For information only - not an official document.
    29 September 2000
  United Nations and Governments Need Partnerships
With Civil Society, Assembly President Says

  NEW YORK, 28 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the remarks of Assembly President Harri Holkeri (Finland) at a briefing for the non-governmental organization community, which was held today in New York:

 It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to join you this morning.  On behalf of the chairpersons and from my part, I wish to welcome each and everyone to this briefing.

 Yesterday, the plenary started to consider the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization.  The statements follow the successful Millennium Summit, where the heads of State and government expressed their common vision for the new century and affirmed the global development agenda, as set by the global conferences of the 1990s. 

 In yesterday's statements, there were three themes, which also characterized the Millennium Summit and the general debate.  First of all, the speakers recalled the spirit of the Millennium Summit, saying that we need to build on the momentum and translate the Millennium Declaration into concrete action.  To achieve this target, some of the speakers called for civil society to have a role.

 Second, globalization was again widely discussed.  In this regard, we need to work towards making globalization benefit all through a cross-cutting approach.

 The third topic was the link between peace and socio-economic development. Several delegates emphasized the need to prevent conflicts before they erupt, to shift from the culture of reaction to the culture of prevention, because conflicts go hand in hand with poverty and lack of human rights. 

 This year, we have some 180 items on the agenda of the General Assembly. Most of the items are the same as previously, but, among new issues, there are a role of diamonds in fuelling conflict, scale of assessment of peacekeeping operations, as well as reform of the United Nations peace operations. 

 The Millennium Declaration will guide our work during the current session. This is a challenge, which requires dialogue and cooperation from all of us, both during this session and in upcoming years.  The participation of non-governmental organizations is important.  The United Nations and governments cannot do the work alone, but need partnerships with the civil society.  

Non-governmental organizations do valuable advocacy work among citizens in different parts of the world by disseminating information and assisting with the implementation of targets of global conferences.  It is my strong belief that, through cooperation with non-governmental organizations, the results are more sustainable in all societies, both in the North and in the South.

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