San Marino

STATEMENT BY Mr. Fiorenzo Stolfi

Minister for Foreign and Political Affairs

Of the Republic of San Marino

to the General Debate 58th Session of the General Assembly

New York, September 26th, 2003

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Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General


Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of San Marino, let me congratulate you on your election as President of the 58`" Session of the General Assembly. Your election brings us great satisfaction since you also represent a small Country like ours: Saint Lucia.

Mr. President,

I also wish to express my appreciation for the fruitful activity and remarkable capacities of former President Jan Kavan. It has been a privilege for us to cooperate with him.

I cannot but start my speech by mentioning the cowardly attacks on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, which took a heavy toll of lives, including the one of Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq.

On behalf of the Government and people of San Marino, I avail myself of this opportunity to reiterate our most sincere condolences to the Secretary­General and the families of the victims. Furthermore, we would like to express our deep appreciation to the United Nations for the fundamental role it is playing in Iraq, during this difficult transition period for the Iraqi people. The necessary conditions for social and economic development will be established only through security and stability, independence and democracy, rule of law and respect for rights.

In the light of the above, I wish to express the hope that the transitional Government Council, welcomed and supported by the Security Council, may operate efficiently so that Iraq can fully enjoy its right to self-determination, and its own sovereignty, and establish a democratic and representative government, internationally recognised and able to guarantee the conditions necessary for the Country's reconstruction.

We also hope that the United Nations may strengthen even further their active humanitarian and civil role in favour of the Iraqi population, so as to contribute to the rebirth of this nation through democracy and development. We hope that all Countries - cooperating in Iraq to improve security and order under the aegis of the United States of America - after assuring a decisive contribution to the liberation of the Country from the previous regime, will reach an understanding with this Organization.

To this end, the drafting of a new Security Council Resolution, ensuing from the ongoing lively debate, would be a major political and diplomatic achievement. It would definitely pave the way to democracy and progress in Iraq, and embody the will of so many different Governments under the aegis of the United Nations.

In line with its tradition of solidarity, and as demonstrated in recent years by supporting humanitarian projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Middle East and in several African Countries, often in the context of ad hoc programmes and UN special missions, my Country will be pleased to contribute to the reconstruction process in Iraq. For the achievement of this objective, the forthcoming conference on Iraq reconstruction is particularly interesting.

The tragic, painful and unforgettable events of September 11, 2001 have also marked the proliferation of international terrorism and the escalation of terrorist attacks. Today's gathering in this important forum is a clear indication of our Countries position, its significance is increased by the universal character of this meeting.

Nearly 60 years ago, at the end of World War II, the creation of the United Nations Organisation testified to the unanimous desire for lasting peace and justice. I believe that it is the responsibility of this Organisation to effectively reflect at the beginning of the Third Millennium the will of the States to fulfill their original commitment and keep the original spirit alive through dialogue, mediation and cooperation.

It is with this awareness that San Marino reaffirms its decision to reject any form of terrorism and to fully contribute to its defeat, as testified by the Republic accession to several international instruments of the United Nations and of the European Organizations.

Similarly, San Marino has promptly followed up to Resolution 1373 and will continue to monitor terrorism also at a domestic level, as evidenced by the implementation of the guidelines to fight this phenomenon and its related aspects.

Terrorism, besides being inspired by fanaticism and fundamentalism, is too often linked to conditions of under-development and injustice. Its victims may in turn become instruments of violence and oppression.

However, terrorism can be countered also by actively supporting international cooperation programmes to overcome disparities, poverty, discrimination and prevarication, violation of the rights of individuals and peoples, total lack of opportunities, and therefore hopelessness, mainly for younger generations, the future of mankind.

Our joint efforts to restore favourable conditions for dialogue and mutual acceptance must not be weakened by the growing concern for persistent serious obstacles to the "Road Map" for peace in the Middle East, where negotiations and agreements are being jeopardised by renewed terrorist attacks, hatred and retaliations. We are convinced that both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples must be guaranteed the undisputable right to live freely on a territory of their own, where they can exercise their full sovereignty in security and peace.

