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UN2K: Nauru President Bernard Dowiyogo M.P

Republic of Nauru

Statement by

His Excellency Bernard Dowiyogo M.P

President Of the Republic of Nauru

and

Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Minister for Finance & Economic Reform

before the

United Nations

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

United Nations, New York

September 7, 2000

MR. PRESIDENT,

EXCELLENCIES.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE REPUBLIC OF NAURU IS PLEASED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS HISTORIC MILLENNIUM SUMMIT OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

DESPITE HAVING ONLY JOINED THE UNITED NATIONS LAST YEAR, NAURU VALUES HIGHLY THE WORK OF THIS AUGUST BODY AND ALSO HOLDS THE HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS FOR ITS SUCCESS IN THE NEW CENTURY. FOR IT WAS THROUGH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SOME THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO THAT THE PEOPLE OF NAURU SECURED THE SUPPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR A VOTE ON SELF-DETERMINATION.

HAVING ENJOYED THIRTY TWO YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE NAURU IS GREATLY ENCOURAGED THAT, THROUGH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF EAST TIMOR HAVE SECURED A PATH TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE. ON THIS OCCASION WE JOIN IN PRAYER THE FAMILIES OF THE THREE UN PERSONNEL KILLED YESTERDAY ON DUTY IN EAST TIMOR. AND YET, WE CAN REMAIN CONFIDENT THAT THE CONTINUED SUPPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CAN SEE THE PEOPLE OF EAST TIMOR THROUGH TO THEIR FINAL STEP OF NATIONHOOD.

ON THE OTHER HAND, OUR MELANESIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN WEST PAPUA ARE STILL STRIVING TO BREAK THE IMPOSITION OF COLONIAL DOMINATION AND FOREIGN CONTROL, FOLLOWING THE SO-CALLED ACT OF FREE CHOICE IN 1969. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WEST PAPUA BE GIVEN THE RIGHTFUL OPPORTUNITY OF A DEMOCRATIC REFERENDUM OF ITS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, TO EXERCISE AT LAST THEIR RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION. THE UNITED NATIONS CANNOT STAND BY AND WITNESS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE PEOPLE OF WEST PAPUA, WHERE ALREADY MORE THAN HALF A MILLION HAVE BEEN LOST TO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. WE MUST NOT IN THIS AREA WITNESS ANOTHER CATASTROPHE AS OCCURRED IN EAST TIMOR.

NAURU WOULD THEREFORE SUPPORT A UN RESOLUTION THAT PERMITS THE PEOPLE OF WEST PAPUA THE CHOICE OF SELF-DETERMINATION.

MY GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED ALSO THAT THE AREA CONSTITUTED BY THE PACIFIC STATES DOES NOT RECEIVE SUFFICIENT ATTENTION FROM THE UNITED NATIONS. SO OFTEN IT BECOMES LUMPED WITH ASIA AND THEREBY OVERWHELMED BY ASIA. OCEANIA IS A DISTINCT AREA WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS AND CHALLENGES. THE PACIFIC SHOULD BE RECOGNISED ON ITS OWN BY THE UNITED NATIONS AS A SEPARATE REGIONAL GROUP.

AS SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES WE ARE ESPECIALLY NOTED FOR OUR VULNERABILITY. PARTICULARLY IN RESPECT OF THE FRAGILITY OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. TOGETHER WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE PACIFIC, THE PEOPLE OF NAURU ARE THREATENED WITH GENOCIDE THROUGH GLOBAL WARMING AND THE RISE IN SEA-LEVEL. NAURU JOINS ALL RESPONSIBLE NATIONS OF THE WORLD TO URGE ESPECIALLY THOSE COUNTRIES RESPONSIBLE FOR PRESENT LEVELS OF POLLUTION FOR THE SWIFT AND EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTENTIONS ENSHRINED IN THE KYOTO PROTOCOL.

