Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
Statement Before the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly
New York City, New York
September 24, 2001
Dear Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This session of the United Nations General Assembly has begun its work under
tragic circumstances. These days, the entire civilized world shares the grief
of the American people. We also mourn for all those who fell victim to terrorists
in different parts of the globe. In the modern interrelated and interdependent
world of the globalization era, the pain of bereavement is our common feeling,
regardless of where a terrorist attack may occur.
The recent tragedy bears dramatic evidence that the sweeping changes in all
spheres of life of the modern society, generated by globalization, may entail
both positive and negative consequences for mankind.
On the one hand, the danger of global nuclear confrontation has become a thing
of the past, while new advances in science and technology and rapid expansion
of world trade and economic relations create prerequisites for the sustainable
development of all mankind. On the other hand, the benefits of globalization
have turned out to be simply inaccessible for most states, and the gap between
the most developed and the least developed countries continues to grow rapidly.
Finally, the world has encountered new threats and challenges, such as aggressive
separatism, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking, in addition to international
Under these circumstances, the international community is facing the grand task
of giving an adequate and, what is most important, a collective response to
the challenges of our time. There is an urgent need to develop a joint action
strategy which could make use of globalization for a just and fair resolution
of the key problems that mankind is facing and for strengthening universal security.
In this context, we subscribe to the idea, voiced in the report of the Secretary-General
on the Work of the Organization, that it is necessary to strengthen and enhance
the role of the United Nations as an indispensable instrument for maintaining
international peace and security and for mobilizing people of the world against
new, unprecedented threats.
With its firm commitment precisely to this approach in shaping a new world order,
the Russian Federation advocates the adoption of collective measures that would
make globalization processes manageable and therefore secure. Each state should
see for itself that the results of globalization can indeed contribute to its
prosperity and well-being.
An efficient globalization management mechanism should be comprehensive and
should cover all areas: from the political and military to the humanitarian.
The Russian Federation is open for closest cooperation with other States with
a view to attaining this objective which is of primary importance for the future
In fighting new dangers, of which international terrorism is no doubt the greatest
one, the main objective is to set up a global system to counteract new threats
and challenges. Such a system should integrate relevant multilateral interaction
mechanisms, including early warning and prevention of emerging threats, and
resolute and adequate reaction to any of their manifestations within the framework
of international law and under the coordinating leadership of the United Nations.
As far as the political sphere is concerned, we have in mind the comprehensive
implementation of the decisions of the Millennium Summit and Assembly made here
a year ago, primarily those concerning the establishment of a just and violence-free
democratic world order serving the interests and aspirations of all states and
peoples. This can only be achieved if all countries are equal before the World
Law based on the UN Charter and other fundamental principles and rules of international
law, and hold them sacred.
It is the strengthening and not erosion of international law and order that
should prevail in the era of globalization. Just as a democratically viable
state can only be built on a solid legislative foundation, more robust international
legal norms are required for a new world order to take shape.
Developing a kind of international law that is sensitive to the changing world
calls for joint coordinated efforts, while any unilateral actions in a world
where destinies of countries, peoples and individuals are getting increasingly
intertwined will only erode the rule of law, thus compromising the international
community's capacity to efficiently address emerging and ever more dangerous
A state's prestige among the nations should be measured not by its military
or economic might, but rather by its ability to responsibly fulfill its international
In the military sphere, the priority task is to strengthen strategic stability
as the critical component of international security. We appreciate the Secretary-General's
concern, expressed in the report, over the continuing growth of global military
expenditures and the low level of international cooperation in disarmament.
Fully aware of its role in ensuring international security, the Russian Federation
has put forward a detailed realistic program to enhance strategic stability
and expedite the disarmament process. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir
Putin has called upon the five nuclear powers and Permanent Members of the UN
Security Council to initiate a consultation process on nuclear disarmament and
We reaffirm our proposal to the United States on a coordinated reduction of
strategic offensive weapons down to 1,500 nuclear warheads for each party by
the year 2008, possibly followed by further reduction. It should be recalled
that in 1990, i.e. as of the end of the Cold War, the aggregate strategic nuclear
arsenals of the USSR and the USA alone amounted to 20,834 warheads. This initiative,
if implemented, would both help consolidate global stability and significantly
boost the joint efforts to build a new strategic relationship between Russia
and the United States.
