H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg at the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly: “ Size does not matter when it comes to the commitment to effective multilateralism”
On 26 September, H.R.H. the Grand Duke addressed the United Nations General Assembly. In his address, the Head of State recalled Luxembourg’s engagement with the United Nations since 1945, an engagement that can be summarised in three key words: commitment, solidarity, responsibility.
H.R.H. the Grand Duke recalled the conviction of Luxembourg that we need to adopt a global approach towards peacebuilding, peacekeeping and the maintenance of international peace and security: an approach which recognises the intrinsic link between security and development.
Indeed, to ensure durable peace, one must tackle the root causes of conflicts. Among these root causes, two in particular are the focus of Luxembourg’s attention: social inequality resulting from persistent poverty and the increasing scarcity of natural resources resulting from climate change.
“The fight against poverty is one of our stated priorities” indicated the Head of State, recalling that since the year 2000, Luxembourg had reached the objective set by the United Nations by dedicating at least 0.7% of its gross national income to official development assistance. In 2009 and 2010, this aid exceeded the threshold of 1% of our gross national income. The Government of Luxembourg is determined to maintain this effort, despite budgetary constraints. This ODA is benefitting Least Developed Countries in particular. Here again, Luxembourg has exceeded the objective set by the United Nations by dedicating more than 0.2% of its gross national income to these countries, the majority of which are located in Africa.
H.R.H. the Grand Duke also underlined that Luxembourg does not hesitate from becoming engaged “when conflicts break out despite the attempts to prevent them”. Luxembourg thus participates regularly and actively in peacekeeping operations. Currently, Luxembourg troops are contributing to operations under UN mandate in Kosovo, Lebanon and Afghanistan. Through its contributions to European Union missions, Luxembourg also takes its responsibilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia, as well as in the Sahel region, where the international community must redouble its efforts to prevent terrorist groups linked to transnational organised crime from taking root.
The Head of State finally recalled that, building on its commitment to peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding activities, Luxembourg had declared its candidature for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the period 2013-2014; underlining that Luxembourg stands ready to share the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, which the Member States of the Organisation have conferred on the Security Council under the Charter.