THE SULTANATE OF OMAN
H.E. MR. YOUSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH
MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 68TH SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 30 SEPTEMBER 2013
It gives me great pleasure, at the outset, to extend my warmest congratulations to you and to your friendly country, Antigua and Barbuda, on your election as President of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and wish you all success in your endeavor. We assure you that the Sultanate of Oman stands ready to cooperate with you and all the delegations of the member states, to achieve the desired objectives.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremic, from the friendly Republic of Serbia, for the perfect manner in which he conducted the work of the previous session, as well as to thank H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for all the efforts he has made to enhance the role of this organization and to develop the mechanisms of its work to respond to the current challenges and its recent developments and to have the optimum readiness for the future.
The United Nations, since its establishment in 1945, has had numerous achievements and success that contributed positively to make a safer and more stable world. However, the rapid developments which the world is witnessing, represented in the steady increase in population and the rising of the global demand for energy and natural resources, as well as the tremendous development in communications and new technologies, have led to the emersion of numerous difficulties that require joint efforts to establish greater cooperation between the Governments of the member states, so as to be able to address those difficulties and to find appropriate solutions which necessarily requires empowerment of this organization and all its organs, to have more capacity to respond to the demands of the world and the various developments, with full support to its vital and urgent issues.
The modernization, development and change are among the norms of life, but their achievement should be parallel to the assurance of the security and stability through cooperation between all nations in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
The events witnessed recently by numerous countries in the Middle East were only due to true motives in the light of the difficulties faced by the people of the region in both economic and social fields because of the decline in the ability of institutions in those countries to be fully responsive to their needs and requirements.
Despite the loss of lives and properties in those countries, relief efforts were geared towards stability and rearranging the economy of those countries which matters require concerted efforts and deserve support and advocacy.
My country welcomes the consensus that has been achieved in the Security Council on the Syrian chemical weapons by adopting unanimously Resolution 2118 (2013). It is necessary to convene Geneva 2 Conference for the negotiations between the Syrian Government and the opposition forces and we believe that the goal of these negotiations are to lead to the cease-fire and the formation of a Transitional Authority with necessary powers to enable it to overcome the enormous problems caused by war that existed for approximately three years. We also believe that the International Society should look forward at this time to provide the support and humanitarian assistance to the displaced Syrians and to all affected by this abhorrent war. My country confirms the continuation of its assistance program towards the displaced Syrians and expresses its readiness to contribute in the international assistance inside the Syrian territory.
We welcome the positive developments that have taken place in the Somali arena and to the efforts undertaken by H.E. President Hassan Sheikh Mohammed to rebuild the Somali State, hoping that our brothers in the Federal Republic of Somalia could implement the programme of political and economic reform which gained the support of the international community.
Among the important international issues that weren’t successful in finding solutions, despite exerted efforts and agreements concluded through direct negotiations between successive Israeli governments and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, is the Palestinian question, which is considered as the cornerstone to any peace process in the Middle East. In this regard, my country supports the efforts of President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, because those efforts represent an opportunity for all the people of the region to establish peace leading to economic and social development that revives the hopes of a peaceful coexistence among the people of the region, in order to build a Middle East that is able to contribute positively in the global civilization.
My country continues to support the initiatives aimed at making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, being fully aware of the effects of these weapons on the security and stability of the nations, the regions and the entire world.
With our emphasis on the right of States to benefit from the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it is worthy to mention that the end of this dispute does not come through coercive policies and practices, such as sanctions and other measures with limited frames that weaken their effectiveness, rather it is through creative diplomacy that can help all states to benefit from the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
On the other hand, we hope that the international community, particularly the depository countries of the NPT, to persuade other states in the Middle East to join the Treaty and to subject their nuclear facilities to the comprehensive control system under the supervision of the IAEA, which will subsequently contribute to reach the universality of the treaty and making the Middle East zone free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This goal deserves the support from all countries, particularly major ones.
We express our regret for not convening the International Conference on the Middle East according to the decision of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, where the rejection of certain parties to convene this conference reflect only the nonunderstanding of the conditions, objectives and aspirations of the people of the Middle East region.
In light of our commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we would like to declare our achievement of the determined goals with all their indications, where a declaration has been issued recently on the achievement of the fourth and fifth goals by the Sultanate of Oman at a rate of 100%.
In the field of the environmental protection and nature conservation, my country has been keen, since the dawn of the blessed Renaissance led by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, May God Protect Him, to integrate environmental issues into its plans and development goals in line with the national strategy to protect the environment in order to achieve a balance between reaching high-level scales of development on the sustainability and preservation of the environment.
My country also has been keen to share with the international community its environmental and nature conservancy interests, where it participated in many regional and international conferences on the environment, including the 18th Conference of the Framework on Climate Change held in the sisterly state of Qatar in December 2012. We look forward to participate as well in the 19th Conference to be held in Warsaw in November of this year.
Science and knowledge are considered as common rights for all mankind and the tremendous advances and developments that have been made over the years in applying and using modern technologies have become essential tools of everyday life for human beings within his scientific and intellectual creations. From this point of view, my country worked with steady pace to keep up with the development of knowledge in response to current needs and in anticipation of the future. Thus, it has established numerous councils and centers that encourage researches and developments, knowledge and innovations. The most prominent of these institutions are: the scientific research council, Industrial Innovation Center, National Center for business and the oasis of knowledge, in addition to the Middle East Center for water desalination researches.
My country also continues to set the general outlines for an attractive national strategy for research, development, science and knowledge, as well as the localization of modern technologies as a way to encourage the Omani youth and enable them to be involved in professions and jobs based on science and technologies with all its varieties and applications. In this context, we welcome further cooperation, investment and fruitful partnership with all other centers, universities, institutions and specialized industries in both public and private sectors at national, regional and international levels, and to take advantage of the geographical site of Oman and its viewpoint as a main gateway and a solid bridge of knowledge, production and trade to international markets.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we wish you all success for this session so it can conclude with a realistic and renewed concept and impassioned momentum in line with this era and its development, with endeavors that respect the aspirations of generations and peoples and exert all efforts to achieve them.
Thank you and peace be upon you all.