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President Musharraf's speech at UN General Assembly

On September 15, 2005, President Pervez Musharraf addressed the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Presented below is the full text of his speech:

Mr President,

It is a privilege to address this 60th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations. We are participating in an historic event - the endeavour to establish a just world order for the Twenty-first Century. The decisions we take will have far-reaching consequences. It is therefore our solemn responsibility to bequeath a legacy of hope and peace to future generations.

We cannot afford to fail.

Thanks to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and to President Jean Ping, a year's process of reflection and discussion has produced numerous ideas and proposals to enhance international security, development and human rights.

This Special Summit offers us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. Let us pledge to make the United Nations a more effective and relevant institution for the 21st century.

We believe that international security can be best promoted when every State sees peace as being in its best interest; when states believe that they can realise their interests through mutual cooperation; when the supremacy of equitable principles is established over the realities of unequal power; when Member States agree to utilise the United Nations to harmonise their policies and reconcile their interests.

The Security Council should work openly, on behalf of the general membership. The Council should become more representative; not by adding a new elite, but by reflecting more fully, the entire spectrum of the UN's membership. This can be achieved only through patient dialogue and general consensus.

Mr President,

The challenges confronting international peace and security are formidable and many. Terrorism and the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction are among them. Yet, even as we address new threats, we should not, and we cannot, ignore the legacy of festering problems left by the past.

Peace and justice must come to the peoples of Palestine as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

We must not only be prepared to proclaim our principles; we must defend them and, above all, live up to them. Resolutions of the United Nations, especially the Security Council's decisions, must be implemented.

It is in this spirit that Pakistan is pursuing the composite dialogue with India. We want the dialogue process to be result oriented and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation in South Asia. Our nations must not remain trapped, by hate and history, in a cycle of confrontation and conflict. For this to happen, it is essential to find a just solution of the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, acceptable to Pakistan, India and above all to the people of Kashmir.

Today, terrorism is a primary threat to world order. We must fight terrorism, in all its forms, outlaw it and eliminate it. We need a comprehensive strategy for success. At the same time, we need to understand and address the motives behind terrorist acts. These may not justify terrorism; but they explain it. To eliminate terrorist violence, we will need to eliminate it in the minds of potential terrorists. No religion sanctions terrorism; the motives of terrorists, however misguided, are always political.

We, therefore, need to redress political and economic injustice. I have suggested a strategy of Enlightened Moderation, which can ensure success in eliminating terrorism and extremism.

I trust that this will be reflected in the deliberations of the new Commission created by the Secretary-General on an "Alliance of Civilizations".

Mr. President,

Weapons of mass destruction must not fall into the hands of terrorists. To prevent this, we must aim to eliminate both the terrorists as well as the weapons of mass destruction.

The catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war make it imperative to prevent one from ever taking place. Both the proliferation and the perpetual possession of nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable global danger. We must evolve a new consensus to achieve disarmament and non-proliferation.

We also need to prevent the destabilizing accumulation and build up of conventional weapons and forces especially in regions of tension - such as the Middle East, South Asia and North East Asia. Pakistan will continue to promote a nuclear and conventional weapons restraint regime in South Asia.

Mr. President,

Peace and development are interdependent. Although action for development must be largely local, it is critically dependent - in our globalized world - on the external economic environment. Paradoxically, globalization has increased both poverty and prosperity. The rules of international trade and finance and technology access are weighted against the poor and weak. In fact, the poor should be offered a "development handicap" to enable them to successfully integrate into a world market of unequal players.

Respect for human rights is an integral element of both peace and development. Economic rights are as important as political and civil rights. A hungry man is not a free man. The new human rights architecture we will create - such as the proposed Human Rights Council - should advance human rights, through cooperation and mutual support. Genocide, ethnic cleansing and similar grave violations must be prevented. As a first step, the United Nations should be given a standing authority to send a fact-finding mission to the area where a conflict has broken out.

Mr President,

Pakistan has contributed actively and constructively to the preparation of this Summit's important decisions. We shall work equally to ensure that our decisions are translated into action.

At this Summit, let us resolve to make poverty history, peace permanent and freedom universal.

I thank you.

Source: The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, September 15, 2005





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