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got a class act up here in both Pickerings, Note: The President spoke at 10:55 a.m. at and I'm delighted that we're here with the U.S. Mission. In his remarks, he referred them today.
to Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Barbara asked me to see how many his wife, Susan Baker; U.S. Representative would confess to being old enough to have to the United Nations Thomas R. Pickering been here in 1971 and '72. There's the little and his wife, Alice Pickering; and Soviet cadre of old folks over here, and they don't Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze. look so old. Wait a minute. (Laughter] Right out here. There's a few.
But I don't want to get too nostalgic, but my first introduction to the formality of di
Address Before the 44th Session of the plomacy, as one who had a Nash Rambler
United Nations General Assembly when he came here, and then was driving around in a great big Cadillac, was when September 25, 1989 we came out of one of these crowded re
The President. Mr. President, Mr. Secreceptions, you know, where the traffic is
tary-General, and distinguished delegates of held and you go around the block and ev
the United Nations: I am honored to speak erything. And I'm always a little restless
to you today as you open the 44th Session and want to get on to the next thing. And some may remember Jerry Aprile-well,
of the General Assembly. I would like to
congratulate Joseph Garba of Nigeria, a disJerry would stand on the corner. All the
tinguished diplomat, on his election as other drivers would be standing out there, President of this Session of the General Asyou know, and Jerry would be in the corner
sembly, and I wish him success in his presiand go-the President whistled laugh- dency. terdown here, and Barbara and I loved
I feel a great personal pleasure on this the guy and-sped things up terrifically.
occasion, for this is a homecoming for BarBut look, I know that it's not easy serving bara and me. The memories of my time in New York. I know the difficulties of here in 1971 and 1972 are still with me housing and all of these things, but I am today—the human moments, the humorous grateful to all of you. Tom tells me we've
moments that are part of even the highest got an outstanding mission here. I'm going undertaking. to go over there today and express the sup- With your permission, let me share one port I feel in my heart for the efforts of the
story from one of the many sessions of the United Nations. And I hope, in a sense, that Security Council. I was the Permanent Repthat might not be necessary, but I hope it's resentative of the United States. I was 45 helpful to your very important work, minutes late getting to the meeting and all whether it's in the Economic and Social 45 minutes were filled by the first speaker Council, or whether it's in the Political to take the floor. And when I walked in and Office here, or whether it's in—whatever it took my seat, the speaker paused, and said is, whatever side of the equation. Because I with great courtesy, “I welcome the Permathink the U.N. is in a very interesting phase nent Representative of the United States here where it's moving much more effec- and now, for his benefit, I will start my tively in the peacekeeping field, as well as
speech all over again from the beginning.' continuing its longstanding efforts and pro- (Laughter] That's a true story. And at that ductive efforts, I'd say, in economic and moment, differences of alliance, ideology, social side.
didn't matter. The universal
that So, keep up the good work. This gives us went up around that table from every a chance to come back and say thank you member present, and then the laughter very, very much for what you did way back that followed, united us all. there, this handful of sturdy souls who Today, I would like to begin by recognizremain, and say to the rest that have come ing—again, a personal privilege—the curhere since we left, You're doing a first class rent Permanent Representatives with job and your country is proud of you.
whom I served: Ambassador Dugersuren Thank you very much.
[Mongolia), Roberto Martinez Ordonez [Honduras), Blaise Rabetafika (Madagascar), central issue of our time. For today, there's Permanent Observer John Dube (Monaco). an idea at work around the globe, an idea And it's wonderful to look around and see of undeniable force. And that is freedom. so many familiar faces—foreign ministers, Freedom's advance is evident everymembers of the Secretariat, delegates. And, where: in Central Europe, in Hungary, of course, Mr. Secretary-General, you were where state and society are
now in the then the Permanent Representative for
midst of a movement towards political pluyour country when we served together.
ralism and a free market economy, where Under Secretary Abby Farah, you were a the barrier that once enforced an unnatural Permanent Representative back then, too. division between Hungary and its neighbors Ambassador Aguilar (Venezuela) was then
to the West has been torn down. Torn here, and is now back. And off we go. And
down. Replaced by a new hope for the it's an honor to be back with you in this
future, a new hope in freedom. We see historic hall, and I apologize if I have for
freedom at work in Poland where, in defergotten any of you old enough to have
ence to the will of the people, the Commuserved in 1971 and 1972.
