Multilateralism with a strengthened UN vital for small countries – Cape Verde

29 September 2009

Multilateralism, with a revitalized United Nations playing the pivotal role, is vital for combating a host of ills threatening West African countries, such as drugs, arms and human trafficking, organized crime and terrorism, Cape Verde said today.

“In this context in which states and democratic processes are threatened by factors from outside, multilateralism is an indispensable protection and essential resource,” Cape Verde Delegation Chairman Antonio Pedro Monteiro Lima told the General Assembly on the sixth day of its 64th annual General Debate.

“Within this framework the UN remains the central element as the collective conscience of the community of nations, devoted to coordinating our common action, favouring consensual and federative solutions.

“The revitalization of the United Nations system thus seems a necessity of our time, allowing for the participation of all at the expense of unilateralism, consolidating its effectiveness in favour of common interests and obtaining solutions that respond to the aspirations of the most vulnerable and of present and future generations.”

He said Cape Verde and other West African States are confronting organized crime, “which in our regions is finding fertile ground for its criminal investments due to the fragility of our economies and the vulnerability of our emerging democracies and generally the weak response capacity of our States in the face of this wholesale threat.”

He cited support already being given by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to help the region coordinate its efforts to confront “this tremendous challenge.”

Mr. Monteiro Lima said Cape Verde was already making its contribution to a strengthened UN by being one of the eight pilot countries for the “Delivering as One” project aiming at a single programme, single budget, single office and single leader for all the UN agencies, funds and programmes. This pilot project is “on the path to success,” he added.

Togo also called for international help to fight the drug trade, saying it was destabilizing the West African sub-region.

“In view of the breadth of this scourge, it is more than certain that no single country can fight it and hope to put an end to it along,” delegation chairman Kodjo Menan told the General Assembly.

“That is why my country appeals for international cooperation, notably assistance from countries with the capacity to help and from competent organizations to eradicate the phenomenon in order to restore the climate of security that is essential for development,” he added, noting that Togo was waging a struggle without mercy against the traffickers in cooperation with its neighbours despite its scant means.

Mali also stressed the importance of international support to help developing countries overcome current crises.

“The current multifaceted crises – economic, food, energy, environment – have plunged hundreds of millions of people into poverty and exacerbated the deprivations already afflicting them due to unemployment and the high cost of access to basic services,” Ambassador to the UN Oumar Daou told the Assembly.

“The state of the most vulnerable layers of society, notably women and children in developing countries, call for the attention of the international community and must figure at the heart of international concerns…

“The breadth and complexity of the challenges that must be met cannot distract the international community from the responsibilities that are incumbent on it.”

As the forces of interdependence become stronger around the world, the more the necessity of the UN increases, the Holy See said at the high-level debate on its final day.

“The need to have an organization capable of responding to the obstacles and increasing complexity of the relations between peoples and nations thus becomes paramount,” Archbishop Celestino Migliore said, acknowledging the difficulty of building the world body to be a “true centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.”

 

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