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UN2K: Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani

ADDRESS by

His Excellency Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani

President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan

THE UNITED NATIONS MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

SEPTEMBER 8,2000


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In the Name of God, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

Your Excellencies the Presidents,

Allow me at the outset to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, for his comprehensive, analytical, forward-looking, visionary and challenging report, entitled "We the peoples: the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century".

The numerous specific goals and programmes outlined in this report could well be considered the United Nations plan of action for the 21st Century, the only multilateral body with universal membership and a mandate derived from its Charter - encompassing security, development, human rights and environmental protection.

Fifty-five years ago, the founding of the United Nations marked a victory of moral principles and the triumph of democratic values. Hence, Afghanistan joined the UN, the following year. While the Islamic State of Afghanistan strongly remains committed to the provisions of the UN Charter, its principles and objectives, given this opportune Summit, it is high time to rethink and reassess the United Nations' goals, functions, successes and failures across the globe since its inception at the threshold of the new millennium.

The Secretary-General's report sets out a practical vision for the UN in a globalized world, which has dramatically changed over 55 years. Among the key messages in the report is the need to make globalization more inclusive, creating more opportunities for all, and not to leave billions of people in a state of poverty and exclusion.

Mr. President,

The Islamic State of Afghanistan fully agrees with the report of the Secretary-General that the 20th Century enjoyed unprecedented economic gains. However, 1.2 billion people still live on less than one dollar a day. A combination of extreme poverty with extreme inequalities within and between countries is an affront to our common humanity, a tragic situation which requires urgent global solidarity. In the past decade, more effort was rendered for the expansion of global markets than poverty reduction, human rights and environmental protection. Global solidarity necessitates that rich countries further open their markets to poor countries' products as well as provide deeper and faster debt relief and better development assistance. In order to effectively cope with the economic and social challenges mentioned above, the Economic and Social Council should be further strengthened, enabling it to fulfill its duties attributed in the UN Charter. In this context, the creation of two separate Councils could be envisaged. The Social Council would be in charge of all social issues, including social development, humanitarian issues and human rights. All international institutions, offices and programs could be integrated and supervised by this Council. Likewise, the Economic Council would be assigned to coordinate trade and financial policies at the world level. All institutions dealing with economic policies should be integrated and supervised by this newly established Council.

Mr. President,

The Secretary-General, under the title of 'freedom from fear" explains in detail, the nature of present deadly conflicts in the world. In this rubric, more attention is paid to the intrastate conflict. Concurring with the Secretary-General's argument, the Islamic State of Afghanistan wishes to emphasize that in most of conflicts termed "internal", external politico-economic and strategic interests and interventions play a primordial role in sustaining that conflict.

In this regard, my country has been a victim of foreign aggression twice in two decades. Albeit ample evidence in both cases, of direct involvement of foreign troops and military personnel, the UN has not been able to either condemn the aggressor or take necessary measures to stop aggression.

Mr. President,

We strongly believe that in the 21st Century, nation-states will not disappear. Thus, States need to be strengthened and act together within common institutions based on shared rules and values. Henceforth, the principles of respect to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of States -enshrined in the in the UN Charter-remain valid. Countries violating these principles and committing acts of aggression shall be determined and stopped with vigorous measures.

Mr. President,

With regard to the renewal of the United Nations, we would like to emphasize the following:

1. The General Assembly, the highest decision-making and the only UN body-comprising the full membership of the organization and functioning on the fully democratic basis of one country one vote -needs to be strengthened. This organ, as the main deliberative and representative organ, shall perform its functions effectively, and the Security Council shall consult and present regular reports to this body in accordance with Article 10 of the Charter.

2. As it is mentioned by the Secretary-General based on the distribution of power and alignment in 1945, the composition of the Security Council does not fully represent either the character or the needs of the globalized world. In this context, Security Council reforms shall not only mean changing composition and veto use, but revising the whole question of what is and is not considered to be the sole purview of the Council jurisdiction. These reforms, if achieved, would give the Security Council the required legitimacy in the eyes of the people of the world and not as an instrument of achieving the political and strategic interests of big powers.

Mr. President,

The Islamic State of Afghanistan fully endorses the values and goals presented by the Secretary-General for this Summit's consideration. We welcome the Secretary-General's four important initiatives: the creation of a Health Inter-Network to provide hospitals and clinics in developing countries with access to up-to-date medical information; a united Nations Information Technology Service; a disaster response initiative; and a global policy network to explore the problem of youth employment.

We would also welcome the initiative of the Secretary-General to convene a major international conference, aimed at identifying ways to eliminate nuclear dangers.

Mr. President,

Enduring two decades of ceaseless suffering, it is our earnest wish that the Afghan nation shall enjoy peace and security at the beginning of the 21st Century. We desire the creation of a broad-based government in Afghanistan under the auspices of the United Nations, so that our nation can start the task of reconstruction and development of the country, in an environment removed from conspiracy and foreign interference, which have turned our land into a terrorist training camp, a center for drug smugglers and a base for spilling instability.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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