UN Speeches,Assorted Leading Countries Statements at 67th UN General Assembly
I’ve compiled the statements of Leading countries in one article for your review of the 67th UN General Assembly.
In this Order; Belgium,USA,England,France,Japan,Russia,Iran,Israel,Palistine,Turkey,Afganistan,Switzerland,Brazil.
Belgium:Statement by Herman Van Rompuy 67th UN General Assembly
Ladies & Gentlemen,
When these historic changes swept through the Arab world, they stirred a mixture of deep emotions from those watching, both within the region and beyond. There was fear: of bloodshed and regional instability, of a rise of extremism, and uncertainty about what was yet to come. But overwhelmingly the world looked on with solidarity, understanding and hope.
We in Europe, geographically so close, and with our societies so deeply involved with those in the countries experiencing these upheavals, we were also acutely aware that the changes – and the risks and opportunities that lay ahead – would directly affect us, as neighbours.
Of course expectations ran high. It was tempting to read the events in Tunis or Cairo as the opening pages of a fairytale… But this is the book of history. It contains dark pages too – some of them tragically being written at this very moment. And we are bound by a simple truth: achieving lasting change takes time. New democratic institutions don’t run smoothly by magic. Turning economies around or creating jobs for millions of young men and women doesn’t happen at the wave of a wand. Deep tensions don’t suddenly dissolve once a dictator has gone.
The long path of transition lies ahead. There will undoubtedly be disappointments along the way; there will be wrong turns, hurdles and setbacks. But I firmly believe that despite the difficulties, this journey is heading in the right direction.
And there is no going back. Whatever the future brings, the Arab Spring will remain a turning point. The movement is irreversible. Once the voices of the people have been set free – an unforgettable experience for all those who were never heard before – these voices cannot be silenced.
It is each country’s responsibility to chart its own course and to do justice to the aspirations of its people. The European Union is committed to staying by their side every step along the way. We are in it for the long run. I want to reaffirm: we still believe in the message of the Arab Spring.
Europeans are well-placed to recognise that political change is not painless and does not happen overnight. We know about long transitions. When European integration first started, within my lifetime, a majority of the countries that are now its members were not yet democracies. For us, a transition of such magnitude should not be judged by its speed but by its direction, and by progress achieved through countless steps forward.
The starting point is free and fair elections, and we therefore salute the achievements of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and of other countries in successfully organising democratic elections, in which many citizens voted freely for the first time in their lives – elections for which we were happy to lend expertise to national and local authorities.
In order to ultimately bring jobs, social justice and freedom of expression to all, this gigantic democratic process will have to overcome, every single day, the obstacles of corruption, of red tape, of economic privileges, and maintain the political determination to ensure inclusiveness. An important effort, to which many contribute.
For our part, across the region, we offer advice to entrepreneurs and officials, we help train judges and policemen, we support journalists and civil society groups.
In our experience societies are stronger when women are fully able to take part in the political and economic lives of their countries, when their voices are heard, their choices respected.
There may be temptations, once power is gained, to refuse to grant to some the rights that until recently were withheld from all. But a democracy can only flourish when it gives all its people — whatever their gender, religion, language or ethnic identity — an equal say and equal rights, guaranteed in law and in practice. Finally, neighbours can achieve more when they work together — and that is why we share experience from our own European Union on issues like connecting energy networks or removing regional obstacles to trade.
Bringing together and reconciling former enemies in a common desire for peace, democracy and prosperity has been one of the European Union’s great achievements.
Respect, tolerance and non-violence are the core values without which living together harmoniously is not possible.
These are fragile values: sustaining them requires constant attention, especially in a global, digital world, in which messages of all kind can spread faster than ever and can easily be exploited. Tolerance is the ability to withstand criticism, to offer dialogue, to refrain from violence; as such it shows self-confidence. At the same time respect for the faith and beliefs of others is a key value for living together. Tolerance and respect acquire their full meaning in an open society that protects freedom of expression. Each and every one of us in this room has a responsibility in defending and promoting tolerance, in and between our countries as well as respect. Violence, killings as that of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, can never be justified, regardless of their motivations.
Today I join the voice of Europe to those who have spoken to deplore the civil war raging in Syria. Confronted with the massacre of tens of thousands of people, the world has united in horror and condemnation, but — we must be frank — so far we have not been able to stop the brutal violence.
Of course, Europe and others provide humanitarian support to refugees, of course we support the individuals who risk their lives collecting evidence of the massacres, of course our diplomats in Damascus do their utmost to support the UN’s efforts for a peaceful solution, but we will remain powerless unless the international community unites in a common determination to end this senseless violence, which threatens to wreak havoc in the whole region.
Mr. Secretary General,
I should like to commend your excellent work and strong commitment as well as that of Special Envoy Mr. Brahimi to find a solution to overcome this tragedy. I also welcome the initiatives aimed at bringing together the main regional players, in a coherent international approach. Earlier this year, European leaders called upon all Members of the Security Council to work together in an effort to stop the violence. Today this call is even more urgent. The country needs to advance quickly towards a Syrian-led political transition, meeting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people, while fully respecting the civil and human rights of minorities. It is the only way out. Those responsible for the repression have no place in the future of Syria and must step aside.
The longer this conflict continues, the more radicalised people will become, the more blood will needlessly be shed, and the longer it will take for the wounds to heal.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
The security situation remains complex and fragile in many parts of the world.
The events of the Arab Spring should not distract us from the urgent task of achieving peace in the Middle East — quite the contrary.
And other issues are pressing, including:
• Addressing instability and the humanitarian situation in the Sahel region.
• Bringing peace and stability to the region of the Great Lakes;
• Convincing the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
• Finding a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, a matter to which the European Union is directly committed.
We must address all these concerns, knowing that lasting solutions requires political will from the countries involved. In the same spirit it is important that tensions in East and South-East Asian maritime areas subside and that disputes are settled peacefully in a spirit of cooperation and in respect of international law.
There are many global challenges that we have to tackle together. But from fighting climate change to reducing poverty around the world, without multilateral cooperation we will not succeed.
This is why the European Union fully supports a stronger more effective and more efficient United Nations
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Citizens in all our countries want jobs. Here also, global cooperation is indispensable and is the best way to ensure the world’s economic recovery.
Our economies have become completely interdependent: no country can solve its own issues alone; no country can afford to ignore the problems of others.
Do we know this? Yes. Do we act upon this knowledge? Not enough.
In 2008, at the start of the global financial crisis, there was a brief moment of global awareness, a sense of urgency which led to new forums, joint pledges and coordinated action.
Today, although the crisis is still with us, this post-Lehman resolve seems to have waned, and we must revive it.
All major economies need to do their part in putting the world economy back on the path of growth. Global growth depends on structural reforms in each of our countries and on reducing the macro-economic imbalances between them.
Within Europe, we are doing our part of this work. No effort is spared to overcome the current difficulties in the Eurozone. We have been setting up stronger firewalls to guarantee the stability of our common currency; we are reforming our economies to become more competitive and create jobs for the future. We have started building a banking union to better manage and contain financial sector risk; and in the coming months we will be defining the perspective for where we are headed, where we want our economic and monetary Union to be in ten years time.
We have come a long way already, and today we are seeing the first results of this collective endeavour. Although there is still some way to go, I am confident that these efforts will be met with success and that Europe will come out of this experience stronger, economically and politically.
USA:Statement by Barack Obama at 67th UN General Assembly
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman: I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens.
Chris was born in a town called Grass Valley, California, the son of a lawyer and a musician. As a young man, Chris joined the Peace Corps, and taught English in Morocco. And he came to love and respect the people of North Africa and the Middle East. He would carry that commitment throughout his life. As a diplomat, he worked from Egypt to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Libya. He was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked — tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic, listening with a broad smile.
Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship. As America’s representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. And after the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections, and built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship.
Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met. And two weeks ago, he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That’s when America’s compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old.
I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles — a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity.
The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and from the Libyan people. There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. And I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region — including Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen — have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm. And so have religious authorities around the globe.
But understand, the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded — the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.
If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an embassy, or to put out statements of regret and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis — because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes that we hold in common.
Today, we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens — and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.
It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. And since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that’s taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change.
We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspiration of men and women who took to the streets.
We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy ultimately put us on the side of the people.
We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were no longer being served by a corrupt status quo.
We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents, and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.
And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop and a new dawn can begin.
We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values — they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges to come with a transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people, and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.
So let us remember that this is a season of progress. For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive, and fair. This democratic spirit has not been restricted to the Arab world. Over the past year, we’ve seen peaceful transitions of power in Malawi and Senegal, and a new President in Somalia. In Burma, a President has freed political prisoners and opened a closed society, a courageous dissident has been elected to parliament, and people look forward to further reform. Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity, and the right to determine their future.
And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” (Applause.)
True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.
In other words, true democracy — real freedom — is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents. In hard economic times, countries must be tempted — may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.
Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress — dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend on the status quo, and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division. From Northern Ireland to South Asia, from Africa to the Americas, from the Balkans to the Pacific Rim, we’ve witnessed convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order.
At time, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of race or tribe. And often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves how much they’re willing to tolerate freedom for others.
That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.
It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well — for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.
I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. And the answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.
Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As President of our country and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day — (laughter) — and I will always defend their right to do so. (Applause.)
Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with. We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities.
We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.
Now, I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech. We recognize that. But in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how do we respond?
And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. (Applause.) There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. There’s no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.
In this modern world with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us if that’s how we respond.
More broadly, the events of the last two weeks also speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and the Arab world that is moving towards democracy.
Now, let me be clear: Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not and will not seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad. We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue, nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks or the hateful speech by some individuals represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims, any more than the views of the people who produced this video represents those of Americans. However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. (Applause.)
It is time to marginalize those who — even when not directly resorting to violence — use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.
That brand of politics — one that pits East against West, and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews — can’t deliver on the promise of freedom. To the youth, it offers only false hope. Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child an education. Smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach. Attacking an embassy won’t create a single job. That brand of politics only makes it harder to achieve what we must do together: educating our children, and creating the opportunities that they deserve; protecting human rights, and extending democracy’s promise.
