07 October 2013

UN General Assembly: Excerpts from government statements


Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

...Antigua and Barbuda welcomes the launch of the design for a Permanent Memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, an initiative that was championed by CARICOM. We also look forward to its full erection in the coming months.

One year ago, I stood here and echoed the need for serious dialogue on the topic of Reparations. Today, I am proud that the members of CARICOM at its 34th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held in Trinidad and Tobago in July agreed to support the establishment of a regional Reparations Commission to begin laying the ground work for a process of engagement and conversation on the issue for Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery.

I am equally pleased that the first Regional Reparations Conference was held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this month with proposals for the formalization of a Regional Reparations Commission.


Of concern to Antigua and Barbuda are the failings of the international community in fulfilling the aims and objectives outlined in the Barbados Programme of Action on the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 2014 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the first UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which was held in Barbados in 1994.

Looking back at the twenty years since that Conference, the corresponding actions to address the unique and special circumstances of SIDS by the international community has been lacking. It is my hope that Samoa 2014 will give the International community the opportunity to correct the wrongs made and to improve onshortcomings to SIDS.

The conference will also present us with a third chance to identify a set of concrete actions, which will beneeded for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation and thereby regain momentum lost by SIDS in the quest for sustainable development.

We welcome the decision by the UN family to designate 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States. Antigua and Barbuda pledges to highlight throughout 2014 the issue of SIDS with the aim of reinvigorating the SIDS Agenda.


It is a recognized fact, but it is worth repeating - Small Island States contribute the least to the causes of climate change, yet we suffer the most from its effects. 

Small Island States have expressed our profound disappointment at the lack of tangible action within the UNFCCC negotiations to protect SIDS and other vulnerable countries, our peoples, culture, land and ecosystems.

The responsibility for mitigating climate change is a common responsibility for all nations, be they developed or developing. However, developed countries should shoulder their moral, ethical and historical responsibilities for emitting the levels of 
anthro-pogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. It is those actions which have now put the planet in jeopardy and compromised the well-being of present and future generations...




...The Post-2015 Development Agenda offers us an opportunity to change the way we do business. Solomon Islands in this regards. seeks a new spirit of partnership that will reform the global economic architecture. My sub-region in the Pacific supply 60% of the world's tuna. Over three decades the Pacific Islands have developed fisheries institutions, legal and management frameworks.

With international support we can supply the world with fish. Solomon Islands as Chair of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and Chair of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement calls for a new mindset that provides Pacific Island States with the space and capacity to develop its domestic industries and restructure distant water nations fishing fleets in the region...

...Solomon Islands welcomes your proposal of convening a third thematic debate on sustainable energy during this session. We note, 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity, and half of them live in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Istanbul Program of Action recognizes that access to affordable. reliable. renewable energy is critical for accelerating sustainable inclusive economic growth. increased. social equity and a sustainable and clean environment...

...I am pleased to announce, Solomon Islands began a new journey two months ago. The ten year old Solomon Islands - Pacific Islands Forum's Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) led by Australia, supported by New Zealand and Pacific SIDS went through a transitional phase. RAMSI, provided for under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, is now a police only assistance. The success of the transitional phase belongs to our people and our region. On this note I take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and people of Solomon Islands to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to all our regional neigbours, tangio tumas (thank you very much)...

...The changing global realities have seen the emergence and expansion of South-South cooperation. Solomon Islands established two new diplomatic Missions this year, in Cuba and Malaysia respectively. On 18 April this year, Solomon Islands raised its flag in Havana. We also welcome Cuba becoming a Pacific Islands Forum Post Forum Dialogue Partner three weeks ago. Similarly in Malaysia last month, Solomon Islands first resident Ambassador presented his credentials. We intend to strengthen our ties with the wider Asia and Pacific region including ASEAN and India...

...Turning now to bilateral cooperation with Papua New Guinea, my Melanesian neighbour. Papua New Guinea continues to provide opportunities for young Solomon Islanders in terms of employment and scholarships. Visa free work scheme were launched and trade relations continue to grow to new heights.

In my sub region, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) made up of Fiji, Papua New Guinea,Vanuatu and Solomon Islands is one of the most diverse regions of the world. A quarter of the world's language hails from the more than 8 million people. Enhanced free trade has unified the culturally rich diverse populations. Today the Group is exploring other economic, security and political cooperation...

The inalienable right to self determination is a key pillar of the United Nations. On New Caledonia, members of the MSG group continue to support the Territory of New Caledonia's self determination process in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Human Rights instruments, and the Noumea Accord. On the territory of French Polynesia, I take this opportunity to thank the General Assembly and all Pacific SIDS in adopting by consensus the resolution on the Self Determination of French Polynesia in May this year. The question of the Territory of French Polynesia and the Territory of New Caledonia is scheduled to be discussed by the Fourth Committee next week.



