14 November 2001


As Main Debate Continues, President of Micronesia Says States
Least Responsible for Problem Are on ‘Front-line’ in Facing Consequence

NEW YORK, 13 November (UN Headquarters) -- The global issue immediately threatening his country was that of rising sea levels due to climate change, the President of Micronesia told the General Assembly this morning as it continued its general debate.

It was the fourth day of the Assembly’s annual overview of international affairs, which began on Saturday, seven weeks later than originally planned, because of the terrorist attack of 11 September against the host country.

President Leo Falcam said Micronesia contributed "infinitesimally" to the problem of human-induced climate change, yet it was among the "front-line" States dealing with its impact. Credible scientific evidence suggested the global warming was greater than the most extreme estimates just ten years ago, when his country became a member of the United Nations. It could already be too late, because the rising sea level caused by global warming was already causing population movements.

Costa Rica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs told the Assembly a sustainable use of natural resources was a prerequisite for sustainable peace, since adequate living conditions for all people could not be guaranteed without that. In his country a national system of payments for environmental services had been adopted to alleviate the greenhouse effect and preserve the forests.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs for Cuba expressed his condemnation of the 11 September terrorist action, and of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, but said the United States had responded unilaterally, stating that whoever did not support the war effort was on the side of the terrorists. Only United Nations leadership could defeat terrorism.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister said terrorism had hounded his country for decades. With the attacks on the United States the time had passed when the world could simply say, "we’re sorry. . .but there is nothing we can do to help," in response to terrorism. International legislation was essential.

President Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo of Nicaragua and Prime Minister Nambar Eukhbayar of Mongolia also addressed the Assembly this morning, as did the Foreign Ministers of United Republic of Tanzania, Netherlands, Guinea, Bahrain, Sweden, Yugoslavia and Turkmenistan.

The Assembly meets again at 3:00 p.m. to continue its general debate.


The General Assembly met this morning to continue its general debate.


LEO A. FALCAM, President of Federated States of Micronesia: I take pleasure in saying that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the my country’s membership in the United Nations. The world, like Micronesia, in the past ten years has changed at a pace heretofore unknown. While the effects of some grave threats to my country will manifest themselves gradually in the next decades, it also grapples with an ongoing and immediate concern –- poverty. I speak not of the poverty of hunger and unchecked disease, but of the all too common developing world condition resulting from the failure of nations to equitably share the world’s bounties.

As a nation with one of the youngest populations in the world, the issues of children and youth are of utmost concern. We, therefore, commend the decision to hold a special session of the General Assembly on children. Furthermore, while my nation grapples with the entire spectrum of transnational problems, such as drug trafficking and other aspects of international criminal activity, there is one threat that has our particular attention. I am speaking about the accelerated sea-level rise caused by global climate change. We now know that the production of greenhouse gases by human activity plays a prominent role. It is this global issue that threatens my country like no other.

The Federated States of Micronesia contributes only in an infinitesimal way to the problem of human-induced climate change, yet we are among the "front-line" States that must deal with its impact. We are comprised of a geographically diverse range of islands, which all share one common denominator –- the reliance of people’s livelihoods on the sea. Credible scientific evidence suggests that the magnitude of the impact of global warming may be greater than that of the most extreme estimates just ten years ago. Indeed, it may already be too late to save my country and many others like it worldwide.

Already my nation has seen the beginnings of the movement of its peoples as a result of the sea-level rise caused by global warming. This year, Tuvalu, one of our similarly situated neighbors in the region, announced that they had begun examining relocation options. Unfortunately, their initial results were not encouraging, as there is no uniform willingness among more fortunate countries to provide a haven for these first "climate change refugees". Undoubtedly, it will be the outlying atolls of the Federated States of Micronesia, home to about half of our population, that are the next to join the people of Tuvalu, if current trends continue.

Today, there is virtually no uncertainty remaining regarding the reality of the main problem. Yet, we are dismayed to see that a handful of "greenhouse skeptics" are often still given an equal podium with the distinguished scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in the media and elsewhere. The past ten years have seen some progress in the form of the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. However, a change in the position of several key signatories to the Protocol, who are among the world’s largest generators of greenhouse gasses, has created a great deal of concern for all low-lying island States. We call upon those who have not, to find the political will to take the actions that are, after all, in their own long-term interests.