INDEED, ANY COLD WIND IS LIKELY TO EFFECT SEVERE DAMAGE, WHETHER THAT COLD WIND WAS THE RISE IN SEA-LEVELS, POLLUTION OF FISHING GROUNDS, FINANCIAL SANCTIONS OR, AS IN NAURU'S CASE, THE EXHAUSTION OF ITS ONLY EXPORT, PHOSPHATE ROCK. WHILST THE TOURIST POSTERS MAY CONJURE IMAGES OF PARADISE IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS, THE DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES ARE REAL AND OMINOUS. WITH HIGH RATES OF POPULATION GROWTH AND VULNERABLE ECONOMIES THERE IS INCREASING DEPENDENCE ON EXTERNAL AID. THERE HAS BEEN A STEADY DECLINE IN PER CAPITA INCOMES AND STANDARDS OF LIVING RESULTING IN INCREASED POVERTY.

WITH SUBSTANTIAL EXTERNAL DEBT, THE DEVELOPING STATES OF THE PACIFIC NOT ONLY REQUIRE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE BUT CONSIDERABLE FOREIGN PRIVATE INVESTMENT.

EVEN AS SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES HAVE ATTEMPTED TO STRENGTHEN THEIR SLENDER RESOURCES THEY OCCASSIONALLY COME UNDER ATTACK FROM THE DEVELOPED ECONOMIES. THE ATTACKS RECENTLY FROM THE OECD UPON OFFSHORE FINANCIAL REGIMES INCLUDING NAURU HAVE BEEN NOT SO MUCH ON THE BASIS OF MONEY LAUNDERING BUT RATHER FOR THE MORE DUBIOUS REASON OF SO-CALLED HARMFUL TAX PRACTICES. NAURU HAS BEEN APPRECIATIVE OF THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS OFFSHORE FORUM WHICH HAS, AT LEAST, RECOGNISED THE DAMAGE POSED BY THE OECD ATTACKS. IF THE SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES ARE TO BE SUSTAINABLY DEVELOPED THEY WILL NEED A MASSIVE COOPERATIVE EFFORT FROM THE DEVELOPED STATES AND A GENUINE APPRECIATION FOR THEIR UNIQUE CHALLENGES.

ONE OF THE DEVELOPED STATES WHICH HAS EXTENDED A HAND OF COOPERATION HAS BEEN THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA. AS A ROBUST DEMOCRACY AND CHAMPION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VALUES, THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA HAS DEMONSTRATED BOTH CAPACITY AND ENTHUSIASM TO CONTRIBUTE MEANINGFULLY TO INTERNATIONAL WELFARE AND PROGRESS. ALONG WITH A NUMBER OF OTHER UN STATE MEMBERS, NAURU THEREFORE SUPPORTS THE INCLUSION OF A SUPPLEMENTARY ITEM ON THE AGENDA OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO EXAMINE THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA.

THE TWENTY THREE MILLION PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA DESERVE NO LESS THAN THEIR PROPER INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION, AND FOR SO LONG AS THEY ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE UN WE CANNOT CONSIDER THIS AUGUST BODY UNIVERSALLY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD.

IN CONCLUDING, I AM HOPEFUL THAT AS THE UNITED NATIONS STRIDES INTO A NEW CENTURY, REFORM OF THE UN CHARTER WILL ASSUME GREATER PROMINENCE. WE CERTAINLY CANNOT ACCEPT THE UN TO CONTINUE AS IT DOES WITHOUT ALLOWING WIDER AND DEEPER INVOLVEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN ADDRESSING CORE GLOBAL CHALLENGES. AS LEADERS, WE HAVE A DUTY TO THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD TO ENSURE THAT THE NEW CENTURY IS A SAFER, MORE PROSPEROUS ONE THAN THE 20TH CENTURY.

IN THIS THE 2000TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD IT IS MY SINCERE HOPE THAT LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING AMONGST OUR PEOPLES OF THE WORLD WILL PREVAIL. FOR IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE RULE OF LAW WITHOUT LOVE IS TYRANNY.

THANK YOU, AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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