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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	NEW YORK 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	29/09/86 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	PRESIDENCY OF THE 41ST SESSION OF 
			THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 




Mr. President, Let me first extend to you, Sir, my delegation's most
sincere and heartfelt congratulations on your election to the Presidency
of the 41st Session of the General Assembly. It is a source of pleasure
and pride to have as President an eminent personality from a country with
which Malaysia has always enjoyed warm and brotherly relations. Your
unanimous election as President of this Assembly is a recognition of your
skill and experience as an outstanding diplomat.

2. It is in the same spirit that I express our gratitude to the outgoing
President, Ambassador Jaime De Pinies, for his invaluable contributions
and the impartial and skilful way in which he conducted the 40th Session
of the General Assembly. Ambassador De Pinies' presidency was also of
special significance as it coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the
United Nations.

Mr. President, 

3. For the past several years we have witnessed with increasing concern
the steady decline of the United Nations. Are we to stand by and watch
this organisation sink into an irrelevance that it may never recover from,
or should we not act with the common objective of restoring life and
meaning back to the United Nations? If we are to judge by what was said by
the many important and illustrious world leaders during the 40th
commemorative session held last year, we appear unanimous in our concern
that this organisation should not be allowed to suffer a fate perhaps
similar to its predecessor, the League of Nations. Given the benefit of
hindsight we all know why the League failed and the consequences that
followed. It is perhaps sobering for us to reflect upon the consequences
of a United Nations which is soeroded that it becomes progressively a
meaningless ritual for us to meet here once a year, say our piece, go back
and forget about it until the next session. Unless real constructive steps
are taken to remedy the situation, this downward spiral will continue
until the very existence of the United Nations is put into question. For,
in the final analysis, if this organisation serves no one, why subscribe
to it at all? 

4. For the majority of us, the small, developing nations, a world without
the United Nations is almost unthinkable. In fact, many nations here owe
their independence to the work of the Decolonisation Committee of the
United Nations. To us, the UN transcends mere symbolism. In the UN lies
our hope for a better tomorrow, for justice, peace and stability, and
prosperity for all mankind. It is therefore imperative that the United
Nations should remain relevant, its role enhanced and not made subject to
the interests of individual states or blocs. Despite misgivings that some
may have of the United Nations, let us not forget that the UN can only be
what we all want it to be. The reality is that a few wealthy and powerful
nations have always, inspite of charges of "automatic majorities",
"extreme" and "useless" resolutions, had the edge in shaping the United
Nations. If the organisation falls short of expectations, the
responsibility rests heavier on the shoulders of those same powerful
nations who expect the United Nations to be perhaps a creature in their
own image, serving only certain perceived ends, for certain perceived
interests.

5. To be sure, the responsibility of course, also lies with the smaller
developing countries. Considerations based purely on ideological or
political lines, cannot contribute to meaningful solutions. As small
developing countries, we must remain sensitive to our responsibilities,
just as we would wish the developed and powerful countries, to base their
decisions on the merits of a particular issue, governed by principles
which are central to the ideals of the United Nations. There is a need for
us to temper the majority we enjoy against what is relevant, practical and
realistic. Most importantly, we should not allow ourselves to be proxies,
basing our decisions on ideological attachments or bloc interests, without
regard to the principles involved. There are also some among us who do pay
lip service to these principles, but remain strangely muted, when it suits
them and when these principles are trampled upon. A few among us also
disregard principles, violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty
of weaker smaller states, seeking recourse through arms and military
power. Let us, the small nations, exercise our responsibilities as members
of this organisation with maturity, sobriety and a sense of justice and
fair play.

Mr. President, 

6. It is not coincidental that some of the nations which founded and
pioneered the United Nations, grew more disenchanted with this
organisation in the wake of the increasing membership resulting from
decolonisation. It was then that talks about "tyranny of the majority",
about "automatic" Third World majorities against the interest of certain
nations, began to emerge. At the same time, it also became fashionable, as
it were, in some quarters, to malign and denigrate the United Nations with
charges of "bloated budgets" and "extreme" and "useless" resolutions.