nist Party has relinquished its monopoly on But the United Nations was established
power. And indeed in the Soviet Union, 44 years ago upon the ashes of war and
where the world hears the voices of people amidst great hopes. And the United Nations
no longer afraid to speak out or to assert can do great things. No, the United Nations
the right to rule themselves. But freedom's is not perfect. It's not a panacea for world's
march is not confined to a single continent problems. But it is a vital forum where the nations of the world seek to replace conflict
or to the developed world alone. We see
the rise of freedom in Latin America with consensus, and it must remain a forum for peace. The U.N. is moving closer to that
where, one by one, dictatorships are giving ideal. And it has the support of the United
way to democracy. We see it on the contiStates of America.
nent of Africa where more and more naIn recent years, certainly since my time
tions see, in the system of free enterprise, here, the war of words that has often
salvation for economies crippled by excesechoed in this chamber is giving way to a
sive state control. East and west, north and new mood. We've seen a welcome shift
south, on every continent, we can see the from polemics to peacekeeping. U.N. peace
outlines of a new world of freedom. keeping forces are on duty right now and
Of course, freedom's work remains unfinover the years more than 700 peacekeepers
ished. The trend we see is not yet universal. have given their lives in service to the
Some regimes still stand against the tide. United Nations. Today I want to remember
Some rulers still deny the right of the one of those soldiers of peace—an Ameri- people to govern themselves. But now the can, on a mission of peace under the United power of prejudice and despotism is chalNations flag-on a mission really for all the lenged. Never before have these regimes world. A man of unquestioned bravery, un
stood so isolated and alone, so out of step swerving dedication to the United Nations with the steady advance of freedom. Today ideal, Lieutenant Colonel William Richard we are witnessing an ideological collapseHiggins. And I call on the General Assem
the demise of the totalitarian idea of the bly to condemn the murder of this soldier omniscient, all-powerful state. There are of peace and call on those responsible to many reasons for this collapse. But in the have the decency to return his remains to end, one fact alone explains what we see his family. And let us all right now, right today: Advocates of the totalitarian idea saw here, rededicate ourselves and our nations its triumph written in the laws of history. to the cause that Colonel Higgins served so They failed to see the love of freedom that selflessly.
was written in the human heart. The founders of this historic institution Two hundred years ago today, the United believed that it was here that the nations of States, our Congress, proposed the Bill of the world might come to agree that law, Rights—fundamental freedoms belonging to not force, shall govern. And the United Na- every individual, rights no government can tions can play a fundamental role in the deny. Those same rights have been recognized in this congress of nations in the quire effective action. Too many developing words of the Universal Declaration of countries struggle today under a burden of Human Rights, “a common standard of debt that makes growth all but impossible. achievement for all peoples and all na- The nations of the world deserve better options." From where we stand, on the portunity to achieve a measure of control threshold of this new world of freedom, the over their own economic fate and build trend is clear enough. If, for those who better lives for their own people. The apwrite the history of our times, the 20th cen- proach the U.S. has put forward—the Brady tury is remembered as the century of the Plan—will help these nations reduce that state, the 21st century must be an era of debt and, at the same time, encourage the emancipation, the age of the individual.
free market reforms that will fuel growth. Make no mistake: Nothing can stand in
In just 2 days, I will be speaking to the the way of freedom's march. There will
International Monetary Fund and the come a day when freedom is seen the world
World Bank, and I'll discuss there in more over to be a universal birthright of every
detail the steps that our nations can take in man and woman, of every race and walk of life. Even under the worst circumstances, at
dealing with the debt problem. But I can
say now the new world of freedom is not a the darkest of times, freedom has always remained alive—a distant dream, perhaps,
world where a few nations live in comfort
while others live in want. but always alive. Today that dream is no longer distant. For the first time, for mil
The power of commerce is a force for lions around the world, a new world of free
progress. Open markets are the key to condom is within reach. Today is freedom's
tinued growth in the developing world. moment.
