NEW YORK, 27 SEPTEMBER 2002
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. GONÇALO DE
GOMES, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SANTA CLARA PORTUGALTO THE UNITED NATIONS, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE WEOG FOR SEPTEMBER, TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (on the occasion of the admission of Timor-Leste to the United Nations)
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour to address this Assembly in my capacity as Chairman of the Western European and Other States Group, upon the admission of Timor-Leste as a member state of the United Nations.
This meeting today is the culmination of a long and arduous process, through which the Timorese people chose to be independent and to live according to the principles that we, at our organisation, cherish the most: democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. I am sure Timor-Leste’s membership of the United Nations will contribute to the efforts of the organisation to streghthen these principles around the world.
The Timorese involvement with the United Nation is not new. We have all supported, participated and followed with intense emotion the joint effort the UN and the Timorese have made to bring this new country into the international community. The presence of such a distinguished delegation today is evidence of the continued commitment of the country to the UN. The members of the Western European and Other States Group look forward to working closely with the Timorese authorities and their representatives here.
I would like to conclude by paying a special tribute to President Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister Alkatiri, Foreign Minister Ramos Horta and Bishop Ximenes Belo for their role in leading Timor-Leste to this occasion. I must also extend a very warm appreciation to the Secretary-General for his personal engagement in the process that led to this new membership.
As the Timorese flag is raised today we will all have reason to be proud.