4 July 2003


NEW YORK, 3 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement delivered by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette upon the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on the prevention of armed conflict:

I am here today to warmly welcome the adoption by the General Assembly of this historic resolution on the prevention of armed conflict.  In adopting this resolution, the membership is responding to the report of the Secretary-General of 2001

The Secretary-General has taken conflict prevention as one of his major priorities, pledging to move the United Nations from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention.  It was in line with this priority and in response to the Security Council debates and presidential statements of 1999 and 2000 that he prepared a comprehensive report in 2001.  The Security Council endorsed the report in resolution 1366 of that same year.

Now, after two years of hard work, the General Assembly has adopted its first substantive resolution on this important issue.  I hope it will become a landmark for our efforts in this field.  As the Secretary-General reminded us in his report, we have an obligation to the victims of violence around the world to take seriously the challenge of prevention and to move from rhetoric to reality.

I congratulate the President of the General Assembly, His Excellency, Mr. Jan Kavan, for taking that obligation to heart, for the leadership he demonstrated, and for the very difficult and time-consuming consultations he undertook over the past months to bring us this far.  I would also like to thank Ambassadors Schori and Elvemar from Sweden who, together with the President, chaired most of the meetings with patience, perseverance and a positive outlook.  All delegations who actively participated in the consultations employed the most constructive approach in negotiations, making possible the adoption of this very substantial resolution.

The Secretariat, for its part, is committed to strengthening the capacity of the United Nations system in order to carry out more effectively its responsibilities for the prevention of armed conflict.  As called for in the resolution, we will submit a detailed review of the capacity of the United Nations system in the context of preparing a comprehensive report to the Assembly on the implementation of the present resolution.


I ask for continued support from the General Assembly as we all -- the Secretariat, United Nations system, the Member States, regional organizations and civil society -- build on the conclusions and recommendations of this resolution, and I welcome the General Assembly’s decision to include a specific item on conflict prevention on its provisional agenda for the fifty-ninth session.

I also look forward to increased interaction and close cooperation between the General Assembly and other major organs of the United Nations, in particular, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretary-General, in this regard.  We in the Secretariat will do all in our power to make the implementation process of this resolution a successful endeavour, both for the Member States and the United Nations system, as well as for all other partners involved.

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