Eastern European States: Toward Peaceful Restructuring ... Free of Ideological Prejudice

UN Chronicle, March 1990 | Go to article overview

Eastern European States: Toward Peaceful Restructuring ... Free of Ideological Prejudice


International security and cooperation, disarmament and European security were dominant themes in statements by representatives of the Eastern European States. Ways to enhance the role and efficiency of the UN, solve regional conflicts, protect the environment, overcome imbalances in the world economy and establish equitable economic relations among States were other pre-eminent concerns.

Most speakers said they were heartened by what they saw as a diminished threat of a nuclear war, the continued development of an East-West dialogue, a steady improvement in Soviet-United States relations and progress towards solution of various regional conflicts. However, a few speakers warned against complacency, citing the continuing arms race, persistence of several regional "hot spots" and aggravation of global problems.

Detente is far from being universal as wars are still being waged in many parts of the world", noted Janez Drnovsek, President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia. "Political detente along East-West lines has not been followed by economic detente along North-South lines. The process of the pauperization of the South is continuing."

The need to consolidate positive changes in world politics and make them irreversible was stressed. Calls were made for peaceful restructuring of relations between States, for their democratization, demilitarization and humanization. Those renewed relations, speakers said, should be free of ideological prejudice and be based on the recognition of the supremacy of universal human values, the principle of freedom of choice and the primacy of international law.

Most speakers stressed the need to abandon old, stereotyped notions of security and to take non-traditional and non-confrontational approaches.

Many speakers felt that in a world of growing interdependence, where political, military, economic, environmental and humanitarian problems were closely interrelated, the international community could solve them only by acting jointly and in a comprehensive way.

There was general agreement that the UN could and should assume a more active role in the maintenance of international peace and security and the solution of regional conflicts and global problems. Wide support was given to activating the Organization's potential for preventing possible armed conflicts. A few speakers stressed the need to enhance the United Nations law-making capacity, to strengthen the role of international law and to bring national legislations and practices of States in line with their international obligations. Some speakers called for strengthening the role of the International Court of justice.

Wide support was given to the continuation of the all-European Helsinki process, the development of dialogue and co-operation among European States and unification of efforts in building a "common European home".

There was a widespread call for strengthening global co-operation to protect and improve the environment. Czechoslovakia and the Ukrainian SSR proposed developing UN potential in monitoring, assessing and predicting threats to the environment and in providing relief assistance in case of environmental emergencies.

Calls were made for joint efforts to overcome the external debt crisis, to eliminate underdevelopment, to enhance international economic security and to establish equitable economic relations among States.

ALBANIA Foreign Minister Reis Malile said the
   present relaxation of tension between the United
   States and the Soviet Union was no guarantee that
   the threat of war had been eliminated. Today, interference
   in the internal affairs of others had increased
   "under various pretexts" and threatened to
   upset the balance, "with incalculable consequences".
   Peoples and States must be free to choose their own
   paths to sovereign development.
BULGARIA Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov said
   that in Europe, where the competition between the
   two military alliances had left the most substantial
   traces, "a new consciousness is now taking shape". … 

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