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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
Interview with GA President
10 October 2008 / 03:52

General Assembly President Chairs Debate on Peacebuilding Commission | Credit: Marco Castro/UN Photo (201091) [Dateline:  New York | Author: iSeek]


The basis of any success of the work of the United Nations is coordination and dialogue within the entire Organization and its membership, states Mr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, 63rd President of the UN General Assembly in New York last week.


In an interview with iSeek, President d’Escoto called for unity in efforts to bring about the desired changes that the Organization needs to move forward, saying, “It is not I who is going to bring about the desired changes, it is all of us together, in fulfilling the mandate that we have received from the Member nations and from the Heads of State.”


The President believes the process of change had “a very good start” in the statements of declarations made by the different Heads of State during the General Debate, Africa Development Needs and the Millennium Development Goals High-level events.


The former Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs says he will significantly contribute to the process of moving ahead in democratizing the United Nations, a process that he says, “will really show that we believe in that first principle on which our organization was founded, which is the principle of sovereign equality of all our Members.”


The 75-year-old President, who has made the fight to eliminate hunger and poverty from the world one of his top priorities during his one-year term, says, he would like to see in place “real measures to move significantly” in the direction of doing away with the two ills.


“This is going to be a difficult task,” he admits, noting that the beginning of his administration has been hit with what he calls, “the worse financial tsunami in history” that has broad implications all over the world. Undoubtedly, he notes, “it will end up limiting possibilities of some of our important donors to bring this about.”


President d’Escoto says at the end of his term, he will like to be remembered, among other issues, “as the one who began a process of very serious commitment of all the member nations respecting water as a human right and doing everything to prevent further contamination and inadequate management of this vital resource.”


In a very few months, he states, “you will begin to hear what we intend to do in this regard.”


To all United Nations staff working across the world, the President says, he wants them to know and feel that their work, “being it on the issue of water, arms control or disarmament,” is taken very seriously and very much appreciated.


“I take their work very much at heart,” he says, “I take it very seriously and I will be asking them for their support all through this period.”


President d’Escoto also talked about the support he has received from the Secretariat staff since his appointment, saying, “I think that I am being spoilt, by receiving perhaps the best treatment ever,” especially, during the preparatory months of the transition from the previous session.


The series of briefings, according to Mr. d’Escoto, showed him “the great amount of dedication and commitment (of staff) to their responsibilities.” He urged them to continue being “as generous and as cooperative” as they have been.