Mr. President of the UN General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Your Majesties, Presidents,
Prime Ministers and Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have gathered once again to discuss the situation in the world, to point out issues our countries are faced with as well as their views regarding the world we live in. The President of the General Assembly proposed a topic for the debate, a topic which – in my view – perfectly reflects the current circumstances as well as the tasks arising from them.
What is the world we are debating about like? It is a globalised world – for sure. An interlinked and interdependent world – no doubt about it. A world of significant differences and measurable dangers – most definitely. In a nutshell, it is a world which practically no longer faces regional problems and crises since each issue – however regional it may appear to us – has global consequences.
It is a world where developed and the most developed countries still prevail while developing countries are hopelessly lagging behind, fighting famine, impossibility to provide education for their citizens and lack even basic health care.
Can we be satisfied with this kind of a world? I can answer with no hesitation whatsoever: we cannot!
It is a world where many, both countries and groups who choose terror as means of action, resort to force to attain their goals. It is true that bloc confrontation is over as well as the balance of fear among superpowers, but our world has hardly become any safer since and peace has not become more stable at all.
Can we be satisfied with this kind of a world? Again I can answer with no hesitation whatsoever: we cannot!
Finally, it is a world still dominated by an economic model which is obviously past its time, which has turned into a generator of crises that cause suffering to thousands and hundreds of thousands of people. Trying to save this outdated model at any cost, persistently defending a system based upon greed and devoid of any social consideration worth mentioning can result in nothing but social unrest which can escalate into social protests on a global scale.
Can we accept such prospects? My answer is adamantly resolute: we cannot and we must not!
It is up to us to assume an enormous task and create a new world order – not go back to anything we have had, but rather create something new, an order which will ultimately ensure a decent life for everyone, truly provide equal opportunities for all and which will not consider those living in poverty through no fault of their own and those reaching the end of their life’s journey – useless and hence unworthy of any kind of support.
It is up to us to demonstrate more determination than ever in fighting all prejudices, in combating discrimination on any grounds, it is up to us to say “no” to intolerance and to promote not just the idea, but also the practice of multilateralism and the dialogue of civilisations. For this is the way, the only way to build world peace and security, to ensure development which is a precondition for permanent and stable peace.
Fortunately, the period of unipolarism, which hid many potential dangers, has come to an end and the world is moving towards multipolarism. Yet the world is still learning that it is dialogue, and dialogue alone, that can help build mutual trust and understanding and is not ready to accept the fact that being different is not a crime and that our future lies only in the unity of diversity – it goes without saying that full equality and respect of human rights must be ensured in line with the UN conventions.
The departure from unipolarism and turning to multipolarism must come jointly with our understanding and accepting that there is a set of universal values we have introduced, but we have not, we will not and we cannot establish a single model of social and economic relations applicable to all. The specificities of different nations and civilisations must be respected for there is no reason why anyone should abandon parts of their cultural heritage or tradition.
And lastly, the world of international peace, security and development cannot become reality without disarmament, and especially without forgoing nuclear weapons. This was the topic of my address this morning at the UN Security Council session. What I wish to add at this point is a well known fact: namely, development problems would be largely solved if huge resources spent on arms were channelled towards development.
I wish to reiterate: we have an enormous task ahead of us.
Let us demonstrate courage and political will to address it. The Republic of Croatia, albeit a small country, is willing to give its contribution. And as for myself, albeit at the end of my ten year term of office and speaking for the last time from this rostrum, I can only say that I shall continue to do my utmost to help achieve this noble cause.
Thank you for your attention.