32nd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 51st Session - Part 1

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11-Oct-1996 01:32:59
As reforms proceed, United Nations must be sure to serve interests of all its members, General Assembly is told at the 32nd plenary.

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Debate Ends on Secretary-General's Report; Some Warn That Organization Must Not Become Instrument of Wealthier States.

The most pressing challenge for the United Nations today was to serve the genuine interests of all its Member States, the General Assembly was told this afternoon as it concluded the current portion of its review of the Secretary-General's report on the work of the Organization.

The United Nations must meet that challenge, said the representative of Cuba, so as not to become a hostage to, or instrument of, any Member State. The dilemma between serving all or serving a few was becoming more sharp in a time when globalization did not spread wealth, but instead inequality.

The representative of China said that genuine reform of the United Nations would enable it to better adapt to global changes and more effectively promote peace and development. Major reforms should be discussed by the membership and endorsed by the majority of Member States, rather than formulated according to the will of a small number of countries. The practice of making irresponsible remarks and unwarranted accusations against the United Nations while long withholding payment of assessed contributions did not support genuine reform.

The representative of Pakistan said the United Nations must reverse the current global trends towards isolationism and provincialism. Amidst that trend, poor nations were being told to solve their economic problems themselves. In order to build the foundation for peace, the crucial aspect of development must not be undermined.

The inability of the world community to provide a swift and effective answer to the problems arising from the application of sanctions threatened to undermine trust in the very institution of sanctions, said the representative of the Ukraine. That, in turn, called into question the very principle of collective activity through the implementation of enforcement measures by the United Nations. Unfortunately, the negative impact of sanctions on third countries had yet to be adequately addressed.

In a brief statement of position on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the representative of Costa Rica said they could not accept the implications contained in paragraph 94 of the Secretary- General's report -- a paragraph which addressed short-term ways of achieving efficiencies and reducing costs that were proposed following the review overseen by the Efficiency Board.

Statements were also made by the representatives of Malta, Latvia, Belgium, Kuwait, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iraq, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Nigeria, Tunisia, Iran and Italy.
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