8 September 2000

Press Release - GA/9758


Resolve Action to Strengthen Peace, Development, Human Rights; To Improve UN’s Ability to Act on Behalf of Humanity’s Priorities

"Only through broad and sustained efforts to create a shared future, based upon our common humanity in all its diversity, can globalization be made fully inclusive and equitable", world leaders stated this afternoon as they unanimously adopted a “United Nations Millennium Declaration” at the conclusion of their Millennium Summit.

The main document to come out of the largest-ever gathering of world leaders, which began on 6 September in New York, the Declaration contains a statement of values, principles and objectives for the international agenda for the twenty-first century. It also sets deadlines for many collective actions.

In an address delivered at the concluding meeting of the Conference, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Summit that it had sketched out clear directions for adapting the Organization to its role in the new century. “It lies in your power, and therefore is your responsibility, to reach the goals that you have defined”, he declared. “Only you can determine whether the United Nations rises to the challenge. For my part, I hereby re-dedicate myself, as from today, to carrying out your mandate.”

The document (A/55/L.2) reaffirms Member States' faith in the United Nations and its Charter as indispensable for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. The collective responsibility of the governments of the world to uphold human dignity, equality and equity is recognized, as is the duty of world leaders to all people, and especially children and the most vulnerable.

The leaders declare that the central challenge of today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all, acknowledging that at present both its benefits and its costs are unequally shared. The Declaration calls for global policies and measures, corresponding to the needs of developing countries and economies in transition.

Citing freedom, equality (of individuals and nations), solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility as six values fundamental to international relations for the twenty-first century, the Summit Declaration

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also identifies concrete objectives under broad headings that participants believe would lead to the desired outcomes.

Among the objectives with the declared aim of promoting peace, security and disarmament, world leaders resolve to strengthen the rule of law and ensure compliance with decisions of the International Court of Justice, to provide the United Nations with the resources it needs for conflict prevention and peaceful resolution of disputes, and to take action against the international drug problem and terrorism.

World leaders also made commitments to minimize the adverse effects of economic sanctions on innocent populations and to subject sanctions regimes to regular review, to urge constructive action on disarmament and to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. The document also calls on Member States to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, and to keep all options open for this aim, including the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.

Among the steps aimed at development and poverty eradication, the Declaration contains commitments to make the right to development a reality for everyone. Concerned about the obstacles developing countries face in mobilizing the resources to finance their sustained development, the participants agree to make every effort to ensure the success of the High-level International and Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development and of the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, both to be held next year. The document calls for adoption of a policy of duty-free and quota-free access for essentially all exports from the least developed countries and an enhanced programme of debt relief for the heavily indebted poor countries.

By the year 2015, world leaders also resolve to halve the proportion of people with income of less than one dollar a day and of those suffering from hunger and lack of safe drinking water; to ensure equal access to all levels of education for girls and boys and primary schooling for all children everywhere; to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters; and to begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases. By the year 2020, they resolve to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

On environmental protection, the Declaration states that no efforts must be spared to counter the threat of the planet being irredeemably spoiled by human activities. Therefore, the participants of the Summit resolve to adopt a new ethic of conservation and stewardship, making efforts to ensure the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, preferably by the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 2002. The document encourages better management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and sustainable exploitation of water resources. It also presses for the full implementation of conventions on biological diversity and desertification.

To strengthen the United Nations, Summit leaders resolve to reaffirm the central position of the United Nations General Assembly; intensify efforts for

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a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects; further strengthen the Economic and Social Council and the International Court of Justice; encourage regular consultations and coordination among the Organization's principal organs; ensure greater policy coherence and urge the Secretariat to make the best use of resources, which should be provided on a timely and predictable basis.

Other commitments to advance the role of the United Nations include steps to strengthen its cooperation with national parliaments, Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization and to give opportunities to the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society to contribute to the realization of the Organization's goals and programmes.

The Declaration also sets goals for promoting human rights, democracy and good governance; protecting the vulnerable; and meeting the special needs of Africa.

Speaking at the closing meeting of the Summit were Presidents of the Czech Republic, Eritrea, Kiribati and Somalia; the Governor-General of the Bahamas; the Prime Ministers of Grenada, Vanuatu, Guinea, Chad and Ethiopia, the Secretary of State of the Holy See; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Niger; the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and Guinea-Bissau; and the representatives of Palau and Tuvalu. Also addressing the Assembly were the Secretary-Generals of the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Economic Cooperation Organization; the President of the Commission of the European Community; the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross; the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; and President of the Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments.

