Press Releases

    GA/9968
    16 November 2001

    ECONOMICALLY VIABLE, NON-MILITARY PALESTINIAN STATE "THE BEST BET", ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER
    TELLS ASSEMBLY

    Different Views Offered on Use of Sanctions,
    With Calls for Review of Embargoes on Libya, Iraq


    NEW YORK, 15 November (UN Headquarters) -- "Good neighbours are better than good guns", Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, told the General Assembly this morning as it continued its general debate.

    There was broad agreement that the creation of an independent Palestinian State -– non-military and economically viable –- was the best bet, he said. A Palestinian State -– which would enable the Palestinians to breathe freedom, to initiate a new economy, to maintain their traditions, and to enjoy the highest level of education –- would also provide for real security. Armies were non-democratic, but without them, democracy would not prevail. In a democratic country, only one authority controlled the military. The Palestinian Authority, a State in the making, must establish one authority over all arms, all armies and all use of arms, not for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of peace and their own destiny, so that bullets would not negate ballots.

    Bin Laden claimed he wanted to help the Palestinians, Mr. Peres said, but he was an obstacle to resolution. Israel had made peace with Egypt and Jordan not because of terror, but because of the end of terror. In July 2000 at Camp David, the Palestinians had been offered practically all the land -- without bin Laden. Even if there remained an unresolved difference of 1 or 2 per cent between the parties, that did not justify the killing of thousands of men and women in America.

    The Minister for External Relations of Angola said that after a period of uncertainty, peace was slowly becoming an irreversible reality in Angola. The regular forces of the military wing of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which had launched a large-scale military campaign to seize power, had been completely neutralized. It was now a daily event –- large numbers of rebel soldiers and officers surrendering their weapons and being integrated into Angolan society.

    He said an environment of relative peace would not be possible without the help of the international community, which had imposed Security Council sanctions against UNITA’s military wing, led by Jonas Savimbi. The most visible effect of those sanctions was their contribution to a significant reduction of his capacity to wage war and, as a consequence, to persuade a great number of its members to give up their weapons. That outcome clearly demonstrated the efficacy of sanctions as a means and not as an end in themselves.

    Also addressing the issue of sanctions, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen said the suffering of the Iraqi people as a consequence of those measures constituted a burden on the human conscience. Continuation of those sanctions raised an increasing number of questions about the aims behind insistence on their maintenance. As Libya and certain other States were still suffering from unjust embargo policies, there was an urgent need to reconsider embargo resolutions which had become obsolete.

    While expressing his satisfaction that sanctions on his country had been lifted, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Sudan called upon the Security Council to review sanctions imposed on Libya and Iraq.

    The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, Guyana, Nigeria, Comoros and Cameroon also addressed the Assembly, as did the representatives of Singapore and Kazakhstan.

    Tomorrow, Friday, 16 November, at 9 a.m., the Assembly will take up the fourth report of its General Committee before continuing with the general debate.

    Background

    The General Assembly met this morning to continue its general debate. (For more background information, see Press Release GA/9957 of 10 November.)

    The Assembly was expected to hear from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel and other high-level government officials from various countries.

    Statements

    YOUSSOUF OUEDRAOGO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso: The terrorist attacks of 11 September plunged the American people and other States into grief, and were a turning point in international relations. They were a brutal reminder of the complexities facing humankind, and of the need to find solutions. Burkina Faso is resolved to be involved in any initiative to eradicate terrorism and its causes.

    The campaign against terrorism must be part of a coherent, solid world coalition based on the United Nations, and must also take into consideration the realities and constraints facing the international community. First, we need to define clear objectives and the methods to implement them. While terrorists are enemies, the manner in which we combat them must not provide them with allies. The response to 11 September could lead to a catastrophic scenario for humanity -- a conflict between Islam and Christianity or between East and West.

