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Monaco at UN
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Statement by H.S.H. Prince Albert II at the General Debate of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

23 September 2009

Video in English (Real Player)

Mr. President,

My participation alongside more than one hundred Heads of State and Government in this General Debate both corroborates the seriousness of the choices that we have to take responsibility for, to confront the challenges our States must face, and the incontrovertible position of the United Nations to decide upon the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

More than ever, the General Assembly must be the centre where our nations are striving towards a common goal as defined in the Article 1 of the Charter.

To remain this vital center, the Organization and its most representative body of the community of nations, our General Assembly, must better take into consideration the interdependency which ties our destinies as well as the opportunity that presents itself to our sovereign States to bestow on our fellow countrymen towards a common vision marked with moral value.

Mr. President,

The financial storm that swept away the world a year ago has spawned too much suffering and caused great harm to the global economy at a time in our history where we are confronted to the major challenges of the climate crisis and the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals, for us not to draw obvious conclusions.

A year from now, we will meet again in this same forum to take stock of the progress we have accomplished in the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals.

The 2015 deadline, which seemed already compromised on the eve of this multidimensional crisis, requires that we plan out a global vision for the future of humanity. Some will call it solidarity or moral awareness. In any event, we need to clearly define and implement the MDGs to fulfill the vital needs of all human beings.

If poverty eradication remains our priority, we must fulfill our obligations. As the most destitute, are also the ones who are hungry, who suffer from malnutrition and do not have access to water nor to basic social and health services. Among the main victims are women and children, 25 000 of whom die each day according to UNICEF.

Several hundred thousands of people are benefiting today from actions undertaken by my country in the framework of its international cooperation in the fields of health, education and the fight against poverty. This is the reason why I asked that we pursue our effort to contribute 0.7% of our GDP by 2015 towards official development assistance. This assistance cannot be sacrificed due to the present economic and financial situation. It must, on the contrary, be strengthened at a time when the most vulnerable are the ones who need it the most.

This official development assistance must come with long term investments aimed at strengthening capacity building of developing countries, in particular through appropriate technology transfers respectful of the requirements brought on by sustainable development.

In this perspective and in the light of the recent food crisis, it is the right time to give agriculture back its rightful place because food security depends on it. Today, it is up to us to forge for our future generations a new destiny, a new deal. From donors, we must become partners of a green revolution in Africa where food producing agriculture adapted to specific conditions of the continent must empower the local populations.

The restoration of agriculture at the heart of our civilization raises also the crucial issue of water. Whether it pertains to its access for the survival of our populations, farming or energy production, it is imperative to guaranty water security.

Therefore, an integrated management of water resources is mandatory. We must be aware of disasters and potential conflicts that would arise if we failed to do so and of risks linked to poor sanitation conditions susceptible to cause outbreaks of infectious diseases and pandemics.

Mr. President,

Desertification, drought phenomena, human activities and even acidification of the oceans and the seas are exacerbated by climatic change brought on by man.

That is why a failure in the Copenhagen's negotiation shouldn't be an option. My commitment and that of my worldwide counterparts yesterday in the framework of the Summit on climate change convened by the Secretary General, is unequivocal: we must, together, developed countries, countries with high CO2 emissions, developing countries, succeed in defining a post-Kyoto agenda strictly in line with a low carbon emission future.

For too long, we have neglected the scientific warnings. More than 20 years ago, the IPCC was created by the World Meteorological Organization.

During the Third World Climate Conference which I attended at the beginning of the month of September, it was decided to establish a Global Framework for Climate Services, with a view to help populations hold up to this more and more pressing challenge.

This Global Framework which we fully support, aims at enabling better management of the risks of climate variability as well as change and adaptation to climate change at all levels, through development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice. The unparalleled mobilization of public opinion compels us to adopt innovating measures to slowdown the evolution of global warming that has serious implications and can take a catastrophic turn for the worse.