Understand America will never retreat from the world. We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends, and we will stand with our allies. We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment, and science and technology, energy and development — all efforts that can spark economic growth for all our people and stabilize democratic change.
But such efforts depend on a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect. No government or company, no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered. For partnerships to be effective our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcomed.
A politics based only on anger — one based on dividing the world between “us” and “them” — not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces.
Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.
The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained. The same impulses toward extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans. It leads not to strength and prosperity but to chaos. In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence. And extremists understand this. Because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant. They don’t build; they only destroy.
It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past. And we cannot afford to get it wrong. We must seize this moment. And America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.
The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt — it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” The future must not belong to those who bully women — it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. (Applause.)
The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources — it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. (Applause.)
Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims. It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” (Applause.) Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, that’s the vision we will support.
Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on a prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist. The road is hard, but the destination is clear — a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine. (Applause.) Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey.
In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, peaceful protest, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence.
Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision — a Syria that is united and inclusive, where children don’t need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed — Sunnis and Alawites, Kurds and Christians. That’s what America stands for. That is the outcome that we will work for — with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute, and assistance and support for those who work for this common good. Because we believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and the legitimacy to lead.
In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads. The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors. But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad. Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.
So let me be clear. America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited. We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights. That’s why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict. That is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War. And that is the lesson of the last two decades as well.
History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices. Nations in every part of the world have traveled this difficult path. Europe, the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century, is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa, from Turkey to South Korea, from India to Indonesia, people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.
And it is because of the progress that I’ve witnessed in my own lifetime, the progress that I’ve witnessed after nearly four years as President, that I remain ever hopeful about the world that we live in. The war in Iraq is over. American troops have come home. We’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014. Al Qaeda has been weakened, and Osama bin Laden is no more. Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals. We have seen hard choices made — from Naypyidaw to Cairo to Abidjan — to put more power in the hands of citizens.
At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery. America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations. New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent, and new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity. And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.
All these things give me hope. But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of us, not the actions of leaders — it is the people that I’ve seen. The American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away; the students in Jakarta or Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit mankind; the faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations; the young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise. These men, women, and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the world who share similar hopes and dreams. They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity.
So much attention in our world turns to what divides us. That’s what we see on the news. That’s what consumes our political debates. But when you strip it all away, people everywhere long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes with faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people — and not the other way around.
The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations, for our own people and for people all across the world. That was our founding purpose. That is what our history shows. That is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life.
And I promise you this: Long after the killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens’s legacy will live on in the lives that he touched — in the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi; in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris; in the signs that read, simply, “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.”
They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it, justice will be done, that history is on our side, and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed.
Thank you very much.
Statement by David Cameron at 67th UN General Assembly
Deputy Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am proud that this year Britain welcomed the world to the Olympic and Paralympic games and put on a great display showing that while we may only have the 22nd largest population, we can roll out one of the warmest welcomes in the world.
I am honoured too that in this coming year ! have been asked to co-chair the High Level Panel to build one of our greatest achievements with the Millennium Development Goals.
Britain takes this very seriously. I am convinced that we need to focus more than ever on the building blocks that take countries from poverty to prosperity.
The absence of conflict and corruption. The presence of property rights and the rule of law. We should never forget that for many in the world the closest relative of poverty is injustice.
Development has never been just about aid or money, but I am proud that Britain is a country that keeps its promises to the poorest in the world.
Mr President, a year ago I stood here and argued that the Arab Spring represented an unprecedented opportunity to advance peace, prosperity and security.
One year on, some believe that the Arab Spring is in danger of becoming an Arab Winter.
They point to the riots on the streets, Syria’s descent into a bloody civil war, the frustration at the lack of economic progress and the emergence of newly elected Islamist-led governments across the region.
But they are in danger of drawing the wrong conclusion. Today is not the time to turn back – but to keep the faith and redouble our support for open societies, and for people’s demands for a job and a voice.
Yes, the path is challenging.
But democracy is not- and never has been -just about holding an election.
It is not one person, one vote, once.
It’s about establishing the building blocks of democracy, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, with the majority prepared to defend the rights of the minority, the freedom of the media, a proper place for the army in society and the development of effective state institutions, political parties and wider civil society.
I am not na,ÿ,-ve in believing that democracy alone has some magical healing power.
I am a Liberal Conservative, not a Neo-Conservative.
I respect the different histories and traditions that each country has.
I welcome the steps taken in countries where reform is happening with the consent of the people.
I know that every country takes its own path.
And that progress will sometimes be stow.
Some countries have achieved stability and success based on tradition and consent.
Others have endured decades in which the institutions of civil society were deliberately destroyed.
Political parties banned.
The free media abolished.
The rule of law twisted for the benefit of the few.
We cannot expect the damage of decades to be put right in a matter of months.
But the drive for opportunity, justice and the rule of law and the hunger for a job and a voice are not responsible for the problems in the region.
Quite the opposite.
The building blocks of democracy, fair economies and open societies are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
And we in the United Nations must step up our efforts to support the people of these countries as they build their own democratic future.
Let me take the key arguments in turn.
First of all, there are those who say there has been too little progress, that the Arab
Spring has produced few tangible improvements in people’s lives.
This isn’t right.
Look at Libya since the fall of Gaddafi.
Elections to create a new Congress.
And now plans to integrate armed groups into the national police and army.
None of this is to ignore the huge and sobering challenges that remain.
The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was a despicable act of terrorism.
But the right response is to finish the work Chris Stevens gave his life to.
And that’s what the vast majority of Libyans want too.
As we saw so inspiringly in Benghazi last weekend, they are taking to the streets in their thousands, refusing to allow extremists to hijack their chance for democracy.
The Arab Spring has also brought progress in Egypt where the democratically elected
President has asserted civilian control over the military, in Yemen and Tunisia where elections have also brought new governments to power and in Morocco where there’s a new constitution – and a Prime Minister appointed on the basis of a popular vote for the first time.
And even further afield, Somalia has also taken a vital step forward by electing a new President.
So there has been progress.
And none of it would have come about without people standing up last year and demanding change and this United Nations having the courage to respond.
Second, there is the argument that the removal of dictators has started to unleash a new wave of violence, extremism and instability.
Some argue that in a volatile region only an authoritarian strong man can maintain security and stability.
Or even that recent events prove that democracy in the Middle East brings terrorism not security and sectarian conflict not peace.
We should reject this argument.
I have no illusions about the danger that political transition can be exploited by violent extremists.
I understand the importance of protecting people and defending national security.
And Britain is determined to work with our allies to do this.
But democracy and open societies are not the problem.
The fact is that for decades, too many were prepared to tolerate dictators like Gaddafi and Assad on the basis that they would both keep their people safe at home .and promote stability in the region and the wider world.
In fact, neither was true.
Not only were these dictators repressing their people, ruling by control not by consent, plundering the national wealth and denying people their basic rights and freedoms, they were funding terrorism overseas as well.
Brutal dictatorship made the region more dangerous not less.
More dangerous because these regimes dealt with frustration at home by whipping up anger against their neighbours, Israel and the West.
And more dangerous too, because people denied a job and a voice were given no alternative but a dead end choice between dictatorship and extremism.
What was heartening about the events of Tahrir Square was that the Egyptian people found their voice and rejected this false choice.
They withheld their consent from a government which had lost all legitimacy.
And they chose instead the road to a more open and fair society.
The road is not easy – but it is the right one and it can make countries safer in the end.
Next, there are those who say that, whatever may have been achieved elsewhere, in Syria, the Arab Spring has unleashed a vortex of sectarian violence and hatred with the potential to destroy the whole region.
Syria does present profound challenges.
But those who look at Syria today and blame the Arab Spring have got it the wrong way round.
You can not blame the people for the behaviour of a brutal dictator.
The responsibility lies with the dictator.
Assad is today inflaming Syria’s sectarian tensions, just as his father did as far back as the slaughter in Hama 30 years ago.
And not only in Syria.
Assad has colluded with those in Iran who are set on dragging the region in to wider conflict.
The only way out of Syria’s nightmare is to move forward towards political transition and not to give up the cause of freedom.
The future for Syria is a future without Assad.
It has to be based on mutual consent as was clearly agreed in Geneva in June.
If anyone was in any doubt about the horrors that Assad has inflicted on his people, just look at the evidence published by Save the Children this week ; schools used as torture centres, children as target practice.
A 16 year old Syrian called Wael who was detained in a police station in Dera’a said : “1 have seen children slaughtered. No, I do not think I will ever be ok again… If there was even 1% of humanity in the world, this would not happen”.
The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of this United Nations..-
And in particular, a stain on those who have failed to stand up to these atrocities and in some cases aided and abetted Assad’s reign of terror.
If the United Nations Charter is to have any value in the 21 st Century we must now join together to support a rapid political transition. And at the same time no-one of conscience can turn a deaf ear to the voices of suffering.
Security Council Members have a particular responsibility to support for the UN appeal for Syria
Britain, already the third biggest donor, is today announcing a further $12 million in humanitarian support, including new support for UNICEF’s work helping Syrian children.
And we look to our international partners to do more.
Of course the Arab Spring hasn’t removed overnight the profound economic challenges these countries face.
Too many countries face falling investment, rising food prices and bigger trade deficits.
But it’s completely wrong to suggest the Arab Spring has created these economic problems.
It’s a challenging time for the world economy as a whole. And there was never going to be an economic transformation overnight, not least because far from being successful, open, market-based economies, many of these countries were beset by vested interests and corruption, with unaccountable institutions.
And this created a double problem.
Not just fragile economies, but worse, people were told they had experienced free enterprise and open markets – and they hadn’t.
We must help them unwind this legacy of endemic corruption, military expenditure they can’t afford, natural resources unfairly exploited – in short, mass kleptocracy.
And while I’m on the subject of stolen assets, we also have a responsibility to help these countries get back the stolen assets that are rightfully theirs, just as we have returned billions of dollars of assets to Libya.
It is simply not good enough that the Egyptian people continue to be denied these assets long after Mubarak has gone.