    The leaders of our day must attack the injustices that give rise to hate and conflict. They must combat poverty, HIV/AIDS and exclusion of all kinds, which are still the daily lot in many parts of the world. The right of the Palestinians to establish an independent State is vital in this respect. Because of continuing tension, the convening of a special international conference on that region is essential. It is also critical that we lift the embargoes on certain States, such as Cuba and Iraq, which help to weaken international peace and security. With regard to the Western Sahara, we have always supported international efforts there. The proposal by James Baker seems to be an acceptable political compromise, a constructive negotiating basis.

    Discussions in the United Nations should allow all Members to contribute on how best to meet the concerns of mankind, and decisions taken must be applied by all States to reach a new international order of sharing and solidarity. This new order must be based on reform of the United Nations aimed at creating a more collective style of management. There should also be a more equitable division of the world’s resources. We reaffirm Africa’s position, which advocates equitable representation for all regions of the world in the Security Council.

    Burkina Faso has undertaken large-scale political and economic reforms, based on the continuing value of this universal approach. We have instituted a new type of elections and a standardized ballot, and set up a constitutional council and an appeals court. Economically, the Government works constantly to improve the living conditions of our people. We have decided to stress poverty eradication, working out a strategic plan to achieve this with development partners. The best of possible worlds is within our grasp, and we can defeat the plagues that assail humankind. We just need to unite to achieve this.

    N. HASSAN WIRAJUDA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia: The economies of South-East Asia have just begun to recover from the devastation of a global financial crisis that erupted just a few years ago -– and already we are facing the unwelcome prospects of its possible recurrence. A new international financial architecture that would shield vulnerable economies from such a crisis remains a distant dream. The global economic environment is simply getting less hospitable to the aspirations for growth of the developing world. Without the resources and technology for sustainable development, developing countries are rapidly losing their natural resources, while the physical environment of the world continues to deteriorate. To us Indonesians, these global problems become even more poignant as they are replicated in our country and as they impact the lives of our people.

    In the face of these realities, we need massive direct investment flows in order to consolidate our recovery and march steadily forward on the road to development. We feel that the situation in Indonesia today already merits the confidence of investors, but we can barely make a good case for this in light of lingering threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. As in many other developing countries and, indeed, in some developed countries, Indonesia needs to overcome the problem of graft and corruption in its bureaucracies and in the corporate sector. The deficiencies of our legal system and the judiciary, the past human rights record of our police and military establishment have produced less than optimum conditions for Indonesia’s economic recovery. These are daunting challenges, as daunting as the global problems that they replicate and reflect.

    Yet, in confronting these national problems, I do not despair –- just as I do not despair in contemplating the global challenges of our time. If the problem is basically an imbalance in human relationships, then the solution lies in the rectification of that imbalance -– in the recognition that all human beings are of equal worth and have basically equal rights before the law of God and human law. Against the expectations of many outside and, indeed, within our own nation, Indonesia has relentlessly pursued the difficult process of reform and democratization. We are able to manage successive transitions of power in a democratic, peaceful and constitutional manner. Thus, Indonesia today stands proud as one of the largest democracies in the world. As a nation with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, we are the living refutation of the erroneous notion that Islam and democracy are incompatible.

    My Government has made a democratic response to the challenge of separatism in Aceh and Irian Jaya. We will sincerely address their grievances. We will meet their legitimate demands by introducing special autonomy and a greater sharing of resources, and guarantee respect for their culture and ethnic identities. We will not, however, tolerate any acts of terror of violence for separatist ends against the territorial integrity and national unity of our country. In my opinion, there is no question whether the democratic response will work as a way of solving this problem, and all the other global problems of our time. Nothing else will work. The question is whether we are courageous and sincere enough, whether we are enlightened enough to apply it. History, it has been said, is a race between enlightenment and catastrophe. Let us come to our enlightenment now before catastrophe overtakes us.

    EDUARD KUKAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia: The terrorist attack has certainly changed our perception of the world. After a period of mostly emotional reactions, we now need more qualified answers supported with resolve and responsibility. It is, in particular the, legal instruments devised here in the United Nations that constitute a good basis for increasing the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism. The only thing that remains to be done is to implement all the good principles which are already laid down. We hope that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court will enter into force sometime next year, thus, establishing a body that will terminate the impunity currently shielding most serious crimes, including crimes against humanity.

