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Syria Foreign Minister Farouk AI-Shara UN2K Speech

THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE SYRIAN ARAB

Address

Delivered by

H.E. Mr. Farouk AI‑Shara'

Minister of Foreign Affairs

of the

Syrian Arab Republic

At the Millennium Summit

of the United Nations

New York

6 September 2000

Check against delivery

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Mrs. Tarja Halonen, the President of Finland,

Mr. Sam Nuioma, the President of Namibia,

Presidents,

Kings,

Heads of governments and Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to address you in this distinguished fora, in the name of President Bashar Al‑Assad, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic and to convey to you his regards and best wishes that this Millennium Summit should fulfill the aspirations of the peoples throughout the world.

The Syrian Arab People who pride in their glorious civilization and human heritage look forward, just like other people in the world, to the new millennium with great optimism to open a new page that might enable humanity to avoid paying great costs it was forced to pay of blood, sweat and suffering, during different periods of time, especially during the last century.

But it was fortunate that the wars of the previous century that consumed so many lives and caused so much destruction, coincided with achievements and discoveries which are perhaps the most important in the history of humanity, especially in the fields of science, knowledge, technology and means of communication and the stunning movement of people not just from continent to continent but from one planet to another, the mere thought of which used to make some people believe that the doomsday is about to happen.

The difficult question that faces the human race today is whether there is an organic link between manufacturing means of killing and destruction and means of development and construction. If the answer is not a definite no, the Millennium Summit is required to think deeply and to try its utmost to break up this relation so that all people of the world shall trust that the scientific and technological progress will be a path for the welfare of humanity, for enriching the lives of individuals both materially and spiritually and not for eliminating them and destroying their values.

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The other challenge facing the world today is globalization. If we were to play it skillfully we would benefit from opening the doors which had always been locked in the face of our countries. If we were to ignore globalization, its negative impacts would leak into different aspects of our daily lives and even to the depth of our historic cultures.

On the other hand, our Millenium Summit should seriously address two important issues, as it is impossible to achieve any type of true peace without finding a solution for both issues.

first Ending foreign occupation and the return of refugees to their homes and rejecting all pretexts in the name of religion or security in order to usurp the lands of others by force. This requires the ending of the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and Arab Jerusalem to the line of June 4, 1967.

second : Eliminating nuclear weapons and making a serious endeavour to achieve the universality of the non‑proliferation treaty and making no exception for any country from joining it. The most important call in this regard is to transfere the Middle East into a region Free of all weapons of mass destruction in the forefront of which is nuclear weapons.

The need of peoples everywhere to a world free of nuclear weapons is only paralleled by their need to a world free of poverty, illness and violence. The role of the United Nations is of paramount importance in all vital topics addressed by the Millennium Summit, particularly if we were to succeed in achieving a comprehensive reform of its structure in order to make it more democratic and effective, and if we were able to implement the resolutions of the United Nations without double standards or twisted interpretations.

It is clear to all of us in this Millennium Summit, and in the face of the magnitude and variation of existing problems that face the international community in the new century, that no solution to these problems can be found through an individual effort; rather they need a collective effort in which wisdom supercedes recklessness and courage overrides the arrogance of power.

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It is about time we all realize that the age of brute force has ended and to know that injustice cannot achieve rights for the aggressors in the long or short run. The experience of South Africa in putting an end to the apartheid regime few years ago and the experience of Lebanon in defeating the Israeli occupying forces few months ago have proven beyond any doubt that had wisdom prevailed with the other side since the beginning of the conflict the same end‑result would have been reached but with fewer victims, in a shorter time and with much less suffering on both sides.

In all cases, our confidence in the peoples' potential is great. We hope that Peoples' aspirations to achieve justice, peace and equality among all human beings will characterize the broad horizon of the new century in a way that serves the interest and security of humanity at large.


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