Today I am announcing a new British Task Force to work with the Egyptian government to gather evidence, trace assets, work to change EU law and pursue the legal cases that will return this stolen money.
Finally, and perhaps most challenging of all for Western countries like mine, is the argument that elections have simply opened the door to Islamist parties whose values are incompatible with truly open societies.
My response to this is clear.
We should respect the outcome of elections.
But we should not compromise on our definition of what makes an open society.
We should judge these Islamists by what they do.
The test is this.
Will you entrust the rights of citizenship to your countrymen and women who do not share your specific political or religious views ?
Do you accept that – unlike the dictators you replaced – you should never pervert the democratic process to hold onto power if you lose the consent of the people ?
Will you live up to your commitments to protect the rule of law for all citizens, to defend the rights of Christians and minorities and to allow women a full role in society, in the economy and in politics ?
Because the truth is this : you can not build strong economies, open societies and inclusive political systems if you lock out women.
The eyes of the world may be on the Brothers, but the future is as much in the hands of their Mothers, Sisters and Daughters.
Holding Islamists to account must also mean that if they attempt to undermine the stability of other countries or if they encourage terrorism instead of peace and conflict instead of partnership, then we will oppose them.
That is why, Iran will continue to face the full force of sanctions and scrutiny from this United Nations until it gives up its ambitions to spread a nuclear shadow over the world.
And it is also why we will not waver from our insistence that Hamas gives up violence.
Hamas must not be allowed to dictate the way forward.
Palestinians should have the chance to fulfil the same aspirations for a job and a voice as others in region and we support their right to have a State and a home.
And Israelis should be able to fulfil their own aspirations to live in peace and security with their neighbours.
So, of course there are challenges working with governments that have different views and cultural traditions.
But there’s a fundamental difference between Islam and extremism. Islam is a great religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people.
Islamist extremism is a warped political ideology supported by a minority that seeks to hijack a great religion to gain respectability for its violent objectives.
It’s vital that we make this distinction.
In Turkey, we see a government with roots in Islamic values, but one with democratic politics, an open economy and a responsible attitude to supporting change in Libya, Syria and elsewhere in the region.
I profoundly believe the same path is open to Egypt, Tunisia and their neighbours.
And we must help them take it.
Democracy and Islam can flourish alongside each other.
So let us judge governments not by their religion – but by how they act and what they do.
And let us engage with the new democratic governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya so that their success can strengthen democracy not undermine it.
Mr President, there is no doubt that we are in the midst of profound change and that many uncertainties lie ahead.
But the building blocks of democracy, fair economies and open societies are part of the solution not part of the problem.
Indeed, nothing in the last year has changed my fundamental conviction.
The Arab Spring represents a precious opportunity for people to realise their aspirations for a job, a voice and a stake in their own future.
And we, in this United Nations, must do everything we can to support them.
France:Statement by François Hollande at 67th UN General Assembly
Representatives of your states,
This is the first time that I have spoken at this forum at the United Nations. It’s with some emotion that I do so because I’m aware of what the UN does for our world, what it has been for our history. I also do so with a sense of responsibility, because France is a permanent member of the Security Council and therefore has obligations. I’m also here to reaffirm values that don’t belong to any one people, that aren’t the property of any one continent, that are not the privilege of any one fraction of the population. I’m here to uphold the universal values that France has always proclaimed, the rights to which all human beings should be entitled wherever they live: freedom, safety and resistance to oppression.
These values and these rights are still being flouted all too often in our world, which is facing three major threats we must deal with.
The first is the threat of fanaticism, which fuels violence. We’ve seen this violence yet again in recent days.
The second is the global economy, which has been affected by a crisis that is fuelling unacceptable inequalities.
The third is climate change, which is threatening the very survival of our planet.
The United Nations’ mission is to overcome these challenges and to find, together, fair and strong solutions. Fair solutions, because force without justice is blind. And strong solutions, because justice without force is powerless.
I’m also here to express the confidence that France has in the UN.
Over the past few years, we’ve been able, together, to put an end to deadly conflicts and prevent clashes.
But while we’re sending 100,000 blue helmets who take action on behalf of the UN – and I want to pay tribute to them – the UN is, at the same time, as a result of division, deadlock in our own institutions and inertia, unable to prevent war, atrocities, and violations of the rights of peoples. So on behalf of France, I draw this conclusion: if we want to make the world safer, it’s up to us to assume our responsibilities.
First, by reforming our organization, the UN.
The Security Council must be able to better reflect the reality of today’s world. That’s why I reaffirm once again that France supports the demand for expansion put forward by Germany, Japan, India and Brazil. She also supports a greater African presence, including among the permanent members. Having a seat on the Security Council doesn’t mean benefiting from a privilege in the name of history, any more than it means achieving an ambition linked to economic power. Having a seat on the Security Council means making a commitment to take action to promote peace across the world.
Because we have a duty to take action. To take action together and to take swift action, because it’s a matter of urgency.
The first matter of urgency is Syria.
The UN Assembly has on several occasions denounced the massacres perpetrated by the Syrian regime, demanded that those responsible for the crimes be brought to justice and supported a democratic transition. But the human suffering is still continuing today. 30,000 dead in 18 months. How many more deaths do we need before we take action? How can we accept the UN’s paralysis?
I’m certain of one thing: the Syrian regime will never regain its place within the community of nations. It has no future among us. That’s why I have taken the decision on behalf of France to recognize, once it’s formed, the interim government representing the new Syria. This government will itself have to provide guarantees that every community will be respected and allowed to live in security in its own country.
And so, right now, I demand that the United Nations immediately provide the Syrian people with all the assistance, all the support they’re asking for, particularly for the liberated areas to be protected and humanitarian assistance provided to the refugees. As for the leaders in Damascus, they must understand that the international community will not stand idly by if they take the unfortunate step of using chemical weapons.
There’s also an urgent need to combat the greatest threat to global stability: I mean the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
For years now, Iran has been ignoring the international community’s demands, has avoided IAEA inspections, and has not kept her word or complied with the Security Council resolutions. I myself hoped that negotiation could really take place and that targets would be set. Once again this negotiation did not succeed. France does not accept this violation, which is a threat to regional security and, as we know, a threat to global peace. So I want to say here again that we’re ready to impose new sanctions – not to punish the great people of Iran but to say to their leaders that they must resume the negotiations before it’s too late.
The third matter of urgency is to finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The status quo that we’re familiar with is not an answer. It’s a situation of deadlock. France will once again – and I give you my word on this – do everything in her power to help restore the groundwork for negotiations that should lead to the coexistence of the two states, which we all know is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region.
The last matter of urgency – and perhaps the first one we should deal with this week – is the Sahel. The situation created by the occupation of a territory in northern Mali by terrorist groups is intolerable, inadmissible and unacceptable, not only for Mali, who is directly affected by this terrorist evil, but for all the countries of the region and, beyond, for all those who may one day be the victims of terrorism. The African Union, which I salute, and ECOWAS have said they are ready to take courageous decisions. The authorities of Mali have just brought this matter before us. So there is no time to lose. I want to announce that France will support all initiatives that enable the Africans themselves to resolve this issue in accordance with international law, with a clear mandate from the Security Council. Yes, Mali must regain her territorial integrity and terrorism must be banished from the Sahel region.
CLIMATE/DEVELOPMENT/FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX
Ladies and gentlemen, responding to emergencies is the UN’s role. But it isn’t just about emergencies – we must also rally around an ambition: that of development.
The Rio+20 Conference, which I attended, was one step, disappointing for some, encouraging for others. I believe we now have an agenda that should enable us to combine economic growth, poverty reduction, social progress and environmental protection. This is what we have to do in the long term.
A global climate agreement must be achieved by 2015. I want to announce that at that time, my country is prepared to host the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, because I want us, together, to meet this challenge.
At the same time, one of the disappointments of Rio was that we were unable to agree on the establishment of a UN Environment Organization. The creation of this environment agency remains France’s objective. It would be based in Africa, because that continent has been neglected for far too long, it is facing climatic threats, and also because giving Africa this future global environment agency would be wonderfully symbolic.
Speaking of development, I also want us to take an honest look at reality. We will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals without new resources. We are all aware of our respective nations’ budgetary constraints. That’s why, here at this UN forum, I am issuing a call for innovative financing. It would give our organizations the resources to effectively fight diseases – HIV-AIDS, malaria etc. I want to applaud the success of UNITAID, which was financed by a tax on plane tickets. This is the path upon which we have embarked. Now we must take the next step, which I propose: establishing a financial transaction tax, to which several European countries have already agreed, so that capital movements can be reined in or, if they are not, can – through this tax – finance development and fight threats to public health. France has created such a tax. France has even made another commitment: to earmark at least 10% of this tax for development and for fighting public health threats and pandemics.
That is the message I wanted to send you today: let’s ensure that a global financial transaction tax is instituted and its revenues are allocated to development and the fight against pandemics. It would be a fine example of what I call the globalization of solidarity. It is one of the most beautiful ideas that the world can uphold.
DRUGS AND ARMS TRAFFICKING
But the UN’s mission isn’t only to combat financial instability or to make development a great cause. It is also to combat all forms of instability.
I am thinking of drug trafficking, a scourge affecting producer, transit and consumer countries. In the face of drug traffickers and their alliances with terrorist networks, the UN must formulate and implement a global strategy to combat drugs.
Arms trafficking, too, represents a very serious threat. France is resolutely committed to concluding a global treaty on the arms trade.
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS/PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
What the United Nations must also defend and promote is a concept of the world based on fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Arab Spring proved these values are universal and apply to all continents and all countries. I want to applaud what took place in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
It’s true that transitions are not easy; there are risks, there may be setbacks, and violence may be used in an attempt to erase achievements and progress. France will support those countries’ new, democratically elected political authorities in their uncompromising fight against extremism, fanaticism, hatred, intolerance and violence, regardless of the provocations they may encounter, because there is no justification for violence, ever.
France wants to set an example, not to teach others a lesson but because it’s our history, our message. Setting an example in promoting fundamental freedoms is our battle and a matter of honour for us.