Honourable Vete Palakua Sakaio

...The attaimnent of the poverty MDG is a formidable challenge for the fourth smallest country in the world. Tuvalu is poorly endowed with natural resources and have almost no productive capacity. Tuvalu is highly dependent on aid, leasing gratuities and  rental incomes of its national assets (air, sea, its domain) and remittances. We will continue  to seek the UN and donor community for their invaluable support and cooperation in our pursuit of the MDG on poverty as we approach 2015...

...Tuvalu is also fully committed to the strategic implementation of the outcomes of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI). As we approach the International Year of the SIDS in 2014, and the third international conference on SIDS in Apia, Samoa, we urge the UN to ensure that 
SIDS status and SIDS-specific recognition are truly sanctioned inthe UN bureaucracy. We have seen enough General Assembly resolutions that are abstract and vague in addressing SIDS issues and yet there is no special treatment of SIDS in the whole UN development agenda. The 2014 conference on SIDS must be decisive on special windows of partnerships on SIDS to ensure not only sustainable development but also long-term security and survival of SIDS...

Climate change is no longer an environmental nor political issue. It is a borderless humanity security issue, everybody must act to urgently reduce GHG emissions and provide adaptation. Distributed amongst the UNGA Papers, is the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Communique in 2013 which contains the Majuro Declaration on Climate Change Leadership to which Tuvalu offers its strongest support. The Majuro Declaration commits full responsibility and leadership of Pacific Islands Leaders to making our own contribution, however miniscule, to global efforts to cut down GHG emissions. If we SIDS in the Pacific can do it, surely others can also do it. The world must save Tuvalu and SIDS in order to save the whole planet..

...As we will celebrate the continuing vibrancy of democracy and rule of law, and our political independence in Tuvalu with great pride, we also appeal to the world, please save Tuvalu against climate change. 




...Saint Lucia, as a small state in a hemisphere of both small and large states emphasizes the use of diplomacy as a prime instrument for the pursuit of the normalization of relations. We note the increasing mutual involvement of the peoples on both sides of the China straits, and express the hope that this will lead to normal 
relations beneficial to all the peoples of the world...

 ...The Post-2015 Agenda must therefore address in a very real way, the issues of concern to SIDS, such as sea level rise, non communicable diseases, loss and damage assessment and funding relative to natural and man-made disasters. We are also concerned about the causes of climate change, particularly our over dependence on fossil fuels, and its decimating march on the debt profiles of our small, under-developed and vulnerable economies. 
And so we want to arrest the adverse consequences of climate change before they cripple us, and we want to accelerate the transition to renewable energy using clean, green technology...

In May 2012, our region hosted the Global SIDS Sustainable Energy for All Conference in Barbados, and together with UNDP and other International partners we resolved to set targets for increasing the renewable component of our energy mix. Again, only a month ago in Barbados in August 2013, at the 3,d SIDS Inter Regional Meeting in preparation for the Global SIDS Conference 2014 in Samoa; our countries re-affirmed their commitments and calls for the world to pay attention to the special vulnerabilities 
of SIDS...

...My Government has been making a special effort at regional and international outreach. Within the Hemisphere, we have witnessed the establishment, and active engagement of both the Union of South American States (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and St Lucia, like other Caribbean Community states has actively engaged with them where eligible.  


It is in that vein too...that we have also joined the Bolivarian Alliance For The Americas (ALBA), as a means of deliberately widening our activities in the Hemisphere, and ensuring that the smaller members of this geopolitical zone take full advantage of efforts directed to advancing our countries' economic growth, reducing economic inequalities deriving from small size, and ensuring full participation in regional and global decision-making that inevitably affects us... 

...As J speak of an increasingly legitimated balance of global relations and the evolution of political principles and practices based on them, I take this opportunity to join other colleagues of the Caribbean Community in drawing attention to a decision 
of the Heads of States and Government of the Community, taken at their 34th Regular Meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago in July this year. 

This decision mandates our Governments to collectively seek reparations, on behalf of our citizens and countries, for the period of exploitation experienced during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

Our Governments have therefore, initially agreed to the establishment of a Caribbean Reparations Commission that will prepare relevant documentation, and strategies, to pursue the practical achievement of this goal with the central focus of righting the wrongs of the past, and elevating the status of our people. 

In this regard, Mr. President, we will continue to conduct a process of diplomatic outreach not only within our own hemisphere and the states of the African continent, the geographic locations of our ancestors, but within the wider UN family.


Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji

...The United Nation's efforts to eradicate colonialism must forge ahead within the context of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, where Fiji is a member. Through the Pacific regional body known as the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Fiji works together with other members of the C24 (U.N. Decolonisation Committee) to accelerate the process of decolonisation...


...We are encouraged by the progress made thus far in the General Assembly to expeditiously launch the follow-up mechanisms agreed at the Rio+20 Conference last year...