    The world is offered a unique opportunity to achieve progress in tackling long-lasting conflicts through joint efforts. Slovakia considers United Nations peacekeeping operations to be one of the key and most visible aspects of the activities of this Organization. It is the people in the regions suffering from conflict who look at our Organization with hope, and we shall not let them down. We are ready to continue contributing in every possible way to this noble endeavour.

    Our position on the issue of Security Council reform is linked to the importance of making the Organization more effective. Let us be honest in admitting that we have not been fully successful in achieving this goal for years, and now we will have to cope with new, unprecedented challenges. In addition to being representative, the Security Council should maintain sufficient operational flexibility. We also hold that the Security Council should base its decision-making on majority voting, and the veto should only be reserved for decisions taken under Chapter VII of the Charter.

    Slovakia supports the enlargement of the Security Council in both categories. However, failure to achieve consensus on the enlargement of one category should not result in blocking enlargement in another category. I wish to confirm that, while increasing the number of elected non-permanent members, we consider it fully justified to allocate one additional seat to the Group of Eastern European States.

    SHIMON PERES, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel: America is not just a new world. It is a great constitution, the shining city on the hill. It is not just a concrete structure, it is a solid idea. You can attack America, hurt and injure America, but America is indestructible. America’s war on terrorism is the war of all of us. By "us" I mean every country in this Assembly and every human being on this planet. Bin Laden claims that he fights the crusaders. He is living in a world that no longer exists. Bin Laden claims that he wants to help the Palestinians in their conflict, but he is an obstacle to resolution, not an aid. Israel made peace with Egypt and returned all its land and water without Bin Laden. We did likewise with the Jordanians. Not because of terror, but because of the end of terror.

    At Camp David in July of 2000, we offered the Palestinians practically all the land without Bin Laden. And even if there remained an unresolved difference of 1 or 2 per cent, this does not justify the killing of thousands of men and women in America. Political differences do not justify murdering children. Bin Laden and his abhorrent ideas will never contribute to peace. They offer no solution, nor hope for any nation, religion, or individual. They spread hatred, disseminate fear and plant mines. They are just a catastrophe. Either all of us, nations and individuals, will introduce safety and freedom, or we shall become targets of death and darkness. It is the responsibility of all affluent nations to share the wealth of knowledge so that others will join in. They should become a locomotive for the deprived and the luxury liner for the privileged.

    Right now, it looks as if we are again sinking into the past. The emotional conflict is greater than the territorial gap. And it is more difficult to muster strength and summon spirit than to divide the land. In spite of these difficulties, I dare say there is a hidden opportunity in the vast divide. I feel strongly that, while we cannot recover lost time, we can introduce a new vista in the Middle East. Our neighbours -– Palestinians and Arabs -– know that Israel is committed to contribute whatever she can to renew a real peace process. Not by force, not by imposition, not by unilateral action, but through a negotiated agreement. Today, there is broad agreement that the creation of an independent Palestinian State -– non-military and economically viable –- is the best bet. A Palestinian State -– which enables the Palestinians to breathe freedom, to initiate a new economy, to maintain their traditions, and enjoy the highest level of education –- will also provide for real security.

    As far as Israel is concerned, we are convinced that good neighbours are better than good guns. What endangers the new solution is terror. The assembly against terror compromises most of humanity -– the United States, Europe, China, Russia, India, South America, and some Muslim countries. Every democracy must have a non-democratic institution to defend itself. Armies are non-democratic, but without them, democracy would not prevail. You may have many views in a democratic country, but only one authority that controls the military. The Palestinian Authority, which is a State in the making, must establish one authority over all arms, all armies and all use of arms. Not for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of peace and their own destiny, so that bullets will not negate ballots. As long as terror persists, Israel has no choice but to defend its people. The word "terror" refers to a reality of between 30 to 40 violent incidents every day -– shooting, bombing, ambushing and killing. Terror is strong as long as anti-terror is weak. And terror is frightening as long as people are afraid of it. Terror represents cowardliness and does not serve a real purpose. Terror neither follows justice nor serves goals. It is not a remedy; it is a malady.