7. Indeed, Mr. President, it is simplistic and even damaging to this
organisation to pretend that the United Nations needs no improvement and
cannot be made more effective. Certainly, over the years, some "fat" has
accumulated which needs to be "trimmed". Its efficacy must be reviewed
periodically in order to enhance its role. But the motive for improving
the UN must always be premised on the precepts enshrined in the
Charter. While the United Nations appears not to have escaped the effects
of a world in recession, to actually attribute the current financial
crisis to late payments by member countries, would be a gross distortion
of facts.

8. The present cash flow crisis has been the result of withholding of
regular contributions to the organisation on the one hand, and an
over-staffed secretariat, on the other. While we commend the efforts of
the Group of 18 to reduce the staff levels in the secretariat and to
rationalise the organisation's administrative and budgetary procedures, we
cannot agree with any rationale that obligatory contributions by any
member country can be withheld in order to force the acceptance of
conditions unilaterally decided by a country's own national
legislature. However unpalatable existing rules and procedures may appear
to be to each member country, any effort to amend such rules must be
undertaken within agreed procedures and in accordance with the system in
place. Any hint or suggestion that a member country, however big or small,
can unilaterally impose conditions, can only bring about difficult
precedents inconsistent with the spirit and Charter upon which the United
Nations was founded. Rules and procedures built around such a basic
concept of the equality of states, must not be tempered with, for this has
been one of the fundamental pillars upon which the United Nations was
established. What ever our dissatisfaction may be with the United Nations,
membership in the organisation requires us to accept certain basic
principles and to operate in accordance with agreed ground rules. The
issue is not control through majority voting rights. It is rather the time
consuming and painstaking process of seeking understanding and consensus
to resolve problems that face the general membership.

Mr. President, 

9. While we hear so much criticism of the ineffectiveness of the UN from
certain quarters, they remain strangely muted on some issues where the UN
has indeed failed - failed not due to lack of trying, but failed simply
because of obstacles which render many United Nations resolutions on the
seissues unimplementable. Simply put they failed because of the attitude
of the big powers.

10. We are outraged that inspite of our efforts for so many years to bring
an end to the system of apartheid in South Africa, it still exists,
flaunting every concept and principle of human decency. None of us deny
that morally what is happening in South Africa is totally
indefensible. Yet it exists because a few rich and powerful nations, that
can do most to dismantle it, will not participate in any meaningful way to
end this diabolical system. These nations, who, while on the one hand
condemn apartheid, on the other continue to give it sustenance by refusing
to abandon policies based on "constructive engagement" and "gentle
persuasion" which have clearly failed. Yet these same nations have been
known to apply naval blockades when solving their own problems.

11. Apartheid is a system which has institutionalised racism for the
purpose of establishing and maintaining domination of a white minority
over a black majority. Recent developments in South Africa prove beyond
any doubt that Pretoria will not be persuaded to abandon its policy of
apartheid. Indeed, the regime is categorically and adamantly committed to
maintaining and enforcing apartheid. Therefore, to further pursue a policy
such as "constructive engagement" will only mean sending wrong signals to
Pretoria.

12. The way forward now is to embark seriously on sanctions. There have
been arguments from certain countries that sanctions are ineffective and
will only impose economic hardships on the front-line states and worsen
the situation for the blacks in South Africa. It is admitted that
sanctions would not be painless for neighbouring African states and the
blacks in South Africa. But surely the indignities that they have suffered
for so long under apartheid is incomparably more painful? Besides if we
are really determined there is a lot that we can do to alleviate this
suffering and to bring about quicker results.

13. The blacks in South Africa and the front-line states realise what they
are in for. The colonial powers had so structured the economy of these
states so as to render them completely dependent on South
Africa. Retaliation by the Pretoria regime is thus easy and effective. It
is made even more effective by the willingness of South Africa to sabotage
lines of communication, particularly of the land- locked states. In this
South Africa is being helped by rebels nurtured by certain countries.