ARNOLDO ALEMÁN LACAYO, President of Nicaragua: The people and Government of Nicaragua received with great consternation the news of the criminal terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September. The Presidents of Central America subscribed this past 19 September in Honduras to the "Central America United Against Terrorism" Declaration, where we strongly condemned any link between such events and sectors in the Central American region. As of that date, we began concrete initiatives to improve information between neighbouring countries, increase the control of travel documents and strengthen security in airports and civil aviation.

It is our firm commitment to world peace and security that led my country to celebrate the third meeting of member States parties to the Ottawa Convention. The Managua Conference allowed us to renew our commitment to Member States and note with satisfaction important advances in the crusade to eliminate anti-personnel mines. The ratification of the Convention by more than 120 States, the strengthening of mechanisms for its implementation, advances in mine removal, the destruction of mines stored in different parts of the world and the virtual embargo on the international trade in these arms, are concrete steps in ending the suffering brought about by anti-personnel mines.

In order to respond effectively to the challenges that the new millennium imposes on us, it is crucial to go forward with firm steps to reform the United Nations, making its policies and structures equal to the realities of contemporary international society. Nicaragua shares the interest of all the Members in strengthening our Organization, which will permit the optimization of its labour in maintaining international peace and security, preventing conflicts, promoting sustainable development and fighting poverty. The Security Council must be reformed, so that it can respond fully and effectively to current needs and future challenges.

The profound changes undergone by international society since 1945 make it critical that the United Nations reaffirm its universal vocation to face new challenges through the full and effective participation of all peoples. This universal vocation cannot be fully realized so long as a democratic State and founding subscriber to the San Francisco Charter cannot participate as a full member of the Organization. The Republic of China is a democratic country and its freely elected government is the only one that can legitimately represent the interests and desires of the people of Taiwan in the United Nations.

We should not continue to deny the right to 23 million people who live in the Republic of China to be represented in the Organization. Let us recall that the Republic of China has played a positive role in promoting world trade, eradicating poverty and advancing human rights. These laudable efforts on national and international levels should be recognized, permitting the Republic of China to integrate itself anew into the international order of the United Nations, under the perspective of having achieved the fundamental conditions of a subject of international law.

NAMBAR ENKHBAYAR, Prime Minister of Mongolia: September 11 has drastically changed the world as we see it. It has also revealed the need for change in our approach toward the way we perceive our own security. It is becoming increasingly evident that no country can ensure its security on its own. This indivisibility of global human security requires a genuine display of solidarity and collective responsibility on the part of every country of the international community, so that it can effectively address the formidable challenges of the new millennium.

Looking back, one could describe the 1990s as a decade of commitments for development. Yet today, the world does not find itself in much better shape. The question to ask is, do we have sufficient political will to forge the partnership needed to ease the staggering discrepancy between commitments and action? We cannot afford to fail to honor our commitments for yet another decade, if we are serious about ensuring human security. Affluent countries, for example, could exhibit their solidarity and shared responsibility by further opening their markets, providing broader and faster debt relief and giving more and better focused development assistance and incentives for foreign development assistance flows to their less fortunate partners.

Over the last four decades of Mongolia’s membership in the United Nations, it has been endeavoring to contribute, where it can, to the common efforts of the international community to promote peace and development. Mongolia supports peacekeeping operations, as one of the important means of maintaining peace and security and since the mid-1990s has taken deliberate steps and made measurable progress in developing its peacekeeping capacity. Mongolia is willing to share its fresh experience of peaceful and simultaneous transition to democracy and a market-oriented economy over the past decade, and has offered to host the fifth international conference of new and restored democracies in 2003.

The Mongolian Government is resolved to ensure sustained economic growth through reinvigorating and encouraging the development of domestic industry, rehabilitating the banking sector, and upgrading people’s living standards. We will intensify structural reforms and encourage an export-oriented, private-sector-led economy. Mining, processing of raw materials of animal origin, tourism, and other export-oriented sectors are the top priorities. Privatization of State assets, including the most valued enterprises, will continue. Creation of a favorable environment for the attraction of foreign investment is also a priority.

