Opening statement by Mr Kim Hak-Su, Under-Secretary-General of the
United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP (Monday, 23 April 2001)
Mr Chairman, Honourable Prime Minister,
Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me much pleasure to extend to all of you a very warm welcome
to the 57th session of the Commission. This is the first time that
I have had the opportunity to address the Ministerial Segment of the Commission
since I assumed my responsibilities as Executive Secretary of ESCAP in
July last year, and I feel greatly honoured and privileged to do so.
I should like at the outset to express our warm welcome to His Excellency
Mr Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand. On behalf
of everybody present here, I wish to express our deep gratitude to His
Excellency the Prime Minister for graciously consenting to inaugurate the
session, despite his many pressing duties. Excellency, your presence
here today underscores Thailand's dedication and commitment to the aims
and ideals of the United Nations Charter and to the role of ESCAP in bringing
together the countries of this vast and diverse region.
Since the Commission last met, the improved growth performance of the
ESCAP region has been a source of much encouragement. However, in
an increasingly globalizing world, sustained growth of the region's economies
will depend to a large extent on a favourable external environment.
Uncertainties continue to cloud the growth prospects for the U.S. and Japanese
economies. These will no doubt pose serious challenges for Governments
of the ESCAP region which have to grapple with problems of widespread poverty,
malnutrition and disease.
Let me assure this august assembly that ESCAP is firmly committed to
assisting the region's developing countries, in particular the least developed
among them, in building their capacities to cope with the numerous challenges
that lie ahead. In this effort, we look forward to the support and
cooperation of the member states.