28/09/2011: ANGOLAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY. SEPTEMBER 26-2011 (ENGLISH)
REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
HIS EXCELLENCY MR. GEORGES RIBELO CHICOTI
MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE
OF THE SIXTY-SIXTH SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 26 SEPTEMBER 2011
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency for your election to preside over the work of this 66th Session of UN General Assembly and to assure you of the support and cooperation of the Angolan delegation for the success of the work of this session.
I also want to express our gratitude to Your predecessor, Ambassador Joseph Deiss, for the competent and impartial manner in which he conducted the proceedings of the 65th session.
May I also congratulate the Secretary-General for his re-election and assure him of the support of my Government for the success of his much complex and demanding mission in the service of peace and cooperation among nations, a cornerstone of the mandate embodied in the Charter of our Organization.
We congratulate the Republic of South Sudan for its admission as a member of the United Nations. We wish South Sudan a future of peace and prosperity and guarantee the availability of the Government of Angola to cooperate with this new State’s effort to consolidate its independence and its socio-economic development.
We are also pleased with the creation of UN-Women, and we are certain that it will give further impetus to the promotion and empowerment of women and the achievement of their legitimate rights.
This session of the General Assembly takes place at a particularly complex moment in the international arena, characterized by so many crises that I believe it not be an exaggeration to say that they challenge the very foundations of our international organization.
Thus, if I list them, though not exhaustively, I can cite the current economic and financial crisis, which triggered the most serious social crisis witnessed by our generation; a dangerous environmental crisis of unpredictable consequences for the future of humanity and that will be irreversible unless the international community as a whole applies immediate and courageous measures; a general escalation of violence and the outbreak of conflict, which combined with the environmental crisis, has caused the most serious humanitarian crisis that humanity has witnessed since the end the 2nd World War. In conclusion, we live in a dangerous situation where a combination of factors endangers the stability, peace and security in the world.
The diagnosis of the present international situation made by the majority of the speakers who preceded me and that we share, constitutes a call to our collective responsibility.
A particularly disturbing factor is the current economic and financial crisis that has affected virtually every country in the world and spilled more heavily in developing countries, with serious consequences for political stability and social cohesion in these countries.
Therefore, it is urgent to find solutions to these problems, which will require the strengthening of international cooperation on a basis of greater justice and equality. Moreover, it is urgent to take measures aimed at deepening economic reforms within States that promote economic growth and social development.
Heavily affected by this international economic and financial crisis, Angola has adopted a set of measures to mitigate its most adverse effects, and without prejudice to the maintenance of macroeconomic balances, has focused considerable resources in the fight against poverty and social development.
The Theme of this General Assembly session – “The role of mediation in peaceful conflict resolution” - reveals the deep concern of the international community with the need for an integrated approach in resolving conflicts that affect international society.
That is what makes it necessary to implement mediation efforts after conflicts have started. Conflict prevention should be the key element in the management of any areas of tension.
Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law, and good governance bodies are basic needs for any human society to live in peace and harmony, and are the main guarantee of effective conflict prevention.
There are other elements I would like to mention that are an important cause of the spread of conflicts: I am referring to external interference, done in gross violation of international law, and which most of the time obstructs efforts at mediation and peaceful resolution, and prevents solutions to these conflicts.
Angola paid a very high price as a result of such interference, that for too long a time fed a fratricidal conflict that Angolans finally settled and wisely overcame with magnanimity, fairness and inclusion under of the auspices of the leadership of H.E. José Eduardo dos Santos. The role of Angola and its contribution to internal and regional peace should be seen in the broader context of conflict resolution by allowing the implementation of Security Council emblematic resolution 435 of 1978, which led to the independence of Namibia and created the conditions for a peaceful coexistence in a region that endured extreme hostility and constituted a permanent threat to world peace.
Instilled with a spirit of fraternity, the government of Angola has spared no efforts to pursue its policy of effective reconciliation, which has allowed the inclusion of all its children previously in conflict. That was a true investment in peace, a decisive factor in the process of post-conflict reconstruction.