That is why France will remain at the forefront of all these struggles: for the abolition of the death penalty, for women’s right to equality and dignity, for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, which cannot be seen as a crime but – on the contrary – as the recognition of an orientation, and we will continue to fight for the protection of civilians. Let me remind you that this Assembly showed itself capable of reaffirming the principle that states have the responsibility to ensure the security of their civilians. And if they should fail in this obligation, we, the UN, must implement the means to do so in their place. Let us not renege on this promise for the sake of convenience. I am thinking in particular of what is going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where civilians are the principal victims of clashes and where outside interference must end as swiftly as possible.
These are the principles and directions that France will uphold and defend before the United Nations. France has confidence in the United Nations. She knows that no one state, no matter how powerful, can resolve urgent problems, fight for development and bring an end to all crises. No one state can do this, but if we stand together, we will be able to live up to our responsibilities. France wants the UN to be the centre of global governance. But do the states that make up our organization want this to be its principle and its objective?
I say this with deep seriousness, because where there is paralysis, where there is inertia, where there is inaction, injustice and intolerance may take hold.
What I want you to understand here is that we must take action. We must act to shoulder our responsibilities and to resolve urgent problems: Syria, nuclear proliferation, the Sahel. We must act in order to bring about another world, that of development. We must act in support of innovative financing and to fight threats to public health. We must act, act always, and act together. Let us live up to the mission with which we’ve been entrusted and justify the hopes of the world’s people. That is France’s message.
JAPAN: Statement by Yoshihiko Noda at 67th UN General Assembly
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to His Excellency Mr. A1-Nasser for his dedication during his one-year tenure as President and congratulate His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremid on his assumption of duties as President of the Sixty-Seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly. I would also like to pay my deep respect to His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership.
One year ago, I started my speech on this podium by conveying our outpouring of appreciation to the world.
It has been one and a half years since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March last year. The people in the affected areas are making strenuous efforts to revive their hometowns with an unyielding spirit. In order to respond to generous support from all over the world, we, the Japanese, vowed before the souls of the victims to hand down the lessons learned from the disaster to succeeding generations beyond our national borders.
Japan will continue sharing these lessons with the world in order to build societies resilient to natural disasters and to make concrete contributions to nuclear safety. The Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, which is scheduled for the end of this year and co-sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction, which Japan aims to host in three years, will all provide meaningful opportunities to share lessons.
The warning from nature brought on by the unprecedented earthquake and massive tsunami posed a more fundamental question as to how we should sustain our civilization.
Since the moment of their birth, human beings have transformed their own “wisdom” into power to survive harsh natural environments. Despite advanced science and technology in modem civilization, however, forces of nature have reminded us how human beings are still weak and have a fragile existence.
Threats that may endanger human existence lie in advanced civilization itself, and not only in nature. There are a number of examples of threats such as environmental degradation, terrorism, and proliferation of nuclear weapons.
What is required for the human species to be able to keep its presence on earth and continue to enjoy peace and prosperity ? The answer is clear. Humans must get wiser. This is it.
Humans have so far gained abundant knowledge. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution unfolding in front of us is building up human “knowledge” further on a geometric scale and at an exponential speed. Human “wisdom” seems to have improved dramatically.
However, is that true ? Walking in the forefront of a long human history, we are living in a period of complicated and violent change. Tensions among nations have risen in many parts of the world with more uncertain future prospects.
The real test for us to survive in this unprecedented period is not how much knowledge and information we have, but to learn the true value of numerous pearls of “wisdom” human beings have accumulated.
One of the first such pearls of wisdom humans gained was power to give adequate thought to not only the “now,” but also the “future.” It is the power to imagine the benefits of future generations beyond our own benefits and act on their behalf.
Agricultural society, which prompted human beings to open a new vista, was made possible through the long-term perspective toward the future that human beings acquired when they waited for the harvest instead of thinking solely about immediate concerns.
Now is the time for us to exert our wisdom and build a sustainable future for the sake of succeeding generations.
Many countries have built up massive fiscal deficits so fiscal soundness is now a common challenge. If people living now do not overcome deficits by cutting spending and striving to increase revenues, future generations will be forced to repay the deficits. This structure is nothing but current generations exploiting future generations.
Democracy is historically-proven to be the best political system. However, we are faced with the enormous challenge of whether or not democracy can serve as a system to keep fairness between generations across the globe. Under the parliamentary democracy, comprised of representatives serving people living now, there are no guarantees when it comes to properly representing the interests of future generations. The structure invites politics that burden silent future generations and puts problems off.
We are all responsible for the next generations. The challenges facing us must be resolved by our generation. Political leaders must take charge of their responsibilities now for tomorrow. In order to protect sound democratic societies, now is the time to exert the “power to think about the benefits for future generations.”
Over the past 20-odd years, Japan repeatedly procrastinated in politics and was considered a symbol of a “country that delayed decisions,” but I pledged to change the politics of Japan and staked my political life on the realization of “comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems.”
This reform is an ambitious package of policies made to support Japan’s social security system by maintaining a stable financial basis in the face of a rapidly aging population and paving the way for fiscal rehabilitation. It is a comprehensive reform pursuing both economic growth and fiscal reconstruction. Japan is taking a firm step toward a “country that makes decisions” without postponing difficult issues.
Another pearl of wisdom that humans acquired was from the perspective of looking down at the earth where we live.
I recently had an opportunity to communicate directly with Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide during his stay in the International Space Station orbiting the earth by a phone link with the ground station to my office. At the time of the linkup, a female elementary school student who was attending with us posed a riddle to the astronaut.
“What the earth has but space doesn’t have is air and gravity. So what does space have that the earth doesn’t ?” The astronaut replied, a “perspective of looking at the earth from outside of it.” This conversation expressed in simple terms what I want to say today.
Because we have obtained the perspective of “looking at the earth from outside,” humanity at large shares the sublime mission to protect the global environment. We must always return to this perspective, going beyond borders and advancing concrete measures to protect the earth’s environment-a basis of the survival of human beings.
In an effort to protect the global environment, a significant outcome was achieved for sustainable development at Rio+20 in June this year. Japan announced the “Green Future Initiatives,” proposing that we explore “sustainable growth” in prosperity without the supply-demand crunch of natural resources and energy, and a worsening global environment. Japan will realize a low carbon and sound material-cycle society and take the lead in solving common energy challenges facing the world. To this end, we need more innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy. In light of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on March 11 last year, the Government of Japan, aiming at realizing a society not dependent on nuclear power in the 2030’s, while constantly reviewing and reexamining policies as carefully assessing future outlook including the international situation regarding energy, will mobilize all possible policy resources to demonstrate to the world a model which will underpin a good balance between the shift toward green energy and economic growth.
Being even more conscious of our “one precious earth,” we must direct our warm attention to the preciousness of each life breathing on this earth. The Japan-led resolution on “human security” adopted at the General Assembly at the United Nations on the 10th of this month can be a solid guide in envisaging the development for the next generation from the perspective of each person including women and young people. In light of the common understanding of “human security” stipulated in the resolution, Japan is determined to contribute to worldwide efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and work toward the establishment of the next development framework.
The ideal of “human security” must be most emphasized on the African continent, which steadily blooms with hidden potentials of development but is still suffering from many challenges, such as poverty, natural disasters, and conflicts. On the occasion of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD V at Yokohama in June next year, Japan plans to discuss the measures the international community and Africa should take and put into action.
We must completely resolve challenges that place our precious lives in danger. Afghanistan is making its utmost efforts for reconstruction after the long-drawn scourge of war, South Sudan is advancing its nation-building efforts, and Myanmar has taken steady steps toward democracy and reconciliation. Japan will make every possible effort to support and promote peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and “human security” in each region.
A third pearl of wisdom that humans obtained was the manner in which human beings settle disputes reasonably under rules.
Human beings have acquired language and nurtured wisdom, but they have failed to resist temptation to solve conflicts by force even in modern times.
Despite two world wars and the two calamities of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, disarmament, non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and prevention of terrorism continue to be contemporary issues. As nuclear and missile issues in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran currently pose serious threats to the entire world, it is indispensable for each country to coordinate at the United Nations and the IAEA, including the implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions to urge both the DPRK and Iran to take concrete actions. Japan, the only country that has experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, will continue to carry out a mission of seeking a “world free of nuclear weapons.”
The issue of abductions by the DPRK represents a violation of basic human rights. Thus, this is a universal issue and a matter of grave concern to the entire international community. Japan is committed to continuing its utmost efforts to realizing the return of all victims at the earliest possible date, through strengthened coordination with other Member States. Japan intends to maintain its efforts to comprehensively resolve outstanding issues of concern, settle the unfortunate past, and normalize relations in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Japan continues to urge the DPRK to take positive steps.
Humans have done more than just act on their lust for the use of force. We have also developed a skill to solving conflicts calmly by reason ; it is called the “rule of law.”
Any state has a responsibility to protect peace, ensure the safety of its people, and protect its sovereignty, territorial land and sea. Japan will also fulfill such responsibility in accordance with international law. Meanwhile, as globalization proceeds, challenges confronting the international community are getting increasingly complex, and relations between nations can easily get tense. At this critical juncture, we are to establish the “rule of law” as a basis for global peace, stability, and prosperity. The “rule of law” is essential to preventing and resolving conflicts in a peaceful manner, and it plays a critical role in maintaining a stable and predictable society ; thus it must be further enhanced. Any attempt to realize a country’s ideology or claim by unilateral use of force or threat is inconsistent with the fundamental spirit of the UN charter and is against the wisdom of human being, thus absolutely unacceptable. It is important to try to further develop international law and ensure it gets implemented more effectively. I strongly call for leaders to strengthen the “rule of law” so as to leave future generations with a more peaceful and stable international community.
We are actually witnessing conflicts between nations being settled based on international law. A typical example would be within the Dispute Settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The mechanism made it possible for states to solve trade disputes with the common language of “law,” not by “force,” in the Panel or the Appellate Body.
Japan has always valued the “rule of law” and contributed to strengthening it. After joining the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Japan consistently recognized the jurisdiction of the Court as compulsory and took the lead in practicing the “rule of law.”
