The 59th anniversary of the UN marked in Sana’a [Archives:2004/786/Community]

November 1 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
Mrs. Flavia Pansieri, Resident Coordinator of the UN System's Operational Activities for Development in the Republic of Yemen, held a reception celebration and Iftar on Sunday Oct. 24 at the Police Officers Club in Sana'a to mark the 59th UN day. The celebration was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Sofan along with hundreds of Yemenis, officials and citizens, and tens of the diplomats and representatives of a number of international and regional organizations working in Yemen.
During the celebration, Mrs. Flavia delivered a speech in which she described the aims and programs of the UN in Yemen and in the world, maintaining “peace and security.” She said that, “leaders from 189 countries met four years ago at the Millennium Summit and issued a declaration which contained clear and specified development targets to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs). The UN System is helping developing countries such as Yemen produce tangible results in terms of its development agenda.” She highlighted some of Yemen's key development challenges, such as health, education, humanitarian, democracy, combating poverty and other basic development issues.”
Mrs. Flavia confirmed the UN commitment “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”
“Yemen has been polio free for the past four years,” she said about health, “continued effective collaboration between the National Malaria Control Programme and WHO has reduced infection rates from 48% to 7% in the Tihama and from 61% to less than 5% in Socotra.
About humanitarian she said, the “efforts by UNHCR, along with the EU, UK, and the Netherlands, in addressing local integration initiatives through a Comprehensive Action Plan for Somali refugees is a positive and important development.”
She talked about the situation of education expressing the contribution of UNICEF that “has been involved in rebuilding and constructing primary schools in 30 most deprived districts, with more than 500 classrooms built in the last three years.”
Her speech was concluded with an emphasis on the efforts that “will be needed to see continued progress being made in the areas of primary education and child mortality, as well as increased openness for participation in the country's political and development process, true freedom of opinion and of the press and fair access for all to services.”
Ahmed Mohammed Sofan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said that Yemen is aware of the need to implement and activate the decisions and recommendations of all UN summits and events. “It is a national commitment with high priority.” he said. He also noted that there are also several programs of international cooperation with the other partners of the UN.

Justice, respect
He stressed on the significance of justice and respect of national sovereignty of states, especially in a time some countries are occupied in the Midele East. He also emphasized Yemen's need to cooperate with other countries bilaterally and through the UN to achieve peace and development and combat challenges that require serious steps in political and economic reform. “We need to take steps to implement cooperative programs, transfer information and knowledge objectively and work closely with other nations to achieve the millennium goals that focus on alleviating poverty, disseminating education, improving motherhood and childhood services, and many other topics.” he explained.
Sofan concluded his speech by repeating the final words of Mrs. Flavia concerning the noble mission of the UN to achieve peace and harmony throughout the world, and also greeted UN personnel on the anniversary and also thanked the UN coordinator personally for her efforts in helping Yemen develop and prosper.