Hon. Mr. Lorin Robert
Deputy Secretary of the
Department of Foreign Affairs of the
Federated States of Micronesia
Before the 60th United Nations General Assembly
New York, 23 September 2005
Check Against Delivery
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to lead our deliberations during this very important session of the General Assembly. I would also like to pay tribute to our outgoing President of the 59th session, H.E. Mr. Jean Ping, and our Secretary-General for their tireless efforts and very considerable contributions to the successful outcome of the High Level Plenary Meeting just concluded a week ago.
This year, at this historic session, we commemorate a milestone in the rich history of this Organization as we celebrate its 60th anniversary. For us in Micronesia, this occasion also marks the 15th year anniversary of our joining the United Nations. We are proud and motivated to be part of this great Organization.
Our celebrations, however, Mr. President, should have a noble purpose other than honoring the past and the present. This occasion should give focus to the long road ahead of us. Inspired by the accomplishments of the past 60 years, we must forge ahead with strong determination, confidence and vigor to meet the challenges that face the future of this Organization.
The Federated States of Micronesia does not pretend to believe that the problems that we are called upon to tackle are easy. They are not. But while we have differences of opinion as to how they may be effectively addressed, my Delegation is encouraged by the broad consensus that was reached during the High-level Panel Meetings last week that the reform of the UN and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals must be addressed one way or another and sooner than later.
No doubt the consensus was forged in the conviction that the United Nations, with all its shortcomings, still represents the last hope for humankind at the multilateral level of problem solving. If this were the case, as my country firmly believes it is, this Organization must be reformed to reflect present day realities and to respond effectively and efficiently to its enduring objectives as enshrined in the Charter. For the sake of our Organization's credibility and its long term-sustainability, and for the millions of people around the globe that pin their hopes in the United Nations, this Organization must be reformed. My delegation fully supports the call that has been made within this hallowed Hall for its comprehensive reform.
Consequently, Mr. President, let us give complete consideration to the reform of the United Nations Security Council. The challenges of the 21st century demand that we should do so. With your indulgence, I wish not to go into details here, as the position of my Government on this issue has already been made known on several occasions. I would only reiterate our call for the inclusion of Japan and Germany from among the developed countries to be permanent members of the Council, because we believe they will contribute greatly to the maintenance of peace and security. For these aforementioned reasons, we also support India, a developing country as a permanent member of the Security Council. We will also support the inclusion of other developing countries from other regions, if those are the choice of those particular regions. We urge the members of this Organization to take a bold and decisive action on this issue.
The time has come that the "enemy state" clauses in the UN Charter are removed. They have long become obsolete. The Outcome Document rightfully reflects this fact.
The 60th UNGA could not have been more timely. It places the burden of noble but incomplete task upon us all to reinforce and facilitate full implementation of the outcome of last week's Summit. We have little recourse but to complete that which was left unfinished.
Consistent with the broader agenda of the debates, we wish to reiterate the great importance that we attach to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society slated to be held later this year in Tunisia. For my island country whose population is dispersed on many islands scattered over a vast area of the Pacific, access to affordable and reliable information and communication technologies (ICT) is critical to the socio-economic advancement of its people.
But the harnessing of the ICTs does not benefit only a few. It is in the end a win-win proposition for all - for the developing as well as the developed countries. Responsible use and effective dissemination of meaningful information is key to emancipation from human ignorance and therefore is essential to socio-economic progress. It follows that the means of collecting, evaluating, and transmitting information and communication must be shared and placed at the service of humankind. It is for this reason that my country continues to add its voice to those of other countries in urging universal cooperation in the WSIS process. This is a step forward in the march towards achieving the MDGs. Failing this, the MDGs will mean little.
It is for the same reason that my Government supports the Community of Democracies and participates in its activities. In our view, democratization of the institutions of governance and transparency in public policy-making, with due regard to local conditions, are inseparable from economic progress and collective security. After all, the work of the Community does not contradict but further reinforces the MDGs and, in a larger sense, the time-honored objectives incorporated in the Charter of the UN.
It does not take a great deal of wisdom, Mr. President, to realize that as a small island developing state, my country is vulnerable to the extreme adverse impact of global climate change. For the 15 years we have been a member of the United Nations, we have been vocal in this Body and elsewhere, on the very issue of climate change and its adverse impacts on small island developing states. For us, this is an issue of security and survival. I reiterate our appeal to those countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so immediately and without further delay.
A week ago during the High Level Plenary meeting, President Joseph Urusemal, like other Micronesian President's before him, called attention to the daunting challenges facing our country and the small island developing states in pursuing sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. I reaffirm their calls here once again, and stress the urgent need for the international community to fully and effectively implement the Mauritius Strategy for the further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The Strategy provides for small island developing states the way forward, and plays a crucial role in our ability to achieving sustainable development and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
As if the plethora of challenges I have spoken of are not daunting enough for my country, the escalating fuel cost and its negative impact on our efforts to meet the development goals and pursue sustainable development is a cause of major concern. This crisis brings to the fore the pleas from small island developing states for accelerated research and development and the sharing of technologies in the areas of renewable and alternative sources of energy. We appeal to the international community to assist us in this area.
I take this opportunity today to echo the call by my President during the High Level Plenary for further strengthening of cooperation and linkages between the United Nations and countries of the Pacific, like mine. Now more than ever, the physical presence of the United Nations system, and its sustained engagement in our development process becomes even more compelling. We cannot accept the notion that our country is un-deserving of the UN substantive presence.
Over the last few months we have seen encouraging signs in the Middle East. The historic disengagement of Israel from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank is pointing into the right direction and should be commended. My Government appreciates the political obstacles faced by the two parties and encourages them to stay the course towards a peaceful settlement of what has been a long, complex and unpleasant experience. We call upon both parties to spare no effort to actively pursue a peaceful negotiation. They should not be satisfied until the day when Israeli and Palestinian children can play side by side and live in peace and without fear.
As a young country that graduated from the trusteeship regime of this Organization, my country indeed places high hopes in the United Nations. At 60, the United Nations should not to be contemplating retirement. Instead, the time has come for this great Organization to rededicate and strengthen itself to effectively and efficiently meet the challenges of the new millennium.
Killisou chapur (Thank you), Mr. President.