|Thursday, 23 September 2004|
Renewed vigour needed to address UN's responsibilities - President
Let us leave this session of the General Assembly not only with renewed commitment to the ideals of our organisations but also with renewed vigour to address our awesome responsibilities for alleviating the plight of the poor, the hungry, the disadvantaged and the oppressed, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga told the 59th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
"Our noble words unless translated quickly into palpable deeds will remain no more than a silent testimonial to our collective unwillingness or incapacity to transform lives of our peoples when they cry out for attention and redress. If all that the UN can do for them is to churn out periodically virtual phrases and hollow invocations to duty and responsibility, their frustration will swell and spread globally challenging peace and stability. Let that not happen," President Kumaratunga said.
The President said: "In Sri Lanka we faced the challenges posed by an armed group using terror and suicide bombers in its demand for a sperate State.
My Governments have adopted the policy that all conflict has deep rooted and real causes that we must sift out from the acts of violence and terror and find means to redress them. We believe a lasting solution lies along the path of power sharing between the centre and regions where people of different communities live. We believe this could be found only through negotiations and dialogue.
We abhor violence and war. We believe in life and the celebration of all that is humane and decent. We believe that the moral justification in the State and all human institutions such as the United Nations in the protection and guarantee of life. My Governments have requested and received mandates from our people at numerous elections to end the conflict through a negotiated settlement.
Sri Lanka believes in the UN and its potential to be the principal forum where the voice of the poor, the defenceless and the weak is also heard as much as the voice of the rich and powerful. In this regard we applaud the words of Secretary General Kofi Annan where he made a passionate appeal for the upholding of the rule of law without discrimination throughout the world.
We congratulate him on the courageous leadership he gives to our world body. It gives us confidence and hope at this moment of human history when we question our collective ability to lead humanity towards peace and prosperity. We also propose that the General Assembly, representative of all member States of the UN should play a larger and more active role as a deliberative and decision-making body."
Produced by Lake House