Putin Comments at the Opening Session of the UN Millennium Summit

6 September 2000

The twentieth century will remain in history as a century of contradictions. It has become an epoch of grandiose achievements and horrendous wars, and a century of revolutionary breakthroughs and profound disillusionments. But our countries managed to overcome the cold war with its global confrontations. That is a great accomplishment of the United Nations. The Organization has learned to solve and does solve the most complicated world problems. We are convinced, however, that we need to renovate and improve the mechanisms of the United Nations. This is the imperative of our time. But no reforms should sway the Organizationís fundamental principles. The new century should transform itself into a millennium of effective stability. It has to enter the annals of history as the period of real disarmament.

Today we have already succeeded in creating an efficient mechanism for disarmament. We should now reliably block ways of spreading nuclear weapons. We can achieve this by excluding usage of enriched uranium and pure plutonium in the world's atomic energy production. Particularly alarming are plans for the militarization of outer space, and in that connection we suggest the holding of an international conference under the umbrella of the United Nations in Moscow in the spring of 2001. The final part of the twentieth century was neither a transitional period nor a historic time for the Russian Federation. We returned to the scene as a democratic State and intend to become stronger in that capacity and earn more prestige.

We consider terrorism to be the most dangerous and treacherous phenomenon. It survives only when it has a chance to undermine the stability of a State and to sow seeds of mutual suspicion and animosity. Our common aim is to raise an efficient barrier against this evil. The United Nations role in this sphere should grow. We have to move to peace, stability and prosperity. Democracy in international relations means conscious understanding of the whole diversity of world civilization.