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2017-09-20 at 19h42

Portugal wants the UN more capable of promoting peace and prosperity

The Prime-Minister, António Costa, confirmed Portugal’s support to the priorities defined by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, to the organization, on his speech during the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, in New York.

The Prime-Minister referred the need of "a stronger United Nations, which offers greater solidarity and is capable of preventing conflicts, alleviating human suffering and promoting peace and prosperity".

"And also a more transparent United Nations, more effective, and more adaptable to a constantly changing world", he added.

António Costa welcomed and supported "the dynamism that, since the start of his mandate, António Guterres instilled in reforming the United Nations system, so that it may better fulfil its noble purpose", because "only United Nations holds a universal vocation to respond, in concert with member States, to the increasingly complex challenges or our time".

"Reforming the architecture of peace and security is an absolute priority" and shall consolidate a culture that prevents conflict. This culture "requires action across the board and an integrated vision of the three pillars of the United Nations system: peace, human rights and sustainable development".

The Prime Minister said that "achieving sustainable peace will require greater synergies in the Organization's structures", and that it should be given "a fresh impetus to the reform of the Security Council to ensure a better representation of today's world".

"The African continent cannot be denied a permanent presence, and Brazil and India are also two inescapable examples", he stressed out.

Diplomacy for peace

The Prime-Minister referred that "the Secretary General has elected diplomacy for peace as one of the main flags of his mandate", meaning that the "this idea must guide us when we react, as international community, to the conflicts and crisis that regrettably occur today in various parts of the world".

In this context, "one of the clearest priorities of Portuguese foreign policy is the participation in peacekeeping operations and institution building within the framework of the United Nations, paying particular attention to partner ships between Europe and Africa".

António Costa also said "peace and sustainable development are built on respect for the rights and dignity of the human person".

"Portugal defends a human rights diplomacy", he referred, remembering that Portugal celebrates "150 years of the abolition of the death penalty", and the country has been "pioneer in this cause and will continue to stand for the universal abolition of capital punishment".

Preserving the planet

The Prime-Minister said that "For peace and development to be truly sustainable, we must show respect for our common home and for future generations" because "protect and to preserve the planet is to nurture peace and prevent potential new conflicts caused by competition in access to diminishing resources".

The Paris Agreement "is a milestone in reducing the impacts of climate change" and "Portugal will comply with the European Union's voluntary commitment to reduce 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and will contribute to the Green Climate Fund meant to help developing countries to adapt to climate change".

In the Agenda 2030, concerning Sustainable Development Goals, António Costa stressed out "the preservation and enhancement of marine resources".

"In our view, the sustainability of the oceans requires a strengthening of their governance. For this reason, we believe that the General Assembly should formally decide on the beginning of the negotiations, starting in 2018, of a new legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction", he concluded.

Prime minister