...Throughout the course of this year, the G77 and China has emphasised that the roadmap towards a post-2015 development agenda needs to address the implementation gaps of the MDGs, with poverty eradication remaining an overarching goal. The new development agenda must be universal, applicable and relevant to all Member States. Let me also stress that the new development agenda should be centred on economic development which supports both social inclusion and environmental sustainability...


...Our common desire for a transformative global development agenda beyond 2015 can best be achieved through collective efforts and an enhanced global partnership. These efforts must place the development and wellbeing of people at its core. If the international community and national governments seriously commit to an agenda for meaningful transformation on structural, institutional and normative levels, the post-2015 development agenda has the potential of achieving a paradigm shift in global conditions...


...Fiji's commitment to UN peacekeeping remains unwavering. It is a source of great pride that for a nation of our size, we are able to make a meaningful and significant contribution. For the last three decades, we have always responded to the calI of the UN to serve, including in the most difficuIt circumstances around the world. While fully recognising the risks involved, Fiji's confidence in its peacekeepers prompted us to provide troops to the Golan Heights this year to assist the UN in a time of need... 


...As a Pacific island nation, Fiji reaffirms its support for the efforts of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to achieve sustainable development. Not only are SIDS acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea-Ievel rise, ocean acidification and the increased frequency of extreme weather events, but for some of us, the threat is to our very existence. Our response to the plight of those most at risk must therefore be characterised by a requisite sense of urgency...

...The convening of the Third International Conference for Sustainable Development of SIDS in 2014 is critical to addressing, in a very specific and concrete manner, the many challenges faced by SIDS. It is an opportunity for the international community to renew its commitment to the implementation of the decisions and agreements pertaining to SIDS. As the international community discusses the post-20 15 development landscape, including a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action, we must ensure that a new model accounts for, and addresses, the risks we face. This is particularly relevant for SIDS, where hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses occur as a result of so-called 'natural' disasters every year. Protecting development gains and investing in disaster resilience is vital to sustainable development...



Republic of Kiribati

...This is the eighth time I have had the honour to address this Assembly in my ten years as President. On each occasion, I have sought to convey the same message. On each occasion, I have spoken of the real and existential threat to my nation. On each occasion, I have called for urgent action to address climate change and sea level rise, to ensure the long-term survival of countries like mine. I said last year that I will continue to speak of the peril faced by my country for as long as I have breath in my body.Well, I'm still breathing, and the peril remains.

This is a critical issue for the survival of our people and indeed for all of humanity. Many of you here today are parents, or even grandparents. My wife and I have been blessed with 10 grandchildren. Surely the world that we want to leave to our grandchildren should be a better one than what we inherited. But we are not on course to achieve this.

In fact, we are disastrously off course. The scientists tell us that calamity awaits, and not just for those of us on low-lying islands. What we are experiencing now on these low-lying atolls is an early warning of what will happen further down the line.

No one will be spared. We cannot continue to abuse our planet in this way. For the future we want for our children and grandchildren, we need leadership. We need commitment. And we need action.... NOW...


...As we prepare for the Third Global Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa in 2014, the special needs of the most vulnerable, low-lying small states, like Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Maldives and Tuvalu, need to be highlighted. For how can we meaningfully discuss sustainable development goals when a disproportionate amount of our time and scarce resources are focused on ensuring the survival of our people?...


The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, S.C., MP

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The Call for Reparations

...This Assembly would recall that during the General Debate of the UN in 2011, the Honourable Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dr the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, put forward the case for reparations for injustices suffered by
African slaves and their descendants, citing that segregation and violence against people of African descent had impaired their capacity for advancement as peoples and nations.

They posited that former slave-owning States should begin a reconciliation process by formally acknowledging the cruelties committed over the 400 years of the African slave trade.

At the 34th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM, held in Port-of-Spain in July this year/ consideration was given to the issue of reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide. Heads of Government unanimously agreed to support action on this issue.

CARICOM States therefore:

Urge Member States that have not yet done so/ to contribute to the UN Trust Fund to ensure the erection of a permanent memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, at a place of prominence at the UN Headquarters, and we were heartened when the winning design for the memorial was unveiled on Monday right here at the UN...


H.E. Mariano Rajoy Brey
President of the Kingdom of Spain

"...This General 'Assembly has developed a consolidated, universal legal doctrine on decolonisation, which Spain has embraced wholeheartedly. Once again, I must place before this Assembly the question of Gibraltar, a British colony, which this Organisation included, in 1963, in the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories awaiting decolonisation. This is the only such territory in Europe, and one that affects our own territorial integrity. Since that date, the UK has ignored the mandate of the UN General Assembly and the commitment made to Spain in the 1984 Brussels Declaration. This colonial anachronism continues to inconvenience the citizens of Gibraltar and the surrounding area. Resting its case on the legitimacy granted by the universal doctrine of this General Assembly, Spain once again reiterates its call to the United Kingdom to resume bilateral dialogue and regional cooperation.

