UN2K: Fijian Ambassador Amraiya Naidu
H. E. Mr. Amraiya Naidu,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of Fiji to the United Nations
New York, 8 September 2000
Distinguished Co‑Chairmen, Secretary‑General, Excellencies, Colleagues,
It is my profound privilege to deliver to you tile greetings of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Fiji, who deeply regrets not being able to share this momentous occasion of the Millenium Summit with you all here in tile United Nations. His Excellency Ratu Josefa Uluivuda Iloilo is nonetheless with us all in the spirit of this historic occasion to bid the exiting, and usher in the Millennium of the 21st century.
Fiji takes great pride in its UN membership and will continue to commit its spirit and resources to the peaceful goals and the principled ideals of this international family.
As a sibling of the South Pacific family of nations, Fiji stands proud also of the expanding membership of the United Nations community due to the admittance of its fellow South Pacific nations in the recent years. It is therefore with deep humility and reflection that Fiji takes the floor as the last speaker from government delegations and immediately following Tuvalu to offer its familial congratulations and embrace to Tuvalu, our sister nation from the Pacific.
Indeed, every family meets with successes and shortcomings at different stages of its life. The UN is no different. There is no question that the goals it aspired to fifty‑five (55) years ago have been achieved. There is therefore great cause for celebration today as we come together to close the 20th century.
The United Nations will be all the more richer at the end of today with wisdom, commitment, thoughts and ideas expressed as tile way forward for the organisation. It has offered a remarkable opportunity to appraise what has been accomplished as well as to look for ways to work towards getting tangible results on issues affecting humankind.
In its achievement, the UN is also continually refining its goals ‑‑ in the values and principles that are consolidated in the UN Millennium Declaration. In this process it is also redefining its mandates, the structures, processes and resources to meet the rapid global challenges which are far more sophisticated today and in the future, than those it faced 55 years ago.
It is this spirit of humble achievement that Fiji intends to bequeath to our future generation with the guidance of a UN, well equipped and well resourced, to continue to rise to its future challenges.
And as family is tile bedrock of social and political institutions, it behoves therefore in each of us here to ensure the UN remains intact, stronger and robust. Fiji's confident that these goals are attainable through the proposed reforms within tile organisation being engineered by the Secretary‑General to whose dynamic leadership Fiji pays particular tribute.
The UN family has enabled smaller, least developed or developing countries such as my own to contribute to world peace in our own albeit small way. Whilst there have been measurable benefits of UN membership it also has positive scope to deliver much more equitable changes.
My small country has contributed troops and civilian police to UN peacekeeping missions for over two decades and have in the process paid tile ultimate price of the loss of thirty‑five (35) lives in the maintenance of peace. Our presence has been in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) since that Mission began and we continue to have a contingent there. Our civilian police are serving in Bosnia and Kosovo. Military Observers are in Iraq‑Kuwait Mission and more recently our troops have been sent to East Timor. Our soldiers in the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) are serving with troops from Ireland and New Zealand in Suwai in East Timor which borders West Timor. We know the area since Wednesday is far from being calm.
Like any member of a family, Fiji has had its share of difficulties and triumphs, It is to the credit of the UN that tile neighbourly feelings of respect, comradeship and understanding would prevail unimpeded in tile halls arid corridors of these buildings, even in times of conflict in its Member States.
The laudable vision of the Secretary‑General in "We the Peoples..." is a torch that will guide the UN and embellish its steps for a holistic and collective Journey into the 2 1" century. Let us seize the moment. This juncture is ours. It is humankind's call in order to leave this world better than we found it. Let us pause, look back for things that went wrong to strengthen our resolve to steer clear for a better future and there is no better time for this task than now ‑ at the crossroad of two millennia.
I thank you.