    ABDULAZIZ KAMILOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan: Today, it is evident that terrorism is related to extremism of every stripe -- political, religious, ethnic -- as well as to separatism and drug trafficking. It is impossible to come to an agreement with terrorists. Modern practice and historic experience testify to it. The only way to deal with terrorists is to isolate them completely and stand up to them in the most uncompromising and resolute fashion. The Uzbek people, heirs of the great Muslim tradition and a major contributor to the development and prosperity of Islamic civilization, realizes that this operation is not directed at the people of Afghanistan or the religion of Islam.

    The civil war in Afghanistan, which reached its apogee during the short-lived Taliban ascendancy, has completely destroyed a national economy. It has cast the Afghan people into distress and put under threat the existence of Afghanistan as a unified State. We support the efforts of the international community to adopt immediate measures for the adoption of large-scale programme for the post-conflict restoration of Afghanistan and concrete humanitarian aid to those who urgently need this help.

    Rallying the international coalition against terrorism, we should not neglect yet another equally dangerous threat -– that of drug trafficking -– the main financial support for terrorist and extremist activities. In recent years, the countries of Central Asia have been finding themselves face to face with large-scale aggression unleashed by international narco-syndicates. It is clear that no country, no matter how powerful, can expect to successfully confront drug trafficking, unless fully supported by the international community.

    Acknowledging the urgent need to intensify the international struggle against transnational threats and challenges, Uzbekistan accords great significance to the issue of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Central Asia. Given the present unstable military and political situation in the region, this problem is a credible threat on a continental and global scale. In this respect, the functional capabilities of the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone are of great importance.

    S.R. INSANALLY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guyana: The terrorist attacks on the United States altered the geopolitical landscape as indelibly as it did the Manhattan skyline. The world is a changed place since that horrendous event. We suddenly find under threat, by unorthodox and hitherto unimaginable means, the values by which our Organization is driven. We cannot help but feel a sense of sorrow and shame that such a barbaric act could have occurred in this day and age only a short distance from this house of our common humanity.

    The economic and social impact of the 11 September attacks has been no less powerful and pervasive. Small and vulnerable States, such as my own, will find it especially difficult to cope with the resulting hardship. Our countries, with far fewer alternatives available to them than to more developed States because of an unfavourable international economic system, high levels of external debt and unequal terms of trade, will suffer disproportionately. As always, the exporters of primary products are the first to suffer a downturn in the world economy and the last to recover.

    We must act responsibly to remove from our midst all threats to global peace and security. Foremost among these is the situation in the Middle East, at the core of which is the Palestinian problem, stemming from the persistent denial to an entire people of the enjoyment of their basic rights. The peace process must immediately resume with seriousness of purpose and determination to end the senseless violence which has been the unhappy fate of the Palestinian people. They must be allowed to live in a State of their own, free from fear or want, within safe and secure borders.

    It is unfortunate that the Security Council, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, is too often perceived as undemocratic and opaque, giving rise to doubts about the legitimacy and effectiveness of its activities. Only a significant reform of the Council, including a restriction on the use of the veto, will generate the public confidence that body needs to function satisfactorily. Similarly, the peacemaking and peacekeeping machinery of the United Nations needs to be overhauled so that the Organization can satisfy the growing demands on it.