The Western Sahara remains among the UN's unresolved issues. Spain supports the search for a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable solution, one that enables the self
determination of the people of Western Sahara, within the framework of UN rules and in accordance with the principles and purposes of its Charter. Accordingly, Spain fully endorses the work being done in this respect by the UN Secretary General and by his Personal Envoy...



Climate change

...As this body considers a post-2015 development agenda, let us not forget one important point -- development and the environment are inseparable. No country can develop its
economy without degrading its natural environment to some significant degree. While society strives for economic progress, the natural environment that sustained our ancestors through thousands of years has come under attack.

Climate change is, without question, the gravest threat to my people's welfare, livelihoods, and general security. It is the survival issue of our time. Our sustainable development is
threatened by the harmful effects of excessive greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere,effects which poison our root crops, destroy our reef systems, and drive many of our people from their ancestral homes. All of us, developed and developing countries, have a stake in finding ways that minimize man-made damage to Mother Earth.

Only the international community can effectively take up this cause. Toward that end, the comprehensive climate change treaty that is planned to be adopted in 2015 must impose
legally binding commitments. These commitments must reflect a level of ambition far higher than under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Pre-2020 mitigation action must also be ambitious enough to close the emissions gap.

Oceans and fisheries

As we move towards the post-201S development agenda, let us not lose sight of the enormous importance of the world's oceans. We call for the establishment of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on healthy, productive, and resilient Oceans. In turn, we should expect a greater
share of the benefits from the world's Oceans.

Let me stress the central role that the effective management of all fisheries must play in sustainable management. Bycatch and, particularly, discarded bycatch threaten effective fisheries management. This is a serious conservation problem because valuable living resources are wasted. Moreover, it threatens our food security and nutrition needs. Sustainable Energy.

Similarly, we agree that it is essential for the goal of sustainable energy for all to be included in the SDGs that are under discussion here in New York. The transition to sustainable energy places a huge fiscal burden on our national accounts. I commend Tonga for spearheading the
Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy for AII'...


His Excellency, Tommy Remengesau Jr. 
President of the Republic of Palau 

...Our Global Warming doomsday is already set in stone if we fail to act. It is therefore our job, as Leaders, to take all necessary actions to eliminate the current threat. My country, along with other Pacific Island countries, is unwilling to even discuss a 3° to 5° temperature increase scenario by the end of the Century, for this will ensure our demise. We are also unwilling to discuss the issue of migration. Instead, we will continue to work with our developed partners to 
implement strong mitigation commitments and follow-through actions to hold the line on this increase to the more realistic 1.5° level. 

My small Pacific country supports the concepts inherent in the recent Pacific Island Forum ‘Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership’. This declaration acknowledges the gross insufficiency of current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also recognizes the need to immediately ramp up Climate Change responses and provides a platform for declared Country Leaders to establish new and realistic reduction commitments. As Leaders, we must all respond 
to global warming in 

• both the short term and in the long term, 
• from the top down and the bottom up, 
• both pre-2020 and post-2020. 

However, we must not forget that the primary responsibility to reduce greenhouse gasses still 
rests with our developed partners...


His Excellency the Honourable Baron Divavesi Waqa M.P.
President of the Republic of Nauru

Nauru has also made our best efforts to contribute at the international level. We have the tremendous honor of Chairing the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSlS), a group that has been a leading advocate for climate action for over two decades. The upcoming Conference of Parties in Warsaw will be important to laying the foundation for an ambitious agreement in 2015.

A key priority for COP19 will be jump-starting near-term mitigation action through the launch of a more technical expert process focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy. AOSlS has proposed a very practical and collaborative approach to rapidly scale up the implementation of policies and deployment of technologies that not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also advance domestic sustainable development priorities. In the view of AOSIS, this technical process can help enable a much more ambitious post-2020 agreement. 

The proposal in no way relieves developed countries of their international obligation to take the lead in addressing climate change. They should be held accountable for fully implementing best practices to reduce their own emissions,
while also providing the means of implementation for adaptation and mitigation actions in developing countries. The AOSlS proposal is a means for accomplishing these objectives.

Establishing an international mechanism to address Loss and Damage is also a key priority for AOSlS, as is mobilizing climate finance and making sure the Green Climate Fund is ready to accept donor contributions in 2014.

Climate change is the greatest challenge to the sustainable development of small islands, and come to terms with the fact that, due to our delay, some grave impacts are now unavoidable. Some will have security implications. 

Addressing the security implications of climate change remains a key priority to Nauru and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSlDS)... 



...The lofty objectives of the UN Charter in the economic arena will remain unfulfilled unless all Member States join in efforts genuinely and seriously, to address challenges that developing countries face in their pursuit of development including meeting the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). It is therefore imperative that our discussions address what has so far been the weakest link - the means of implementation. 

It must be understood that in addition to national efforts, substantial international support and an enabling international economic environment are essential if the MDGs are to be achieved by 2015 especially in Africa. It is therefore important to fulfil the commitments made to support Africa in various international fora. The UN should track the fulfilment of these commitments...