14. The Non-Aligned Summit in Harare decided upon the setting up of a
Solidarity Fund for Southern Africa. But the support of the Western World
and Japan is necessary if the aid is to have any substance or
effect. During the blockade of Berlin a vast airlift was organised to
break the blockade. South Africa's counter-blockade must be broken in the
same way and with the same determination by the rest of the freedom loving
world.

15. Sooner or later this travesty of a Government that sits in Pretoria
and its hateful apartheid policy must go. Let us all help to make it go
sooner rather than later. Let us be determined to give every help by
blockading South Africa and helping to ensure that supplies and aid reach
the front-line countries.

16. It is time that countries which profess lofty principles and are ever
ready to condemn and even subvert third world countries for alleged
suppression of freedom translate into action what they preach. South
Africa must be freed. Namibia must be returned to its people on the basis
of Security Council Resolution 435 without any "linkage". It is
unacceptable that Namibians should be held hostage because of the
so-called "misdeeds" of a totally different nation.

Mr. President, 

17. The Palestinian question is another issue that this organisation has
failed to make any impact on, despite the fact that this subject has
appeared regularly on the agenda almost since the founding of the United
Nations. The inability to resolve this central issue has resulted in the
whole of the Middle East region remaining in a constant state of turmoil.

18. The problem of Palestine began with the creation of Israel, at the
expense of dispossessing the people of Palestine. Since Israel owes its
existence through a decision of the United Nations in 1948, and that
decision was honoured and upheld by the big powers, it is incumbent upon
these same powers, if not Israel, to honour and uphold subsequent UN
resolutions on the same issue.

19. The clock cannot be turned back and we have to accept the reality. So
too are the Palestinian people, a reality with their own history, their
own traditions, culture and national identity. It is also a reality that
the Palestinians have been reduced to a nation of refugees, who, for two
generations, have been born in refugee camps: hounded, persecuted, bombed
and vilified.

20. We are actually witnessing a holocaust inflicted on the Palestinian
people. Israel, on the one hand, is given what amounts to carte blanche to
do whatever it likes, through the support and protection of super-powers,
which are in a position to frustrate any attempt by the international
community for a solution based on justice. It is obvious that, in the
absence of an even handed policy by the superpowers, the United Nations
will be unable to act. Israel's borders will continue to expand, annexing
Arab lands as it wishes, and any action that Israel takes, however
horrendous, will be justified in terms of safeguarding its national
security.

21. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, have no legitimate recourse
as Israel, given the limited resources at their disposal. At the same
time, they have to confront a hostile media which is dominated by the
Zionists. The Palestinians, therefore, unlike the Israelis, have to fight
all odds in their struggle for their rights and identity. In the process,
the Palestinians have always been condemned by the world while ignoring
the fact that Israel itself is a product of terrorism, that its unceasing
intimidation, harassment and victimisation of Arabs in the occupied
territories and elsewhere, is purely and simply a policy based on
terrorism.

22. Since we are on the subject of terrorism, Mr. President, let me state
categorically that my country joins the international community in
condemning terrorism. It is
indeed significant that the United Nations was able to adopt a resolution,
by consensus, against terrorism. Our concern must cover acts of terrorism
by governments. While we should not be selective in our condemnation of
terrorism, let us not ignore the fact that policies such as those
practised by Israel are based on terror and invite retaliation based on
the same psychology of terror. If we are to condemn and act against
terrorism, let us not be selective, nor must we resort to it as a
counter-measure.

Mr. President, 

23. In many of the major crises that confront the world, the majority of
states are reduced to being bystanders, powerless to act or influence ,
save perhaps by our moral outrage and our pleas and appeals. Even in some
cases of seemingly limited and local conflicts the hand of a greater actor
is thinly veiled, fueling the conflict. Our inability to act is even more
circumscribed when a big power is involved, and openly ignores all the
basic tenets of the United Nations Charter. But, as small developing
states, we must, nevertheless, continue to raise our voices against any
instances when important principles such as the national sovereignty and
territorial integrity of states are violated and ignored. We, the small
nations, are all potential victims.

