NEW YORK, 28 JANUARY 2005
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. JOÃO SALGUEIRO, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS, TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS (informal consultations on the Report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change)
We are discussing today a crucial issue. We all have in the back of our minds the Secretary General´s view that the United Nations is facing a “fork on the road”.
agrees with that view, and would like to express once again its praise for the Secretary-General and for his initiative in convening the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Portugal
We would also like to commend the report by the High Level Panel which the European Union welcomed in the debate that took place last December.
We are now entering a phase of more detailed analysis and discussion. And while fully associating myself with the statement delivered yesterday by the Presidency of the European Union, I would like to offer some brief comments in a national capacity.
The report – with its in-depth analysis and its wise recommendations - provides us with an excellent basis for our work in the months ahead.
Its balanced approach, comprehensive assessments and encompassing recommendations offer a common ground of understanding, paving the way for a successful outcome to be agreed at the
in September by the wider UN membership. Summit
It is now the moment for the member states to take this process in their own hands. We fully trust in your leadership in moving it ahead.
We envisage the overall reform process as a package. We should not allow the comprehensive approach outlined in the High Level Panel report to be jeopardized in the course of the discussions ahead of us.
The final outcome of our work needs to be bold and politically meaningful, thus giving a new impetus to the Organization and placing it in the centre of an effective multilateral system. And in this context, it is essential that the reform is approved as a whole by the wider United Nations membership, in a spirit of ownership.
I would also like to highlight a few other points.
First and foremost,
endorses the general principals the High Level Panel report is based upon: Portugal
That there is a need for a new collective security consensus;
That we face several different threats, that are different in nature but are intertwined;
That no State can address those threats alone. On the contrary, all countries are interdependent, regardless of their size and power;
That security and development are inter-connected;
And that priority should be given to prevention.
Perhaps, we would have liked to see reflected in the report a stronger emphasis on the Rule of Law, in line with the Secretary General´s address to this Assembly during the last General Debate.
also shares the assessment that an institutional reform at the UN is necessary. We have expressed this opinion in many occasions in the past, namely in the terms stated by the Portuguese Prime Minister in the last General Debate. Portugal
In what regards the Security Council, priority should be given to the reform of its working methods and decision making procedures. We support the High Level Panel recommendations in this respect, namely those that refer:
To the veto power and indicative vote;
To an enhanced collaboration with troop contributing countries;
And to a more effective cooperation with regional organizations.
has also been on record as supportive of an enlargement of the Security Council, on the grounds that its composition should reflect the reality of today’s world. In this regard, we already expressed support for the accession of Portugal , Brazil and Germany to permanent membership. We also have sympathy for the candidature of Japan and believe that India Africashould be represented in this body.
The establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission is one of the most important recommendations put forward by the High Level Panel. I would like to seize this occasion to praise the members of the Panel for their vision in identifying a “key institutional gap” and for their courage in making such a recommendation.
There is indeed, in the current UN machinery as well as in the broader international system, a serious gap that has two major components. Firstly, there is no body aimed at providing sustained engagement by the international community to a particular country that has left the spotlight but that, nevertheless, is far from being fully stabilized and on a sound development track.
In addition, there is a clear need for an institution that coordinates international strategies and provides an integrated approach to countries under stress combining the objectives of security and political stability as well as economic and social development.
As the former Prime Minister of Portugal José Manuel Barroso and the President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, wrote in the International Herald Tribune last May, such a Commission “would follow on a regular basis the situations of countries in conflict or at risk of being involved in conflict; ensure the cooperation of international and regional institutions and governments; promote institution-building, justice and the rule of law, good governance and economic and social development; and draw up integrated development strategies for the countries concerned, to be implemented in partnership agreements with those countries”.
We acknowledge that the details of this proposal need further discussion and improvement and we look forward to a productive debate.
I wish to conclude pledging the full support of
to the reform efforts and to your leadership in steering this process in the months ahead. Portugal
We do not share the views of those who make a negative assessment of the United Nations´ s performance since its foundation. On the contrary, and as the Secretary-General told this Assembly last December “The United Nations has done a good job in many instances and is often undervalued”.
We all share the goal of an adequate and effective United Nations system in the twenty first century.
We believe that the United Nations is “the indispensable common house of the entire human family” and that a more secure world is our shared responsibility.
Thank you, Mr. President