UN2K: Egypt (on behalf) Of Mohammed Hosni Mubarak
H.E. Mr. Amre Moussa,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
On behalf of H.E. Mr. Mohammed Hosni
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
to the Millenium Summit
New York, 7 September 2000
It is my honour to convey to you the compliments of President Hosni Mubarak and his apology for not participating in this unique session, given its significance and purport. Simultaneously, I wish to express his feelings and thoughts, as President of Egypt, at an instant where the world is bridging an historic gap between an old era that has extended over twenty centuries and a new era starting with the twenty first century. This is done with a comprehensive global outlook and a vast scientific breakthrough that has neither been contemplated nor speculated by anyone before. Sound bases are being set for a joint co-existence, built upon respect of individual and collective rights and representing hope in a future full of expectations and capable of realizing dreams that have long been sought by humanity in its literary works, voyages, fantasies and imaginations.
Yes, the world has reached the threshold of turning dreams into reality and imagination into a living existence in many walks of life. The world is heading with confidence towards making the acquaintance of the universe. Yes, horizons of the future are vast and unconfined. However, challenges are also great and hazardous. It is incumbent upon us at this historical juncture to lay down together joint intellectual bases for tackling the inputs of this new era with its horizons and aspirations .. its hazards and challenges, which are represented in the wide gaps in the levels of development, and above all in the absence of any features of modern life in a large number of member states and individuals.
If Egypt has to concentrate in the few moments granted to her on points that she deems vital to the universal dialogue for setting the framework of the future of international action within the coming decades, I would like to point out to the following:
All aspirations and expectations discussed, as well as what has been and what is being achieved, should not conceal the fact that a great portion of the world is still suffering from poverty, ignorance and ailments. The world is still facing hazards of wars, scars of terrorism and challenges of other impediments, such as drugs, a lacerated environment, ethnic discrimination, religious intolerance and intellectual extremism. There are also new contemporary ailments, the most notable of which is the escalating and overwhelming desire for hegemony, domination, superciliousness and alienation from democracy in international life, which creates in turn tensions on a large scale at the global level.
The progress of intellect, expansion of the available information base and opening up of free communicative channels do not and should not mean the spreading of a culture that challenges or wrestles other civilizations. A specific culture should not be intolerant towards other cultures, given their deep-rooted heritage and well-established traditions, as well as their open-mindedness to react and interact with contemporary cultures. Or are we facing a choice between either a dominance imposed on everyone or else a struggle to obliterate such civilizations. There is room for co-existence and harmony between civilizations. It is incumbent upon us to ascertain such co-existence in order to concert our efforts in edifying a new life.
In order to establish a new and stable international order, Egypt deems it necessary to build this order on a joint dialogue and a shared sense of responsibility. Hence, Egypt calls for a general extensive discussion, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, representing the global parliament, of a new international contract to be discussed by representatives of legislative bodies and assemblies, as well as by civil societies. Here, the new international order does not mean adopting decisions only on matters pertaining to international peace and security, or matters related to finance, economy and trade, but also on matters related to women, children, population, social development, health, combat of diseases, and the above-mentioned impediments. Emphasis should be made on the importance of narrowing the digital divide and ensuring that everybody benefits equally from the telecommunication revolution and information technology. It is in this light, that Egypt will submit to the Millennium Assembly ideas and suggestions which will reflect its view on how to narrow the digital divide - from a developmental slant - in order to ensure a necessary balance in this regard.
Egypt calls for the enhancement of the role and efficacy of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, as well as confronting new challenges that have emanated in the past decade. A stable and efficacious system should be established for collective security and issues related to disarmament, primarily weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. A more effective role should be assumed in making and maintaining peace. Furthermore, it is important to conclude the ongoing dialogue on the restructuring of the Security Council, and achieve a fair and equal package that allows a larger number of permanent and non permanent seats, which would take into account the overwhelming majority of developing countries, and ensure the reform its methods of work, in order to achieve further transparency and democracy in the Council's actions and decisions. The scope of application of the veto must also be reconsidered. The role of the General Assembly in tackling issues of maintenance of international peace and stability should also be emphasized.
Last but not least, I would like to congratulate the Secretary-General for his valuable report to the Millenium Summit. I would like to call for the need to discuss the suggestions contained in the report in universities, intellectual fora , and academic centers, notwithstanding the need for the General Assembly to undertake a thorough discussion of it which would enable us to come up from this very Hall with a plan enabling us to confront global problems and challenges. I would like to put on record the importance we attach to the recommendations contained in the Brahimi report on United Nations peace operations, and our readiness to discuss them thoroughly in the General Assembly.
Egypt has also followed closely the work of the millennium forum of the non governmental organizations, and welcomes its final report which has set an ambitious plan of action highlighting the need to respect the national sovereignty of states, the right of people $o self determination, and calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the ending of economic sanctions, and facing the negative impacts of globalization. It has become evident that the contributions of civil society in these realms enable it to become an active partner of the United Nations in the implementation its policies and the achievement of its goals.
We are participating in this high-level gathering, while shouldering the concerns of our Region. I avail myself of this opportunity to express our desire to achieve peace and development in Africa, a fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, the establishment of the State of Palestine, in order to crown the peace process, which has been launched by Egypt twenty years ago. It is high time to reach the end of our march and embark on horizons of a better future for the region and the entire world at the outset of the new century and new millenium.