Japan is leading the world in its personnel and f’mancial contribution to international judicial institutions. Besides the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Japanese judges have served also at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and Japan has provided the latter three with the largest financial support. Japan is asking each country to kindly offer financial support to the Extraordinary Chambers of Cambodia facing severe financial crisis at the moment.
Supporting the United Nations in promoting the “rule of law” continues to be a huge challenge. Once again, in cooperation with the United Nations, I call for nations to recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ as Japan did and for non-member countries of the ICC and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to join at an early date. There are still a number of territorial and maritime disputes in many parts of the world. It is the philosophy of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as a shared principle in the international community, to settle disputes in a peaceful manner based on international law. Japan, under any circumstance, is determined to comply with the principle and seek peaceful solutions based on international law. The world should pay more attention to the role the judicial institutions can play in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The Middle East and Africa are still in a tumultuous whirlpool though they are moving toward the establishment of democracy. Japan will continue to support democratization and reform efforts by each country. We cannot overlook continuous violence and suppression in Syria as well as serious violations of human rights from the perspective of the “rule of law.” Japan strongly condemns the massive attacks in Syria, involving tens of thousands of innocent citizens, journalists and aid workers, including Ms. Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese journalist. Japan intends to put more pressure on the Government of Syria along with the international community and extend humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria.
Let me emphasize that civilians must be protected and the safety of diplomats and workers of international organizations must be secured in the international community, which ought to be upheld through the “rule of law.” Today, violence against this principle must not be tolerated for any reason.
The concept of the “rule of law” is the foundation for a stable and reliable society, making movement of peoples and trade more vibrant and serving as a basis of prosperity. I believe that “the rule of law,” can be an important infrastructure that brings order and prosperity to a network of states centering on the Asia-Pacific region. Japan will make vigorous contributions to rule-making efforts to expand trade and investment, build maritime order including safety of navigation, and create order for prosperity.
Rules needed in the international community are not simply for solving individual problems. Orderly relations between nations or within international organizations require the “rule of law” – namely “enhanced global governance.” Unless all nations fulfill responsibilities in their respective capacities, we cannot overcome various common challenges confronting the world. In particular, I hope that emerging economies will fulfill their responsibilities commensurate with each national power.
As part of such efforts, it is important that we engage in thorough discussions on how the United Nations should develop in the future. We strongly support the management reform of the United Nations. Also, the Security Council must be endowed with a legitimacy that reflects the realities of the world today in order for the Council to be fully effective. Japan is ready to take on greater responsibility in the international community. Now is the time to accelerate the stalled process on the Security Council reform and start genuine negotiations.
So far, I have mentioned three pearls of wisdom necessary for human beings to live sustainable lives in the future and I have also tried to convey Japan’s contribution in each of them.
I have a belief. Human beings will continue adapting to this complex society and get wiser. They will give adequate consideration to future generations and solve disputes calmly by reason under rules from the perspective of looking at the earth from the outside.
Let us take charge of our responsibilities for tomorrow together. The lofty task for us living now is to carry out the “politics where we imagine the benefits for future generations” and gather all our wisdom to set a course toward the survival of human beings.
I should like to conclude my remarks by pledging to all of you that Japan will stand at the forefront of carving out a future of human history toward peaceful and affluent societies.
Thank you for your kind attention.
RUSSIA:Statement by Sergey Lavrov at 67th UN General Assembly
Distinguished Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen,
For over a year and a half the situation in the Middle East and North Africa has been a nerve knot of the global politics. The deep changes that have swept over the region, intertwine with the key problems of the modern international relations and require everyone to use a comprehensive approach, to reject simplified and ideology-driven patterns and double standards.
Russia consistently supports the peoples in their aspiration to determine their destiny by themselves, and to pave the way to more effective models of public governance. We believe it is particularly important to carry out those transformations in a non-violent way and without outside interference. We strongly believe that all the members of the international community should be interested in making the MENA peaceful, stable, democratic, and free from domestic and inter-State conflicts. So far, however, there has been no progress in reaching the unanimity in the efforts of outside players to create conditions for achieving that goal.
Of particular concern is the deepening of internal conflict in Syria. We have consistently called for consolidated efforts of the international community to compel the government and its opponents to immediately cease the violence and come to the negotiating table and to elaborate a compromise on the content and pace of the reforms that would satisfy all Syrians and ensure safety and the rights of all ethnic and religious groups. This is the substance of the consensus recorded in the Geneva communiqué of the Action Group agreed upon as follow-up of the Kofi Annan Plan.
We call upon all members of the Action Group to fully confirm the commitments that all of us have taken on in Geneva. This is the shortest way to stop the loss of human life in Syria. We proposed to adopt a resolution in the UN Security Council that would endorse the Geneva communiqué as the basis for negotiations at the beginning of the transitional period, but this proposal had been blocked. Those who oppose the implementation of the Geneva communiqué take upon themselves an enormous responsibility. They insist on a ceasefire only by the government and encourage the opposition to intensify hostilities – but in fact they push Syria even deeper in the abyss of bloody intestine strife. The militarization of conflict is continuing with the calls for an open intervention. The extremist organizations including Al-Qaeda have become more active in Syria – they perpetrate terrorist attacks against innocent civilians and civil infrastructure. The number of war crimes is growing – both on the side of the government forces and opposition, as it has been recorded in the recent report of the commission of the UN Human Rights Council.
Russia resolutely condemns any violence, wherever it comes from, and is convinced that there is still an opportunity to undertake collective actions. Practical steps to overcome the crisis need to begin with a comprehensive ceasefire, release of prisoners and hostages and supply of additional humanitarian aid. This will create conditions to start an inter-Syrian dialogue. We hope that the experience of special UN-Arab League representative Lakhdar Brahimi will help agree on such arrangements with the support of the international community. Russia will provide its full support to ensure the success of his mission.
The transformations in the Middle East should not marginalize the Palestinian problem. The achievement of a comprehensive, just and durable Arab-Israeli settlement that should lead, among other results, to the establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, coexisting in peace and security with Israel, would become a major contribution to normalization of the overall regional situation. The Arab Peace Initiative fully retains its relevance, and we support the efforts of the League of Arab States to move it forward.
I also wish to stress that it is important to implement the decision on convening in 2012 the Conference on establishing in the Middle East of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to ensure participation in the Conference of all States of the region that should agree on key arrangements among themselves. In this regard, the League of Arab States is called to play an important role.
On the whole, we support closer ties between the UN and regional entities. I would note that in our part of the world today a memorandum on cooperation was signed between the CSTO Secretariat and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. I am convinced that this will increase the efficiency of common efforts to ensure stability and security.
All our actions should rely on a solid basis of the UN Charter, where nothing provides for the right to change regimes. It is unacceptable to impose a political system of a country on its people. This was clearly stated by President Vladimir Putin speaking at the Kremlin on 26 September.
All the sequence of events in the Arab world and in other regions proves the futility of such a policy that can lead to dangerous accumulation of interethnic and inter-religious clashes in international relations. We believe it is an obligation of all States to protect from provocations and blasphemy the religious feelings of people of any religious affiliation. At the same time, there can be no justification to the acts of terror, regardless of where they are committed – be it in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen or anywhere else. Attacks against diplomats or UN personnel are absolutely unacceptable.
In general, we are convinced that today when the world lives through a transition period that is characterized by instability in the spheres of economy, politics or inter-civilizational relations, it is particularly important for the UN member States to be able to rely on accepted rules of conduct, and to agree on a joint response to the threats to global stability. We should not allow irresponsible actions dictated by expedient interests to shatter the system of international law. The world order is threatened by arbitrary interpretation of such essential principles as non-use or threat of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and non-interference in their domestic affairs.
These are the key principles of the UN Charter, which confers the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security on the Security Council. In advancing the reform of the United Nations, it is necessary to preserve the capacity of the Security Council to perform these functions. Their erosion would deprive the international community of an essential mechanism for elaboration of joint approaches to the settlement of crisis situations.
It is appropriate to mention the compulsory instruments at the disposal of the United Nations. Imposition of sanctions under the UN Charter is attributed to the competence of the Security Council. Decisions must be made on a collegial basis with the understanding that sanctions should not lead to isolation of that or another State, but rather encourage it to engage in a dialogue in order to remove questions that the UN member States may have. It is essential that the sanctions should be well-measured, and they should not cause any suffering to the population. In the past the UN Security Council discussed the issue of humanitarian limits of sanctions, but somehow the discussions faded away. We believe it is important to resume them.
There is another issue to be discussed in the Security Council – consequences of unilateral sanctions imposed by a State or a group of States sidestepping the United Nations to advance their political goals. We have no doubt that such sanctions, especially when they are applied ex-territorially, weaken the unity of the international community and undermine the effectiveness of its efforts.
For many years, the trade and economic, and financial restrictions imposed by the United States against Cuba have remained an illustration of negative impact of unilateral sanctions. Russia, together with the overwhelming majority of members of the international community, calls for an earliest lift of this blockade, as a relict of the Cold War.
Special attention should be given to practical enforcement of the Security Council’s decisions on sanctions against non-State actors and illegal trans-border formations.
In general, the events of the recent years have clearly shown that unilateral actions that violate international law and go beyond the decisions of the UN Security Council or distort the substance of these decisions do not do any good.
Of course, the legal norms in international affairs will be further adjusted as necessary. But these transformations should be treated with utmost responsibility and full realization of serious risks associated with them. Only consensus can be the criterion for their adoption. Violations of international law should not be portrayed as their “creative development”.
All of the above has also to do with the debate regarding the concept of “responsibility to protect”. Its further discussion should be held on the basis of the approaches agreed upon at the UN Summit in 2005 that reaffirmed the need to observe the principles of the UN Charter with regard to response to intra-State conflicts. Protection of civilians is an issue, which is too serious to be exploited for achieving political goals. The ambiguity of the “responsibility to protect” concept can be better understood in light of initiatives formulated by Brazil and several other States to help move forward to a consensus.