24. The case of Afghanistan, Mr. President, serves as an example. An
independent, sovereign nation is invaded and occupied by one of the most
powerful countries in the world. For the Soviet Union, a permanent member
of the Security Council, one of the countries that we are expected to
entrust questions of world peace and security, to perpetrate such an act,
cannot but leave us all in a state of permanent fear. We can never accept
what has happened in Afghanistan as a fait accompli. We must continue to
condemn the Soviet action and that of its puppets: just as the majority of
the people of Afghanistan, despite the terrible odds, continue to fight
and resist the aggression.

25. Similarly, the international community should never acquiesce to
Vietnam's invasion of Kampuchea. Indeed, the international community has
repeatedly affirmed its condemnation of Vietnam, but nevertheless, that
country persists in its intransigence in rejecting all efforts for a
peaceful solution. This is indeed an arrogant attitude, made no less so
because of the firm backing that Vietnam has been getting from a
superpower. It is ironic that Vietnam, which was itself subjected to a
long struggle against foreign do mination, should now seek to impose its
domination on a small, weak neighbour.

26. Just as we stand behind the Mujahideens in Afghanistan, so too, must
we stand by the people of Kampuchea in their valiant struggle. While
Malaysia and the ASEAN countries hail the efforts of the Kampuchean
resistance under the leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, we have always
encouraged a negotiated solution. It is in this context that we urge
Vietnam to reconsider its rejection of the eight-point proposal put
forward by the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea.

27. Malaysia believes the eight-point proposal contains the elements for a
constructive framework of negotiations which can lead to a comprehensive
and peaceful solution as it is premised on a policy of national
reconciliation which includes all parties. The proposals also provide for
free elections in which all parties can take part. Surely this is a just
and workable proposal in consonant with the principles of
self-determination and the United Nations. However, Vietnam seems intent
on rejecting everything other than its own military solution.

28. In Central America, Mr. President, the super-powers and their proxies
are just as active, trying to shape governments and countries in their own
images through subversions and through provoking and directing
rebellions. Is the majority in this organisation wrong when it condemns
such acts? If there is an "automatic" majority, isn't there also a
tendency on the part of the big powers to automatically use their brute
strength when they dislike the stand of the majority? 

Mr. President, 

29. One of the many intractable issues confronting us is that of
disarmament - an issue which this organisation has been grappling with for
many years. It is obvious that the problem of disarmament cannot be
effectively addressed unless major powers are resolved to negotiate a halt
to the proliferation and the eventual elimination of the nuclear
arsenals. Already we have accumulated enough nuclear devices to destroy
the world. Even if we decide to dispose of them, we cannot. We have
already condemned ourselves to permanent fear of radiation and
destruction. Doomsday may be nearer than we think.

30. It is indeed a horrifying prospect that the survival of mankind should
be dependent on a "Balance of Terror". Malaysians are called
"barbarians" because we hang convicted white criminals for drug offences,
as we hang others for the same crime. What do we call people who threaten
to wipe out the whole human race in fulfillment of their war strategy.

31. The cause of peace cannot be served by wasting scarce resources on
nuclear arms. If the super powers stop their nuclear build-up we will not
ask them to spend their savings on eradicating poverty, hunger and
disease. They can spend it on themselves, by all means, for even that is
better than the useless manufacture of these terrible indestructible
weapons.

Mr. President, 

32. Since our last UN General Assembly session in 1985, the world economic
situation has deteriorated tremendously. We are meeting in New York today
at a time of severe adversity in the economic field, for almost all
developing countries. The undermining of the economies of developing
countries, in recent months, is unprecedented in scope. The debt burdens
of developing countries is now at its highest level while the terms of
trade for us are getting worse and worse.

33. We do not want to blame the rich countries for all our woes but the
fact remains that it is their action that is at the bottom of our
unprecedented economic crisis.