...Zimbabwe supports the ongoing efforts to revitalize the General Assembly which is the most representative organ of the United Nations. We believe that the General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restore its primacy that has over the years been encroached
upon by other organs. We cannot accept situations whereby the UN Security Council is increasingly encroaching on issues that traditionally fall within the General Assembly's purview and competence, including in the area of norm setting. 

Indeed, recent events have revealed that its formal decisions have provided camouflage to neo-imperialist forces of aggression seeking to militarily intervene in smaller countries in order to effect regime change and acquire complete control of their wealth. This was so in Libya where in the name of protecting civilians, NATO forces were deployed with an undeclared mission to eliminate Kadaffi and his family. A similar campaign had been undertaken in Iraq by the Bush and Blair forces in the false name of eradicating weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein never possessed...

We appreciate the central role that UN should play in furthering multilateralism in preference to unilateralism. In this regard, we applaud the consultations and negotiations on the eventual destruction of the chemical weapons in Syria. My country expresses its gratitude and appreciation
to Russia and China for their principled stand on Syria. We hope and trust that the Syrian people will soon sit in dialogue to discuss peace and desirable political reforms. Those western countries in pursuit of hegemony as they pretend to be advocates of democracy must be resisted...

...For Africa, the reform of the United Nations Security Council is especially long over due. The anachronistic and unrepresentative character of the Security Council must be redressed. For how long should Africa continue to be denied the right to play a pivotal role in the United Nations Security Council as it decides measures on conflicts within its own borders? The Security Council needs to be more representative, democratic, transparent, accountable and accessible to the wider membership for its decisions to have more legitimacy. Africa's case for the correction of the glaring historical injustice of being unrepresented in the permanent category and underrepresented in the non-permanent category has been made through the clear, fair and well
articulated Ezulwini Consensus. Zimbabwe remains steadfast in its support of the Ezulwini demand...

...Zimbabwe strongly condemns the use of unilateral economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool to effect regime change. Thus, the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and the European Union violate fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter on state sovereignty and non-interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. Moreover, these illegal sanctions continue to inflict economic deprivation and human suffering on all Zimbabweans. In the eyes of our people, the sanctions constitute a form of hostility and violence against them for the simple crime of undertaking the land reform programme by which land was put in the hands of the then majority landless Zimbabweans. Our small and peaceful country is threatened daily by covetous and bigoted big powers whose hunger for domination and control of other nations and their resources knows no bounds...

...We are preached to daily by the west on the virtues of democracy and freedom which they do not totally espouse. Zimbabwe took up arms precisely to achieve our freedom and democracy...

...Zimbabwe however refuses to accept that these western
detractors have the right to define democracy and freedom for us. We paid the ultimate price for it and we are determined never to relinquish our sovereignty and remain masters of our destiny. As we have repeatedly asserted Zimbabwe will never be a colony again!!


H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine

Twenty years ago, precisely on 13 September 1993, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, signed with the Government of Israel a Declaration of Principles Agreement (Oslo Accords), in the presence of our departed leader, Yasser Ararat, and Yitzhak Rabin, the late Israeli Prime Minister, and of former President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn in Washington.

On 15 November 1988, the Palestinian National Council adopted our program for the achievement of peace, thereby taking an extremely difficult decision and making a historical and painful concession.

However, as representatives of the Palestinian people, we have long been aware of our responsibilities towards our people and had the necessary courage to accept a two-State solution: Palestine and Israel on the borders of 4 June 1967, establishing a Palestinian State on 22% of the land of historic Palestine.

Thus, we did our part to realize a historic settlement, uphold our obligations, and fulfill all that the international community set as requirements from the Palestinian side in order to attain peace.
At the same time that the PLO affirmed its choice of peace as a strategic option and of a solution resulting from negotiations, it firmly repudiated violence and affirmed an ethical, principled rejection of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism, and affirmed our respect of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions. As a genuine historical breakthrough, the signature of the Oslo Accords caused an unprecedented political dynamism, fostered great hopes and generated high expectations. The PLO worked with dedication to implement it in order to end the occupation and to realize a just peace.

But after the passage of twenty years, the picture appears dispiriting and bleak, the great dreams shattered, and the goals more modest. As much as we felt in those days that peace was at hand, we
realize today how far we are away from it. For the goal of the Accords was not achieved, its provisions not implemented, and its deadlines not respected. And, all the while, the continuation of intense settlement construction, which aims to change the facts on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, has violated the spirit of the agreement, struck at the core of the peace process, and caused a deep fracture in its cornerstone - that of the two-State solution...

...the international community is asked to remain alert to condemn and stop any actions on the ground that would undermine negotiations - and I refer here, above all, to the continuation of settlement construction on our Palestinian land, particularly in Jerusalem. There is an international consensus - among the countries of the world, international and regional organizations and
the International Court of Justice - on the illegality and illegitimacy of these settlements. The position of the European Union with regard to settlement products is a positive model of what is possible to be done in order to ensure an environment supportive of the negotiations and the peace process...


