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Address by His Excellency the Honorable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis
On the Occasion of the Special Commemorative Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations
New York, October 22-24, 1995

MR PRESIDENT, MR SECRETARY-GENERAL DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I AM DEEPLY HONOURED TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF ST KITTS AND NEVIS ON THIS HISTORIC FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

THE UNITED NATIONS, MR PRESIDENT, HAS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF ST KITTS AND NEVIS. PRIOR TO MY COUNTRY'S ATTAINMENT OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE IN 1983, ST KITTS AND NEVIS WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE BENEFITTED FROM UNITED NATIONS' AGENCIES SUCH AS THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANISATION (FAO) UNICEF, UNDP AND THE ILO, ETC WHICH HELPED TO PREPARE MY PEOPLE FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE.

THIS GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS MARKS A WATERSHED IN THE HISTORY OF OUR ORGANISATION. THE CONFIGURATION OF WORLD AFFAIRS HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE THE HISTORICAL SIGNING OF THE CHARTER IN SAN FRANCISCO SOME 50 YEARS AGO. HOWEVER, MANY OLD PROBLEMS STILL FEATURE PROMINENTLY ON THE INTERNATIONAL AGENDA. MR PRESIDENT, THIS WATERSHED YEAR, THEREFORE, IS A CALL FOR NATIONS TO MARSHALL THEIR ENERGIES AND TO POOL THEIR RESOURCES, TO HARNESS A FUTURE WORTHY OF BEING PASSED ON TO OUR CHILDREN.

MR. PRESIDENT, WE ARE AT THE PROVERBIAL CROSSROADS OF INTERNATIONAL INTERACTION. WE STAND HERE TODAY TO COMMEMORATE FIFTY YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP, SURVIVAL, AND TRIUMPH - OUR FAILURES NOTWITHSTANDING. THE HISTORIC TASK FOR US AT THIS PRESENT MOMENT IS TO DEFINE THE WAY FORWARD WITH CLARITY OF VISION AND PURPOSEFUL DETERMINATION.

AS I STATED IN MY ADDRESS TO THE FIFTIETH REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIS PAST MONTH, MY GOVERNMENT BELIEVES THAT THE UNITED NATIONS IS A PEOPLE'S ORGANISATION. THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, MR. PRESIDENT, CALLS FOR CONCERTED ACTION TO MINIMIZE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTABILITY, TO ERADICATE SOCIAL VIOLENCE, TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND SAVE OUR PLANET, TO PROVIDE SOME SUPPORT AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS, AND TO STOP THE EVER-INCREASING OCCURRENCE OF ETHNIC CONFLICTS.

MY GOVERNMENT IS PROUD TO SUPPORT THE UNITED NATIONS IN ITS APPEALS TO ALL NATIONS TO RESPECT FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS, AND TO ACCEPT DIFFERENCES OF OPINION - BE IT INDIVIDUAL, ETHNIC OR NATIONAL.

MR. PRESIDENT, THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO ADDRESS HOLISTICALLY THE ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES WITHIN THE WORLD SYSTEM WHICH ALLOW CERTAIN IDEAS AND POLICIES TO PREVAIL OVER OTHERS WHILE THOSE WHICH ARE INDIGENOUS AND, REGION-SPECIFIC ARE IGNORED.

MR. PRESIDENT, WE CELEBRATE A HALF CENTURY DEDICATED TO THE PURSUIT OF WORLD PEACE, AND YES, WE MUST PRAISE THOSE WHO CREATED THE ORGANISATION TO PREVENT GLOBAL WAR. HOWEVER, IT IS A MATTER OF REGRET THAT NATIONS TODAY CONTINUE TO ARM THEMSELVES WITH WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. AS THE WAR MACHINERY CONTINUES TO THRIVE THOUSANDS OF HELPLESS PEOPLE DIE OF STARVATION EACH YEAR.

MR. PRESIDENT, IN FIFTY YEARS THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HAS HARDLY CHANGED. YET ITS CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED BEYOND WHAT ITS FOUNDERS WOULD RECOGNISE. IN THIS NEW ERA, IN THIS APPROACHING MILLENNIUM, WE NEED A NEW DISPENSATION. WE SHOULD ENDEAVOUR TO MAKE THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF AND RESPONSIVE TO ITS MEMBERSHIP. IT IS TIME FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD TO BECOME PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

MR PRESIDENT, THE GOAL OF APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION SHOULD GUIDE OUR EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD, WHO HAVE OBSERVED THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER, ARE WELCOMED INTO THIS FRATERNITY OF NATIONS.

MR PRESIDENT WHEN WE SPEAK OF PEACE WE ARE ALSO EMPHASISING THE OVERWHELMING QUESTION OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. I CALL ON ALL COUNTRIES TO JOIN FORCES TO COMBAT THE ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL NARCOTIC TRADE AND ITS ATTENDANT ILLS WHICH REPRESENT THE MAJOR OBSTACLE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND SECURITY IN SMALL STATES.

SUCH OBSTACLES MUST BE ON THE AGENDA OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE YEARS TO COME.

AS WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE, LET US CONTINUE TO RECOGNISE THE FUNDAMENTAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN OUR SOCIETIES. WE MUST ENSURE THAT THEY TAKE THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS PARTNERS IN SECURING A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL. WE ARE NOT DOING THEM A FAVOUR. ON THE CONTRARY, WE ACCORD THEM THE RESPECT AND RIGHTS DUE THEM.

AS WE ENTER THIS NEW MILLENNIUM, LET US NOT ONLY BOAST OF GREAT TECHNOLOGICAL MARVELS, OF MAN'S JOURNEY INTO DEEP SPACE, BUT LET US ALSO BE ABLE TO BOAST OF CHILDREN WHO NO LONGER DIE OF HUNGER, AVOIDABLE AND CURABLE DISEASES AND WAR. WE NEED TRUE PARTNERSHIP AND CO-OPERATION AMONG ALL OF THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF WORSENING POVERTY.

MR. PRESIDENT, MR SECRETARY-GENERAL, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, AS WE EMBARK UPON THE SECOND HALF OF THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF THE UNITED NATIONS, LET US USE THIS OCCASION TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES AND THIS GREAT INSTITUTION TO CONTINUE WORKING TOWARDS THE ELIMINATION OF WAR, HUNGER, DISCRIMINATION AND POVERTY IN THIS OUR GLOBAL VILLAGE.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AND MAY GOD BLESS THE UNITED NATIONS, NOT ONLY FOR ANOTHER FIFTY YEARS, BUT FOR ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS AND BEYOND. I THANK YOU.