JAKAYA M. KIKWETE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of United Republic of Tanzania: Coming from a country which fell victim to a terrorist attack with the bombing of the United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam in 1998, I can clearly understand the pain, anger and quest for revenge on the part of the United States people. We support their rights, and that of their Government, to seek redress and fight the perpetrators of that heinous crime. The 11 September events remind us of the need to expedite the process establishing the International Criminal Court.

The Security Council expansion of membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories is as relevant and desirable today as it was seven years ago. We support Africa’s request for two seats in the permanent category. The time has also come to have a serious look at the circumstances and modalities of invoking the veto. Africa, as a continent with 34 of the 48 least developed countries will suffer most of the consequences of the current economic crisis. Availability of official development assistance (ODA) plus long-term capital flows, as well as access to technology and markets of the developed countries, are essential. Easy access for developing countries to the technology and markets of the developed world could contribute immensely towards alleviation of poverty.

The problem of the external debt of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries continues to pose a serious challenge to their development efforts. External debt servicing has been crowding out priority social investments. In Tanzania, debt servicing averaged one third of the entire Government budget. Debt relief and forgiveness will go a long way towards enhancing the government capacity to discharge its duties. Tanzania welcomes various measures undertaken by the international community, but is concerned that despite all these measures, the scope and magnitude of debt continues to build up to dangerous proportions.

We are gratified that the inter-Congolese dialogue is under way and appeal to the parties involved to stay the course. We also welcome the installation of the transitional Government in Burundi. Being host to over 800,000 refugees from Burundi, Tanzania expects that repatriation of these refugees will be a priority issue when implementing the Arusha Agreement. As host country to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, we cannot but reiterate our call for continued support for it. The impact of the worldwide scourge of HIV/AIDS is not only a major medical challenge, but also a threat to the very existence of humanity. The June special session on the issue has pronounced itself on this scourge. With resolute political will, the war against the world pandemic is not insurmountable.

JOZIAS VAN AARTSEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands: How can anyone stand on the smoking ashes of "ground zero" (the World Trade Centre site in New York) and not be awash with disbelief, anger and frustration? How can anyone escape the enormity of what happened in September, or feel no compassion for all those who have lost someone dear to them. At ground zero we not only witness death and destruction, but see how American values have come under siege. These are shared values.

The need to step up security after the events of 11 September is immediate, comprehensive and self-evident. We shall be forced to relinquish some freedom from intrusion in our private lives, and from disruption of our public lives. But we cannot be expected to live in a never-ending state of siege. What is being put to the test here is our own value system. The core notion of that system is tolerance. Tolerance means that you draw a line in the sand when your basic values are challenged.

We should care about "failing States". Look at the avalanche of drugs, drug money, weapons and warlords spilling out of Afghanistan. Look at the blood diamonds streaming out of Africa. Think how failing States attract parasites, how they turn into breeding grounds for terrorism, havens for international crime. Think of peace and security, too, and how faltering countries become a liability to their own people, how they flaunt the rules of the game and become a liability to the whole neighbourhood. How do we deal with failing States? Outside intervention only goes so far. Massive injections of aid are not the right answer. The solution should not come from the outside, but from the inside. Our role should be to help galvanize and enable these States to use their capacities to fix themselves.

Consensus is growing that in post-Taliban Afghanistan, the United Nations should play a central role. The Organization can do much, but we must not send the United Nations on "a mission impossible". Afghans are a proud people. We may be looking both for a broad-based interim government and a stable permanent structure. Without rushing to elections, we need to be satisfied that such a political settlement is being supported by the population. In the absence of a functional national army, transitional military arrangements are essential to help create a secure environment for reconstruction to begin and refugees to return home. We must get rid of them.

The Afghan people are not to be envied; their plight will not end once the guns are silent. But reconstruction cannot be imposed upon a nation. Sustainable recovery needs to come from within.

MAHAWA BANGOURA CAMARA, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Guinea: Peace and security in the world continue to be threatened. In the Middle East, intolerance is leading to a dangerous escalation of violence which could lead to the whole region going up in flames. Guinea is in favor of the full application of the recommendations of the Mitchell report. Sending international observers could put an end to the violence. The passivity of the international community could lead to a worsening of the situation.