H.E. Mr. Christopher J. Loeak
President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

"Our Pacific legacy is not as small island states- but large ocean nations..."

...Climate change is a risk that demands direct political ownership, and it is well time that other Leaders stand alongside the Pacific in creating the statesmanship so urgently needed. Simply repeating well-worn negotiation slogans will get the world nowhere - it is time for new solutions. I strongly urge my fellow Leaders to engage "eye to eye" at the Secretary-General's climate summit next year- never has the need been so dire for true statesmanship.

Global efforts on climate change are falling short - and low-lying island nations such as mine are already paying the earliest costs of what is fast becoming a global crisis. In every sense, the world must build for future risks, and too often, we are still setting course for current conditions. It is the seas that are rising - not the islands that are sinking. I will not concede my own land or my nation; but nor will I rest until my fellow world leaders have signed onto to act, not just out of economic convenience, but out of a common responsibility of all to strive for upward momentum...

...Pacific Island Forum leaders have for the first time recognized the role of the United Nations in authorizing nuclear weapon testing during the Cold War, and welcomed the recommendations of
the UN Special Rapporteur's recent report. Nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands is no mere historical event - but an international legacy which will stay with us for generations.

While unmet responsibility still rests with our historical administering power, the United States, the UN itself can no longer ignore it's own role during the Trusteeship era. I am strongly encouraged by the UN Secretary-General's commitment to address the ongoing impacts of nuclear testing in the Pacific, and look forward to practical efforts in this regard.




...We have reiterated CELAC's strongest support to the legitimate rights of Argentina in the dispute over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands and the permanent interest of the region in a resumption of negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom in order to find, at the earliest possible date, a peaceful and final solution to this dispute...

...We also highlight the Latin American and Caribbean character of Puerto Rico and, by noting the resolutions on Puerto Rico adopted by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, considers it is an issue of interest to CELAC...

The difficulties are huge, but the important thing is that the Latin American and Caribbean countries have come to the conclusion that the time has come for the region, as was said by Jose Marti, to walk in close ranks, like silver in the roots of the Andes, and it is for this reason that we have created CELAC.



As we gather for the 68th summit of our Organization, we must pause and take stock of our collective record in responding to
the many different global challenges that mankind has had to grapple with. Our global body, the United Nations, has indeed
adopted countless resolutions, which, if implemented to the letter would have made the world a much better place for the whole of mankind and indeed for all other creatures of our planet.

Unfortunately, as some member states continue to disregard resolutions necessary for the maintenance of world peace and even question or disregard resolutions passed by this august body with impunity, the United Nations continues to be incapacitated. This certainly calls for an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses, with a view to rendering it more effective...

Colonialism was maintained by subjugation and massive looting of resources in the colonies leading to the impoverishment and destitution of hundreds of millions of colonial| subjects. From the 13th Century up to the middle part of the 20th Century the notion of HUMAN RIGHTS, GOOD GOVERNANCE and DEMOCRACY were philosophies that were forbidden to Africans. Any African who advocated for these ended up either at the gallows, in a mass grave or rotted in colonialist built dungeons called prisons. This was during the colonial era when the African continent was treated like an abandoned game park; and Africans were treated worse than animals. 

Today, after fighting for our freedom and liberating our continent, we are being prescribed a religion - DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS and GOOD GOVERNANCE by descendants of the same colonial powers. Present-day Africans cannot be hoodwinked anymore and we are determined to defend our independence and dignity, and take control of our own natural resources at any cost and by any means necessary... 


 ...instead of acting as an effective mechanism for conflict prevention, and resolution, as well as advancing global security, the Security Council has become a barrier to progress, peace and security in some instances where lopsided decisions can only be classified as racist and misguided and therefore unacceptable...


International peace and security are the business of all and Africa, a continent whose resources ranging from material to human helped to bail the west out of poverty to affluence from the `13th Century, up till today; cannot be expected to continue to play second fiddle at the UN Security Council or in any international organization as from today... Gambia stands by Africa's demand for two permanent seats as well as two non-permanent seats, as clearly articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and Siÿe Declaration...


The Gambia firmly believes that socio-economic development and respecting the sovereign rights of countries to control their own natural resources and minerals should be the first collective line of defence for a collective security system that takes the sovereignty of each nation seriously...


 ...respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as well as promoting and respecting peaceful relations among states should be the overriding consideration for peaceful co-existence between and among Member States...




...Our deliberation and actions during this session must therefore send a clear message of hope to the many millions who sadly, are still living in poverty and inequity. Let us redouble our efforts to fight against the scourge of poverty. It was the late Jamaican National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey who aptly said:

"Poverty is a hellish state to be in.
It is no virtue.
It is a crime.
To be poor is to be hungry without possible hope of food;
to be sick without hope of medicine;
to be tired and sleepy without a place to lay one's head;
to be naked without the hope of clothing;
to be despised and comfortless.
To be poor is to be a fit subject for crime and hell."