Angola has served as a reference point for the resolution of some conflicts on the African continent, and has spared no effort in sharing its experience with other peoples and countries.
Also in the context of conflict resolution, it is important to strengthen the role of multilateralism following the logic of a new thought of responsibility and shared benefits, based on the recognition of the legitimate interests of all parties, on consultation and dialogue and in the search for workable solutions to issues of international peace and security.
It is thus inevitable to refer to the instruments of cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union, and to the role of the United Nations and the regional institutions in preventing and resolving conflicts, and it is of crucial importance to strengthen the action of regional organizations in the management of stressful situations that may constitute threats to peace and security.
In this connection, the Security Council has the primary role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in the maintenance of peace in accordance with the powers conferred upon it by the Charter of the United Nations.
The central theme of our debate also calls for the need to reform the Security Council, and to the imperative of a fair representation of all regions and the expansion of its permanent members, thus adapting the Security Council to the contemporary reality.
At the regional level and in the implementation of a policy of peaceful cooperation, Angola is a member of SADC, ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African Countries), the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea and the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), which with several partners, has acted on the basis of preventive diplomacy and the search for peaceful solutions to the different crises that have arisen.
Regarding the constitutional crisis in Madagascar, SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) has mediated the recent signing by all parties involved of the roadmap for the implementation of the reconciliation process, which should lead to elections and the restoration of constitutional normality, and has constituted an important breakthrough in the process—one which Angola welcomes.
The Brotherly country of Guinea-Bissau, our partner in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, has been the subject of special attention from Angola. As part of the CPLP, Angola and other member states have strived to establish a strategic partnership with ECOWAS, under the coordination of the United Nations, aiming to bring political stability to the country so that it can carry out major structural reforms, in particular the reform of the defense and security sector. We welcome the positive developments that the country now lives, and encourage the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to pursue vigorously the process of stabilizing the country.
The drought in the Horn of Africa is a reason of deep concern to my country and the entire international community. In Somalia, the consequences of drought are felt even more due to the prevalence of armed conflict, which worsens its humanitarian crisis, shocks the universal conscience and calls for a redoubled effort by the international community. Angola joins the international humanitarian assistance efforts and the search for political solutions to end the armed conflict, and to open new prospects for a better future for the Somali people.
Concerning the situation in Libya, the Angolan government hopes that the Libyan people can find stability in the very short term, which can only be achieved through the free exercise of their democratic rights; in this context, Angola urges the National Transitional Council to promote genuine national reconciliation and to form an inclusive government, as those are prerequisites for Libya to regain its rightful place in the African and International arena.
However, we should make use of lessons learned with a view to a more effective cooperation between external partners and the African Union in seeking joint solutions based on international law and mutual respect.
Angola remains concerned by the weak progress in addressing the problem of Western Sahara, which remains an important issue on the international agenda. We call on the warring parties to resume negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union, so that the people of Western Sahara can exercise their right to self-determination.
The situation in the Middle East, particularly in the Palestinian territories, is one of the most serious problems facing the international community. Angola sees with great concern the escalation of the conflict and the lack of progress towards a solution of the Palestinian question, and, in line with the general position of the international community regarding the conflict, advocates the creation of an independent Palestinian State, living side by side with the State of Israel, in peace and security, within secure internationally recognized borders.
This 66th session of UN General Assembly, in similarity to what happened in previous sessions, will address the embargo imposed on Cuba, which violates the rules of free trade. In spite of the timid steps taken to normalize the situation, Angola reiterates its position of principle by reaffirming the need to end the economic, financial and commercial embargo against Cuba.
Angola has been giving its contribution in finding solutions to the most pressing problems, and within the broader international community, we have sought to cooperate with all countries based on mutual interest, and on upholding the highest ideals of peace and cooperation for development.
We will continue this path, convinced that the defense and promotion of these principles contribute to the development and advancement of all peoples.