Excellencies the Co-Presidents, Ladies and Gentlemen:
have only five minutes. So, I shall
be brief. To the point.
let me first of all congratulate you, Co-Presidents, on your election to the
Chair, and the Secretary-General on his excellent report.
shall spend the next four minutes and thirty-seven seconds voicing my
country’s concerns and hopes for the new millennium.
theme of this Millennium Summit is: the role of the United Nations in the
people around the globe ask: Fifty-five years after the United Nations was
established, has the world become a better place?
answer is a qualified “yes”.
is almost complete. Apartheid has been dismantled.
Peace has paved the way for human progress.
many parts of the world, health status has improved.
And so has education.
standard of living is rising.
rights are more widely respected.
has virtually replaced despotism.
would rejoice in these achievements, were it not for the horror of the failures.
the millions of children dying of hunger.
Recall the killing fields of the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Think about the suffering of Bosnia.
Give a thought to the many evil faces of terrorism. And the trillions
spent on the arms build-up. Never forget the escalating environmental
From genocide to wars to disease – the bodies keep piling up.
the UN is, at best, a modest success.
new millennium is an opportune time, as any, for a fresh start.
The gap between expectation and result must be eliminated.
is the ultimate human tragedy.
All bloodshed must cease.
UN must become more democratic.
It must serve all states alike.
keynote of the UN Charter is "We, the peoples."
We must bridge the numerous divides that fragment humanity today.
We must reject all forms of discrimination and exploitation.
must become more inclusive.
is a crime against humanity by those who can but do not alleviate it. The
expenditure on arms must be diverted to feed hungry mouths.
And to save children.
development and peace are different expressions of the same reality.
must be made a positive force for all.
It must unite and not divide.
Benefit and not deprive.
Information technology can unite humanity like never before.
least developed countries need greater preferential treatment.
empowerment of women must become universal.
youth must be given the chance to achieve their full potential.
families must be the cornerstone of society.
values are vital for a caring world order.
quest for progress must be sustainable. We have no right to destroy the earth.
damage must be stopped. Global warming must be curbed.
All low-lying countries must be saved.
all these reasons, a stronger and a fairer UN is essential.
Only then can these and other challenges be meaningfully addressed.
those who learn from mistakes the past is a good guide for the future.
let us not go back a thousand years.
Let us go forward to a hundred years hence.
the UN meets to usher in yet another century, will the Maldives and other
low-lying island nations be represented here?
only a sobering thought, but an alarming one.
I have only thirty seconds left.
would be a pity to disperse from this gathering without a final commitment to
save the earth.
don’t wish to be cynical, but, are we to believe that the world really cares?
Are we to believe that all humanity is one?
speaks louder than words.
time at the podium is up.
But, I pray that that of my country is not.