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New Dynamism to Characterize 58th UN General Assembly

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - In the wake of increasing political, economic and social challenges facing the world, a call has been sounded for Heads of State and Government to bring new dynamism to the current session of the United Nations General Assembly that opened in New York on Tuesday September 23, 2003.

The call came from the President of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly – St. Lucia’s Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, His Excellency Senator Honourable Julian Robert Hunte. Addressing several world leaders who gathered for the session, among them US President George W. Bush and French President Jacques Chirac, His Excellency Hunte noted that the political direction coming from world leaders, would be key in enabling the Assembly to effectively address critical issues such as sustainable development, poverty alleviation, the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, terrorism and reform of the UN itself.

“This is the direction we need for the entire one year of this session, including from January to September 2004. For it is during this less intensive second part of the session that we can look more reflectively at the decisions we have taken in the fall and begin the critical task of implementation and other aspects of the Assembly’s work,” Hunte told the Assembly.

He went on to indicate his willingness to lean upon the vast experiences of Heads of State and Government along with other high level participants to the session, in finding solutions to the problems facing the international community. However he noted that the UN as a body needed to remain consistent in its respect for the Charter and for international law. This he said would demonstrate that the current assembly had not only the capacity but the political will to constructively address and resolve the complex problems of the world.

“The General Assembly has oversight of the United Nations system as a whole and hence has before it the full range of international issues. As an advocate, supervisory and policy making body, it must give the direction necessary to ensure coherence in the system so that the organization may respond in a holistic manner to the many challenges it faces,” said His Excellency.

St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony who led a delegation of government technocrats to the session is also expected to address Tuesday’s opening session.

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