Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM President speaks before Millennium Summit, questions UN priorities

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): September 2000 - FSM President Leo A. Falcam challenged the UN's placing of military security issues at the top of its priorities and the idea that globalization is the promise of the future in his speech before more than 155 heads of state at the United Nations Millennium Summit, yesterday.

"At the dawn of this new millennium we find much excitement over the rich promise of 'globalization.' But, for more than half of the peoples of the world who remain in need and who live under the constant threat of devastating diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS, it remains open to serious question whether globalization holds any real promise of release from the cycle of poverty. In fact, there are strong suspicions that globalization could widen the gap between developed and underdeveloped nations," said the President.

The president pointed out that "(W)ithin the last several hundred years, the onset of industrialization and technological advance has created a multi-national appetite for luxury and consumption that seems unquenchable. But compelling scientific evidence tells us today that this headlong pursuit, if not moderated within the twenty-first century, threatens the lives of all our descendants and the very habitability of the planet that we so recklessly continue to abuse."

He added, "In my small-island nation, for example, we grow increasingly alarmed over the glacial progress of the world community toward taking even minimal first steps to confront the indisputable threats posed by human-induced global warming and its consequent sea-level rise."

Directing his attention to the United Nation's security agenda for the coming century the president said, "Up to this point I venture to say that in its work the United Nations has placed issues of military security at the top of its priorities. But the world is still dangerously unsettled today, and the UN's efforts at peacemaking and peacekeeping have had mixed success at best. The time has come to recognize that other components of the United Nations agenda - sustainable development and poverty eradication, social development, good governance and human rights - are as central to the achievement of long-term security as controlling military aggression when it arises.

"If, by the end of this century we are still warring amongst ourselves, it will mean more than that this body has failed its purpose. It will mean that we have failed our deeper responsibility to reverse the inequitable imbalances within our global society."

The full text of the statement is available online.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
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P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
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