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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY U WIN AUNG, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND CHAIRMAN OF THE DELEGATION OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR TO THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT
(7 September 2000)
Allow me first of all to extend to you our warmest congratulations on your assumption as the Co-Chairperson of the Millennium Summit. I am fully confident that under your able guidance the Millennium Summit will be able to fulfil the expectations of the world community.
The world we live today is a different world from that of the founders of the United Nations Organization. In the intervening half century the world has witnessed momentous changes � some for the better, some for the worse. We have made huge strides in the field of technology. The world population has surpassed the six billion mark. The world has the ability to feed the teeming billions. However, people living in dire poverty, millions dying of hunger are a common phenomena.
As we enter the new millennium we must strengthen our Organization so that it will be able to cope with new challenges and new realities.
Member countries of the United Nations, each in their own way are trying to bring development to their respective countries. In order to succeed they must choose the path that most suits their needs. They must choose the path that is compatible with the present day realities, taking into consideration their history, their culture and their national ethos. There is no single formula that could be applied to all countries. It would be wrong for powerful countries to impose their systems on others. It would be wrong for the powerful to mould the developing countries in their own image.
In this context, let me once again reiterate that Myanmar is building a genuine and durable democratic system in our own way. While armed conflicts anywhere in the world, once started are difficult to find peaceful solutions, in our country, the flames of conflicts have been extinguished; the guns have been silenced. And yet, there are some who would like to stir up the tranquil waters. Then we have to take preventive measures. We have to respect the will of 50 million people who would like to preserve the hare-won peace, who do not want to see any moves which would lead the nation back to total anarchy and disintegrate into pieces.
While taking preventive measures, the Government handles the situation in a most humane manner. We do no harm to anyone. We do not commit any atrocities.
The Government is taking a constructive path while opposing forces are embarking on a path of destruction. Confrontational and destructive actions could only impede the process of democratization of our country, let alone achieving one.
When we look back to the last century, we see tremendous technological progress brought about by the industrial revolution. This progress had spurred the search for raw materials and new markets resulting in colonialism and imperialism. We see various justifications being given to justify these acts of aggression and hegemonism.
The world is now experiencing another technological revolution � the information technology revolution. The industrial revolution has resulted in the colonization of the peoples of the developing countries. We must make doubly sure that IT revolution do not bring along with it a new form of colonialism. IT revolution has the potential to benefit all mankind. We must make doubly sure that the fruits of the new revolution is available worldwide. We must make sure that the IT revolution do not bring with it alien values incompatible with our culture, our tradition and our national ethos. We must work together so that advancement in technology do not result in a digital divide. We must make sure that the new technology is used to bring goodwill and understanding to all mankind.
With the advent of globalization, many new opportunities are opened to us. At the same time there is a very real possibility that the globalization will result in the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming even more impoverished. At the dawn of the new century it is imperative that we make every effort to eliminate these disparities. In this, we rightfully look to the United Nations to play a leading role.
In all this the role of the United Nations Organization is of paramount importance. We must reform the Organization so that it will be equal to the task. While new changes should be introduced to the Organization there are cardinal principles of the Organization and its Charter that are sacrosanct. Regrettably there are those who would like to weaken these principles which are the cornerstone of our international system to meet their own ambitions and designs. The principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs are cardinal principles which have enabled the world community to live in peace with one another. Therefore, I totally disagree with those who contend that these principles are outdated and that we do not need them in the new century. These are valid in the new century as they were in the old.
It is our hope that this Summit would once again reaffirm the cardinal principles of international conduct. These principles have served us well in the old millennium. They will serve us equally well in the new millennium.