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Promotion of sustainable development should be the central priority of United Nations activities. Hopefully, that would facilitate consolidation and cooperation among United Nations agencies without compromising their identity. Thailand also welcomed the creation of a "development dividend" by shifting resources from administration to development activities.

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However, down-sizing should not be an end in itself. Reform should concentrate on how to manage funds and implement programmes to achieve the common goal of equitable development. Another important point in the Secretary-General's reform plan was the proposal to mobilize more resources for the United Nations operational activities, he said. Thailand saw the United Nations as the main forum for the creation of an equal and workable partnership between developed and developing countries, responsive to the needs and aspirations of the developing world.

The steady decline in voluntary contributions to core resources had inhibited the capacity of the United Nations funds and programmes. Thailand supported the Secretary-General's proposal on innovative means of mobilizing new financial resources for development. The private. However, private sector funds should be additional to and must not replace official development assistance.

Restructuring the Security Council was vital to United Nations reform, he said. Thailand and its ASEAN partners believed that the veto power should be curtailed, with a view to its eventual elimination. The Council should be expanded to enhance its democratic and representative nature, while paying due regard to its efficiency and effectiveness. Member States must pay their assessed contributions in full and on time and without conditions.

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In , Thailand was among the 28 countries which paid their contributions to the regular budget in full and on time. There should be enhanced numerical and geographic representation on the Council to reflect changed realities and alleviate misgivings.

The role of the General Assembly should be enhanced and the issue of development made a high priority. Lebanon also attached great importance to the work of the economic and social regional commissions. In the name of cost and budget cuts, many United Nations agencies -- including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East UNRWA -- had lost their ability to give adequate social, health and education services to refugees in host countries such as Lebanon, which thus became doubly responsible for their welfare, he said.

That responsibility was difficult to shoulder. The international community must redress the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian refugees. That bitter situation could sometimes be seen in attempts to bring pressure to bear on host countries, aimed at forcing them to assimilate their refugee populations. The international community was duty-bound to continue rendering assistance to the Palestinian refugees, who were awaiting a political solution in accordance with their right to return. That right was a pillar of the peace process. The new Israeli Government had totally dashed Lebanon's hopes for peace, he said.

The principle of land for peace had been trashed and Israel had recanted on finding a solution to the question of Jerusalem, while continuing the process of annexing it. It had recanted on the need to implement international resolutions and wanted to open them up for re-interpretation. It had also reneged on commitments to withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan and had annexed it as well.

In total disregard of its obligation to freeze settlement activities, Israel had gone on a settlement-building frenzy. It invalidated all previously agreed commitments entered into by previous Israeli Governments. Plagued by an increasingly tense atmosphere within Israel, the Israeli Government had escalated the situation along its borders and in areas under. It remained faithful only to the principles of provocation and defiance.

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Israel had continued to carry out its aggression against Lebanon and the western Beqaa, to mobilize Israeli public opinion against peace, and to preempt and render politically meaningless all international initiatives. Attacks continued, through artillery shelling, air raids and operations inside Lebanon's territories, against villages and cities, children, women and the elderly.

Destruction and demolition continued, as did the detention of Lebanese citizens in Israeli military camps. Neither the United Nations nor international organizations were allowed to visit them. He said Lebanon's position was for a complete Israeli withdrawal to the internationally recognized borders, to enable Lebanon to regain sovereignty over its territories. Israel camouflaged its unwillingness to withdraw completely by relocating its forces or redeploying them, by requesting maintenance of inspection posts, by imposing conditions that limited the State's authority, and by giving the upper hand to the militias that it established.

Israel also attempted to control the authority of the Lebanese Army and to impose conditions that would restrict Lebanese sovereignty. The international community was duty-bound to act through the United Nations, he said. The United Nations had entrusted the issue to others on many occasions, hoping a solution might be found, and it had refrained from enforcing its resolutions -- unlike in many other States. The time had come for the United Nations to return to the basics of peace as agreed to in Madrid, including: the principle of land for peace; implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions; the resumption of negotiations; immediate cessation of settler activities; a solution to the question of Jerusalem; withdrawal from the Palestinian territory and recognition of the political rights of the Palestinian people; withdrawal from the Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June ; full withdrawal from southern Lebanon and its western Beqaa to the internationally recognized borders.

A peace that ignored those basics was doomed to failure and could set the whole region on fire. His drive to improve the Organization's financial situation through better internal control mechanisms was appreciated. The United Nations working group which had been examining the question of reform and expansion of the Security Council membership for the past four years should take new global realities into consideration.

Membership composition should reflect the collective will to address new challenges. Permanent members of the Council should have the firm will, the military muscle, the financial resources and the sense of initiative and crisis- management expertise needed to act decisively without trepidation when the situation warranted.

