NEW YORK, 27 SEPTEMBER 2002
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. DURÃO BARROSO, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC, TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (on the occasion of the admission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations)
President Xanana Gusmão,
Timor-Leste is a triumph of the human spirit. It is also proof that adversity can always be overcome and that, in the end, justice always prevails. As a Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, noted – “tudo vale a pena quando a alma não é pequena (“everything is worthwhile when the soul is not small”).
The Timorese people has shown us that they are true to the basic values we all believe in and that are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Today, Timor-Leste is becoming a Member-State of the United Nations, although it must be said that the people of Timor-Leste have long been with us. For some time, they have belonged to our family of nations.
Timor-Leste reminds us that the UN Charter reaffirms our collective faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small. To these ends, we have committed ourselves to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors. This is the way for a new Member-State to deal with the world at large and, in turn, for all of us to deal with the new Member-State of Timor-Leste. In looking at you, people of Timor-Leste, we are looking at ourselves.
Today, we also pay a fitting tribute to the work of the United Nations in Timor-Leste. This is a success story. This is also proof that in situations of conflict the United Nations can make a difference for the better, provided it is fully supported by Member States. It is only fair to thank, in particular, the Secretary-General for his determination and single-mindedness in pursuing the right path, the path of freedom and peace. Mr. Kofi Annan, Timor-Leste owes you a great deal.
The fate of Timor-Leste is now in the hands of the Timorese and their elected President, Xanana Gusmão. I would like also to recognize the presence among us of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Foreign Minister Ramos Horta and the Bishop of Dili, D. Ximenes Belo. This is truly an impressive delegation.
The new country still needs the support of the international community. For Timor-Leste, joining the United Nations is not the end of the road, since its very existence as a democratic and potentially prosperous state still depends on our collective solidarity. International attention to Timor-Leste should not be replaced by international indifference. Indeed, we must ensure that we do not lose the peace.
Mr. President, now I will add a word in Portuguese,
Desejo aqui manifestar a grande honra que sinto em representar o povo português numa cerimónia a que atribuímos particular significado. Os valores que os timorenses representam foram os mesmos valores que os portugueses defenderam durante décadas, em particular nesta mesma Assembleia Geral. Por isso mesmo, sentimos especial satisfação em termos trabalhado a resolução aqui aprovada juntamente com as nações amigas da Austrália e da Indonésia.
Portugal continuará a estender uma mão amiga a Timor-Leste, com quem se encontra também associado, desde a Cimeira de Brasília, na Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa. Milhares de portugueses serviram nas operações das Nações Unidas em Timor-Leste e em programas bilaterais de cooperação que encetámos mesmo antes da cerimónia de independência. Posso assegurar-vos que o povo português e o povo de Timor-Leste estão afectivamente mais próximos do que a distância física entre ele sugere. E se, como outro poeta português, Camões, observou que “todo o mundo é composto de mudança”, há algo que dificilmente mudará: a amizade que nós, portugueses, sentimos pelo povo de Timor-Leste.
On behalf of the one hundred and thirty two co-sponsors, I have the honour to introduce to this General Assembly the draft resolution contained in document number A/57/L.3 and recommend its approval by consensus and thus by acclamation welcome Timor-Leste as the newest Member State of the United Nations.