The Co-Chairpersons of the Millennium Forum -- Techeste Ahderom, President of Finland; and Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia -- as well as the Chairpersons of the four round tables –- Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore; Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland; Hugo Rafael Chavez, President of Venezuela; and Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria – delivered concluding remarks. Finally, the Summit observed a minute of silent prayer or meditation.

During the six meetings of the three-day Summit, 99 heads of State, three Crown Princes and 47 heads of government presented their views on the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century and the main challenges facing the peoples of the world. One hundred and eighty-seven Member States were represented. Four private round-table sessions on the key issues under discussion were also held in conjunction with the proceedings.

The General Assembly begins the regular segment of its fifty-fifth session at 10 a.m. Monday, 11 September.

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Assembly Work Programme

As the Millennium Summit met this afternoon, it was expected to conclude its work and adopt the final document of the three-day long session, the Millennium Declaration.


CARLO MARULLO DI CONDOJANNI, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Much will depend on the way the new biotechnologies applied to agriculture are used. These technologies must not be a new mine, to be exploited by the few rich and powerful countries. They must be placed in the service of mankind, while at the same time respecting the fundamental rules of nature -- that is, without unhinging ecosystems and without denying the poorer countries easy access to production systems. This may improve, if not solve, an age-old and chronic problem which cannot be tolerated any longer by those who care about the future of mankind.

As we approach the new millennium, it is important that people should enjoy effective justice. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta supports the Secretary-General's invitation to all nations to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in order to hold responsible those guilty of crimes against humanity.





22 October 1995

Press Release - GA/8965



The challenge of peacefully resolving new kinds of conflicts should inspire the United Nations as it faced the new millennium, the General Assembly was told this afternoon as it continued its commemorative meeting on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.

World leaders stressed that as it undertook reforms, the Organization should strive for ever-greater transparency and accountability. Many of the perceived deficiencies of the Organization had actually resulted from policy decisions by Member States, the Assembly was reminded. Several speakers stressed the need to restructure United Nations peace and security machinery.

Statements this afternoon were made by President Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares of Portugal; President Liamine Zeroual of Algeria; President Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakstan; President Heydar Alirza ogly Aliyev of Azerbaijan; President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola; President Joao Bernardo Vieira of Guinea-Bissau; President Alyaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus; Acting President Stojan Andov of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; President Michal Kovac of the Slovak Republic; President Amata Kabua of Marshall Islands; President Omar Bongo of Gabon; President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico; President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan; President Guntis Ulmanis of Latvia; and President Mary Robinson of Ireland.

Also addressing the Assembly this afternoon were Wim Kok, Prime Minister of Netherlands; John G.M. Compton, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Mario Frick, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein; and Jean Chretien, Prime Minister of Canada.

The Assembly also heard statements by Ali Akbar Velayati, Foreign Minister of Iran; Bahige Tabbarah, Minister of Justice of Lebanon; Alexander Chikvaidze, Foreign Minister of Georgia; Danny Phillip, Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands; Jacques F. Poos, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg; Galo Leoro, Foreign Minister of Ecuador; Kozo Zoumanigui, Foreign Minister of Guinea; Ablasse Ouedraogo, Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso; and Edgar Camacho Omiste, Chairman of the Delegation of Bolivia.

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The commemorative meeting was also addressed by the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Hamid Algabid; a Member of the Sovereign Council of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Count Carlo Marullo di Condojanni; the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, James N. Purcell; and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Cornelio Sommaruga.

When it meets again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 23 October, the General Assembly will continue its commemorative meeting on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.


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United Nations as it seeks to accomplish its noble mission in the service of peace and progress.

CARLO MARULLO DI CONDOJANNI, Member of the Sovereign Council, Sovereign Military Order of Malta: After the end of the cold war, the hope of a lasting peace appears to be a much more achievable target than 50 years ago. It is a privilege to extend the wish and testimony of the Order for a constant commitment to the community of nations. The Order has fraternal relations at embassy level with 68 Member States of the United Nations. Its members and thousands of volunteers operate specialized clinics and first-aid centres worldwide.

During the Lebanese civil war, the Order's dispensaries took care of thousands of wounded. It recently agreed to contribute to the sanitary needs of the Blue Helmets in Lebanon and Kuwait, as was also done in Central America. It has also been one of the first to assure humanitarian aid to the former Yugoslavia. This humanitarian assistance safeguards human rights aimed at guaranteeing international peace and security. In its capacity as observer, the Order is fully available to cooperate with the United Nations in the field of humanitarian assistance. In particular, the Order is ready to shape its cooperation and provide medical assistance to peace-keeping operations.