This would also be an unprecedented breakthrough in nuclear disarmament and
a strong incentive to enhance the regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and to make the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty universal.
Preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space forms an important part
of the set of measures designed to ensure strategic stability. It is our common
duty before succeeding generations to keep outer space peaceful through joint
Russia invites the world community to start working out a comprehensive agreement
on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space and on the non-use or threat
of force against space objects. In particular, the agreement could contain the
- outer space should be used in conformity with international law in the interests
of maintaining peace and security;
- an obligation not to place in the orbit around the Earth any objects carrying
any kinds of weapons, not to install such weapons on celestial bodies or station
such weapons in outer space in any other manner;
- an obligation not to use or threaten to use force against space objects;
- a provision establishing a verification mechanism overseeing the implementation
of the agreement on the basis of confidence-building measures and transparency
in outer-space matters.
As the first practical step in this direction, a moratorium could be declared
on the deployment of weapons in outer space pending a relevant international
agreement. Russia would be willing to make such a commitment immediately, provided
that the other leading space powers join this moratorium.
In addition to the "traditional" disarmament agenda, the era of globalization
brings along new challenges to international security, thus raising the number
of states involved in disarmament. This includes, among other things, non-proliferation
of missile technologies, elimination of chemical and non-development of bacteriological
weapons, and blocking the channels of illegal trafficking in small arms and
In a word, a great deal of disarmament-related issues have piled up that call
for a thorough and comprehensive discussion. To that end, the Fourth Special
Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament appears to be the most appropriate
forum, and the Russian Federation actively supports the idea of convening it.
It is clear that the practical implementation of these initiatives will require
a responsible and delicate handling of the 1972 ABM Treaty as well as of the
whole package of multilateral and bilateral treaties and agreements concluded
within the last few decades and constituting the legal framework of the extremely
sophisticated disarmament architecture. We have noted that the report of the
Secretary-General encourages the continuation of consultations on these issues
aimed at preventing a new arms race.
In peacemaking, special attention should be given to the introduction of a conflict-prevention
culture into international practices. The Russian Federation supports the main
ideas of the UN Secretary-General's special report on this matter. We are convinced
that ensuring the UN's central role in the international peacemaking efforts
meets the long-term interests of all states. This will certainly call for modernizing
the UN peacemaking capacity and providing the Organization with adequate human
and financial resources. A lot remains to be done to ensure better preparation
and implementation of peacemaking operations, as well as their more rapid deployment.
In our opinion, this task could be facilitated through intensifying the work
of the UN Security Council Military Staff Committee. It would help if a broad
range of states that supply peacemaking forces joined its activities.
There is no time to lose. With acute crises in various parts of the globe posing
a real threat to the international security, rapid and concerted action is needed.
In this respect, the events in the Middle East and the Balkans cause particular
When seeking to resolve crisis situations, we cannot remain oblivious to their
underlying causes. As a rule, especially where the African continent is concerned,
crises have their origin in social and economic problems. This is another solid
reason for the international community to address without delay the social and
economic aspects of globalization.
The peculiarities of regional crises, noted by the Secretary-General, such as
the expanding sources of their funding and the availability of a tremendous
choice of weapons, are in tune with the initiative put forward by President
Vladimir Putin addressing the need to cut off external sources of conflict support.
Globalization has greatly broadened the horizons of international cooperation
in the economic sphere by providing unparalleled opportunities for the movement
of goods, capital and services. Sophisticated industries have emerged in various
parts of the world and intellectual labor has become the determining factor
of progress. However, has this benefited everyone? Have famine and illiteracy
been eradicated from the world? Definitely not. Rich states have really got
richer by reaping the fruits of globalization, whereas poor states have found
themselves even poorer.
If the current trend persists and wealth keeps building up on one pole only,
the other one will see an inevitable rise of social tension and political extremism.