Let us not forget that the UN founding fathers in their wisdom agreed upon and endorsed the United Nations Charter that enshrined the principles for regulation of the multi-polar world order. Now, when the abnormal bipolar period of the Cold War is over, and when it has become obvious for everyone that there is no place for unipolarity in the modern world, and that the international reality can be only polycentric, we have a unique chance to fully implement the original potential of the UN Charter.
This is a hard challenge. International relations are clearly experiencing a lack of credibility. We regard this as the main obstacle to practical progress towards the establishment of universal foundations of equal and indivisible security – be it in the Euro-Atlantic area, the Asia-Pacific region or other parts of the world. Such a state of affairs clearly contradicts the concept of collective security embodied in the UN Charter, and the deep interdependence of the modern world where the majority of challenges and threats are common for all and have a cross-border dimension.
Strengthening of confidence and collective principles in the international life with the emphasis on negotiating pursuit for compromise solutions would help substantially reduce the level of instability and move forward in the settlement of crisis situations not only in the Middle East, but also around Iran, Afghanistan, in the Korean peninsula and throughout the world.
The final goal of the efforts to settle a conflict is to ensure the right to life and other fundamental human rights: political, economic and social. The events of the recent years confirm that without lasting peace and sustainable development, it is impossible to ensure human rights. In its turn, the protection of human rights should contribute to security and development of people rather than serve as a pretext for illegal interference in the domestic affairs of States.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to an international order in which their rights can be fully realized. Those who use military force and sanctions bypassing the UN Charter or engage in illicit supplies of arms, or whitewash terrorists grossly violate this right.
Russia stands for the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and respect for traditional values on which the human civilization is based and where all world religions converge. This is a moral foundation of the modern society, the “cement” that bonds nations and peoples.
In the recent years these values have been undergoing trials caused by manifestations of immorality, extremism and racial intolerance. Another matter of concern is the even more assertive actions of those who claiming the freedom of speech connive the glorification of Nazis and their accomplices, and desecrate the memory of the victims of the World War II and the victors of Fascism. Such actions are incompatible with the obligations of States under the UN Charter.
Let me recall that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights directly prohibits the propaganda of war and incitement of national and religious discord. This means that the freedom of speech and assembly cannot be used as justification for propaganda of Nazi or other radical or extremist views in violation of basic principles and norms of international law.
Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed Russia-proposed resolution on interrelation of human rights and traditional values. It is regrettable that a number of Western States voted against this document, which is especially relevant today.
The progress towards a true partnership in international relations is possible only on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The course of events in the world leaves no alternative to anyone but to join efforts in order to build a stable, equitable and democratic international system. It would be possible to resist this objective trend and try to preserve the old order for a while. But such resistance will cost new lives, suffering and destruction. Let us display our vision and instead of looking back at the history of previous centuries, take the side of the history that is unfolding before us now and requires a lot of collective statesmanship.
Iran:Statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at 67th UN General Assembly
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
All Praise Belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and May Peace and Blessings be upon the Greatest and Trustworthy Prophet and His Pure Progeny, His Chosen Companions, and upon all Divine Messengers.
Oh, God, Hasten the Emergence of Your Chosen Beloved, Grant Him Good Health and Victory, Make us His Best Companions, and all those who attest to His Rightfulness.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Almighty God for having once more the chance to participate in this meeting.
We have gathered here to ponder and work together for building a better life for the entire human community and for our nations.
Coming from Iran, the land of glory and beauty, the land of knowledge, culture, wisdom and morality, the cradle of philosophy and mysticism, the land of compassion and light, the land of scientists, scholars, philosophers, masters of literature, and writers, the land of Avicenna, Ferdowsi, Hafiz, Maulana, Attar, Khayyam, and Shariar, I represent a great and proud nation that is a founder of human civilization and an inheritor of respected universal values. I represent a conscious nation which is dedicated to the cause of freedom, peace and compassion, a nation that has experienced the agony and bitter times of aggressions and imposed wars, and profoundly values the blessings of peace and stability. I am now here for the eighth time in the eighth year of my service to my noble people in this august assembly of sisters and brothers from across the world, to show to the world that my noble nation like its brilliant past, has a global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility which can be only realized through harmony, cooperation and joint management of the world.
I am here to voice the divine and humanitarian message of learned men and women of my country to you and to the whole world; a message that Iran’s great orator and poet, presented to humanity in his eternal two-line poetry:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul,
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasy will remain,
I have talked in the past seven years about the current challenges, solutions and prospects of the future world. Today I want to raise and discuss such issues from a different perspective.
Thousands of years has passed since children of Adam (peace be upon Him) started to settle down in various parts of Earth.
Peoples of different colors, tastes, languages, customs and traditions pursued persistently to fulfill their aspirations to build a noble society for a more beautiful life blessed with lasting peace, security and happiness.
Despite all efforts made by righteous people and justice seekers, and the sufferings and pains endured by masses of people in the quest to achieve happiness and victory, the history of mankind, except in rare cases, is marked with unfulfilled dreams and failures.
Imagine for a moment:
Had there been no egoism, distrust, malicious behaviors, and dictatorships with no one violating the rights of others;
Had humanitarian values been viewed as the criterion for social dignity in place of affluence and consumerism,
Had humanity not experienced the dark age of medieval periods, and centers of power not hindered the flourishing of knowledge and constructive thoughts,
Had the wars of Crusade and the ensuing periods of slavery and colonialism not happened, and had the inheritors of these dark periods followed a course on the premises of humanitarians principles,
Had the first and second World Wars in Europe, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America, and in the Balkans not happened, and if instead of the occupation of Palestine and imposition of a fake government, displacement and genocide of millions of people around the globe, the truth behind these wars had been revealed based on justice,
Had Saddam Hussein not invaded Iran, and had the big powers supported the rights of Iranian people instead of siding with Saddam,
If the tragic incident of September 11, and the military actions against Afghanistan and Iraq that left millions killed and homeless had not happened, and if, instead of killing and throwing the culprit into the sea without trial or without informing the world and people of America, an independent fact-finding team had been formed to make the general public aware of the truth behind the incident, and prepare for bringing to justice the perpetrators,
Had extremism or terrorism not been used to secure political goals,
Had the arms been turned into pens, and military expenditures been used to promote well-being and amity among nations,
Had the drum of ethnic, religious or racial conflicts not been beaten, and if differences had not been used for the purpose of advancing political agendas,
Had the right to criticize the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionism been recognized to allow the world media to freely report and shed light on the realities, instead of taking deceitful gestures of backing freedom bent on offending the sanctities and most sacred beliefs of human beings and divine messengers, who as the purest and most compassionate human beings are the gift of the Almighty to humanity,
Had the Security Council not been under the domination of a limited number of governments, thus disabling the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities on a just and equitable basis,
If the international economic institutions had not been under pressure and were allowed to perform their duties and functions by using their expertise based on fairness and justice, Had the world capitalists not weakened or victimized the economies of nations in order to make up for their own mistakes,
If integrity and honesty had prevailed on the international relations, and all nations and governments were treated equally and justly in the global efforts to build and expand happiness for the entire mankind,
And if tens of other unfavorable situations had not occurred in human life,
Imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been.
Let us take a look at the world situation today.
a): The Economic Situation
Poverty is on the rise and the gap is widening between the rich and the poor.
Total foreign debt of 18 industrial countries has exceeded 60 trillion dollars, whilst the repayment of half of this amount is sufficient to eradicate poverty in the world.
Economies dependent on consumerism and exploitation of people only serve the interests of a limited number of countries.
Creation of worthless paper assets by using influence and control over the world’s economic centers constitutes the greatest abuse of history, and is considered a major contributor to global economic crisis.
It has been reported that only 32 trillions of paper assets were printed by one government alone.
Development planning based on capitalist economy that runs in a vicious circle, triggers unhealthy and devastating competitions and is a failed practice.
b) The Cultural Situation:
From the standpoint of the politicians who control the world power centers, concepts such as moral principles, purity, honesty, integrity, compassion and selfsacrifice are rejected as defunct and outdated notions, and an impediment to the accomplishment of their goals. They openly talk about their disbelief in the relevance of ethics to the political and social affairs.
Pure and indigenous cultures as the product of centuries – old efforts of nations, the common denominator reflecting human profound feeling and love towards beauties, and the force which breeds diversity, cultural vividness, and social dynamism, are under constant attacks, and susceptible to extinction.
A specific life style devoid of individual or social identity is being imposed on nations by organized and systematic destruction and humiliation of identities.
Family as the noblest institution of societies and a center emanating love and humanity has been seriously weakened and its constructive role is on the decline.
Woman’s sublime role and personality, as a heavenly being, a manifestation of divine image and beauty, and the main pillar of every society, has been damaged and abused by the powerful and the wealthy.
Human soul has become frustrated and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed.
c): Political and Security Situation
Unilateralism, application of double standards, and imposition of wars, instability and occupations to ensure economic interests, and expand dominance over sensitive centers of the world have turned to be the order of the day.
Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass- ’destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent: Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments on due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony. Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.
A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, whilst there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.
No one feels secure or safe even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals.
d): The Environmental Situation
The environment as a common wealth and heritage of the entire humankind and a constant guarantor of man’s survival has been seriously damaged and devastated as a result of irresponsible and excessive use of resources particularly by capitalists across the world, a situation that has caused massive drought, flood, and pollutions inflicting irreparable damage and jeopardizing seriously human life on Earth.
Despite advances in scientific knowledge and technology, the aspirations of Adam’s children have not yet been fulfilled.
Does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for human society.’? Today everyone is discontent and disappointed with the current international order.
Human beings do not deserve to be under continued sufferings of the present situation. God of wisdom and compassion who loves all human beings has not ordained such a destiny for mankind. He has ordered human, as the Supreme Creature, to make the best and most beautiful life on Earth along with justice, 10re, and dignity.
We must, therefore, think of a solution.
Who is responsible for all these sufferings and failures?
Some people try to justify that everything is normal and a reflection of divine will, putting the blame on nations as responsible for all prevalent vices and evils.
