Mr. President,

On behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Suriname, I would, at the outset, like to take this opportunity to extend to you, as a fellow brother of the Caribbean, and to the other members of the bureau my sincere congratulations on your unanimous election to guide the 58th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Suriname shares in the satisfaction experienced by the Caribbean Region. We are convinced that, given your vast diplomatic experience and skills you will be able to guide the affairs of the 58th session of the General Assembly in a most effective manner.

In this regard I can assure you that Suriname will support you in every possible way.

My delegation would also like to express its gratitude to H.E. Dr. Jan Kavan, the president of the 57th session of the United Nations for the manner in which he chaired the affairs of the Organization.

We wish him well in his future endeavors.

Likewise, my Government would like to reiterate its support to Secretary General Kofi Annan. His dedication to the goals and spirit of the Organization has been exemplary and has served him well in protecting the interest of humanity.

My Government strongly deplores the atrocious terrorist attack on the United Nations Head Quarters in Baghdad. Our thoughts are with the Secretary General and also with the bereaved families of those who perished as a result of the incident.

We specially mourn the demise of Sergio Viera de Mello, a dedicated UN staff member who laboured for the benefit of many troubled societies.

Mr. President,

The opportunities that arise from the developments in the world today are, unfortunately, not within reach of all the world's children.

This world order that is well developed on the one side, copes with serious development setbacks in the economic and social sectors, on the other side.

Economic downfalls, declining health services and the persistence of an international non-supportive environment are all circumstances that affect the ability of Governments, in particular in the Developing Countries, to adequately implement policies that are required.

There exists a wider disparity between the haves and the have-nots, not only in economic terms, but also in terms of opportunities offered by the rapid development in the digital sector. Globalization can only become an avenue to global development if it becomes all-inclusive and assumes a human face.

This was the sense of urgency and understanding that participants in the global consultative process for development cooperation brought to the meetings in Doha, Monterrey and Johannesburg. These meetings generated the needed political commitment and momentum, as did the Millennium Summit at the highest political level. We must maintain this momentum and continue to demonstrate the political will and energy to implement the decisions carefully drafted at these meetings.

To accelerate progress towards these goals there is need for a set of policies that generate stronger economic growth complemented by action to enhance the capabilities of poor people to participate in growth and access key social services.

As agreed in Doha and in Monterrey these efforts should meet with stronger support of the international community, in particular through increased market access for Developing Countries.

My Government also holds the view that it is necessary that all relevant actors continue to be involved in the process that should lead to the coordinated and integrated implementation of the outcomes of these meetings.

Such an approach should put us on a path of economic and social development that reduces poverty and works for all the world's peoples.

International peace and security predominantly occupies the international agenda. The maintenance of international peace and security is a major concern of the international community as declining security affects the protection of human rights and the very existence of all human beings.

It is therefore important that global security is based on a secured and just framework that promotes the peaceful coexistence of all states.

The Government of Suriname is of the considered view that the United Nations and its Charter offer the best guarantee for the maintenance of the international peace and security.

Abidance by the security framework laid down in the Charter is therefore of utmost importance.

Declining security affects every member of the international community.

It is therefore essential to increase the involvement of the general membership of the Organization in the agenda and work of the Security Council while an increase in the membership of the Council should reflect the international political and economic realities and security needs of contemporary global society.

The principle of human centered security might offer the best possible and most effective road to travel in order to meet the security needs of today's world.

A commitment to human centered security will generate a more integrated international cooperation in many related fields; from conflict prevention to disannaments including respect for the rule of law and for human rights.

Mr. President,

The United Nations must continue to be innovative in its search for effective ways and means to increase global security.

We must continue to argue for more tolerance and understanding among peoples.

Suriname is one of the most ethnically varied nations in the world, where people with different religions and racial backgrounds live and work peacefully together, with a Government and Parliament, where Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews form a front to collectively work on the development of our country.

The dialogue among civilizations, in particular among religions, must be encouraged. We must furthermore seek to remove those circumstances that give rise to situations that foster global insecurity. This task must be given a central place in any overall strategy to increase international peace and security.

Maintaining international peace and security must increasingly become a common responsibility involving all actors, governments and peoples alike.

The restructuring of the United Nations must also result in achieving a more effective General Assembly.

It is important that the General Assembly is perceived by the general public as an important international body contributing to its development and prosperity.

A restructured General Assembly, as the sole universal deliberative body, must continue to spearhead the debate on development but must also incorporate into its agenda other issues of a global nature that are of special importance to humanity.

Mr. President,

The common task ahead is to collectively work towards sustainable human development and create a global society in which equity, equality and equal rights and opportunity exist for all human beings and extreme poverty can be eradicated.

Achieving such a global society requires the involvement, determination and commitment of every government, of the civil society and the business sector as well as coordinated and comprehensive actions by all these actors in the global fight against poverty and injustice.

I thank you.