15 JUNE 2008

We were pleasantly surprised to see a unique statement by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailing the many contributions of San Marino "far beyond its size." You would think that the Secretary General would have been extremely busy that day, 6 June, negotiating the concluding statement on a crucial conference in Rome on the food crisis. But, then, no. Mr. Ban issued a special message to stress what a "dynamic contributor" San Marino has been to the U.N.'s work. If you hadn't noticed, it is obviously your fault. For here is our esteemed Secretary General, in a vibrant video message alerting us to the fact that the tiny municipality "is an excellent example of indispensable role" played by small states. Some of us may recall that "indispensable" was a terminology licensed only to Dr. Madeleine Albright and big states. But then, whoever drafted that indispensable statement was not aware of earlier indispensable designations. Indeed we were given solid evidence of that special role in U.N. history. San Marino "spearheaded a vibrant campaign to end violence against women," thereby providing indispensable support for Mr. Ban's own campaign on the subject. What impact did that support and that campaign have is for posterity to judge. Another example was that San Marino was "among the first countries" to sign and ratify the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocols. The title was printed in red, perhaps to underline the special significance, before describing it as "a landmark instrument and the latest in the long list of human rights conventions that San Marino has joined." In addition, it organized "an important event" on Religions for Peace and Development (how original?) with panelists representing "the world's great religions" (?!), highlighting the priority that country gives to the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue.

Oh, yes, and San Marino is a driving force on U.N. reform. In fact, it has "co-facilitated" (whatever that means) "the important working group on the revitalization of the General Assembly."

Here we are, then. While we were otherwise preoccupied, San Marino has evolved into a vibrant dynamic indispensable driving force!

As we duly take note, we would suggest to those "speechwriters" to cut down on the hot air. We're in summer already!