A year ago Guinea was victim of aggression by rebel groups causing much loss of life. My Government appreciates the United Nations role in promoting peace and security in the region. Dialogue between Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is important in the search for peace. Guinea is ready to make the Mano River Union a model for economic integration and a space for social cohesion.

As for Sierra Leone, my Government welcomes the results achieved, particularly in the programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. This needs to be consolidated to avoid the errors in Liberia where the restoration of peace was not accompanied by such a programme, or by the financial support needed to help after the conflict has ended.

The continued presence of refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia in my country is placing a heavy burden on its economic and social life. This should be a matter of deep concern for the international community, since the host countries of refugees are often the prime target of aggressors. Poverty and illiteracy is fertile ground for the propagation of extremism and fanaticism. The rich countries should listen to the poorer nations and support them in their development efforts.

FELIPE PEREZ ROQUE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba: The war in Afghanistan must be stopped. The Government of the United States must acknowledge it has made a mistake. From the results, it would seem that children, the civilian population and the International Red Cross have been targeted as enemies. The war is an inefficient method to eradicate terrorism, and can only bring more hatred and increasing dangers of new terrorist actions.

Cuba’s position is not founded on ill feelings against those who have been our most embittered adversary for over 40 years. It is inspired by a sincere constructive spirit and a sense of respect for and sympathy towards the people of the United States, which sustained the unjustifiable and atrocious terrorist attack. What Cuba says may not be to the liking of those who run the United States today, but it will one day be understood by the generous American people, whose sense of justice was proven when 80 per cent of them supported our efforts for a kidnapped Cuban child being subjected to political manipulation and psychological torture.

The United States has imposed its war on a unilateral basis, stating that whoever does not support them is with terrorism. How long will the "precarious support" last? Only under the leadership of the United Nations will we be able to defeat terrorism. Cuba therefore supports the adoption of a general convention on international terrorism that will finally allow us to define terrorism with accuracy.

The most critical socio-economic crisis that our planet has undergone, created by neo-liberal globalization, has been dramatically aggravated by this war. A coalition has been summoned to avenge the grievous deaths of more than 4,000 innocent people. Let us come together to seek justice against this major crime, and do so without war. Let us come together to save the 12 million children who die every year in the Third World before the age of five; to bring medications against AIDS to 25 million Africans, to invest in development.

Cuba reiterates its outright condemnation of the 11 September terrorist action, and its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. For more than 40 years it has suffered from terrorist actions. The people of the United States are victims not only of terrorism, but also of the lack of truthful information, manipulation and the questionable limitation of their freedoms.

LAKSHMAN KADIGAMAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka: Fear today stalks the United States where democracy had flourished and brought prosperity. The days are ended when a country affected by terror, as has Sri Lanka for two decades, can be told by the international community: "We’re sorry, but there is nothing we can do to help, because we have no laws to combat terror."

Sri Lanka has suffered from many terrorist acts. Leaders were assassinated, as was a neighboring Prime Minister when a suicide bomber attacked the Sri Lankan President. When half our national airline was wiped out by terrorists, the advice of governments was to negotiate, because violence only begets violence. That approach has changed dramatically now because terrorism has assailed the national interests of many countries. It is no longer the curse of the poor.

Severely affected by terrorism, it is natural that Sri Lanka play a leading role in designing legislation against terrorism for international implementation. A particularly abhorrent brand of terrorism has been practised by terrorists in Sri Lanka: the forcible conscription of young children for battle. While the world must fight terrorism relentlessly, sooner or later it will have to turn its collective mind to analyzing the causes of terrorism, to prevent and finally eliminate it before it threatens the whole world.

Contented people do not rise up to destroy the society in which they live. If the world is a village, we must take care that villagers down the road are not given cause to become resentful at the opulence of others a stone’s throw away. The Assembly should convene an international group of eminent persons to study terrorism and its prevention -- a question that brings the issue back to those that have haunted the United Nations from its beginnings, those of poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance and injustice.

