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        General Assembly
7 October 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
25th plenary meeting
Monday, 7 October 2002, 3 p.m.
New York

President:Mr. Kavan .................................................................... (Czech Republic)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chau (Viet Nam) took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.

Agenda items 44 and 10 ( continued)

Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit

Report of the Secretary-General (A/57/270 and A/57/270/Corr.1)

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/57/1)

Ms. Plaisted (United States of America): ...

/... In the Middle East, the Quartet partners, who include the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, are working with Israelis, Palestinians and other regional leaders to stop terrorism and violence and return the region to the path of achieving comprehensive peace. President Bush has articulated a vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, within secure and recognized borders.


Mr. Rosenthal (Guatemala) (spoke in Spanish) : We would like to thank the Secretary-General for presenting us with his report on the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration (A/57/270) and his report on the work of the Organization, under symbol A/57/1. Both complement each other perfectly, are highly illustrative and contain highly pertinent reflections for our future work. However, the documents also have different perspectives: one concentrates on the work of the Organization, the other on its impact on the world that surrounds us.

Both reports — and most of the statements we have heard in the course of the debate — naturally refer to mixed results: a panorama of achievements interspersed with shortcomings and even failures. That is natural. The United Nations is an extremely complex Organization which deals with a very wide range of issues, and which is characterized by complicated work procedures. For that reason, it is only on rare occasions that we can talk about the unqualified success or total failure of the Organization’s work. The results are almost always somewhere in-between. Regarding the impact of our work, it is difficult to establish cause-and-effect relationships between our decisions and their result in the real world, since other factors not necessarily in our control come into play.

With respect to that last point, we must recognize that if the question under discussion today were to assess the impact of the decisions taken in the United Nations in terms of their results, we would surely be more than justified in feeling frustration. For, in addition to the longstanding and well-known problems of poverty, disarmament, environmental degradation, human rights violations and tensions between and within States, we are worried by the intensification of violence in the Middle East, the dangers of a conflict in the Persian Gulf and what appears to be a step backwards on disarmament. At the same time, the recession in the global economy has contributed to the fact that the region to which I belong, Latin America and the Caribbean, is facing its third consecutive year of economic stagnation with all that that entails. It suggests, among other things, that the development goals established in the Millennium Declaration are increasingly difficult to meet.


Mr. Rastam (Malaysia): ...

In the Middle East, Israel persists with its brutal occupation of Palestinian territory, the systematic dismantling of Palestinian institutions and the prolonged action to humiliate and subdue the Palestinian leadership and people. My delegation appreciates the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary-General to address the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. We are encouraged by his constant contacts and involvement with the Quartet, as well as with other interested parties in the region. Serious effort must be made to resume the peace process and realize the two-State solution envisioned in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002).


Mr. Neil (Jamaica): ...


The past year was a difficult one in which new challenges were posed by acts of terrorism and the military responses to them, as well as by the outbreak of renewed violence in the Middle East. Although there were some setbacks and there remains a lot to be done, it was a year of accomplishment in which substantial progress was made on several fronts. Peace and security was promoted through conflict prevention mechanisms, which helped to reduce the level and severity of conflicts. There was increased United Nations activity in meeting humanitarian emergencies. There was the successful conclusion of two major conferences on development. We also welcomed the further development of the international legal framework through the adoption of new legal instruments, especially with the coming into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.


The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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