    We must now acknowledge that the prevailing international system of development cooperation is deeply flawed and has failed to achieve its primary objective of increasing growth and improving the quality of life in poor countries. Inherent in the system are many debt and poverty traps that continue to ensnare millions of the world’s poorest people. As envisioned by the late President Cheddi Jagan of Guyana, the proposal for a new global human order acknowledges that the major constraints affecting economic and social progress in developing countries reside in capacity limitation in the critical areas of markets, administrative and institutional structures (in both the public and private sectors), the leveraging of resources and the ability of developing countries to negotiate as equal partners in a number of forums outside the United Nations. The proposal seeks to make development cooperation programmes more effective, optimize scarce financial resources and reduce the spread of poverty. It also addresses new ways of managing development cooperation which could significantly overcome problems of aid dependence, current imbalances in international trade and the high indebtedness that continues to affect developing countries.

    SULE LAMIDO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria: It is regrettable that conflicts and wars continue to be waged, and that Africa has had a disproportionate share of these conflicts. Yet, we see flickers of hope. Experience in Liberia and Sierra Leone has shown that the United Nations, in close partnership with regional and subregional organizations, could facilitate the return to peace and security. Let us provide these organizations with the necessary financial and logistic support.

    Many of Africa's countries -- despite welcome initiatives on debt relief -– have neither grown out of debt nor been able to service their debts in a sustainable manner. This warrant a bolder approach, such as outright debt cancellation. Efforts to resolve the problem should be bolstered by collective action to discourage illegal transfer of funds from developing countries and the repatriation of such funds to their countries of origin. African leaders have established a clear linkage between our huge debt burden and the activities of foreign collaborators and the transfer of funds by past leaders from our continent.

    Based on a common vision of the need to eradicate poverty and place African countries on the path of sustainable development, the "New Partnership for African Development" has, among its key themes, promotion of peace, democracy, human rights, sound economic management, regional cooperation and economic integration. The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to pose serious challenges to development. Every effort should be made to ensure that the Global Health Fund for AIDS becomes operational by January 2002. Meanwhile, we should maintain the momentum so that we may bring succour in the shortest possible time to those living with AIDS, or suffering from tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases.

    The rescheduling of the United Nations special session on the rights of the child to May 2002 should provide us opportunity to ponder the challenges, which the world's children face today. Nigeria proposes to host an international conference in mid-2002 that will address the issue of child trafficking in our region. In order for the United Nations to meet the complex challenges of the new century, long overdue reforms of the Organization must be undertaken. The reform of the Security Council constitutes one of the major challenges. Let us work assiduously to complete the reform process and make the expanded Council truly representative of the United Nations membership.

    SOUEF MOHAMED EL AMINE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Comoros: The entire world has been plunged into obscurity and anarchy. Terrorist networks have defied the international community. The threats to peace spreading throughout the world call for urgent international action. We must not give way to extremist groups. But we must distinguish between terrorist acts and the legitimate acts of peoples who have the right to self-determination. It is also important not to confuse terrorism and Islam. Islam is known for its great tolerance and openness and its respect for peace.

    This fight against terrorism and injustice requires an objective political reading of areas of tension in the world. The situation in the occupied Arab territories calls for our attention today. The Palestinian people have the right to peace, security and self-determination. This is why our Government believes that an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital is necessary. The serious scourges which affect our countries, such as difficult access to education and health care, famine and deterioration of our environment, remain major challenges. Some of these ills are in themselves a very telling expression of the gap between the north and the south, which must be bridged. AIDS kills entire regions in poorer countries, and malaria still affects millions.

    Our people expect a great deal from this Organization, which is widely recognized as offering the best framework for guaranteeing the rights of all. We urge the United Nations to consider the legitimate claim of the Chinese Government with respect to the reintegration of the Chinese province of Taiwan. My country is especially sensitive to this as we have ourselves lived through a painful secessionist experience.

    A year after the Millennium Summit, allow me to speak about the climate of my country. I am pleased to announce that the process of national reconciliation is making progress daily. Indeed, at the present time, a draft constitution has just been handed to the head of State and will be submitted to a referendum before the end of this year. In this transitional phase, the Government is sparing no effort to improve the current conditions of population. These efforts must be supported by the international community.