Formulating policy is easier than implementing it, especially when the developed world says funding is far from promising, while the developing world warns that international capital is all the developing world can turn to, and that only ODA is reliable and stable. The European Union Development Council recently called for a firm commitment to be made on the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, next March to the attainment of the goal of 0.7 per cent of the gross national product (GNP) to be devoted to ODA.

MOHAMED BIN MUBARAK AL-KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain: As we express our feelings of sadness at the horror of the events of 11 September, we must also warn against the danger of exploiting those events to link terrorism to Islam, a religion of coexistence and tolerance, and igniting conflict between religions and civilizations, instead of dialogue and interaction which will benefit all societies, races and beliefs. In this context, we welcome the position of the United States and other friendly countries in calling on their citizens to refrain from harming the citizens of Arab and Muslim descent.

Bahrain seeks a spirit of friendship in its relations with others. The judgment handed down by the International Court of Justice with regard to a border dispute with Qatar has opened a new page in our brotherly relations. However, the ramifications of painful events in the Gulf region over the past 20 years still represent an ongoing threat. Bahrain calls once again on Iraq to cooperate with the United Nations and to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions. Bahrain also hopes for a peaceful solution will be reached between Iran and the United Arab Emirates over the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Muss, all of which belong to the United Arab Emirates.

Since the present Israeli government came to power, the Middle East had been witnessing serious developments that have brought back the conditions of hostility and confrontation that had engulfed the region prior to the Madrid peace process. This was because of the aggression by Israel against the Palestinian people, and the oppressive actions and economic blockade that it imposes on all the territory under Palestinian authority. The explosive situation in that territory makes it incumbent upon the international community, primarily the co-sponsors of the peace process to put that process back on track so that its objectives may be achieved. This requires full implementation of the Security Council resolutions. In this connection, we welcome the statement of President Bush on the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own State.

ROBERTO ROJAS, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica: The recent terrorist attacks have forced us to rethink the concept of international security The 11 September terrorists targeted not only New York but also the whole of humanity. The community of nations must create mechanisms to ensure peace and development for all people, with the United Nations playing a central role.

Protecting human rights is the cornerstone of Costa Rica’s foreign policy. Our people loathe violations of basic rights, reject intolerance, hatred and inequality, condemn judicial injustices and find restrictions on basic freedoms reprehensible. The United Nations must remain vigilant to new challenges threatening human rights. In the area of cloning and biotechnology, for example, the proposal by France and Germany to develop a convention banning reproductive human cloning was welcome.

In addition, the family must be strengthened as the basic building block of society. All peace and security efforts must be approached from the human rights angle. Armed conflicts produce continuous humanitarian crises and atrocities. True and sustainable peace will be achieved only when adequate living conditions are guaranteed to all people. This requires sustainable use and management of natural resources.

The destruction of thousands of square kilometers of forests has already damaged the environment for future generations. Costa Rica has developed a national system of payments for environmental services, with a view to alleviating the greenhouse effect gases and preserving forests. A quarter of Costa Rica’s national territory was devoted to forest protection. The production and payments concerned with environmental goods and services has become an engine of national development. Costa Rica will host the first ministerial meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests in March next year.

States with the most fragile economies, or the least resources for preventing or rebuilding after disasters, are the ones suffering most when natural disasters strike. Over the past decade, Central America has been victim to several catastrophes, creating serious human and material losses. The lack of financial resources imposed a harsh limit on the capacity of the poorest nations to prevent humanitarian emergencies. More international attention should be given to the question of helping developing nations design and implement programmes to reduce their vulnerability.

ANNA LINDH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden: All nations must take action against the financing, planning and execution of terrorist acts. We must also assist the people of Afghanistan in their immediate needs. The humanitarian situation facing the people of Afghanistan is acute. The United Nations must increase efforts to relieve the needs of the Afghan population. Closed borders must be opened immediately for refugees seeking asylum, and for the secure transport of emergency supplies. We must assist the people of Afghanistan in reconstructing their country, which must include support for a political process leading to a representative government that respects human rights and fosters democratic development.