We need to provide more assistance for people to cope with daily life, as growth and prosperity are unevenly distributed and the most vulnerable are at risk of falling through the cracks, being overlooked and failing to achieve a decent quality of life.

Social protection schemes should work effectively to provide for basic needs and encourage target groups to pursue self- facilitating empowerment, and fostering greater inclusiveness. As countries like Jamaica implement strategies to deal with indebtedness and also encourage growth and investment, it is critical that international financial institutions, multilaterals and other development partners recognise the importance of social protection mechanisms...


...Jamaica is proud to lead the efforts, in collaboration with CARICOM countries and members of the African Union, to have the Permanent Memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade erected here at the United Nations. The unveiling of the winning design of the permanent memorial earlier this week, signals an important chapter in our journey to honour the memory of the millions of men and women who were subject to untold atrocities.

When I attended the unveiling I was reminded of the words of Reggae icon, Bob Marley:

"Old Pirates yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ship, minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit; but my hands were made strong by the hand of the Almighty, we forward in this generation - triumphantly."

We are grateful for the generous contributions towards the erection of the memorial and we encourage the international community to continue to provide financial support for this important initiative.
Jamaica supports the call for an international discussion in a non-confrontational manner on the question of reparations. We fully support the initiative for a declaration of a Decade for Persons of African' Descent...




Papua New Guinea 

...I am pleased to report on the continued progress in the
implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and also the successful scaling down of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. We thank the UN, regional partners and the international community in their continued assistance in both instances... 

We have embarked on this path with development assistance provided to our neighbours including the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Tonga, and Samoa... 


Through the Melanesian Spearhead Group, we are forging dynamic and strong bonds in areas including trade and investment, education and training, judicial support, sporting and cultural exchanges and visa arrangements to facilitate movement of skilled persons. 

To further consolidate this important partnership at the regional level, we are collectively reviewing the relevance of the Pacific Plan in relation to regional integration. Papua New Guinea is playing a leading role in this review exercise... 


Dr. the Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations

...As you are well aware, the roots of underdevelopment and exploitation extend much deeper than the recent abandonment of Goal 8 of the MDGs, by the bulk of developed countries. I arrive at this year's General Debate from the Caribbean's first-ever Regional Conference on Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery, which was held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The stirring and uplifting regional conference is the first step in the Caribbean's quest to address and redress a psychic, historical, socio-economic, and developmental wound that is, for CARICOM, 14 nations wide and 400 years deep.

The genocidal oppression and suffering of my country's indigenous Callinago, the Garifuna, and enchained Africans have been rightly adjudged to have been a horrendous crime against humanity. Accordingly, the collective voice of our Caribbean civilisation ought justly to ring out for reparations for native genocide and African slavery from the successor states of the European countries which committed organised state-sponsored native genocide and African enslavement.

The awful legacy of these crimes against humanity - a legacy which exists today in our Caribbean, ought to be repaired for the developmental benefit of our Caribbean
societies and all our peoples. The historic wrongs of native genocide and African slavery, and their continuing contemporaly consequences, must be righted, must be
repaired, in the interest of our people's humanisation. 

The European nations must partner in a focused, especial way with us to execute this repairing. Thus, the demand for reparations is the responsibility not only of the descendants, in today's Caribbean, of the Callinago, the Garifuna, the Amerindian, and the African. It is undoubtedly an agenda for all of us to advance, to promote, to concretise, and to execute. And the European nations which engaged in conquest, settlement, genocide, and slavery in our Caribbean must provide the reparatory resources required to repair the contemporary legacy of their historic wrongs. This is undoubtedly a special pillar in the post-2015 Development Agenda. 

This repairing of the mind, of collective memory, of our economies, of our societies is part and parcel of the rebirth, the redemption, the further ennoblement of our Caribbean, our indigenous populations, our African descendants, and indeed of Africa. I say to this august Assembly that the struggle for reparations represents, immediately, a defining issue for our Caribbean in this 21st century. It promises to
make both Europe and the Caribbean more free, more human, more good neighbourly. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) recently decided, quite rightly, to place the quest for reparations at the centre of its developmental agenda.

Summary of Statement

 Son Excellence
Président de l'Union des Comores,

He paid tribute to Member States that had supported national liberation movements and organizations, particularly in Africa, since the founding of the United Nations, but expressed regret that part of the Comoros territory remained under the domination of France, a permanent Security Council member, despite an unequivocal vote in favour of independence for some of the archipelago’s islands.

