Indholdet på denne side vedrører regeringen Poul Nyrup Rasmussen IV (1998-2001)

Speech at FN-millenium Summit i New York den 8. september 2000

The world needs a stronger UN – action must follow words

Madam Chairperson and Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations is the sum of our efforts, our commitments, our contributions. The United Nations is what member countries make it.

Our guiding light should be equal worth and social fairness for all. The Secretary-General has delivered the analysis of the global trends we face. The Secretary General has made a strong case for the future of the UN. Global problems have to be tackled globally. Therefore, we need a stronger UN.

Around the world, untold millions live in poverty – at the outskirts of change – where the future seems a dead end street. Especially Africa seems locked in a vicious circle of desolation and despair. No one can justify fatalistic and cynical acceptance. We must act - and we must support

Africa’s Renaissance. Investments, transfer of knowledge and resources are necessary for development in Africa.

We need to create a human framework for the international market economy – as has been done in national economies. We need to put people before money and the market.

Where multinational corporations make money at the expense of social progress, we have an obligation to provide the right balance. There can never be an exchange rate between money and human suffering.

At the Copenhagen Summit in ‘95 poverty and social progress were at the top of the development agenda. Only if the private and the public sector work hand-in-hand to ensure an even distribution of the benefits will we be able to realize the truly global promise of globalization.

The UN is what we, the leaders, want it to be. Our support forms the destiny of the UN. We need to do more.

* * *

I welcome the emphasis on global solidarity and social responsibility in the Secretary-General's report. The least developed countries need action on trade, debt, and aid in order to catch up.

Developing countries should enjoy the advantages of international trade. Substantially improved market access for their products - in my view, all their products - should be at the center of an upcoming WTO Round. And everybody should honor the demands and requirements of the ILO concerning labor rights.

Debt relief has the potential to make substantial resources available for investment in poverty reduction, education, and health. Both bilateral and multilateral creditors should cover their share of the cost.

The long-term decline in aid needs to be reversed. Far too few countries live up to our modest commitment. If Denmark can meet and exceed the targets, others may as well. The UN process on Financing for Development offers an opportunity for renewed commitment and action. The Secretary-General can count on our support.

But debt, aid, or trade are not separate issues. Improving one and cutting back on another is meaningless. We can only make development sustainable, if we take a coherent approach.

I urge those countries that could really make a difference - countries among the most developed and fortunate - to make an extra effort.

* * *

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Following the Rio Summit 1992 it is evident that sustainable development is the sum of many parts, including social, economic, and environmental aspects.

Heads of State and Government should come together and discuss the next steps. We must promote an agenda for further cooperation with a stronger emphasis on the needs of developing countries. We have to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. This requires a major effort by the industrialized countries.

* * *

Let us be honest. Too many times we have set new deadlines to reach old goals. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to let action follow words.

Effective cooperation requires solidarity and a strong, well-functioning United Nations.

If we want an effective United Nations capable of meeting its mandate, we need reforms. And dues need to be paid – by everybody. That includes small nations as well as big nations.

The Secretary-General deserves credit for making the UN both leaner and more effective. His quiet revolution of ’97 must maintain momentum. Now is the time to dismantle obsolete bodies and activities. The Secretary-General can count on Denmark’s support.

Reform of the Security Council is overdue as well. The number of both permanent and elected members reflects the past. It should reflect the present.

The UN needs a sizeable and robust capacity for peace operations. The UN must be able to respond quickly and with credible force. The report from Ambassador Brahimi's panel provides both a strong case and frank recommendations for putting things right. The Secretary General can count on our support.

But preventive action should always come first. Thus, I am pleased to announce a Danish contribution of one million dollars to the Trust Fund for Preventive Action.

* * *

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

For almost half a century, the United Nations has remained our preeminent, common forum for promoting peace and social progress. In this spirit, I welcome the recent landmark decision to establish a Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues.

It would be unfair to blame the UN for having failed our expectations. The fact remains that only if we, the leaders of the world, are ready - individually and collectively - to take action. Only, if we give the United Nations the necessary authority and adequate resources - only then can we move forward towards a better world for all.

We can do better – all of us – together.

As I said in my introduction: The United Nations is the sum of our efforts, our commitments, our contributions.

Denmark remains ready to take her share of this responsibility.

Thank you for your attention.