Furthermore, the success of the globalisation process underway inevitably depends on the achievement of development and peace for all.

Within the framework of an efficient global cooperation, the role played by San Marino is indissolubly linked to its traditions of freedom, independence and democracy. Such principles, which have characterised the Republic's 1700 years of existence, still inspire today's international policy.

In 1854, San Marino was the first European country to ban the death penalty. My country believes that such an important and topical issue must remain a priority for the UN General Assembly, although it is not on the agenda of this Session.

In the field of human rights, the ethics of diversity implies acceptance of the human condition in its entirety. In this spirit, San Marino has followed with special attention the negotiations within the working group for the drafting of an International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

San Marino continues to pay great attention to the follow up of the initiatives on HIV/AIDS carried out by the United Nations and to find adequate responses against the spreading of new epidemics like SARS. Moreover, it follows with great interest the Dorking Group for the Drafting of an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings, prompted by the conviction that the cloning of human beings is an immoral and inhuman degeneration of biotechnological development and that this abhorrent practice is contrary to human dignity.

The important ethical and moral implications of this issue cannot be separated from the purely scientific questions. We hope that the United Nations will continue to struggle for the protection of the fundamental rights of human beings.

Always in the field of human rights, San Marino has recently extended a standing invitation to the UN Commission on Human Rights to visit the Republic, whenever necessary for a better fulfilment of its mandate.

Mr President,

I wish to recall that San Marino was the first Western European country to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court, confident that it could satisfy the widespread desire for justice and put an end to the impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes to the international community as a whole.

Let me also express our best wishes that the Court, composed by authoritative magistrates, is now able to work in line with the objectives of justice, security and peace lying at its very base. We are confident it will carry on a fruitful work, and always act independently and impartially.

All the objectives set forth in the Millennium Declaration could be achieved if additional $50 billion a year were granted in development assistance, while military expenditure at a global level amounts to $850 billion. Therefore, we wish to express our appreciation for the positive results obtained by the UN peace keeping missions in several areas of the world affected by conflicts. Such results should encourage Governments to increase their support in favour of these missions, which promote lasting and sustainable peace, the re-establishment of democracy and rule of law.

San Marino will continue to participate in the joint action for the total elimination of anti-personnel mines, and in this context, urges Countries that have not yet done so to accede to the Ottawa Convention.

The Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004 will provide a further incentive to reflect on and analyse the living conditions of our populations, paying special attention to children, the elderly and the most vulnerable people in our societies. Indeed, such groups deserve greater consideration on the part of societies. Society must promote effective projects of education to solidarity and adequate interventions.

Only a few days ago, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed the initial report of San Marino on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The relevant measures now in force will be soon supplemented by new ones to support the family.

Mr President,

In underlining the validity of the reform programme started by the UN Secretary General, we deem it necessary to carry on the reform of the General Assembly, the most representative body of our Organization. Indeed, it should enjoy greater authority.

Hoping that an agreement on the reform of the Security Council will be reached, San Marino reiterates its support for this body to include a larger number of non-permanent members, in order to make it more representative, democratic and transparent.

Mr President,

Let me stress once again my Country's appreciation and commitment to the activity carried out by the United Nations and by you personally building a world of peace, solidarity and development.

It is in this spirit that this morning I signed three important international instruments: the Convention on the Elimination of any Form of Discrimination against Women, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, recently adopted at the 56th WHO Assembly, and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty.

We need to continue our action internationally, despite all difficulties and tensions, bearing in mind that our joint efforts are essential to find a solution to the emergencies and concerns of today. Bringing about the necessary changes, we will be able to reconfirm the validity of the basic principles of this Organisation. We will responsibly set the conditions for our future and thus meet the expectations of our peoples and our hearts.

While expressing my best wishes to you, Mr President, to the Secretary General and to all UN officers, as well as to all member States, I assure you that San Marino will be at your side to meet these challenges.