He went on to cite various United Nations resolutions adopted since 1960 in that regard, including Assembly resolution 3385 of 12 November 1975, which reaffirmed the need to respect the unity and territorial integrity of the Comoros archipelago, comprising the islands of Anjouan, Grand Comore, Mayotte and Moheli. He asked fellow leaders whether they could imagine the frustration of a Head of State who must deal with such a dramatic situation every day. What serious error had the people of Comoros committed to be treated in such a way, and why must they constantly justify their right to their own history, geography and culture? It was difficult to comprehend the argument that such treatment was valid because some Comorians wished to remain under colonial rule, he said.
Since 6 July 1975, when Comoros had chosen sovereignty and declared independence, the country had called in vain for the application of international law, he continued. The ability of the archipelago’s people to move from one island to another, an inalienable right, was impeded by the French system established in 1944, which required Comorians to obtain a visa to move between Mayotte and the other three islands. That system had led to the deaths of more than 10,000 Comorians, he said, describing the waters separating Mayotte from the other islands as the world’s largest marine cemetery.
All previous Presidents had pursued negotiations with France in order to end the territorial dispute, in line with international law, he said. Nevertheless, France’s stance had remained unchanged for 38 years. He said that, after an initial recent meeting with his French counterpart in Kinshasa, on the margins of the Francophonie Summit, he had seen that the French authorities were finally ready to find a solution. France was also ready to assume its historical role with respect to international law, and what it had just done for Mali was the most eloquent example of that. Comoros thanked the French authorities for having made the critical decision of ensuring that the armed forces of Chad and some West African countries joined France in helping to restore Mali’s territorial integrity, he said, expressing hope that his own country would be able to do the same.
He welcomed his French counterpart’s invitation to discuss bilateral relations, particularly on the question of Mayotte, which had led to their signing the Paris Declaration. He also thanked the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for her support in that matter. Calling upon the international community and the Secretary-General to support such negotiations, he said the question of Mayotte would remain on the agenda every year until a lasting settlement was found to the issue of Comoros sovereignty. He also called for support from the United Nations, African Union, International Organization of La Francophonie, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Non-Aligned Movement and the Indian Ocean Commission.



As we prepare for the 2014 Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States(SIDS), the Commonwealth of Dominica is keen on concrete progress for SIDS aimed at creating a future of prosperity and opportunity for all. In that regard, my Government calls for a renewed political commitment by all countries to effectively address the special needs and vulnerabilities which affect SIDS. We believe that this would require a consolidated effort focused on pragmatic actions for the further implementation of the Barbados Plan ofAction (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy Initiative (MSI).

Dominica laments that international financial mechanisms have failed to fully 
recognize and support the vulnerabilities of SIDS. SIDS must be allowed access to financing for development. The United Nations system needs to be strengthened to implement the BPOA and the MSI.




Topping the list of our domestic priorities is the resolution of the Guatemalan claim. This claim poses an existential threat to our nation and requires urgent resolution if the peoples of our two countries and our region are to continue to enjoy the peaceful coexistence that has characterized our relationship thus far.

Mr. President, 

When I addressed this Assembly last September I had been pleased to report that our two states had agreed to submit to the citizens of our respective countries from today, the question of whether it was the will of our respective constituencies that the Guatemalan claim be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. Regretfully, however, last April, Guatemala gave official notice to both Belize and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, that the Guatemalan government had decided, not to proceed with the referendum on the 6th October 2013 and
was proposing that the same be postponed sine die. 

Not unexpectedly that decision was not well received in Belize. The
Guatemalan claim is a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well as to investors in our country. Furthermore, both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depredation and environment degradation in consequence of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalans, fishermen and other criminal elements engaged in narcotrafficking, human trafficking, smuggling, illegal panning for gold, the extraction of Xate and other exotic plants and animals, the illegal felling of
timber and the pillaging of our ancient Mayan ruins. The felling of timber in our rainforest areas are contributing to the denuding of our mountains which result in violent flooding in the rainy season and the transmission of top soil sand and silt into the sea. These soils are then ultimately deposited into our pristine barrier reef choking and destroying the fragile eco-systems therein, and compromising the health of the entire reef and the marine ecological system thriving therein.

Additionally, the increasing trespassing by the Guatemalans into our country has given rise to more frequent violent encounters between Guatemalans and members of our Belize Defense Force resulting in fatalities, in some instances. These incidents put a heavy strain on the relations between our country and Guatemala and the peace of our region as a whole.

Belize is resolved to do all in its power to protect her citizens and territorial integrity but our efforts alone will not be sufficient to put an end to the forays of the Guatemalans into our country. The input of the international community will be vital in assisting with the development in the border regions of income generating enterprises to ameliorate the poverty, which impels the Guatemalans to trespass in our border regions.

Border conflicts are dangerous by nature. In the words of former Secretary General Kofi Annan " [Conflicts] tend to suck in their neighbors, send thousands of refugees spilling into other countries, create havens for armed groups and terrorists, and they cause the spread of terrorist networks and cause border lawlessness including piracy, in short, conflicts ... Are inherent generators of global insecurity the causes of which need to be addressed by wealthy and poor states alike."