NEW YORK, 7 OCTOBER 2003
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. GONÇALO SANTA CLARA GOMES, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS, TO THE PLENARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S 58th SESSION (Agenda items 60 and 10: Follow-up to the Outcome of the Millennium Summit and the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization)
fully subscribes the Statement made by Portugal on behalf of the EU on the Follow-up of Millennium Summit and the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization. In particular, we support its call for Member States to show political will, pragmatism and imagination in the reform of the United Nations. Italy
We welcome the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a panel of eminent personalities as an important step to overcome the difficulties we have been facing in reforming this Organization.
But, as the Permanent Representative of
said, “we must not put off until tomorrow what we can do today, we must push ahead with action on reforming this year”. The challenging dimension of the measures that need to be adopted, and the different levels where action is required, make it advisable to go forward as soon as possible in those areas where it is most needed and pressing. Italy
As the statement of the European Union affirms, one of our priorities is to consider how to improve the cooperation between the UNSC and the ECOSOC, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the UN.
The cooperation between the different organs of the UN is foreseen in the Charter as a necessary way to achieve common goals. The Secretary-General has been stressing the need to improve the coherence of the system and, through it, to transform it into a more effective instrument of the international community.
One of the areas where this cooperation is more needed is in the field of conflict prevention. Conflict prevention is one of the primary obligations set forth in the Charter of the United Nations. We must be fully aware that the usefulness of the United Nations will always be judged as a function of its capacity to avoid and handle conflicts.
In our view, conflict prevention has 3 fundamental dimensions: security, institution building and development. These 3 dimensions are closely intertwined: the failure of one puts in jeopardy all the others.
The Security Council, besides its continuing efforts in the field of security and peace-keeping, has recently, in the framework of a debate promoted by the British presidency, considered justice and the rule of law as essential elements for nation and state building, and explored ways to give more emphasis to this dimension. The ECOSOC, on its side, has been trying to address the development component of conflict prevention, namely through the constitution of ad hoc working groups for specific countries.
We should encourage these positive trends and try to take a further step in this direction.
My Prime Minister has suggested, in his speech before the General Assembly, that there is a solid case for advocating the creation of a new institutional mechanism, a new Commission, with a mandate to routinely monitor cases of conflict prevention and to promote the creation of conditions for peace and development. In conjunction with the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, which would both preserve the respective areas of competence, and under a mandate given by them, this commission could identify and deal with the most pressing needs. It would also draw up, for countries at risk (and that is the case in most post-conflict situations as in other clearly defined situations), integrated strategies allying the objectives of security, reinforcement of institutions (namely in the justice and administration sectors) and economic and social development.
To create conditions for development, obviously, this commission would need to be closely linked with the Bretton Woods institutions and with the United Nations agencies.
International and donor aid will be more forthcoming if an integrated strategy is adopted with this kind of support. In terms of the UN budget, we think existing resources should be sufficient to cover the functioning of this Commission.
I think this proposal should be considered and discussed in the context both of the Report of the Secretary-General and in that of the follow-up of the Millennium goals. It addresses what we believe is a widely felt need at this moment and suggests an instrument that would be very useful.Thank you for your attention.