Mr. President

Allow me to extend to you my warm felicitations and those of the delegation of the Republic of Maldives on your election as President of the Thirty-fifth Session of the General Assembly. We are confident that your vast experience, skill and personal wisdom will guide our deliberations to a fruitful and constructive conclusion.

I should like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to your distinguished predecessor, Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, for his important contribution to the work of this august Assembly during the past year. We certainly will remember for a long time his personal qualities of dedication and impartiality. I sincerely wish him continued success.

I also recognize with gratitude and profound appreciation the dedicated efforts of the Secretary-General Mr. Kurt Waldheim, and my delegation wishes to compliment him for his devotion and the exemplary manner in which he has been discharging the responsibilities of his high Office, as progressively greater, urgent more complex and delicate international issues confront this Assembly, where 154 independent nations are represented.

We are happy to welcome the admission of Zimbabwe and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations as new members. We are particularly delighted to observe by this the growth of this world organization to fulfill its ultimate objective of universality of membership and equality among nations, big or small, powerful or weak, thus, establishing the fundamental principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

We are meeting at a time of increasing tension and anxiety. The problems and challenges which face us today are pressing that we need, more than ever before, a shared responsibility and a high level of political view. The imbalances in the states of affairs which we are experiencing today are leading the world to an intolerable situation and unless we all sincerely join our hands today to eliminate the causes and without the prejudices of nationalism and protectionism, the future generations of mankind will have no choice but to suffer the consequences of our failure.

Mr. President,

We do not lack the wisdom to realize the principles of peace, justice and equality. All these and other noble principles that the human mind has evolved from his sufferings and experiences, are clearly inscribed in the Charter of this great Organization. It is our solemn duty to uphold these principles and to fulfill our commitments to our peoples.

Mr. President,

Peoples and nations today insist on the right to be heard and take active part in shaping the world development, politically and economically. We must not, therefore, allow the politics of strength to dominate our work or policies of suppression to return to penetrate into our ranks. The achievements of freedom, peace and equality which we have been able to foster together must be protected and enhanced further.

It is the dream of everyone of us to live in a world free from wars conflicts and free from poverty, hunger and disease. However, today's events seems to take us far back to an era of anxiety and uncertainty. The armed conflicts between countries as well as the subversive trend of armed interventions are not only undermining the international peace and stability but also inspiring the possibility of devastating consequences especially with the proliferation of nuclear technology and acquisition by states of destructive weapons.

On the other hand, the armament race is bound to continue unless the world community is able to enforce effective measures for disarmament. At the same time the oppressed is bound to fight back his course as long as the aggressor is being supported and comforted by the strong and powerful.

The question of world peace, disarmament, prevention of aggression by one state against another, the elimination of intervention in the internal affairs of one state by another, settlement of international conflicts by peaceful means cannot be solved without the political will of the super powers. The sooner they realize this and act effectively towards this end on the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the safer it will be for mankind.

No longer shall we tolerate any form of colonialism or imperialism. Nor shall we condone any discrimination on the basis of colour, race or creed. We do not look with any degree of favour on the settlement of any problem on the basis of the survival of the strongest. It is on these principles that aspire for solutions to be found by this great Organization.

Mr. President,

The question of Middle East still remains unsolved with Israeli aggression on the Arab territories and peoples continuing. The denial of the rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination on their own land will impede the realization of a just and lasting solution of the issue.

Israeli's recent unilateral decision to illegally annex the city of Jerusalem City into its territory has added serious dimensions to the problem. My delegation wishes to emphasize once again its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self- determination and freedom. No one can now deny the Palestinian question is at the core of the Middle East crisis and that without the equal participation by the Palestinian people, represented by their legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, there can be a just and lasting solution of the crisis. We shall also continue to support the efforts of this Organization to end the Israeli aggression on the Arab territories including Jerusalem.

My delegation, Mr. President, views with anxiety the development in the region of South East Asia and the Indian Ocean. Continuation of the rivalry between the super powers in the region bears the threats of its escalation into conflicts of wider dimensions. We would like to emphasize that an urgent and sincere search for a ground of political compromise is needed. In this context, we do hope that the major military powers would cooperate with the countries of the region in easing the tension as well as the solution of the existing problem. Among these tense issues we would like to make special reference to the issues of Kampuchea and Afghanistan. It is our view that the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs of countries should be upheld, including at times where moral national or other justifications may tempt some of us to violate it. We remain convinced that international peace can be preserved only when the people of every country have the unimpaired freedom to decide their own destiny.

The key to the solution of the existing problems in the region, as we believe, is the removal of the elements of the intervention including the withdrawal of foreign troops and the abandonment of the schemes to install and strengthen foreign military bases. Though we realize the complexity of the current situation we sincerely hope that the countries of the region and other major powers will continue their dialogue towards making the region as a region of peace and a region free from nuclear and proxy conflicts.

Mr. President,

Among the most pressing issues of the world we are disappointed to find the problem of apartheid and racial discrimination. A problem which has taken us too long to solve, and again because there has not been the collective will amongst us to eliminate it. However, with the independence of Zimbabwe and the gleams of freedom spreading down south allowing with the determination of the heroic people of Africa, we hope that this age-old problem will soon be eliminated. We on our part will continue to support the people of South Africa under the leadership of the South West Africa Peoples Organization in their struggle for self determination, freedom and independence for Namibia.

I now come to the international economic situation, which during the past few years has been moving in a direction which make all of us seriously think about the future about our children and the generations to come. The growing gap between the developing and developed countries is a clear evidence of an impeding catastrophe of mass suffering. The awareness by the international community of the dangers have prompted us to start our search for a new international economic order based on justice, equality, inter-dependence and mutual interest. It has become obvious that the existing system of privileges is the source of many disruptions in the world economy and that the new realities of human existence if not of its prosperity demands us to attempt a major change.

Therefore we attach special importance to the recently concluded session of the General Assembly devoted to the problems of economic development. Although the session did not adopt a decision on the launching of global negotiations due to the absence of the political will on the part of some of the developed countries, we are happy to mark that our deliberations here has been a further step towards the fulfillment of the aspirations of the peoples of the world. We hope that during this regular session this organization will be able to successfully complete what we had started and to add new needs and perspectives to these important issues.

Mr. President,

Despite the many disappointing developments in the world political and economic scenes, my country remains consistent in its support to the work of this organization and committed as firmly as ever to the principles enshrined in its Charter. We will extend our fullest support and cooperation to any efforts which will strengthen the role of the United Nations in maintaining peace in the world and restoring the rights of the people and upholding values of human rights, justice and equality.

Thank you.