At the outset, allow me to congratulate the Government of South Africa for its leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) over the past three years. Your constructive and effective guidance has undoubtedly strengthened the Movement and as you pass the baton to new leadership, we look forward to the renewal of this spirit.
I also extend condolences to the Government and people of Algeria on the loss of lives and property in the recent disaster which took place in that country.
It is indeed an honour to address the NAM on the occasion of the Fortieth year of its existence. The achievement of forty years is a significant milestone and is testimony to the fact that there are more issues that unite us than those that divide us. We must capitalise on this unity through which lies our collective strength, and redouble our efforts to make our presence and influence evident on the world's stage.
Over the past forty years, there are several achievements that the Movement can celebrate. The promotion of the founding principles including those of the right of self-determination, sovereign equality of states, the struggle against colonialism, racism and all forms of exploitation have all made an indelible impact on the development of our societies and our political systems.
But there still remains several challenges and threats to the Movement, both old and new, including the proliferation of Drugs, the AIDS epidemic, transnational crime, terrorism and the effects of globalisation on the new world order. On the political front, the settlement of the Middle East Question is an urgent priority. The NAM must spare no effort in devising creative means to address these problems.
There are certain priorities before the 56th Session of the General Assembly to which my delegation believes the NAM must pay close attention. As developing countries, we must ensure that the security and well-being of our countries assume a central place on the Agenda of the United Nations. In so doing, it is imperative that we use our collective strength to enhance and reform these multilateral institutions to achieve democratic governance and effectiveness in the management of the international system
The effects of globalisation and liberalisation on the economies of our countries and the danger of marginalisation of developing countries require new strategies for survival and development through competitiveness in trade, easier access to markets, debt relief, as well as favourable capital and technology transfers.
In this context, the International Conference on Financing for Developoment in Mexico in March 2002 will be a useful forum for advancing these goals. As NAM member countries we should insist that adequate reform is made to the international financial systems in order to secure more equitable mobilisation of resources to finance sustained development. It is necessary that we also ensure that the issues on the agenda will be addressed in a holistic manner with strong emphasis on implementation plans, especially in relating the outcomes and commitments of the global conferences of the 1990's and the Racism Conference recently held in Durban.
Terrorism is another global challenge which has become even more significant in light of the events of September 11 in the United States. As has been clearly seen, no country is immune from terrorism. We all share a responsibility for its elimination, which will be achieved not simply by military action but by removing the root causes and breeding grounds of poverty and degradation, injustice and the denial of rights, oppression and exploitation. The whole issue is linked to current problems in Crime Prevention and Drug Control which require collaboration at the regional and international levels to eliminate the illegal trafficking in narcotics and lethal weapons.
Global peace and security continue to be threatened by the pervasiveness of intra-state conflicts worldwide. Sadly, most of these conflicts take place in NAM member countries, particularly in Africa. The NAM must devise effective conflict prevention mechanisms aimed at resolving these problems. It is an encouraging sign that African regional peacemaking and peacebuilding initiatives have experienced a measure of success. We welcome in this regard, the progress made in the peace processes in the Great Lakes Region, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia/Eritrea, where to a large extent, the efforts of regional mechanisms have been useful in stemming further conflicts. This cooperation must be encouraged.
Finally, as the United Nations renews its commitment to the objective of the Millennium Declaration, the NAM must ensure that its goals and aspirations are not ignored or forgotten. At this year's 56th Session, the NAM should remain actively engaged and exercise its influence in the decision-making process. It must be creative in its thinking and help to promot the new renaissance of the United Nations. A vibrant Non-Aligned Movement will help to build a stronger Organization.
I thank you, Madam Chair.
Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
November 14, 2001