27 September, 2003
NEW YORK 27/09/2003 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)
Foreign Minister George Papandreou, addressing the UN General Assembly on Friday, stressed the need of upgrading and strengthening the role of the UN, which must have the ''leading role'' in shaping global developments, security and peace issues.
Papandreou referred to the statement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for the need to create new institutional frameworks for a more effective functioning of the international organization’s bodies.
''The legitimacy of the United Nations is at the heart of this debate. If we are to convince the more powerful in this world that unilateralism does not pay, we need to show that multilateralism is effective. We need to prove that organizations such as ours can deal effectively with threats to our peace and security,'' the foreign minister said.
''We fully endorse the Secretary General's proposal for the reform of the United Nations...The role of the Security Council is paramount, and its composition must be more representative in order to ensure full trust in its authority and legitimacy...The UN can become central in safeguarding humankind's security, peace and prosperity,'' he added.
The foreign minister spoke of the prospect of Iraq's reconstruction and presented the positions of Greece and the European Union regarding the ''responsibility and work'' the UN must have.
"It is only possible to bring lasting peace in Iraq, if we all work together," Papandreou underlined.
He mentioned the efforts of Greece and Turkey to create a ''new era'' in relations between the two neighboring countries and referred specifically to the latest agreement on the removal of landmines.
On the question of Cyprus, Papandreou reminded that ''the island is divided due to the Turkish invasion and occupation of 1974'' and underlined the fact that Greece supports the secretary general's efforts for a solution based on the resolutions of the UN and the principles of the European Union.
Papandreou said a solution ''is possible'' by May 1, when Cyprus will become a full member of the EU.
''Over the years, Greece actively supported the efforts of the Secretary General for a comprehensive settlement, in conformity with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded (acquis communautaire). These resolutions must be implemented. We will not give up hope until all Cypriots can live together in harmony and security, in a federal state with a single citizenship, without foreign troops in its territory. On May 1, 2004, Cyprus will fulfill its major ambition of becoming a full member of the EU. We hold out the hope that the Turkish Cypriot population will also enjoy the security and prosperity that the EU accession will bring. It is possible,'' Papandreou noted.
During his address, Papandreou also referred to the problems of the Middle East and of terrorism and concluded by focusing on the resolution on the Olympic Truce on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The full text of the speech is available at: www.un.org/webcast/ga/58/statements/greeeng030926.htm
Source: Athens News Agency