    JOÃO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister for External Relations of Angola: Having been subject to terrorism for many years, Angola is pleased to join the other members of the Southern Africa Development Council to promote a forum to discuss and identify the many faces of terrorism, as well as effective means to fight its activities in our region. As to the African continent, we think measures to combat terrorism should particularly address its sources of financing, such as the illicit diamond, drug and weapons traffic, and identify its networks to prevent the free circulation of its members. In partnership with other countries, Angola has developed an international diamond certification system that has prevented diamonds of illegal origin from reaching international markets. We have, thus, helped to prevent the financing of terrorist groups and their activities in many African countries.

    After a period of uncertainty, peace is slowly becoming an irreversible reality in Angola. The regular forces of the military wing of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which had launched a large-scale military campaign to seize power, have been completely neutralized. Sectors under their illegal control have been liberated, and the Angolan Government controls the entire national territory. It is now a daily event -– large numbers of rebel soldiers and officers surrendering their weapons and being integrated into Angolan society. Today, UNITA’s military wing has only small, poorly armed groups operating in the jungle or in remote areas of our large territory. Although they can make isolated armed attacks, they no longer represent a threat to Angolan democratic institutions or to the safety of most of our population.

    This environment of relative peace would not be possible without the help of the international community, which made the distinction between those committed to peace and democracy and the apologists of war, and imposed Security Council sanctions against UNITA’s militarist wing led by Jonas Savimbi. The most visible effect of these sanctions was their contribution to a significant reduction of his capacity to wage war and, as a consequence, to persuade a great number of its members to give up their weapons and join the peace effort. This outcome clearly demonstrates the efficacy of sanctions as a means and not as an end in themselves. That is the reason my Government favours keeping and tightening sanctions until peace becomes irreversible in Angola. Nevertheless, my Government is concerned at the findings of a United Nations report, according to which not all countries have fully adopted the measures called for by the sanctions resolutions.

    The international economic recession will have a major impact on the developing countries and particularly in Africa, which has already suffered the effects of globalization. Of course, African countries cannot avoid globalization. But to engage in cooperative and collective activities, African nations must be based on strong States, something that hardly exists in the continent. In their New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), the countries of the continent have found the path away from stagnation and towards inter-African cooperation and development. Angola is engaged in this New Partnership. Economic progress can be achieved in Africa through the promotion of trade among its nations, the establishment of healthy economic conditions and good governance, fighting regional threats, including conflicts and endemic disease, and welcoming capital inflows.

    MUSTAFA OSMAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Sudan: The Sudan condemns all forms and acts of terrorism. We call upon the United Nations to address the enormous challenges and lead a collective international effort to combat terrorism and uproot its causes. We deplore attempts by some circles to link terrorism with Islam in order to depict the issue as a clash between civilizations. Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance, and as such it is far from being connected with terrorism. Our joint efforts with sisterly and friendly countries led to lifting the sanctions imposed on the Sudan by the Security Council. In this context, the Sudan calls upon the Council to review sanctions imposed on such countries as Libya and Iraq, and to respond positively to our demand by dispatching a fact-finding mission in connection with the bombing of the Alshifa pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan in 1998 by American missiles.

    We believe that this session should give special attention to reform of the Organization's bodies. All Member States are calling for the expansion of the Security Council's membership in the permanent and non-permanent categories, to improve its working methods, and to make its decision-making process more democratic and transparent. The General Assembly should be enabled to discharge its role in the maintenance of international peace and security and to exercise its duty in holding other organs of the Organization accountable. We emphasize the need to revitalize the Economic and Social Council, as this forum lays down international development policies, and to link its resolutions more closely to the economic and social, rather than the political, sphere.

    The tragedies of the ongoing war in Somalia have spilled negatively over the whole region of the Horn of Africa, and the Sudan calls upon all Somali parties to endeavour to accomplish national reconciliation and enable Somalia to embrace its regional and international role. In line with the decision adopted at the eighth Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit in Khartoum last November, the Sudan and neighbouring countries were mandated to accomplish national reconciliation aiming to restore stability in Somalia. A special envoy, appointed by the President of the Sudan, is engaged in intensive contacts with the countries of the subregion, the Transitional Government in Somalia, the different Somali factions, and the IGAD secretariat. The Sudan calls upon the United Nations and the international community to support efforts to restore security and stability, including rehabilitation of the infrastructure in Somalia.

