President Vladimir Putin: Mr. President,
All of us are participants of a really historic, threshold meeting of the Security Council. Last months of the millennium are running out, and they remind us about responsibility and obligations towards our peoples and the whole world.
The second half of the century and its international constituent, undoubtedly, passed under the UN sign.
The key UN body – the Security Council – has made everything to safeguard the world from a new military catastrophe, and politicians – from a temptation to exploit temporary advantages for the objectives unworthy of mankind.
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Today’s meeting of the Security Council is held at the summit level.
Without an exaggeration one can say that all of us are both, pupils and teachers “at the UN School”. It is our common offspring. That is why the UN successes are our common successes. If the United Nations makes mistakes, then the responsibility for that rests with all of us and moreover – heads of member-states of the Security Council. That is why it is us who must take upon ourselves the burden of the most difficult decisions. It is us who must set the pace and dynamism of the processes of strengthening the system of the international security.
When the Security Council acts in solidarity and jointly – the most complicated problems give in to settlement. All this only increases the authority of the Council. In my opinion, in the new century we could use the summit format of the meetings more often and not only in New York.
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It is before our eyes and with our direct participation that the face of a new epoch is being shaped up. And it doesn’t matter that ideas about it can differ in details. I am sure that in the principle we are united. This epoch must become an epoch of equal security and just peace.
Under no circumstances the new century and new millennium can be a cause for a reconsideration of the norms of behavior tested by time. The principles laid down in the UN Charter have passed more than one test “for durability” and proved its effectiveness.
First of all it is the principle of supreme rule of international law. A civilized world order without strong legal foundation is impossible. If it is absent then the most alluring informal projects have not a chance for a success.
Second — it is our common responsibility for the world stability and a collective approach to the settlement of contradictions and conflicts. The latest period of history lessons vividly demonstrate: approaches and measures ignoring international law are inevitably undermining both regional and global stability.
Only the Security Council has the right to sanction such an extreme measure as the use of force in the situation of crisis. It does so on behalf and in the interests of the whole world community as the Security Council bears special responsibility for it.
While formulating in exact terms the mandate and the rules for conducting peace making operations, in particular on the basis of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter we should not permit introduction of anybody’s self serving interests.
The peace making efforts of the Security Council have permitted these years to extinguish a few big “regional conflagrations” – in Cambodia, Mozambique, Central America. The latest and one of the most interesting examples of such efforts has become the settlement in Tajikistan. The process of national reconciliation supported by the UN has returned Tajikistan to normal life.
I am convinced: abandonment of unilateral approaches will allow to achieve a just solution of the problem of Iraq, to secure peace and stability in the Balkans. The pertinent resolutions of the Security Council already contain the necessary political and legal conditions. They should be implemented bona fide and in the full scope.
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One of the most acute problems of the contemporary world are the incessant conflicts in Africa. The future of the continent in great degree depends on their speedy and effective settlement. If in the 20th century Africa became free from colonialism, than the 21st century should get it rid off poverty and military confrontation.
In order to solve this important problem the UN and its Security Council should most closely coordinate their activities with the peace making efforts of the African nations themselves.
The most important task consists of improvement of the UN anti-crisis potential. In this sense the “Brakhimi report” presented by the Secretary General will be useful. We should jointly develop the “culture of crisis prevention”, work more on forestalling. Of special importance should be unearthing the profound reasons of conflicts, including economic and social ones.
Cooperation of the Security Council with regional organizations in crisis response has become the reality of our times. Russia makes a tangible contribution to those efforts, carrying out peace making activities jointly with other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in strict observance of the UN Charter. Russia participates in ten out of fifteen peace making operations conducted under the UN aegis.
In conclusion, from this “high” rostrum, I would like to thank the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his staff for an excellent organization of our work and preparation of this meeting. I hope that implementation of its results will be productive in the same degree.
Thank you for your attention.