Today the United States buys over one-half You see, the possibility now exists for the
of the manufactured exports that all develcreation of a true community of nations
oping nations combined sell to the industribuilt on shared interests and ideals. A true
alized world. It's time for the other adcommunity, a world where free govern
vanced economies to follow suit, to create ments and free markets meet the rising expanded opportunities for trade. I believe desire of the people to control their own
we'll learn in the century ahead that many destiny, to live in dignity, and to exercise
nations of the world have barely begun to freely their fundamental human rights. It is
tap their true potential for development. time that we worked together to deliver
The free market and its fruits are not the that destiny into the hands of men and
special preserve of a few. They are a harwomen everywhere. Our challenge is to
vest that everyone can share. strengthen the foundations of freedom, en
Beyond the challenge of global growth courage its advance, and face our most lies another issue of global magnitude: the urgent challenges—the global challenges of
environment. No line drawn on a map can the 21st century: economic health, environ- stop the advance of pollution. Threats to mental well-being, the great questions of
our environment have become internationwar and peace.
al problems. We must develop an internaFirst, global economic growth. During tional approach to urgent environmental this decade a number of developing nations issues, one that seeks common solutions to have moved into the ranks of the world's common problems. The United Nations is most advanced economies, all of them, already at work on the question of global each and every one-powered by the warming, in the effort to prevent oil spills engine of free enterprise.
and other disasters from fouling our seas In the decade ahead, others can join their and the air we breathe. ranks. But for many nations, barriers stand And I will tell you now the United States in the way. In the case of some countries, will do its part. We have committed ourthese are obstacles of their own making- selves to the worldwide phaseout of all unneeded restrictions and regulations that chlorofluorocarbons by the year 2000. act as dead weights on their own economies We've proposed amending our own Clean and obstacles to foreign trade. But other Air Act to ensure clean air for our citizens barriers to growth exist and those, too, re- within a single generation. We've banned the import of ivory to protect the elephant edge we've gained from our recent arms and rhinoceros from the human predators control experience and our accelerating rewho exterminate them for profit. And search in this area makes me believe that we've begun to explore ways to work with we can achieve the level of verification that other nations, with the major industrialized
gives us confidence to go forward with the democracies, and in Poland and in Hunga- ban. ry, to make common cause for the sake of
The world has lived too long in the our environment. The environment belongs
shadow of chemical warfare. So let us act to all of us. In this new world of freedom, together beginning today to rid the Earth the world's citizens must enjoy this
of this scourge. common trust for generations to come. Global economic growth, the stewardship
We are serious about achieving conven
tional arms reductions as well. And that's of our planet—both are critical issues. But as always, questions of war and peace must
why we tabled new proposals just last be paramount to the United Nations.
Thursday at the Conventional Forces in We must move forward to limit and
Europe negotiations in Vienna, proposals eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Five
that demonstrate our commitment to act years ago, at the United Nations Confer- rapidly to ease military tensions in Europe ence on Disarmament in Geneva, I present- and move the nations of that continent one ed a United States draft treaty outlawing step closer to their common destiny-a chemical weapons. Since then, progress has Europe whole and free. been made; but time is running out. The And the United States is convinced that threat is growing. More than 20 nations open and innovative measures can move now possess chemical weapons or the capa- disarmament forward and also ease internability to produce them. And these horrible tional tensions. And that's the idea behind weapons are now finding their way into re
the open skies proposal about which the gional conflicts. This is simply unacceptable. Soviets have now expressed a positive attiFor the sake of mankind, we must halt and tude. It's the idea behind the open lands reverse this threat.
proposal permitting, for the first time ever, Today I want to announce steps that the
free travel for all Soviet and American dipUnited States is ready to take, steps to rid
lomats throughout each other's countries. the world of these truly terrible weapons,
Openness is the enemy of mistrust. And towards a treaty that will ban-eliminate
every step towards a more open world is a all chemical weapons from the Earth 10
step toward the new world we seek. years from the day it is signed. This initia
Let me make this comment on our meettive contains three major elements. First, in the first 8 years of a chemical
ings with the distinguished Foreign Minister
of the Soviet Union, Mr. Shevardnadze, weapons treaty, the U.S. is ready to destroy nearly all—98 percent of our chemical
over the past few days. I am very pleased weapons stockpile, provided the Soviet
by the progress made. The Soviet Union Union joins the ban. And I think they will.