They are of the opinion that:
It is the nations that succumb to discrimination and tyranny;
It is the nations that surrender to dictatorship and greed;
It is the nations that accept the hegemony of Arrogant and expansionist powers;
It is the nations that are influenced by the propaganda tactics of powers, and most all vices in our world are the result of their passive attitudes with the inclination to live under the supremacy of the world powers.
These are the arguments raised by those who tend to blame nations for the unfavorable conditions prevailing in the world, with the intention to justify the attitudes and destructive behaviors of the ruling minority.
These claims, supposedly authentic, can not in any way justify continuation of the present oppressive international order. Indeed, Poverty is imposed on nations, and powers’ ambitions and goals are pursued either through deceits or resort to force.
To justify their inhuman actions, they propagate the theory based on ’ the Survival of the fittest’.
While in principle, most governments and nations of justice-seeking people are humble and submissive in the face of Right, and are after fostering dignity, prosperity and constructive interactions.
Masses of people never want to expand their territories, nor do they seek to obtain legendary wealth. They have no disputes among themselves in principles and have never played any role in the creation of any disastrous events in the course of history.
I do not believe that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others have any problems, or are hostile against each other. They get along together comfortably and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity. They are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love.
The general tendency of nations has always been to accomplish positive common aspirations reflecting exalted divine and human beauties and nobilities.
The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil.
The order that is rooted in the anti-human thoughts of slavery and the old and new colonialism are responsible for poverty, corruption, ignorance, oppression and discrimination in every corner of the world.
The current world order has certain characteristics, some of which are as follows:
1. It is founded on materialism, and that is why it is in no way bound to moral values.
2. It has been shaped according to selfishness, deception, hatred and animosity.
3. It believes in classification of human beings, humiliation of other nations, trampling upon the rights of others and their domination.
4. It seeks to expand its domination by spreading discord and conflicts amongst ethnic groups and nations.
5. It aims to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology.
6. Policies of the world’s main centers of power are based on the principles of domination and the conquering of others. These centers only seek supremacy, and are not in favor of peace and definitely not at the service of their nations.
Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interests of the people of the world at their hearts?
Despite what big political parties claim in the capitalistic countries, the money that goes into election campaigns is usually nothing but an investment.
In such countries, people have to vote for parties that only represent a small number of people.
The will and the views of the masses have the least impact and influence on the big decisions especially those made about the major domestic and foreign policies. Their voices are not heard even if they constitute 99% of their societies.
Human and ethical values are sacrificed in order to win votes and the willingness to listen to the demands of the people has become only a tool at the time of election.
7. The current world order is discriminatory and based on injustice.
Distinguished Friends and Colleagues,
What should be done and what is the way out of the current situation?
There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking:
1. An order in which man is recognized as God’s Supreme Creature, enjoying material and spiritual qualities and possessing a pure and divine nature filled with a desire to seek justice and truth.
2. An order that aims to revive human dignity and believes in universal happiness and perfection.
3. An order which is after peace, lasting security and welfare for all walks of life around the globe.
4. An order that is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other. Rulers must love people.
5. A just and fair order in which everybody is equal before law and in which there is no double standard.
6. Leaders of the world must regard themselves as committed servants of their people, not their superiors.
7. Authority is a sacred gift from people to their rulers, not a chance to amass power and wealth.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Is it possible to have such an order without having everybody’s contribution to the way the world is run?
It is abundantly evident that when all the people and governments start to think and commit themselves to the above-mentioned principles and become sensitive to the internationally important issues and participate in decisionmakings, their wishes find a chance to be materialized.
By raising collective awareness, the seeking of a joint global management becomes more vivid with the chances of its implementation increased.
Therefore, Together We Need to:
1. Place our trust in God Almighty and stand against the acquisitive minority with all our might, so that they become isolated, and can no longer decide the destiny of other nations.
2. Believe in the God’s bounty of blessing and mercy and seek it in the integration and unity of human societies. Governments emerging from the free will of nations must believe in their own ceaseless capabilities and know that they can achieve victory if they vigorously fight the unjust order and defend human rights.
3. Pave the ground for the joint global management by insisting upon justice in all its aspects, strengthen unity, friendship and expand economic, social, cultural and political interactions in independent and specialized organizations.
4. Care about the interests of all the people of the world and join hands to reform the current structures of the UN with our joint efforts and coordination. It is necessary to note that the UN belongs to nations. Thus, the existence of discrimination amongst the members is a great insult to all. The existence of discrimination and monopoly in the UN is in no way acceptable.
5. Have more coordinated efforts to generate and propagate and firmly establish the language needed for designing the required structures of the joint global management filled with justice, love and freedom. Participation in global management is the basis of lasting peace. The Non-Aligned Movement as the second largest trans-regional group after the UN, held its 16th summit in Tehran with the motto of “Joint Global Management”, cognizant of the importance of this issue and the shortcomings of the current mismanagement in the emergence of crises and problems afflicting the world today. During the Summit, participating Heads of State and representatives of more than 120 countries underscored the necessity of a more serious and effective participation of all nations in the global management.
Fortunately, we are now at a historic juncture. On one hand, Marxism is no longer around and is practically eliminated from the management systems, and on the other, capitalism is bogged down in a self-made quagmire. It has indeed reached a deadlock and does not seem to be able to come up with any noteworthy solution to the various economic, political, security and cultural problems of the world. NAM is proud to once again emphasize the rightfulness of its historic decision to reject the poles of power and the unbridled hegemony ruling the world. On behalf of the members of NAM, I would like to invite all countries of the world to play a more active role in making it possible for everybody to contribute to the global decision-making processes. The need to remove the structural barriers and encourage the process of universal participation in global management has never been greater before.
The UN lacks the efficiency to bring about the required changes. If this inefficiency persists, nations will lose hope in the global structures to defend their rights. If the UN is not restructured, international interactions and the spirit of collective global cooperation will be tarnished and the standing of the UN will be damaged.
The UN that has been created with the purpose of expanding justice and reinstitution of the universal rights has in practice been engulfed by discrimination preparing a supportive ground for the domination of a few powerful countries. Consequently, UN’s inefficiency has been on the rise. Moreover, the existence of the veto right and monopolization of power in the Security Council have made it nearly impossible to defend the rights of the nations.
The issue of UN re-structuring is very vital and is a need that has been emphasized time and again by the representatives of nations, a goal that has not yet been accomplished.
I would like to urge the honorable members of the United Nations and H.E. the Secretary General and his colleagues to place this issue high on their agenda and devise an appropriate mechanism to make it happen.
NAM stands ready to aid the UN in this essential endeavor.
Mr. President, Friends and Dear Colleagues,
Creating peace and lasting security with decent life for all, although a great and a historic mission can be accomplished. The Almighty God has not left us alone in this mission and has said that it will surely happen. If it doesn’t, then it will be contradictory to his wisdom.
God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of “all the worthy men and women of all nations” he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.
The arrival of the Ultimate Savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life.
His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.
He will come and he will cut through ignorance, superstition, prejudice by opening the gates of science and knowledge. He will establish a world brimful of prudence and he will prepare the ground for the collective, active and constructive participation of all in the global management.
He will come to grant kindness, hope, freedom and dignity to all humanity as a girl.
He will come so mankind will taste the pleasure of being human and being in the company of other humans.
He will come so that hands will be joined, hearts will be filled with love and thoughts will be purified to be at service of security, welfare and happiness for all.
He will come to return all children of Adam irrespective of their skin colors to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division linking them to eternal happiness.
The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming.
Now we can sense the sweet scent and the soulful breeze of the spring, a spring that has just begun and doesn’t belong to a specific race, ethnicity, nation or a region, a spring that will soon reach all the territories in Asia, Europe, Africa and the US.
He will be the spring of all the justice-seekers, freedom-lovers and the followers of heavenly prophets. He will be the spring of humanity and the greenery of all ages.
Let us join hands and clear the way for his eventual arrival with empathy and cooperation, in harmony and unity. Let us march on this path to salvation for the thirsty souls of humanity to taste immortal joy and grace.
Long live this spring, long live this spring and long live this spring.
Israel:Netanyahu’s Crazy UN Speech: Medievalist poses as champion of “modernity”
It’s no wonder the Israeli Foreign Ministry initially held back from releasing a transcript of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly: Bibi’s wackiness doesn’t bear close scrutiny. Perhaps “wacky” isn’t quite the right word for his 40-minute peroration, during which he pulled out a bomb “diagram” and a red marker to illustrate where he would draw a “red line” defining the outer limits of Iran’s nuclear program. Cartoonish is more like it. The cartoonish quality of the bomb drawing underscored the content and tone of the speech, which was the jeremiad of a radical ideologue rather than anything one would expect from a statesman:
“Today a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval. Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the right of all our citizens, men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians, all are equal before the law.”
Israel, which privileges its priestly caste, has a state religion, and bases its national mythology on a “promise” from G-d, is as medieval as any of its neighbors. Aside from being a lie, however, this statement is interesting because it evokes the very same supremacist spirit that animates the controversial pro-Israel public relations campaign launched by the Jewish state’s extremist American supporters. Posters in the public transport system, from New York to San Francisco, proclaim:
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
No wonder the Israeli consulates in New York and San Francisco won’t disavow those vile subway posters: Pamela Geller is the new public face of Israel.
Yes, Israel protects the rights of all citizens – unless they’re Palestinians who happen to own property coveted by the “settlers,” in which case it doesn’t. And the key word here is citizens: of course, the Palestinians in the occupied territories are not citizens, but helots, with no rights, and no protection from fanatical Jewish fundamentalists who have launched hundreds of attacks on their homes, and sought to displace them at every opportunity, with the active complicity of the Israeli government.
This idea that Israel represents “modernity” is rich, considering that every day Israeli society is sinking lower into the morass of religious and cultural fundamentalism, a regression that has not gone unnoticed in the West. Bibi opened his speech with biblical references, describing Jersusalem as the “eternal capital” of Israel and declaring that “the Jewish state will live forever.” Yet as we secularists know, nothing lives “forever,” and the idea of a city being the “eternal” capital of anything is a metaphor, at best, at worst a dangerous delusion. If this is the “modern” then one wonders how much it differs from the “medieval.” But let’s not linger too long over the obvious. Bibi rants on:
“Militant Islam has many branches, from the rulers of Iran with their revolutionary guards to al-Qaeda… but they’re all rooted in the same soil. It’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated, but how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated. Nothing could emperil my country more than arming Iran with nuclear weapons. To imagine what the world would be like with a nuclear Iran, imagine what the world would be like with a nuclear al-Qaeda. There’s no difference.”