    We understand the concern of the international community over the continuation of the war in southern Sudan. My Government is taking steps to put an end to that war and achieve peace. They including an immediate ceasefire, regular access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the population in need, a political resolution to the problem through dialogue, and reconstruction of the areas affected by the war. I would like to refer to the statement of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Sudan before the Third Committee last week, in which he stated that the war in the Sudan is not a religious war, as repeatedly alleged by some that like to distort facts. The Government of the Sudan will continue its commitment to cooperate with the United Nations, the donor countries and humanitarian organizations to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the victims of the war.

    ABDULLAH M. ALSAIDI, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen: If the scourge of terrorism has this time struck the United States, the phenomenon of terrorism is not new. Regrettably, it has worsened because of negligence in confronting it. Yemen has not been spared the perils of terrorism. Our country has been seared by its fire and afflicted by it in many ways, but its appeals for timely effective cooperation fell on deaf ears. As we proclaim the readiness of the Government of Yemen to strive, within the framework of international legitimacy, for the elimination of terrorism, we also affirm our desire that those endeavours should not lead to the suffering of innocent persons or to the practice of oppression. Such errors will only foster the emergence of a new generation of terrorists.

    Just as the members of the Security Council have hastened to shoulder their responsibility to implement Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), it is logical, indeed necessary, for those States to endeavour with the same seriousness to put a halt to the daily crimes perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people. They must compel Israel to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories and to implement Security Council resolutions of international legitimacy, first and foremost, resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). In this regard, Yemen welcomes President Bush’s endorsement of the necessity of establishing a Palestinian State with all the elements of sovereignty. This is a declaration that has met with ever-increasing international support. Israel must realize that its security is bound up with its neighbour’s security, and also that the guarantee of its future lies in acceptance of the right of the Palestinian people to establish its independent State and respect for its sovereignty over its territory.

    Unquestionably, the logic of power has become firmly ensconced. It cannot lead to the establishment of sound international relations or ensure lasting solutions to the problems that inevitably arise from time to time in inter-State relations. Yemen has striven indefatigably to ensure the best means of arriving at peace and stability at the regional and world levels, and has adhered to the course of resolving disputes by peaceful means. The ordeal our Somali brothers are going through confronts the international community with its responsibility to provide aid and support to the provisional Government and to increase assistance to the Somali refugees in the neighbouring countries. Those include our own, which has opened its arms to some 150,000 of our Somali brothers, despite difficult economic circumstance.

    The sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people and the suffering of that people constitute a burden on the human conscience. Their continuation raises an increasing number of questions about the aims behind insistence on their maintenance, now that the justifications for the decision to impose them no longer exist. Also, at a time when fraternal Libya and certain other States are still suffering from the unjust embargo policy, there is an urgent need to reconsider these embargo resolutions, which have become obsolete and have been superseded by events. Let me not omit here to express our pleasure at the decision of the Security Council to lift the sanctions against the Sudan.

    MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon): Just as we honoured the memory of the New York and Washington victims after 11 September, we must honour the victims in Afghanistan, especially the three German and French journalists. We invite the international community to do all it can to prevent Afghanistan from facing the armed demons of conflict, which have today defeated the Taliban. Under powers granted by the international community, the Security Council must swiftly implement the necessary actions to restore peace in Afghanistan, and provide humanitarian assistance to the traumatized people who have suffered from a seemingly endless civil war.

    We must also extinguish the fires of conflict in Palestine, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other disadvantaged regions of the planet. We must preserve the fragile peace in the Balkans. But without the determination of States, without rules unanimously adopted, it is pointless to hope that we can achieve the goals set down in the United Nations Charter. Why have we not found the necessary resources in the United Nations to resolve the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians or those that have bled Africa? States must be treated on the same footing with respect to international law and the principles defined by the United Nations.