34. Let us take the national debts as an example. When the seven rich
countries had trade imbalances, their solution was to force the
revaluation of the Yen and the Deutschmark. Many countries of Southeast
Asia borrow Yen extensively. The appreciation of the Yen alone has
increased Malaysia's Japanese debts by sixty percent. Other countries are
even worse off.

35. If the problem is massive Japanese imports into North America and
Europe, it would have caused less damage to the poor countries if very
high import duties are imposed. But Yen revaluation which has caused havoc
to our economy has done nothing to limit imports of Japanese goods into
North America or Europe.

36. The developing countries all depend on commodity exports to earn
foreign exchange. Now all commodities are experiencing very low prices,
some falling by more than sixty percent. A combination of factors has
brought about this across the board price depression.

37. Firstly, new technology has rendered the traditional raw materials
irrelevant. Either new and cheaper materials are substituted, as when
glass fibre replaces copper wire in telecommunications, or the quantities
used are so much reduced that the raw material as an input is
irrelevant. At the same time, new technology has also immensely increased
production of raw materials.

38. A glut situation then arises and becomes aggravated when the rich
countries subsidised the production and sale of their commodities. The
poor countries can never subsidise to the level of the rich and they lose
all their traditional markets.

39. If, in the past, the terms of trade were such that we had to sell more
and more commodities in order to pay for less and less manufactured goods,
now we cannot even sell more commodities to pay for the even more
expensive manufactured goods. And Governments find it increasingly
difficult to earn sufficient foreign currency to pay their debts.

40. The collapse of commodity prices results in a chain reaction whereby
all economic activities are slowed or forced to a standstill. As usual, it
is at such times that creditors become predators.

41. How then can we honestly say that the rich developed countries are not
to be blamed for our economic miseries? How can we look at future meetings
of the seven richest industrialised countries with
equanimity? Mr. President, 42. There is also at the moment an inadequate
international monetary and financial system. Sovereign nations are no
longer masters of their own currency. Speculators including banks can push
currencies up or down at will. Indeed, trading in goods has been displaced
by trading in currencies. The situation is anarchic and serious-minded
people must find a new monetary regime that is more orderly if the
problems of the debtor and creditor nations are to be resolved.

43. Mr. President, in the first place creditor countries should assist in
increasing the rate of growth in the indebted countries.There should be a
reduction of interest rates, stabilisation of the exchange rates,
reduction of budget deficits, planned recovery in the major developed
countries and increasing market access for exports of developing
countries.

44. In addition, international financial institutions should provide the
funds to meet the requirements of long term development projects in
developing countries besides short term financing. It is here that the UN
and UN agencies have a major role to play.

Mr. President, 


45. Malaysia has very recently taken the initiative in promoting economic
co-operation among developing countries by hosting the Second
International South-South Conference or South-South II, in Kuala
Lumpur. Many Third World economists, scholars and statesmen met and
discussed the world economic situation and the approach towards improving
the economic situation of developing countries. We cannot accept that the
rich seven should have the exclusive right to foist their own solutions to
the world's economic problems. Already their exchange rate approach has
impoverished us further. An Independent Commission of the South has
therefore been set up under the chairmanship of former President Julius
Nyerere to examine and propose practical measures for us to take. We hope
the United Nations and member countries will help this Commission in every
way possible.

Mr. President, 

46. Malaysia wishes to join other developing countries in calling the
developed countries to address in a just and equitable manner the various
issues facing the international economy so as to ensure a stable and
sustained international economic growth, as well as foster an
international trading and financial system responsive to the needs of and
be of benefit to all nations. It is in this spirit that Malaysia welcomed
the recent launching of the New Round of Multi-lateral Trade Negotiations
in Punta del Este this September.

Mr. President, 

47. A major issue confronting us that requires urgent attention is the
international drug problem. Its modern-day manifestations including the
subjugation of whole nations amplifies the need for concrete and decisive
international action to overcome this threat. Malaysia therefore welcomes
the convening of the International Conference on Abuse of Drugs and
Illicit Trafficking in June next year. This opportunity should not be
wasted. We should pool all our resources and combine all our efforts to
remove this scourge that is sapping the vitality of our nations.