Council membership was not a privilege as much as a.

It should not be a means for posturing; rather it should be a statement of conviction. The new Council should reflect a world shifting towards globalization and transparency in order to provide a better sense of security and peace to countries in the South and the North, in the East and the West. He said that emphasis on economic and social development as a crucial factor in ensuring conventional security required a comprehensive approach to development, including the involvement of international institutions. All members of the world community should renounce violence, recognize the legitimate interests of others, respect their rights, and give due priority to development matters.

They should also reject the arms race and abstain from behaviour and policies that endangered peace and security. The prosperity of the North paled when viewed through the prism of poverty in the South. The security of Europe would really be incomplete if Africa was marginalized by neglect. There would be little peace of mind in America while Asia continued to undergo population explosion.

Kuwait welcomed the movement towards prohibition of the production, stockpiling and use of landmines, he said. Kuwait also welcomed the regulations concluded to control arms, to reduce the nuclear threat and to tighten controls over arms trade, especially in the area of ballistic missiles, and to increase transparency regarding weapons. The United Nations had contained many dangers and defused several crises, although many regional problems remained unresolved flash points of tension.

Kuwaitis recalled the Council's response to the aggression by the Iraqi regime against their country in August , characterized by firm rejection, resolute confrontation and decisive action in the form of a series of resolutions that aborted the aggression, he said. That case, with all its dimensions and ramifications, had become an historical precedent for dealing with any similar aggression, irrespective of its origin, against any State.

Iraq, however, despite the dire need of its people for an end to economic sanctions imposed had not, as yet, fulfilled basic conditions required for lifting them, he said, citing the question of Kuwaiti and third- country prisoners and detainees. That purely humanitarian issue affected several hundred families who still did no know the whereabouts of their loved ones. The Iraqi regime had been exploiting their destiny as bargaining in its diplomatic manoeuvres. Iraq also refused to return a lot of Kuwaiti public and private property, primarily the air defence system -- units and other military equipment -- as well as important State documents.

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Iraq had also failed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and indulged in a policy of procrastination, subterfuge and deception, he said. It hid certain categories of weapons, only to acknowledge later that those weapons existed in its arsenal. It denied having certain types of missiles and biological.

He welcomed Council resolution , adopted after Council members realized that Iraq was not really serious in dealing with the inspection teams. In fact, the lives of some inspectors had been endangered due to interference by the Iraqi side. Kuwait also welcomed Council resolution on the extension of the implementation of the provisions of resolution , which aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people. Their hardship was due to the failure of the Iraqi regime to meet its obligations.

Kuwait had experience first-hand the vicious intentions of Iraq's territorial expansion, regional hegemony and military superiority at the expense of neighbouring countries and to the detriment of regional peace and stability.

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It therefore affirmed the need to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. His country was also concerned over the continued occupation of three United Arab Emirates islands by Iran, he said. Kuwait was fully committed to the decision taken by the Gulf Cooperation Council on the subject.

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He called on Iran to respond favourably to the peaceful initiative launched by the President of the United Arab Emirates, to engage in a sincere dialogue that took into account the inalienable rights of the United Arab Emirates to the islands in question and to resolve the dispute along the line of good- neighbourly relations, international treaties and the United Nations Charter.

Turning to the question of the Middle East and the success of the peace process, he said there were crucial matters that affected world peace and security. Kuwait regretted the paralysis of that process that left frustration and tension throughout the regions. The current stalemate was the result of new concepts by the Israeli Government regarding the frame of reference underlying the peace process in the region.

Israel had backtracked from the rules and principles worked out at the Madrid Conference and replaced them by new elements. Israel had not committed itself to implement bilateral agreements reached with the Palestinian Authority, including withdrawal from all occupied territories, particularly Jerusalem. Also, Israel had not ceased its policy of annexing Arab Jerusalem. He called on the co-sponsors of the peace initiative to maintain even- handedness, while doubling their efforts to revive the stalling peace process. Israeli withdrawal from the Syrian Golan, which had been under occupation since , was also essential for a complete peace process.

Kuwait supported Syria's position that negotiations with Israel should resume from the point where they halted, instead of beginning new rounds without any frames of reference. Israel was duty-bound to implement all provisions of Security Council resolution and to preserve Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In , Africa had no presence in the Security Council. Today, it intended to have its place in the Council recognized by the assignment of two permanent seats to Africa. The general plans for expansion of the Council must involve equitable representation for Asia, Africa and Latin America. The functioning of the Council must also be reviewed. The objectives enshrined in the Charter could only be maintained if there was justice within, as well as between, nations. Disarmament efforts must work towards the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological and chemical, he said.

The circulation of small arms in Africa continued to be a serious problem and had increased the incidence of criminal acts in the region.