The only way to prevent this is to enhance the social component of globalization
and put an end to discrimination in international economic relations. The new
round of WTO trade talks should work out more balanced rules of world trade.
They are to reflect the legitimate interests of all countries, including those
that are about to join the WTO, and provide an opportunity to ensure a more
even development of their national economies. Furthermore, it is of vital importance
for relevant international agencies to develop mechanisms allowing to forecast
and rapidly address international financial crises. Cooperation should be expanded
between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions and other international
financial and economic organizations.
The international community should also make a wider and concerted use of its
capacities to alleviate the situation in the least developed countries. In spite
of all its domestic problems, Russia takes concrete steps in this direction,
particularly in what concerns debt relief and broader access for the least developed
countries to the Russian market.
The formation of a global information space epitomizes the world integration
processes. In recent years, Internet access has become an essential feature
of our homes and offices. We can now follow the live coverage of world events
as they unfold.
At the same time, the information space has become a popular target for various
extremist forces. The threat of cyber-terrorism is growing. Censorship has been
replaced by a no less dangerous evil, that of information wars capable of destabilizing
the situation not only in an individual state but in an entire region.
All of this directly jeopardizes the freedom of speech and the right of citizens
to truthful information. Therefore, concrete steps are required to strengthen
international information security. With the direct participation of Russia,
this issue has already been a subject of detailed discussion in the United Nations.
Now, we should move on towards concrete coordinated measures in this field.
Environmental problems are presently as relevant for human survival as military
ones. Our future depends on the state of the environment; therefore, its preservation
is our common challenge and high responsibility. Russia reaffirms its commitment
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.
On the whole, climate-related issues require a comprehensive approach. Taking
this into account, Russia has proposed to convene a World Conference on Climate
Change in 2003 that would bring together governments, business and academic
communities as well as civil society. We view this forum in the context of the
Kyoto process. We expect the Conference to make an important scientific and
economic contribution to its progressive development.
Globalization has greatly expanded the opportunities in the humanitarian field.
The very concept of "human rights" has ceased to be an exclusively
internal affair of states and has acquired a universal value. The Secretary-General
notes that "today, universal ideas - the sovereignty of the people, accountability
of leaders, individual rights, and the rule of law - are spreading around the
world. Yet there is no guarantee that these values will not be reversed, and
that some nations will not once again succumb to tyranny and oppression."
Like other states, Russia strongly condemns gross violations of human rights
in any part of the globe. At the same time, we are firmly convinced that the
international community should respond to humanitarian crises exclusively based
on the solid foundation of law and legitimacy, proceeding from the UN Charter.
It is imperative to observe the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity
of states and the prerogatives of the UN Security Council to authorize the use
of force, as appropriate.
Looming large in the era of globalization is the threat that culture and art
will cease to address the true aspirations of the human soul and will be largely
reduced to consumerism. It is important, we are firmly convinced, that in the
21st century, not less than in any other time, a European or an Asian, an American
or an African should preserve their identity rather than get lost in a faceless
crowd fraught with a disastrous release of uncontrolled energy.
An unbiased analysis of globalization results in a simple conclusion that this
process should be manageable. Hence an urgent need to have a single center that
could coordinate national, regional and international efforts in this direction.
The privilege of being such a center by right belongs to the United Nations.
The universal nature of the world Organization, its wealth of experience in
multilateral cooperation, its considerable resources and organizing capacities
enable it to fulfill the most complicated tasks with regard to making globalization
serve all members of the international community.
In fulfilling its functions, the United Nations should adequately meet the challenges
of time, constantly strengthen its operational potential and enhance the effectiveness
of its actions. This is precisely what we see as the purpose of the UN reform
process which should be continued on the basis of the broadest agreement among
all member states.
Dear Mr. President,
Globalization compresses space and time, and makes the world an ever smaller
place. Today, we are charged with an immense responsibility before the succeeding
generations: we should strengthen the positive trends of globalization and use
them only in such a way that would benefit the entire human race. We are convinced
that, by jointly achieving this goal, we will be able to build a truly safe,
stable and prosperous world in the 21st century.