48. In Malaysia we are fully commited to combat the drug menace in all its
manifestations with every resource that is available to us. We have and
will continue to hang pushers and traffickers in accordance with our laws
irrespective of colour or creed. We would rather be 'unpopular' in certain
quarters than be hypocritical. It is only when criminals of this kind know
that they will not live to enjoy their ill-gotten gains, that they will
stop. The death penalty is primarily a just punishment for such criminals,
for only death will stop these purveyors of misery and death.

49. For us the battle has barely begun. The international community must
declare an all out war against drug abuses and trafficking in the deadly
substances. The International Conference on Drugs should not only come out
with a definite plan of action but also a firm political commitment by all
participating nations, at the highest political level, to do their
utmost. No stones should be left unturned and no avenues should be left
unexplored in our war against this menace. We would like to see such
political commitment expressed in a 'joint-statement' or
'declaration'. This will be above and in addition to the Comprehensive
Multidisciplinary Outline of Actions. We view such an expression of
political willingness as essential for a successful implementation of the
actions that we have mapped.

50. Once there is political commitment then the source of drugs must be
attacked with every available weapon, wherever it may be. A full scale war
must be waged and that war must be internationalised. The fight to destroy
production is too big and too costly for any of the producer countries to
wage alone.

Mr. President, 

51. I am pleased with the interest shown by you and the support that is
given by this Assembly on the issue of Antarctica. This positive
commitment by the UN strengthens Malaysia's and other like-minded
countries will to continue to pursue the objective of an Antarctica that
is for all mankind, and not for an exclusive few.

52. The importance of Antarctica to mankind is beyond dispute. It is for
this reason that we can never yield to pressure mounted by certain
quarters in order that we relent and renege on our commitment. Antarctica
should be under an internationally accepted regime and managed for the
benefit of all mankind. We remain committed to working towards these
objectives with all interested parties including the Consultative Parties
to the Antarctica Treaty.

53. There was no consensus last year inspite of our efforts. The
Consultative Parties had chosen to remain adamant and indifferent to the
sincere wishes of the majority.

54. What we sought was merely more information and an updated and expanded
study on Antarctica, more information on the mineral regime negotiations,
and a follow-up response from the Consultative Parties concerning United
Nations General Assembly call for exclusion of South Africa from
participation in the ATCP. Yet, this reasonableness and moderation proved
unacceptable.

55. We do not seek confrontation. Neither do we desire to threaten the
security and interests of the Consultative Parties, nor do we wish to
destroy the framework that the Consultative Parties have built. What we
want is an internationally accepted system of management over Antarctica
that caters for the interests of mankind in its entirety. What we are
after is improvement over the present situation which is deficient and
inclined towards exclusivity, and therefore not in harmony with
international aspirations.

56. We are very clear and very conscious of our commitment. We should not
falter in seeking out the objectives that we set out with in
1982. Non-cooperation and non-participation by the Consultative Parties
will not deter us from pursuing those objectives. It is the prerogative of
the Consultative Parties to either opt in or opt out, but for us the
decision is made. We therefore call upon the Consultative Parties to work
with us towards attaining those universal objectives.

57. In conclusion, Mr. President, I wish to reaffirm Malaysia's support
and commitment to the United Nations. If the organisation is to continue
contributing to world peace and the progress of all nations, big and
small, we must live up to our obligations and responsibilities to the
United Nations. Just as the major powers must not expect the United
Nations merely to serve them, so too must the developing countries be
guided by the same principle. It must be revitalised and allowed to serve
all mankind. The major powers have a particular responsibility in
preserving the role of the United Nations for they will always have the
edge in making or breaking the UN. Even for them what alternative is
there? Perhaps, only a return to unilateralism and an alliance system with
its attendant dangers.

I thank you, Mr. President. 
 
 



 
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