Distinguished colleagues all,
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the member States of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States. The member States of GRULAC wish to express our profound sadness at the passing of Mr. Diogo Freitas do Amaral, who nearly twenty-five years ago sat, Mr. President, where you now sit, as President of the General Assembly at its fiftieth session. GRULAC joins with the rest of the UN family in honoring his memory and in paying tribute to his sterling contribution to the work of the General Assembly.
Diogo Freitas do Amaral was loaned to the United Nations by Portugal, a nation that has deep historical ties with the developing countries of the south, in Asia, Africa and in our own region of Latin America and the Caribbean. Twenty-four years after Diogo Pinto de Freitas do Amaral served as President of the General Assembly, another native of Portugal, Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres now leads our Organization. As a diplomat and political leader, serving at various times as Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Freitas do Amaral made an important contribution to the restoration of democracy in Portugal and is therefore justly regarded by many as one of the fathers of Portuguese democracy.
During his tenure as President of the General Assembly, he prioritized reform to ensure greater representativity and encouraged measures aimed at increasing the level of development assistance to the countries of the South. He is also remembered for the role he played in the Organization’s efforts to address the financial crisis it was experiencing during his term as President of the General Assembly in 1995-1996.
The Member States of Latin America and the Caribbean and its Representatives here at the United Nations will always be inspired by the example left behind by Diogo Freitas do Amaral – an example of dedicated and selfless service to his country and to the global community.
We extend heartfelt condolences to his family and to the Government and people of Portugal. May they find comfort in the enduring legacy that he has left behind.
I thank you.