General Assembly debate highlights concerns of developing countries

1 October 2003

The United Nations General Assembly continued its high-level debate well into the second week today, with world leaders calling for the expansion of notions of national security beyond political and military issues to include transnational crime, economic debility and pandemics of communicable diseases.

Senior delegates urged the Assembly of rich and poor nations to take into account the core concerns of developing countries, such as paralyzingly high levels of debt, stringent trade protectionism and the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS and other fatal diseases. They pointed to multilateralism as the most effective method of achieving security, peace and human social and economic development.

Morning speakers included the Foreign Ministers of Uganda, James Wapakabulo, Vanuatu, Rialuth Serge Vohor, Oman, Yousef Bin Al-Alawi Bin Abdullah, Kenya, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Ethiopia, Seyoum Mesfin, Lithuania, Antanas Valionis, and Papua New Guinea, Rabbie Namaliu.

In addition, the Chairpersons of Finland, Marjatta Rasi, Nauru, Vinci Niel Clodumar, Antigua and Barbuda, Patrick Albert Lewis, and Swaziland, Clifford Sibusiso Mamba, took part in the debate.

In the afternoon, speakers included Foreign Minister Louis Straker of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Foreign Minister László Kovács of Hungary, Foreign Minister Frederick Mitchell of the Bahamas, Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov of Belarus and Foreign Minister Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania.

Also taking part in the debate were Foreign Minister Laurie Chan of the Solomon Islands, Natan Teewe, Minister for Communications, Transport and Tourism Development of Kiribati, and Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Chairman of the delegation from Luxembourg.


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