Address by H.E.Mr. Gilles Noghès at the General Debate of the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

H.E.Mr. Gilles Noghès addressing
the General Assembly

27 September 2006

Video in English

Madam President,

Very few women before you have acceded to the Presidency of the General Assembly although, as the Chinese saying goes: Women hold up half the sky.

We are delighted with your election, we congratulate you and commend your country, Bahrain and the Asian group for this initiative. Please rest assured that our delegation will always be ready to support you in the accomplishment of your high and challenging mission.

We also would like to congratulate your predecessor, H.E. Jan Eliasson for his successful presidency of the General Assembly and his understanding of the capacity of member states to surmount their differences. Thanks to his perseverance, the majority of reforms resulting from the commitments taken at the 2005 World Summit have been brought to fruition.

At the outset of this debate, we have heard H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, present, for the last time, his report on the activity of the Organization. He has clearly outlined his convictions, his achievements and his recommendations for the strengthening of the UN system. My Delegation and I would like to join in the numerous tributes paid to the Secretary General and formulate our profound gratitude for the actions he courageously led for the last decade. Backed by his extensive experience acquired within the Organization, he was capable of moving it forward, in an environment fraught with threats and new challenges to meet the expectations induced by an overwhelming globalization process. His vision has granted the basis for the interconnection of peace, development and human rights, main principles of the Charter and reasserted foundations for our common actions.

Madam President,

Driven by the vigilant impulse of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, the Monegasque Government has been keen on reinforcing its contribution to development and international cooperation through a significant rise of its ODA, credits of cooperation have known a 30% increase in 2006 and the Principality will continue its efforts to reach the set goals reasserted at this very tribune last year by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince.

The advancement of women and the improvement of infantile and maternal health as well as the alleviation of poverty count among the priorities of the Principality when it comes to its international actions.

H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince and His Sisters, H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover and H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie are strongly involved in development actions benefiting the most destitute.

In Her capacity as Ambassador of Goodwill of UNESCO, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover contributes to the promotion of programs for the education of women and the girl-child. In this respect, Monaco has joined Andorra, Cyprus, Luxembourg and San Marino on the project entitled: Human Rights and Education to Fight Poverty and Support the Independence of Women and the Girl-child.

As President of the World Association of Childrens Friends, (AMADE), H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover has been leading for more than a decade a constant battle for the protection of children. Recently honored by UNICEF-USA, H.R.H. has namely declared that today we are at war against terror & especially terror in the eyes, the hearts and the spirits of millions of children around the world.

This Session will give a momentum to the promotion and protection of childrens rights with the launching, in the coming October, of the publication of the independent expert study to which the Principality is proud to have contributed. Lets not forget that, as Jean-Paul Sartre wrote: Violence, regardless of its form, is a failure.

We hope that at the outcome of the debates held at the Security Council and devoted to the protection of children in armed conflicts, the effective implementation of Resolution 1620 (2005) will allow progress in this alarming field. It is humanely unacceptable that the perpetrators of these crimes remain unpunished.

Having been present here last June during the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco has declared Her solidarity with all those who fight against this disease or those who are affected by it in any degree or form. With her Association, FIGHT AIDS MONACO, She is engaged in sustaining prevention, research and assistance for those affected by the virus, namely seropositive people, always victims of discrimination. In this regard, the Princess has formulated the wish that the dignity of every seropositive person be preserved. Her Association is willing to help establish a structure that would provide psychological support for patients in an African country where many Monegasque associations have accomplished development operations.

The upcoming designation of H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie as a Special Representative of UNAIDS will further reinforce Her commitment to the battle against this terrible pandemic affecting more and more women. To face this situation, the Government of Monaco has decided, in addition to contributions allocated to UNAIDS, to finance, starting this year, a project of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Africa, intended for women, who are mainly seropositive, enduring extreme poverty and moral distress, by offering them a medico-psycho-social relief.

Madam President,

Our Heads of States and Governments are determined to act and they accepted the responsibility of protecting people. It is up to each State to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, but when these tragic events cannot be prevented, it becomes the responsibility of the International Community, within the framework of our Organization, to be vigilant in bringing relief to victims of such acts.

Whether the catastrophe is caused by nature or by humans, it is imperative that we provide for the most pressing needs of civil populations. In this regard, we would like to congratulate the office of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for his continuous efforts, namely for restructuring the Central Emergency Response Fund. Monaco contributes to this Fund and intends to sustain its efforts in financing humanitarian assistance during the years to come.

Before the end of this year, H.S.H. Prince Albert II will again visit Sirombu on the Nias Island in Sri Lanka, a fishermens village, struck two times by nature, first by a tidal wave in December 2004, and then a few months later, by an earthquake. This village has been rebuilt thanks to the efficient and generous action of MONACO-ASIA Association. As previously announced here by our Sovereign Prince, during the 2005 World Summit, Monaco has ratified the Kyoto Protocol last February.

The personal engagement of our Head of State in favor of the defense of the environment is constant. It has recently been manifested through a polar expedition that He has undertaken a hundred years after His Great-Great Grand-father, pioneer of modern oceanography.

Having reached the North Pole with His crew on April 16, 2006, after four days of arduous course, on dogsleds, from the Russian basis of Barneo, Prince Albert II has made a plea on the dangers of global warming which we can unfortunately observe in the Arctic by a considerable icefield recession. Back to Monaco, His Serene Highness created a Foundation for environmental preservation and sustainable development, which will be a permanent source of dynamic and creative action in the fields of climate change, biodiversity loss and water resources.

Madam President,

Convinced of the need to establish and reinforce dialogue between civilizations to prevent conflicts, the Principality supports all initiatives which actively promote a culture of peace and mutual respect in the diversity of all creeds, cultures and languages. As stated by Secretary General Kofi Annan in 1999:

The greater the appreciation of diversity, the deeper the sense of identity and the sounder the enlargement of the common denominator of values.

It is in this spirit that Monaco, being aware of the universal value of Sport as one of the best tools of building intercultural dialogue, brings all its support to the plan of action on Sport for development and Peace.

Thank you for your attention.