The Holy See
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New York
Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Mr President,

My delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the work of the organization and its clear call for the membership to restore hope and solidarity so that the 64th Session of the General Assembly becomes a point of renewal for this organization.

This past year the global community became more aware of the fragility of prosperity and growth. The world was hit by an economic crisis which has led to unprecedented numbers of people losing their jobs, security and the ability to provide even the basic necessities for their families. This crisis raised a number of questions about the causes and consequences of the economic downturn and created even more questions as to what the future will hold. Therefore, as we begin this 64th Session of the General Assembly one year after the deepening of the financial crisis, we do so with a new sense of purpose to learn from the mistakes and renew our commitment to the need for cooperation.

One area for a renewed sense of commitment to addressing the world’s problems is working to lift the burdens placed upon so many in this world due to the lack of economic resources. On numerous occasions, my delegation pointed to the need for greater global solidarity in order to tackle the moral implications which currently face the world and to give a renewed priority to the poor. We welcome the Secretary General’s recognition of the moral grounds which underlie the need to give priority to the most vulnerable in this endeavor.

In such an effort, my delegation reiterates the urgency for the United Nations and developed countries to come together to give assistance to the many countries unable to respond to the financial crisis and who continue to face security and development challenges. In some countries which lag behind the rest of the world, the precarious and drifting economic situation was not created but rather was accentuated by the current financial crisis. Development aid will be effective only to the extent local governments and civil society confront the situation with an impetus of responsibility to address the chronic political, administrative and social malfunctioning.

My delegation welcomes the Secretary General’s efforts to call for an increased commitment to peacebuilding and peacekeeping, for these are the vital cornerstones upon which the United Nations was created. All this will be achieved only in the context of a renewed commitment to responsible sovereignty both at the national and international levels.

Mr. President, the upcoming Copenhagen Conference on climate change will test the ability of the international community to work together to attend to a problem which has both global causes and consequences. At the heart of the climate change debate is the moral and ethical need for individuals, companies and States to recognize their responsibility to use the world’s resources in a sustainable manner. With this responsibility comes the duty of all States and international corporations that have somehow disproportionately used and abused global resources to shoulder their fair share in solving the problem.

With the agreement to work towards a legally binding instrument on the import, export and transfer of conventional arms, the Convention on Cluster munitions and the recent consensus by major nuclear powers to reduce nuclear stockpiles, there has been an increasing commitment by some States to address this fundamental issue. However, the ongoing proliferation of nuclear arms and the desire by some States to continue to spend disproportionate amounts of money on weapons suggest that further efforts are needed if we are to make serious progress in controlling and unilaterally disarming these instruments of destruction.

Our efforts to renew the work of the United Nations will remain unfulfilled unless the international organizations and individual States are able to incorporate the voices of civil society into all aspects of the work of the Organization. Civil society partners are critical players in delivering humanitarian relief, promoting the rule of law and bringing to light gross violations of human rights. In this regard, faith-based organizations play a vital role in providing insight into the local needs of the community, delivering care and fostering solidarity both locally and internationally for the needs of people around the world. My delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s recognition of the critical role of civil society actors and we hope to work with delegations to further include civil society organizations in providing life saving care to those in need.

Mr. President, widespread corruption, health pandemics, persistent maternal mortality in some regions of the world, economic crisis, terrorism, food security, climate change and migration, all illustrate that in an increasingly globalized world, national solutions are only one part of the formula for contributing towards peace and justice. These global problems call for an international response and it is, therefore, imperative that the United Nations and other international organizations look inward and outward in order to make the necessary reforms to respond to the challenges of this interconnected world. In commending the Secretary General’s leadership, my delegation looks forward to working with you and the membership in the next year to help create an Organization guided by duty, morality and solidarity with those in need. Thank you Mr. President.