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STATEMENT BY HER EXCELLENCY MARIA ELIZABETH LEVENS MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME 59th REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL DEBATE New York – U.S.A. September 30, 2004
30 September 2004 / 11:20




PERMANENT MISSION OF THE
REPUBLIC OF SURINAME
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
New York - USA

STATEMENT BY
HER EXCELLENCY MARIA ELIZABETH LEVENS
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME


59th REGULAR SESSION OF
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

GENERAL DEBATE

New York – U.S.A.
September 30, 2004

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Suriname I extend to you my sincere congratulations on your unanimous election to guide the affairs of this 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

We are convinced that the wealth of diplomatic experience and expertise you bring to this august body will assist you in a meaningful way during your Presidency. I can assure you, the Government of the Republic of Suriname and its Permanent Mission stand ready to cooperate with you over the coming months.

Mr. President,

It gives me also great pleasure to salute your predecessor, the President of the 58th Regular Session of the General Assembly, His Excellency Julian Robert Hunte, a fellow Caribbean national. President Hunte, your sterling and dedicated leadership has made all of us, especially those from the Caribbean region, proud.

To Secretary General Kofi Annan we offer our continued support. We acknowledge the importance of his remarks at the start of the General Assembly and share his views regarding the application of the rule of law –domestically and internationally- as the guiding principle in strengthening and preserving democracy, defending and promoting human rights and establishing peace.

Mr. President,

We are keenly aware of the importance of the United Nations as the supreme multilateral institution, to advance multilateral diplomacy for the benefit of humanity in a world where we continue to struggle to achieve peace, security and prosperity. The international community has some time ago expressed the need for a more effective and efficient organization that would be better able to address the many challenges our world is facing today.

Under the inspiring leadership of your predecessor, the 58th Session of the General Assembly achieved the reordering of the agenda of the General Assembly, in search of its further rationalization as well as facilitating the uniform and coherent discussion of development issues in the Plenary and the main committees of the General Assembly.

We have to keep this high momentum for change alive and take it a step further. We must ensure that we do not regress from the results achieved and secure that there is continued progress in these areas.

Mr. President,

The reform of the United Nations Security Council remains one of the vital objectives and elements of the restructuring efforts of the Organization.

In our view, a restructured Council must be a reflection of the membership of the organization, improve its level of transparency, and become more democratic. In its functioning, the Council must be more inclusive and comprehensive, as security matters, because of its multidimensional nature, affect the life and livelihood of each and everyone.

The membership of a restructured Council and equally its current composition must ensure that the Council upholds the fundamental principles of the Charter and at the same time stay on course of its main purpose: the maintenance of international peace and security.

Mr. President,

It is very disturbing to observe that, despite intensive diplomatic and political undertakings, peace and tranquility in several regions in the world is still a major concern and challenge, thereby threatening the democratic underpinnings of society.

The time may be opportune for the United Nations to spearhead the process of involving relevant interest groups and civil society at large in the different countries of a particular Region to assist in the establishment of sustained peace in that region.
We express our concern about the ongoing political difficulties in the Middle East and in Africa, resulting in violence and displacement of many persons.

Within our own hemisphere the political crisis in especially Venezuela and Haiti has drawn much attention and efforts from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

We look forward to continuing and sustainable political stability in Venezuela and hope that this political stability can promote an environment of normalcy and progress.

The political situation in our sister nation, the Republic of Haiti remains of great concern. Since its inception, as the first black independent republic, Haiti has become the symbol of struggle, of hardship, but also of courage, survival and solidarity. This longtime battered country and its population need more profound, constructive and long-term assistance to improve the living conditions of the People of Haiti.

Mr. President,

Earlier, I referred briefly to the multidimensional nature of security and the need to give due attention to the social, economic and environmental threats. In the past weeks the Caribbean region, composed of already vulnerable economies have felt the forces of nature in the most extreme manner. While several countries – Jamaica, Bahamas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and several other islands- have been battered, one country has severely been damaged: Grenada. Mr. President, I join all those other nations that have called for immediate as well as long-term financial and technical assistance to the Government and People of Grenada.

The Government of Suriname offers its condolences to the families of the victims in the Caribbean countries, as well as in the affected states in the United States of America, where the various hurricanes over the past weeks have caused considerable damage and loss of lives.

Mr. President,

Another global threat which impacts on all countries emanates from the activities of terrorists, terrorist groups and state sponsored terrorism. The world will never forget the images of the horrifying terrorist acts in the world, such as in Beslan, Russia, where hundreds of persons, mostly children, lost their lives. The Government of Suriname remains committed to the fight against terrorism. We also continue to believe that an effective and successful battle can be achieved through a comprehensive approach.

The high-level panel on threats, challenges and change established by the Secretary General of the United Nations with a view to receiving a global report on international security is a result of the renewed interest in international security concerns. We hope that this review will be one that will produce result oriented objectives and measures.

Suriname believes that development issues, such as eradication of poverty and hunger and the protection of the environment are among the extremely important aspects to be addressed if one wishes to obtain lasting and comprehensive security, which encompasses inter alia military, political, environmental, economic and social developmental aspects.

Mr. President,

Globalization has up to the present day not delivered on the promise of vast development opportunities on a global scale. While we have to acknowledge that globalization has created opportunities, it has been restricted to just a few societies. The opportunities that arise from development in the world today are unfortunately not within reach of all of humanity.

The current world order is still characterized by economic disparities, unequal trade regimes, income-inequalities between and within countries, social injustice and declining opportunities for hundreds of millions. Globalization can only become a real option for economic development if it becomes all-inclusive and if it is given a human face, by attaching specific importance to the negative impact it has on social progress.

Suriname continues to believe that the United Nations must regain its importance in the areas of global development, if we want to be successful in our efforts to eradicate poverty, achieve social and economic development and stem the spread of communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS.


The poverty meeting organized by the Government of Brazil under the auspices of the United Nations signifies the common awareness that the global development agenda must be advanced and therefore the international community must move from political will to actions and from commitments to implementation, granting humanity as a whole an opportunity to develop.

Mr. President,

The upcoming ten-year review of the Barbados Program of Action will provide the small island developing states with a momentous opportunity to promote their priority interests and concerns for the next phase of implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action.

While we anticipate that this comprehensive review will result in concrete proposals to advance the implementation process, we also expect that this review exercise will take place in a spirit of partnership.

The upcoming Mauritius meeting should therefore generate the most needed support, genuine commitment and moreover political will of all partners in the process to further the cause of achieving true benefits and progress for the many people living in the small island developing states.

Mr. President,

In closing I want to stress the need for the United Nations to become more effective in dealing with the current challenges in terms of terrorism and security. At the same time we must remain vigilant in defending and strengthening democracy and democratic values and institutions, so as to create a stable political and social environment for progress and sustained development. We also need to continue and intensify our battle against HIV/AIDS, illegal drug trafficking, crime, etc. While globalization has opened up opportunities, it is also our collective responsibility that international trade liberalization does not result in social and economic marginalisation of especially the smaller and vulnerable economies.

To achieve these objectives the United Nations has to continue its restructuring process and become not only the principal global platform in theory, but also demonstrate its capabilities to act in practice. It is in this context that my Government considers the United Nations the most appropriate global multilateral institution for the advancement of the living standard of humanity as a whole and for achieving sustainable global peace and security.

I thank you