NICKOLAY E. MLADENOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, said the world faced a complicated web of challenges, but also opportunities. Examples included the challenge to address climate change by creating opportunities for sustainable development, the challenge of developing an ethical market economy with opportunities that will emerge from reducing poverty and the challenge of reducing ethnic conflicts with the opportunities that came from good governance and democracy. The most paramount challenge would be to prove wrong all who believed the world was heading for an irresolvable clash of civilizations because none of today’s global challenges could be faced without respect for different opinions, dialogue and adherence to global values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals remained off track, he continued, but their attainment was still within reach. Close coordination of partners, avoiding duplications and aiming to address the root causes of problems was needed to be effective, and the United Nations would remain vital in that effort. The current global economic crisis was dangerous, but gave a chance to put economies on a sustainable and low-carbon path. There was increased demand and pressure on international humanitarian efforts. He called on all to strengthen efforts assisting people in flood-hit Pakistan, and for Governments to help remove barriers to assist the Pakistani economy to recover. But successful development and humanitarian efforts also require a stable environment and, closer to Bulgaria, Europe would not be whole until neighbours were part of the Union. Bulgaria believed its role was to contribute to reconciliation, and Europe must commit to bringing the Western Balkans, who also had to commit to difficult reforms to strengthen regional cooperation.
All Members should stand firmly behind efforts of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to achieve peace, recognizing legitimate concerns on both sides – Israel’s security and the viability of a Palestinian state. Gaza had to be opened without compromising the security of Israel. Bulgaria also believed that every nation had to put a strengthened NPT at the centre of their national diplomacy to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. He said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could not leave its obligations to the Treaty without consequences. Justified concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme also remained, and Bulgaria called on Iran to deploy confidence-building measures, while it was important to find a diplomatic solution.
He also appealed for the prompt finalization of negotiations to reach a comprehensive convention to counter terrorism and action against piracy, calling for a firm international legal framework to try suspected pirates, coordinated efforts to protect shipping and addressing poverty, isolation and lack of opportunity at the root of piracy. Finally, he said that comprehensive security rested on robust partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations, and there needed to be a resolution at the General Assembly regarding the European Union’s representation. To effectively tackle challenges of tomorrow, we must continuously adapt and improve the United Nations system. Bulgaria declared itself in favour of enlargement of the Security Council’s permanent and non-permanent members.