9/7/00 Remarks By The President to Security Council
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                         Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                   September 7, 2000

                            REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                            TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

                         Security Council Chamber
                            The United Nations
                                           New York, New York

2:08 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary
General, members of the Security Council.  We come together in this
historic session to discuss the role of the United Nations in maintaining
peace and security.  I thank President Konare for the moment of silence for
the U.N. workers who died in West Timor yesterday, and ask the Indonesian
authorities to bring those responsible to justice, to disarm and disband
the militias, and to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of those
continuing to work on humanitarian goals there.

     Today I would like to focus my peacekeeping remarks on Africa, where
prosperity and freedom have advanced, but where conflict still holds back
progress.  I can't help noting that this historic meeting in this historic
chamber is led by a President and a Secretary General who are both
outstanding Africans.  Africans' achievements and the United Nations'
strengths are evident.  Mozambique and Namibia are just two success

     But we asked the United Nations to act under increasingly complex
conditions.  We see it in Sierra Leone, where U.N. actions saved lives, but
could not preserve the peace.  Now we're working to strengthen the mission.
In the Horn of Africa, U.N. peacekeepers will monitor the separation of
forces so recently engaged in brutal combat.  In Congo civil strive still
threatens the lives of thousands of people and warring parties prevent the
U.N. from implementing its mandate.

     We must do more to equip the United Nations to do what we ask it to
do.  They need to be able to be peacekeepers who can be rapidly deployed,
properly trained and equipped, able to project credible force.  That, of
course, is the thrust of the Secretary General's report on peacekeeping
reform.  The United States strongly supports that report.  It should be the
goal of our assistance for West African forces that are now going into
Sierra Leone.

     Let me also say a word, however, beyond peacekeeping.  It seems to me
that both for Africa and the world, we will be forced increasingly to
define security more broadly.  The United Nations was created to save
succeeding generations from the scourge of war.  War kills massively,
crosses borders, destabilizes whole regions.  Today, we face other problems
that kill massively, cross borders and destabilize whole regions.

     A quarter of all the deaths on the planet now are caused by infectious
diseases like Malaria, TB and AIDS.  Because of AIDS alone, life expectancy
in some African nations is plummeting by as much as 30 years.  Without
aggressive prevention, the epicenter of the epidemic likely will move to
Asia by 2010 with very rapid growth rates also in the New Independent

     The affected nations must do more on prevention, but the rest of us
must do more, too -- not just with AIDS, but also with malaria and TB.  We
must invest in the basics -- clean water, safe food, good sanitation,
health education.  We must make sure that the advances in science work for
all people.

     The United States is investing $2 billion a year in AIDS research,
including $210 million for an AIDS vaccine.  And I have asked our Congress
to give a tax credit of $1 billion to speed the development in the private
sector of vaccines against AIDS, malaria and TB.  We have to give the tax
credit because the people who need the medicine can't afford to pay for it
as it is.  We've worked to make drugs more affordable, and we will do more.
And we have doubled our global assistance for AIDS prevention and care over
the last two years.

     Unfortunately, the U.N. has estimated that to meet out goals, we will
collectively need to provide an additional $4 billion a year.  We must join
together to help close that gap.  And we must advance a larger agenda to
fight the poverty that breeds conflict and war.

     I strongly support the goal of universal access to primary education
by 2015.  We are helping to move toward that goal, in part, with our effort
to provide school lunches to 9 million boys and girls in developing
nations.  For about $3 billion a year, collectively, we could provide a
nutritious meal to every child in every developing country in a school in
the world.  That would dramatically change the future for a lot of poor
nations today.

     We have agreed to triple the scale of debt relief for the poorest
countries, but we should do more.  This idea of relieving debt if the
savings will be invested in the human needs of the people is an idea whose
time has long since come, and I hope we will do much more.

     Finally, Mr. Secretary General, you have called on us to support the
millennium ecosystem assessment.  We have to meet the challenge of climate
change.  I predict that within a decade -- or maybe even a little less --
that will become as big an obstacle to the development of poor nations as
disease is today.
     The United States will contribute the first complete set of detailed
satellite images of the world's threatened forests to this project.  We
will continue to support aggressive efforts to implement the Kyoto protocol
and other objectives which will reduce the environmental threats we face.

     Now, let me just say in closing, Mr. President, some people will
listen to this discussion and say, well, peacekeeping has something to do
with security, but these other issues don't have anything to do with
security and don't belong in the Security Council.  This is my last
meeting; I just have to say I respectfully disagree -- these issues will be
more and more and more in the Security Council.  Until we confront the iron
link between deprivation, disease, and war, we will never be able to create
the peace that the founders of the United Nations dreamed of.

     I hope the United States will always be willing to do its part, and I
hope the Security Council increasingly will have a 21st century vision of
security that we can all embrace and pursue.

     Thank you very much.

     END  2:14 P.M. EDT

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