President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen,
This summit is really the last one in this millennium. But it will go down in history as the Millennium Summit by a different reason.
We and our predecessors have done much to fill in this symbolic image with a profound meaning. The second half of the century, its international constituent unconditionally passed under the UN sign. The very fact of existence of this organization was a guarantee from an arbitrariness of hegemony, from right to absolute truth and dictates.
When the United Nations was being established many of the states represented here have simply not been on the world map. But the norms of the international behaviour were being formed taking them also into account. Today these norms are accepted by all and serve the interests of the international community.
The principal result is obvious. What seemed unattainable half a century ago today has become the norm of international relations. Respect for each other and the UN instruments helped the countries and peoples to learn the art of a dialogue and look for common decisions. Even global confrontation could not impede a joint work in the extreme crisis and even dead-end situations.
All that can be called the ”UN School“ without any overstatement.
A political term given to leaders is usually not so long. We had luck to be born and live during the threshold epoch. We were lucky to be called for by our peoples at the momentous time. That is why a natural duty of a politician is to see at least one step ahead.
We are bound to give a chance to those who will come after us.
The twentieth century will remain in history as a century of contradictions. It has become an epoch of grandiose achievements and terrible wars, a century of revolutionary breakthroughs and profound disillusionments. But our countries and peoples managed to draw off hatred. They managed to overcome the Cold War with its global confrontation.
That is an accomplishment of the United Nations.
Preceding generations have left us a unique organization as heritage. The United Nations have learned to solve and solve the most complicated world problems. It is here where the international regime of human rights – the most important characteristic of the modern world was born. This universal instrument proved to be not vulnerable to ideological speculations, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has never been only a declaration. Up to this day it definitely affects our lives.
We are convinced: we need to renovate and improve the UN mechanisms. This is the imperative of our time. But no reforms should make loose its fundamental principles.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The new century of the United Nations should prolong itself into a millennium of effective stability. It has to enter the annals of history as the period of real disarmament.
Today we have already succeeded in creating an efficient mechanism for disarmament. Its foundation comprises the 1972 ABM Treaty, regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means for their delivery, dozens of the most important agreements on limitation and reduction of different armaments.
We should reliably block the ways for spreading of nuclear weapons. We can achieve this by,inter alia,excluding usage of enriched uranium and pure plutonium in the world atomic energy production.
This is technically quite possible to implement. But more important is that incineration of plutonium and other radioactive elements creates prerequisites for the final solution of the radioactive residues problem. It opens fundamentally new horizons for secure life on the planet.
In this connection Russia proposes to work out and put into practice a relevant mechanism with the participation of the IAEA.
Particularly alarming are the plans for militarization of the outer space. In spring of 2001 we shall celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first flight of man to the outer space. That man was our compatriot, and we suggest to organize on that date, under the umbrella of the UN, an international conference on prevention of the outer space militarization.
I think that the most proper place for it shall be Moscow.
Success in this world and respect of the partners is earned by difficult, everyday work for the benefit of one's own people. For Russia these days the priority of the internal national policy is unquestionable. Yet, we have the right to consider something else as our achievement: our contemporary positions are in maximum close to what is usually called in the world the universally recognized standards. That is why Russia, with more reason than ever, has the right to count on response in kind and the reciprocal movement.
For our country the final part of the 20th century, especially its last decade is not simply a transitional period and even not a historic time. Not every people had to make such a choice. The choice that changed not only us but also the face of the world.
These days we are a new country, and at the same time very ancient one. We returned to the scene as a democratic state and we have the intention to become stronger in that capacity and earn more prestige.
The threats and challenges which Russia has to face are the common enemies of the free nations. We consider terrorism to be the most dangerous and treacherous phenomena It is unscrupulous as to the means and is rather skilful in changing its masks. But it survives only when it has a chance to undermine the stability of a state, to saw seeds of mutual suspicion and animosity. Our common task is to raise an efficient barrier against this evil.
And the UN role in this sphere should grow.
We have to move to peace, stability and prosperity relying on all the wealth of cultures and traditions. Even in the 21st century the already recognized approaches to the solution of basic problems will benefit from recognising the right to national self expression and independence. Democracy in international relations means conscious understanding of all the diversity of the world civilization.
I am convinced that relying on the just world order and strategic stability we shall guarantee sustainable development of the civilization. And today's Russia, as never before is open, responsible and ready for cooperation on an equitable, partnership basis.
I wish all the success to our Summit and efficient implementation of its decisions.