Subject: UN: ET's Jose Luis Guterres at Johannesburg Summit

Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York [UN Page]

Johannesburg, South Africa 26 August-4 September 2002 ENV/DEV/J/33 4 September 2002

Plenary 16th Meeting (AM) [timor excerpt only]

Johannesburg, South Africa 26 August-4 September 2002 ENV/DEV/J/33

4 September 2002

Plenary 16th Meeting (AM)


Johannesburg Concludes High-Level Debate; Summit Expected To Adopt Political Declaration, Action Plan

JOSE LUIS GUTERRES, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of East Timor, in the newly independent nation's first address before a United Nations assembly, said that while the Summit's outcome document was not perfect, it was something the international community could work with to make conditions better. He went on to say that some 40 per cent of Timorese lived below the poverty line and the intervention of the international community was essential to help the people overcome the significant challenges they still faced. Here, he thanked the Secretary-General and the United Nations family, for the invaluable guidance and assistance it had provided along East Timor's long march towards democracy and freedom.

He said that poverty eradication was a priority for the new Government. East Timor would try hard to halve poverty levels by 2005 and to ensure that girls and boys would be able to complete primary education within time frames set by the Millennium Declaration. Special emphasis would also be placed on dealing with malaria and other communicable diseases. He said the Government had integrated the principles of sustainable development in the education system, and those same principles would next by applied to the business sector. East Timor would also soon create its first national park.

He said that on 27 September, East Timor hoped to become a new United Nations Member State. At that time, it would announce its ratification of the core of international human rights treaties, already approved by the Timorese Parliament. It was hoped that an announcement on the Kyoto Protocol would soon follow. He hoped that the peace and reconciliation achieved in East Timor could, with the help of the international community and the United Nations, be made a reality in Palestine. It was also his hope that the world's children could play without fear of flying bullets and that human rights could be protected and not ignored. A safer planet was the best gift to offer to future generations, he said.

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