removed a number of obstacles to progress Second, we are ready to destroy all of our
on conventional and strategic arms reducchemical weapons-100 percent-every
tions. We reached agreements in principle one—within 10 years, once all nations capa
on issues from verification to nuclear testble of building chemical weapons sign that
ing. And, of course, we agreed to a summit total ban treaty. And third, the United in the spring or early summer of 1990. And States is ready to begin now. We will elimi
I look forward to meeting Mr. Gorbachev nate more than 80 percent of our stockpile,
there. even as we work to complete a treaty, if the Each of these achievements is important Soviet Union joins us in cutting chemical in its own right. But they are more imporweapons to an equal level and we agree on tant still as signs of a new attitude that prethe conditions, including inspections, under vails between the United States and the which stockpiles are destroyed. We know U.S.S.R. Serious differences remain. We that monitoring a total ban on chemical know that. But the willingness to deal conweapons will be a challenge. But the knowl- structively and candidly with those differ
ences is news that we, and indeed the Whatever the challenge, freedom greatly world, must welcome.
raises the chances of our success. Freedom's We have not entered into an era of per- moment is a time for hope for all of the petual peace. The threats to peace that na- world. Because freedom,
set in tions face may today be changing, but motion, takes on a momentum of its own. they've not vanished. In fact, in a number As I said the day I assumed the Presidency of regions around the world, a dangerous of our country: “We don't have to talk late combination is now emerging: regimes into the night about which form of governarmed with old and unappeasable animos- ment is better.” We know that free governities and modern weapons of mass destruc
ment, democracy, is best. And I believe that tion. This development will raise the stakes is the hard-won truth of our time, the unaswhenever war breaks out. Regional conflict sailable fact that still stands at the end of a may well threaten world peace as never
century of great struggle, of human sufferbefore. The challenge of preserving peace is ing. a personal one for all of you right here in
And this is true not because all our differthis hall. Mr. Secretary General, with great
ences must give way to democracy, but berespect, you have made it your own. The
cause democracy makes room for all our United Nations can be a mediator, a forum
differences. In democracy, diversity finds its where parties in conflict come in search of peaceful solutions. For the sake of peace,
common home. At the very heart of the the U.N. must redouble its support for the
democratic ideal is respect-for freedom of
belief, freedom of thought and action in all peace efforts now underway in regions of conflict all over the world. And let me
its diversity, for human rights. The world
has experienced enough of the ideologies assure you the United States is determined to take an active role in settling regional
that have promised to remake man in some conflicts. Sometimes our role in regional
new and better image. We've seen the codisputes is and will be highly public. And
lossal tragedies and dashed hopes. We know sometimes, like many of you, we work qui
now that freedom and democracy hold the etly behind the scenes. But always, we are
answers. What men and nations want is the working for positive change and lasting
freedom to live by their own lights and a
chance to prosper in peace. peace. Our world faces other, less conventional
When I began today, I spoke to you about threats no less dangerous to international
peacekeeping. I want to speak to you now peace and stability. Illegal drugs are a about peacemaking. We must bring peace menace to social order and a source of to the people who have never known its human misery wherever they gain a foot
blessings. There's a painting that hangs on hold. The nations who suffer this scourge
the wall of my office in the White House, must join forces in the fight. And we are. and it pictures President Abraham Lincoln And let me salute the commitment and ex- and his generals meeting near the end of a traordinary courage of one country in par
war that remains the bloodiest in the histoticular, Colombia, where we are working ry of my country. Outside at that moment a with the people and their President, Virgi- battle rages, in this picture. And yet what lio Barco, to put the drug cartels out of see in the distance is a rainbowbusiness, bring the drug lords to justice. symbol of hope, of the passing of the storm.
And finally, we must join forces to That painting is called The Peacemakers. combat the threat of terrorism. Every For me, it is a constant reminder that our nation and the United Nations must send struggle, the struggle for peace, is a struggle the outlaws of the world a clear message:
blessed by hope. Hostage taking and the terror of random I do remember sitting in this hall. I reviolence are methods that cannot win the member the mutual respect among all of us world's approval. Terrorism of any kind is proudly serving as Representatives. Yes, I repugnant to all values that a civilized remember the almost endless speechesworld holds in common. And make no mis- and I don't want this to be one of themtake: Terrorism is a means that no end, no [laughter)—the Security Council sessions, matter how just that end, can sanctify. the receptions, those long receiving lines,