ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FATHULLA JAMEEL, MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE THIRTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
It is a great pleasure for me to offer you the warm congratulations of the delegation of the Republic of Maldives on your election to the high office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Your election is a unanimous endorsement by the international community of Your Excellency’s outstanding qualifications and qualities, and the constructive and positive role played by your country, Colombia, in the work of the United Nations. My delegation is confident that your mature knowledge of the work of the United Nations, in this contemporary age, will help provide us with your clear insight and guidance in the proceedings of the current regular session of the General Assembly.
I also convey sincere and warmest congratulations to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Lazar Mojsov, who presided over the thirty-second session, and the three important special sessions of the General Assembly, with efficiency, dedication and wisdom. He won the admiration of the world community through his outstanding contribution to the success of those sessions. I take this opportunity also to thank His Excellency the Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim, for his most comprehensive report of this year, in which he has evaluated the work of this Organization, and for the effective and untiring efforts discharged in the service of international peace, cooperation, and the accomplishment of the objectives and ideals of this Organization. Mr. President, The delegation of Maldives welcomes and congratulates the people of the Solomon Islands, a sovereign and independent State, on her admission to the United Nations family as its 150th Member. The accession of that island group to independence is a tribute to the important role played by the United Nations in the field of decolonization. Her admission to our family is a significant step taken forward, in the eradication of colonialism, and brings our Organization nearer to the attainment of its goals of universality. Mr. President, My delegation deems it important to recall the three special sessions of the General Assembly held earlier this year. They highlighted the urgency, the gravity and the global concern, over the problems dealt with during those sessions.
The situation in the Middle East has been changing rapidly, and still remains in an uncertain state of frustration. Recent developments too left behind some of the fundamental aspirations of the peoples concerned, and the international community. The United Nations resolutions, especially resolution 242 of the Security Council, still remain idle. The demographic and physical changes in the sacred land of Jerusalem, and the occupied Arab land, still continue. The inalienable legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must be recognized. A just and lasting peace can only be achieved, through the participation by their authentic representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, in all deliberations. The people of Palestine have been subjected to extreme hardship, and insecurity for far too long in their plight, to settle in their legitimate and rightful homeland. Today in this modern world, while people of nations enjoy a life of push button convenience, we cannot sit and ignore a whole community of people being deprived of a homeland as a result of imperialism and foreign occupation of their land by force. It is imperative that a comprehensive solution can only be sought, after Israel has withdrawn unconditionally, from every inch of the occupied Arab land. We have lived far too long with this ailing and complex problem, and no progress has been made for a comprehensive solution. It is surely the duty of the international community, to leave no stone unturned, and no leaf unswept to clear the way for a just and lasting settlement. We must end the suffering of the people of Palestine. They want to live in peace and security in a homeland of their own. While contemplating this, the world community and the parties immediately concerned must broaden their wisdom to bring about a solution which will not result in further dissection of the Middle East, and in particular, the Arab world. All motives must be guided by justice and permanent peace. Mr. President, While we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, let us pledge that the coming years will free the world from the evils of inhuman practices. Today racism, apartheid and colonial domination have become household words. These words have often been linked with the prevailing situation in the African continent. The remaining tentacles of colonialism still hold strongly on the African soil. There is a universal recognition of the need for more firm action to blow off this dark cloud, sailing over not only this continent but over the entire globe. The time has come to replace colonial ideology by realism. Human beings cannot be deprived of their rights to self-determination and fundamental freedoms on the basis of colour or creed. In South Africa, the indigenous majority of its people are suppressed by an alien minority racist regime. Attempts to bring an end to this unacceptable situation in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have been frustrated by inhuman, calculated and repressive policies of the minority regimes. The South African regime, which withdrew its plan for the independence of Namibia under the auspices of the United Nations, as a challenge to the Charter of this august international body, has brought more shame to this Organization. It is, therefore, now evident that no permanent solution can be found to the unfortunate state of affairs prevailing in this great continent unless the principles of justice, equality and self-determination are jointly applied.
Mr. President, Maldives has always taken a firm stand on world peace and the question of disarmament. The 10th special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament gave special inspiration to my country, a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, for it set forth the essentials of the new strategy for disarmament, prescribing goals and priorities on which future negotiations will be based. Although the achievements of the session cannot be interpreted in tangible terms, we hold the opinion that our deliberations took us a step closer to a comprehensive solution to make the world more peaceful. We reaffirm our commitments to the United Nations and call upon member countries to strengthen its capacity to exercise its sacred role through .effective implementation of the principles enshrined in its Charter. Mr. President, Another item on this session’s agenda is the question of the implementation of the New International Economic Order. It is a universally recognized fact, that no one single nation, whatever its economic capacity, or technological advancement, can build its economy in isolation from the rest of the world. Reasons clearly make us believe that as nations of the world are becoming more and more interdependent, the United Nations and its coordinating bodies can only solve existing global economic problems, by effective collective action. However, this goal seems to drift far and far as the years go by since this Organization adopted resolute measures to combat the economic disparities among nations. The United Nations is now fully aware of all the dimensions of the problem, and we could only be wrong if we consider that, it is in the interest of the developed countries to rectify the faults in the current economic situation, and not transfer into a different state of relations based on more fair and just and equitable international relations. We know too well, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as time goes by, and no progress has been made to narrow this gap between the developed and developing countries. It is the opinion of my delegation that global economic relations must improve to establish an international relationship which could lead to a stable and prosperous world, beneficial to all. Mr. President, It has been our sincere hope and desire to make the Indian Ocean, which washes the shores of our nation, a zone of peace. Maldives will continue its efforts both in and outside the United Nations, to achieve this objective, and keep this zone free from conflict and great power rivalry. Mr. President, Maldives being an island country which largely depends on the resources of the sea, attaches great importance to the outcome of the recent session of the Conference on the Law of the Sea. We view the achievements of that session of the Conference on the Law of the Sea with great hope and optimism.
Mr. President, The Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, which was held recently in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, highlighted some very important aspects of cooperation among developing countries. The efforts being made to bring the countries of the world to an equal level of economic participation and cooperation, were viewed by my country with interest. Maldives always believes that emphasis should be made on involving all developing countries in order to share the benefits of technological advancements. The gap between the developed and the developing countries has become far too wide. Therefore, the grassroots of disparity which are the smaller gaps that exist between developing countries themselves will first have to be bridged. Mr. President, It was not the intention of my delegation to elaborate on the state of the internal political structure of our country, and the continued efforts made by the people of Maldives to improve the socio-economic level of their life. Our problems, difficulties and achievements have been recognized and fully exposed to our close neighbours and sympathetic friends all over the world, who are a great source of inspiration to us. However, it is somewhat disheartening to note that in a number of recent articles, the international media have failed to see our problems and our achievements in their true perspective. The fact is that Maldives was relatively little known to the world until its political independence in 1965, and it has never, at any time, had the intention to propagate publicity on itself, realizing that its energies and resources are limited, and more needed for upgrading the quality of life of its people. Those who visited our country will bear witness to these facts. Maldives hopes that the international media will understand its internal structure and external relations in a more realistic manner. Thank you, Mr. President.