Statement by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II at the 2005 United Nations World Summit

H.S.H. Prince Albert II adressing
the General Assembly

15th September 2005

Video in English

Mr. Presidents, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with emotion and gratitude that I take the floor to address you today for I recall the heartfelt tribute paid by the General Assembly to Prince Rainier III, My Father, on the very day of His passing, on April 6th. His commitment to multilateralism and His firm belief in the irreplaceable role of the UN were rightly evoked. I would like to state that I fully share His values.

My thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the Southern States of the United States, grieved by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, towards their families and all those who have been affected and hurt by this natural disaster.

Together with many Head of States and Government, I am pleased to support firmly and with confidence the United Nations. The Organization must complete its process of reform that will enable it to appropriately address the threats and challenges of today's world and the necessary changes in its structure.

I congratulate President Eliasson whose election coincides with the Birth Anniversary of his illustrious fellow Dag Hammarskjöld a century ago. I express my deep recognition to the exceptional work of President Ping toward the reform of our Organization. And last, I want to salute the tireless commitment of Secretary General Kofi Annan. Without their devotion, the Final Document that is submitted to us and to which my country fully adheres, would not be able to path the way to renew the United Nations.

We live in an interdependent world where no country can prosper without other countries and no one State can protect itself alone. It is now clear where this world must head: toward Development, Security and the Promotion of Human Rights.

A lot remains to be done and it is unacceptable that poverty, hunger and diseases continue to afflict so many regions of the world and in particular, Africa. For this reason, I have made sure that Monaco supports the Declaration on innovative sources of financing for development.

Let us be convinced that Development will only soar when North and South decide together to strengthen its foundations with mutual trust and confidence.

I reaffirm the commitment of my Country to the Millennium Development Goals and, consequently, in the coming years my Government will significantly increase our official development assistance through a very intensive cooperation policy which we are already implementing, either directly with targeted multilateral and bilateral action or together with effective NGOs that we actively support.

Mr. Presidents,

Achieving development does not imply jeopardizing our environment! Aware of our common responsibilities toward the least developed countries, let us not exacerbate the imbalances of our planet. Let's bear in mind future generations!

Since the oceanographic expeditions led a century ago by my Great-Great-Grandfather, Prince Albert I, Monaco has always been deeply involved in the protection of the oceans and the planet.

Prince Rainier III, My Father supported extensive research in this field and contributed to the establishment of protected marine zones in the Mediterranean Sea.

Following in the footsteps of Prince Albert I, I recently took a trip to Spitzbergen in the Arctic to gain a personal understanding of the impact of increasing greenhouse gases on climate change. This extraordinary experience enabled me to see in situ just how vulnerable our world is.

As far as I am concerned, I have thus decided without further delay to start the proceeding to allow Monaco to accede to the Kyoto Protocol and support the transformation of UNEP into a specialized agency with a broader mandate.

We must also work on the implementation of the Plan of Action adopted at the Hyogo Conference by strengthening international cooperation to better prevent and reduce risks of natural disasters and be endowed with an organization as well as more effective means to make the world a safer place.

Mr. Presidents,

Faced with genocides, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, we must adopt the Responsibility to protect principle as a basis for collective action. I can only endorse the often expressed sentiment that it is the international community's duty to act to protect people in danger when that responsibility is not assumed by the State concerned or by the regional organization to which it belongs.

The International community must also protect children, victims of odious crimes and adopt proceedings to condemn their perpetrators that must not stay unpunished.

I unequivocally condemn terrorism. It violates all religious and moral principles by purposely attacking helpless human beings and among them, very often children. Let us combat terrorism and finalize the Global Convention to Combat Terrorism, as we were able to do it for the International Convention against Nuclear Terrorism that I just signed.

Lastly, let us lay the groundwork for a Partnership among Civilizations based on an real dialogue. This indeed is the wise choice and the most effective way to settle conflicts and diffuse crises that are rending today's societies.

I thank you Mr. President.

Unofficial translation