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Culture of prevention vital to peace and security Portugals President tells UN

“The strengthening of preventive action in Africa, for instance, is essential to avoid many crises facing the continent,” President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa said, pledging his country’s continued support for deploying military contingents for peacekeeping operations. Portugal will promote maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and support Guinea-Bissau in constructive political dialogue, he added.Turning to the other side of the Atlantic, he welcomed the peace agreement reached in Colombia, saying it will pave the way for national reconciliation, enabling all Colombians to live together in peace and respect for the rule of law.He expressed hope for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying there is still a way to build peace and a sustainable settlement of the conflict. There can still be a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, whose legitimate security aspirations must be guaranteed.He also expressed concern over the recent escalation of threats to security and stability in the Korean Peninsula, which he condemned, calling for the resumption of collaboration between neighbours and the international community.Terrorism is threatening humanity everywhere and cannot be tolerated, he said, stressing that the international community has a lawful right and a moral duty to end it. The root causes of the exodus of refugees and migrants must be dealt with by Governments eradicating terror and fear.Another issue underlying the humanitarian crisis is the increasing wave of migration linked to the lack of opportunities in origin countries. He stressed the importance of promoting higher education for refugees in emergency situations so that “no generations are lost.” Portugal has already accepted more than 100 Syrian university students, he noted.On the issue of human rights, he said there is still much to be done in the area of gender equality. Portugal will maintain its commitment to global mobilization efforts for the conservation and sustainable exploitation of the oceans. The issue of protecting oceans and seas is a top priority for Portugal, which will remain committed to supporting the efforts of small island developing States to overcome the challenges facing them. Mr. De Sousa is among the many leaders who will address the general debate of 71st General Assembly. The Assembly began its high-level work this year with the adoption of the New York Declaration, as the outcome of yesterday’s first-ever UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of international issues covered by the UN Charter. read more