in Angola has been a difficult and painful process, and this has been an obvious impediment to an immediate response to the legitimate aspirations of the Angolan citizenry.

The challenges which confront Angola are enormous and immeasurable, the main ones being the resettlement of more than four million displaced people and 450 thousand refugees; the social reintegration of more than 80 thousand former military personnel and their respective families; solving the problem of absolute poverty that now afflicts more than half of the Angolan population; the reconstruction of the social and economic infrastructures; etc.

At the same time, and in spite of the scarcity of the available resources, we are creating the necessary conditions to hold our next elections, in the near future.

Despite our numerous problems and challenges, there is hardly any assistance from the International Community in Angola, as compared to other countries in similar circumstances, some of which, even lacking de jure institutions received an immediate response to their appeals. We would wish to believe that such treatment is not due to any kind of discrimination against our country.

There is no example in modern history of a State, rich or poor, in the aftermath of a devastating and destructive war such as that which afflicted Angola, that has managed to overcome the burden left by that war and rose up without outside assistance. In Angola, this reconstruction effort has, up to now, been borne solely by the Angolans themselves, in spite of the reiterated promises that the only factor that hindered the supply of aid to our reconstruction was the pacification of our country.

Therefore, we here and now wish to renew our appeal to the International Community to help Angola in its domestic
reconstruction effort. To this end, my delegation is going to submit a draft resolution on International Assistance and the Reconstruction and Economic Development of Angola, which proposes the holding of an international donor conference, for which we count on your support.

Mister President,


Angola also welcomes the progress made in the area of peace and security in other regions of the continent, specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In this brother country, with which we share a long border, the role of Angola as well as that of its partners was crucial in preventing a situation of chaos and disintegration of that territory and convincing the parties to give up war and choose instead a negotiated political solution.

The Congolese patriots have shown signs of great maturity in guaranteeing the success of the peace process and the transformation of DRC into a viable country, which, does not constitute a threat to the stability of the borders with its

Angola will continue to be open to strengthening the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation it has maintained with the authorities of the interim DRC Government as well as with the future legitimate authorities legitimately elected by popular vote.

In the Western Sahara there is still a stalemated situation. Difficulties regarding in holding a referendum on the selfdetermination of the territory are a hindrance to the search for a definitive solution for the referendum. Angola urges the parties involved to show flexibility and political in order for the people of that territory to decide freely about its own destiny .

Mister President,


Today, as one part of the world, particularly the industrialized countries, enjoys considerable wealth, 40 percent of the 600 million Africans continue to survive on less than one dollar a day.

In fact, Africa continues to show the lowest social and economic development indicators, and those levels are becoming even worse due to the marginalization of the African countries in the process of globalization and within the world economy, where its trade and capital share is only one percent. Africa is also the continent that benefits the least in terms of direct foreign investment, receiving only 7 percent of the investment targeted to the developing countries.

External debt has been a huge obstacle to the development programs, because the repayment of the debt service alone has depleted the already limited national resources of the African States. Angola supports the cancellation of the external debts of the Least Developed Countries (LDC), particularly those in the African continent.

The macroeconomic measures imposed by the Bretton Woods institutions, within the framework of the structural adjustment program, have not always been able to help the African Continent overcome its economic problems and, in many cases, led to controversial results.

Experience has shown, based on such outcomes, that it is a fact that the financial institutions very often do not take into account the idiosyncrasies of each country, and frequently put the Governments in the position to choose between meeting the conditions imposed by the financial institutions or meeting the real needs of their people.

Angola hopes that with the establishment of the African Union and the launching of NEPAD, the dramatic situation in which the African continent finds itself today can be alleviated, by setting priorities and giving special attention to immediate economic development issues.

Thank you