    The preservation of the lives and dignity of men and women must play a central role in our thoughts and concerns. Terrorism must prompt us to take action, but also to reflect. Those who endanger the new world order use a double standard to justify their acts. They claim to be carrying out a crusade, and also put forward the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people who are the poorest of the poor. We must do all we can not to allow individuals and groups who have only criminal motives to use these excuses.

    KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore): The events of 11 September have shaken an already vulnerable world economy. The developed countries were already suffering a growing economic slowdown before then. Now, the attacks have undermined consumer confidence, disrupted commerce and destroyed wealth. Developing countries dependent on a healthy global economy for their growth will suffer from the fears and new precautions in the developed world regarding travel, shipping and the free flow of goods and information in general, which are constricting the arteries of globalization. If poor countries lose the chance to grow out of poverty, increased marginalization will exacerbate the conditions that breed terrorism in a vicious cycle.

    In developed countries, the economic slowdown was already strengthening protectionist voices calling for restrictions on imports, imposition of non-tariff barriers, anti-dumping duties, restrictions on migration and government support for domestic industries. Concern over terrorist use of financial and information networks are justifying restrictions on flows of international investment and information. Developing countries need these flows, which were inadequate even before the crisis. In short, most foreign direct investment (FDI) flows move mainly towards developed countries. The 12 major developing countries take 75 per cent of private foreign investment in the developing world, while 140 developing countries share 5 per cent. The poorest 48 countries account for 4 per cent of total world trade, at the same time that tariffs on the exports of developing countries are 30 per cent higher than the global average.

    It is a relief that the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Qatar has agreed to launch a new round of trade talks to keep the global economy on track to freer trade and investment, indicating that the needs of poorer countries are being addressed. As an example, of the 8.8 million jobs expected to be lost in the wake of 11 September, only 2.3 million will be lost in the United States and Europe. The impact on developing countries dependent on the tourist trade will be enormous. History shows that protectionism and isolationism lead to recession. Thus, globalization is not an all-powerful, irresistible force but a fragile construct dependent for its continuation on the will of participants.

    The United Nations has a critical role to play in curbing the detrimental economic effects of 11 September. As a forum to mobilize a strong political consensus against terrorism, it can bring together law enforcement and other agencies to examine avenues of cooperation. In the longer term, the economic and social conditions that encourage terrorists must be urgently addressed, while international economic integration is pursued through capacity-building and infrastructure development within developing countries.

    MADINA B. JARBUSSYNOVA (Kazakhstan): The issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is of special significance to our country. This year, we mark the tenth anniversary of our independence, as well as the tenth anniversary of the shutdown of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground, which represents an important step towards a nuclear-free, stable and safe world and its deliverance from the spectre of a global Armageddon. Nuclear weapons tests, however, have caused the destruction of the landscape, ecosystems, economic structure and traditional way for life for people in the affected areas, which happen to be the historical centres of Kazakh statehood and culture. We are grateful to our partners, who helped with the rehabilitation of the testing ground, yet much remains to be done. Financial aid, the experience and expertise of international organizations, donor countries and non-governmental entities play an important role in addressing the problems of our region.

    We consider it important to fight poverty and unemployment, to develop further the transportation infrastructure by maintaining and improving highways and railroads, to find solutions to the problems of rivers in border areas, and to find a solution to the supply of drinking water in certain areas. Transition to environmentally sound and sustainable development is also a priority goal. The stabilization and improvement of the quality of the environment in the Aral Sea basin are of overriding importance to us. We call for an integrated approach to the problems of the Aral Sea, and for wider participation in this effort by the programmes of the United Nations system.

    The problem of the Caspian Sea has outgrown its regional boundaries and has become global. As an effective tool of regional and global economic partnership, the United Nations has a role to play in implementing a policy of preventive diplomacy in the region, in order to work out an agreed programme of Caspian Sea development.

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