The Report on trade and development recommends deep structural modifications that won't happen, without challenging our patterns of production and consumption. The set up of a green economy must be the basis of this process. Our role as political decision-maker is to insure that the already existing necessary technology aims at reducing greenhouse gas effects.

Sustainable development requires the globalization of green technologies and environmental goods. I reiterate on behalf of the Principality the declared ambition to become carbon neutral and our resolve to reduce our carbon emissions by 20 % by 2020 and by 60% by 2050.

Mr. President,

During the elapsed months, the world economy has been deeply challenged. If signs of recovery are beginning to show, we must however, draw conclusions from this somber year. The globalization of the economy and the interdependence that results from it, calls for a crucial reform of the international monetary and financial system.

Created ten years ago now, the G20 met for the first time at the level of Heads of State and Government, last November, acknowledging thereby the urgency of measures to be taken to spare the world economy from a catastrophe worsened by the panic in the financial markets.

Monaco acknowledges that this Group, which represents two thirds of the world trade and population and close to 90 % of the world gross product, holds special responsibility towards the rest of the international community.

We are confident on the capabilities of the G20 to lay out, as soon as tomorrow in Pittsburg, the basis for a new era encompassing in particular, financial regulation, traders' income, governance and means allocated to international financial institutions. From the G20 ability to federate all States will emerge the necessary legitimacy to allow growth resumption.

My Government has been working for many months now to fulfill the obligations it subscribed to and to comply with the required norms of the OECD with a view to improve the transparency and information exchange in fiscal and banking matters. In this regard, my Government has already signed twelve bilateral conventions and has undertaken to conclude other agreements in this area. Today, Monaco was acknowledged for its efforts by the OECD and thus appears on its white list.

But let's not be mistaken: the breach of trust spawned by the financial debacle has more than ever made it necessary that the measures taken by the G20 be non-discriminatory towards all Member States. A consultative body would thus ensure the legitimacy of any decisions made.

We must, altogether, rebuild the solid basis of a human-faced-capitalism that promotes growth and social development. The circumstances give us the opportunity to create a green economy which links job creation with the transfer of new technologies towards a sustainable recovery.

Mr. President,

The role of the State and the expression of its sovereignty must continuously adapt themselves to the new realities to remain the guarantor of security and social well-being of populations. Our Organization does not evade this evolution.

If since its origin, the United Nations works for the maintenance of peace and international security, thanks to the operations led under its flag, it also plays an eminent federative role in the area of disarmament and non proliferation.

Human and material means of peace-keeping operations have reached a threshold that would have not been conceivable only a decade ago. The necessary reflection initiated at the Security Council as well as the Secretariat and with the Member States is a priority and we support it.

Of utmost importance also, is the strengthening of the rule of law and of democratic institutions, guardians of our sovereignty and our peaceful coexistence between States.

In this regard, I wish to reiterate the support of my country towards the implementation of the responsibility to protect, symbol of the strengthening of multilateralism at the service of populations.

The responsibility to protect does not affect the exercise of responsible sovereignty which places the individual at the forefront. Monaco will keep on working with its partners, that is to say all and each of you, in order to implement best practices in the area of protection, international assistance and capacity-building with the common objective to save lives.

The Principality will keep on responding through solidarity to emergency humanitarian situations, in particular, for women and children whose vulnerability does not unfortunately need to be further proven in times of crisis.

Mr. President,

In 2010, we will celebrate the International Year of Reconciliation and the Year of Biodiversity. These themes symbolize, at the onset of the 21st century, the harmony that we must seek both between our people in the acceptance of our differences and between the human specie and the rest of the living species on Earth, that we have the duty to protect and save from extinction.

I can assure you that my country will commit itself relentlessly in favor of a process likely to build and strengthen the ties between our societies in view to promote dialogue as well as cultural and religious understanding based on mutual respect, such as in the Union for the Mediterranean and the Alliance of civilizations.

I am convinced, Mr. President, that your great experience of the United Nations and your role in the creation of the African Union, constitute a major asset for the success of your mission. I thank you.