Today, we need to build coalitions and join forces, not only against international terrorism, but to fight injustice and ward off other threats to human security. Development cooperation, trade and agricultural policies must aim at poverty eradication. In addition, HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest threats to humanity in our time. Large parts of entire generations fall victim to the disease, millions of children are orphaned, economic progress is hampered and development opportunities lost. All Member States need to show strong political and financial commitment to address these complex aspects.

A new round of broad negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) can make an important contribution to worldwide growth and development. But, the interests and concerns of developing countries must be properly addressed. All efforts must be made to liberalize trade. The example set by the European Union to open its market for "everything but arms" should be followed by others. However, the main responsibility for development rests with the governments and peoples in developing countries. Good governance and sound national policies are prerequisites for sustained development and effective poverty reduction strategies.

We need to join forces for peace in the Middle East. Our aim must be two States, Israel and Palestine, with secure and recognized borders. The situation has deteriorated in the past year, despite strong efforts by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Russia and others. Israel must withdraw from the occupied territories, cease the settlement policy and put and end to extra-judicial executions. The Palestinians must do everything in their power to stop attacks against innocent civilians.

GORAN SVILANOVIC, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Having been confronted with terrorism for quite some time, Yugoslavia is well aware of the difficulty fighting it. It is not enough to prevent terrorist attacks and to capture and punish their perpetrators, it is even more important to deal with the social causes of terrorism, in particular to address issues of poverty and the lack of opportunity. It is also vital to strengthen democracy and respect for human rights everywhere in the world.

Today, all countries in south-east Europe have democratically elected governments and strive to join European and Euro-Atlantic structures. The precondition for dealing with the problems in the region -- still burdened with the legacy of 10 years in which the main problem is the position of national minorities -- is to fully respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries. It must be clearly said that the era of disintegration in the Balkans has come to an end. Solving the minority issues, together with more economic cooperation and new confidence-building measures, is the way to achieve lasting stability and prosperity in the region.

Kosovo and Metohija is the most pressing preoccupation of my Government. Unfortunately, we are not satisfied with the situation in the field. There is no security for non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, the return of expelled and displaced persons is difficult and there is no progress on the issue of missing persons. The elections in Kosovo and Metohija on 17 November are important. It is only after the elections that I expect we commence even more extensive cooperation. This cooperation should be aimed at implementing Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) fully and at establishing democracy and promoting human rights in Kosovo and Metohija, with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Recalling the conclusions of the Millennium session, we expect the Assembly, the United Nations’ main organ, to function more effectively. The Organization should be more efficient in order to address the challenges before us, and the Security Council should adapt itself to the new relations in the international community. We attach special significance to the international rule of law. It is of particular importance that all international crimes be punished before national and international courts. In that context, we firmly believe that the International Criminal Court should start its work as soon as possible.

RASHID MEREDOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan: Relations with the United Nations based on close cooperation and strict observance of the fundamental principles of this Organization remain at the fore of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy strategy. My country has always stood for the strengthening of the United Nations role in the world. Interaction with United Nations bodies and its agencies are an important and useful instrument of common regional economic, cultural and information cooperation. Our country intends to pay due attention to keeping the most close contacts with the offices of the United Nations specialized agencies in the future.

It was with great grief that the people in my country received news of the terrorist attacks in America. We need to take measures so that such manifestations of terrorism will not go unpunished and take legitimate measures to combat such evil. We are concerned over the situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing armed conflict there, which affects stability in the region, as well as social and economic development. Turkmenistan shares the view that there is no alternative but peaceful resolution of the Afghanistan issue through negotiations. That is why we are convinced that the road to peace in this long-suffering country lies through political negotiations under United Nations auspices.

It is a common knowledge that oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea are extremely important energy resources for the twenty-first century. The rational and effective exploitation and construction of appropriate pipeline infrastructure to deliver those energy supplies to the world markets will ensure the considerable economic growth of many States, and the well-being of their peoples. The United Nations can play an important role in this process, as it is capable of creating a mechanism for guaranteeing safe and unimpeded transportation of raw materials along interstate pipelines. Effective economic activity is directly linked to ensuring stability in the Caspian region. Turkmenistan holds the view that the Caspian Sea area should be a zone of peace, stability and sustainability.

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