The Israeli Prime Minister may have been addressing the UN General Assembly, but he was really talking to the Americans, whose fear and loathing of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks can always be counted on to raise them to new levels of hysteria. Outside that context, however, equating the Iranians with Al Qaeda makes about as much sense as likening the late unlamented Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden – and, hey wait, didn’t we hear that equation made endlessly in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Yet this was not a time for subtlety from the Israeli Prime Minister – the cartoon “bomb” ended all hope of that – but for the crudest sort of propaganda, which is, of course, war propaganda.
Imagine if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who addressed the UN that day minutes before Netanyahu took the stage, had said: “Militant Judaism has many branches, from the Washington offices of AIPAC to the center of Jewish power in Tel Aviv – but they’re all rooted in the same soil” of intolerance? Picture him conjuring images of violent Jewish “fanaticism” – not a hard task, given what is happening in Israel today. If he had done so, Abbas would have been denounced in every Western capital as the 21st century incarnation of Hitler.
Netanyahu went on to cite the nonexistent “record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons” – an odd claim, since Iran hasn’t attacked a single one of its neighbors since the Battle of Thermopylae. The country did fight one war in modern times, when it was attacked by Iraq, which was being backed by the United States. However, it’s necessary to remember that war propaganda has no need of facts: only emotionally-charged evocations of rage – and fear:
“Given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine an Iran with nuclear weapons. Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who’d be safe in Europe? Who’d be safe in America? Who’d be safe anywhere?”
That this alleged champion of “modernity” should base his case on fearmongering should come as no surprise: hasn’t fear been the leitmotif of all the “modern” ideologies of aggressive nationalism? Fear of the Other, of the barbarian at the gates – the “savage” who, at the first opportunity, will tear your throat out with his bare teeth – is what keeps ideologues like Netanyahu and his American co-thinkers in business.
Those Eye-ranians, says Bibi, aren’t like the rest of us, which is why deterrence won’t work. “Iran’s apocalyptic leaders” are awaiting the return of the Mahdi, a holy man, whose reappearance is supposed to occur after a devastating war:
“Militant jihadists are not secular Marxists. Militant jihadists behave very differently. There were no Soviet suicide bombers.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Israelis also awaiting the return of Someone Special, a Messiah who will lead them out of the wilderness and establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem as His earthly domain? Militant jihadists may not be secular Marxists – but then again, militant Zionists aren’t, either. I would no more trust nuclear bombs in Bibi’s hands than I would in Ahmahdinejad’s – the difference being that the former is actually in possession of such weapons.
Which brings us to the absurdity of this lecture by the leader of the only nuclear-armed country in the region: here is a nation which refuses to even admit it acquired nukes long ago, and which disdains the Nonproliferation Treaty, making the case for war against a neighbor that has indeed signed the NPT and is abiding by its requirements.
That treaty gives Tehran the right to develop nuclear power. Furthermore, there is zero evidence Iran is embarked on a nuclear weapons program: our own intelligence community tells us they gave that up in 2003 and show no signs of resuming it. Their own religious and political leaders have denounced the possession of nuclear weapons as sinful: the Israelis, on the other hand, haven’t bothered reassuring us they would never use the nuke they won’t admit they have.
In a rational world, Israel would be in the dock, answering for its unwillingness to come out of the nuclear closet and admit what the whole world knows by now. Indeed, Bibi could give us some insight into exactly how Israel stole acquired the materials to build its formidable nuclear arsenal – since, according to recently declassified documents, he was directly involved.
In the world in which we are living, however, in which the innocent are put on trial and the guilty sit in judgement, the situation is quite different. In that world, the leader of a tiny nation entirely dependent on US largesse takes to the UN podium to issue his marching orders to Washington. Here is my “red line,” says Bibi – daring not only the Iranians but also the Americans to cross it.
Think of Netanyahu’s UN oration as just another Romney campaign speech, in which the GOP presidential candidate says Tehran must not be allowed to get “one turn of the screwdriver away” from joining the nuclear club. According to Netanyahu, Iran is nearly at that point today, and will have a nuclear weapon in less than a year if the US fails to act.
This is technical nonsense, but then again the truth has nothing to do with war propaganda: to the average American, the mere possession of weapons-grade uranium means all the Iranians have to do is plug it in and hurl it, slingshot style, in the general direction of Israel. This is an impression Israeli propagandists would dearly love to inculcate in the American public, and they have the great advantage of relying on general ignorance of the technical details. Good luck explaining to Mr. Average American why it would take a good four years after they’ve weaponized their nuclear material for the Iranians to create a useable nuke.
The ticking-bomb theme, which has been used to justify everything from torture to the invasion of Iraq, permeates Israeli propaganda in the US and was a cental theme of Bibi’s speech. His message was clear: “the hour is getting late.” We must act without giving too much thought to the possible consequences. Don’t delay, don’t think, act now – before the fraud is exposed, and we discover that – as in the case of the Iraqis – those “weapons of mass destruction” were just a figment of our easily manipulated collective imagination.
Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].
Speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to the UN General Assembly’s General Debate
27 September 2012
Thank you very much Mr. President.
It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from Israel, and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.
Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history.
The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.
The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.
Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey, Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.
In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
I know you’re not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are aware of this truth.
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.
We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.
President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won’t solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That’s not the way to solve it. We won’t solve our conflict with unilateral declarations of statehood.
We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State.
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.
I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda.
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan. Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their terrorist proxies.
In the last year, they’ve spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents – from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?
There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.
Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote: “The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world.”
Rafsanjani said: “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”
And that’s coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to speak; it’s my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.
For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.
I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all. NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.
If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium. Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.
The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here’s the diagram.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here…
Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.
Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
I very much appreciate the President’s position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.
What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength.
At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights.
We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them.
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.
Palestine:Statement by Mahmoud Abbas at 67th UN General Assembly
resident of the United Nations General Assembly,
Excellencies Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to begin by extending congratulations to the President of the 67tu session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, wishing him all success. I express appreciation as well to H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz A1-Nasser for his leadership of the previous General Assembly session, and also to the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban Kimoon, for his tireless efforts at the helm of this organization.
Also, from the outset, I wish to affirm our appreciation to all Member States that, in their statements to this Assembly, have stressed the urgency for progress towards the realization of a just peace in our region that allows for the fulfillment by the Palestinian people of their inalienable national rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Developments over the past year have confirmed what we have persistently drawn attention to and warned of: the catastrophic danger of the racist Israeli settlement of our country, Palestine.
During the past months, attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers have become a daily reality, with at least 535 attacks perpetrated since the beginning of this year. We are facing relentless waves of attacks against our people, our mosques, churches and monasteries, and our homes and schools; they are unleashing their venom against our trees, fields, crops and properties, and our people have become fixed targets for acts of killing and abuse with the complete collusion of the occupying forces and the Israeli Government.
The escalation of settler attacks should not surprise anyone, for it is the inherent byproduct of the continuation of occupation and a government policy that deliberately fosters the settlements and settlers and deems their satisfaction to be an absolute priority. And, it is the inherent byproduct of the racist climate fueled by a culture of incitement in the Israeli curriculum and extremist declarations, which are rife with hatred and are rooted in a series of discriminatory laws created and enacted over the years against the Palestinian people, as well as by the security apparatus and courts, which provide excuse after excuse for the settlers’ crimes and for their accelerated release should one of them happen to be arrested, and by official and military commissions of inquiry, which fabricate justifications for soldiers who have committed what are clearly considered to be war crimes and perpetrated acts of murder, torture and abuse of peaceful civilians.
Over the past year, since the convening of the General Assembly’s previous session, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with its settlement campaign, focusing on Jerusalem and its environs. It is a campaign clearly and deliberately aimed at altering the City’s historic character and the glorious image of the Holy City etched in the minds of humankind. It is a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people via the demolition of their homes and prevention of their construction; the revocation of residency rights; the denial of basic services, especially with regard to construction of school; the closure of institutions; and the impoverishment of Jerusalem’s community via a siege of walls and checkpoints that are choking the City and preventing millions of Palestinians from freely accessing its mosques, churches, schools, hospitals and markets.
The occupying Power has also continued its construction and expansion of settlements in different areas throughout the West Bank and continued its suffocating blockade as well as raids and attacks against our people in the Gaza Strip, who to this day continue to suffer from the disastrous impact of the destructive war of aggression committed against them years ago. Nearly five thousand Palestinians also remain captive as prisoners and detainees in Israel’s jails. We call on the international community to compel the Government of Israel to respect the Geneva Conventions, to lift the blockade of Gaza and to investigate the conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, stressing the need for their release; they are soldiers in their people’s struggle for freedom, independence and peace.
At the same time, the occupying Power continues to tighten the siege and impose severe restrictions on movement, preventing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) from implementing vital infrastructure projects and providing services to its citizens, who are also being prevented from cultivating their land and deprived of water for irrigation. It is also obstructing the establishment of agricultural, industrial, tourism and housing projects by the private sector in vast areas of the Occupied Palestinian Authority, which are classified as areas subject to the absolute control of the occupation, which encompasses approximately 60% of the West Bank. The occupying Power continues to deliberately demolish what the PNA is building, projects funded by donor brethren and friends, and destroying PNA projects involving the building of roads, simple homes for its citizens and agricultural facilities. In fact, over the past 12 months, the Israeli occupying forces demolished 510 Palestinian structures in these areas and displaced 770 Palestinians from their homes. These illegal measures have caused great damage to our economy and impeded our development programs and private sector activity, compounding the socio-economic difficulties being endured by our people under occupation, a fact confirmed by international institutions.
Israel’s overall policy is ultimately leading to the weakening of the Palestinian National Authority, undermining its ability to carry out its functions and to implement its obligations, which threatens to undermine ks very existence and threatens its collapse.
All of this is taking place in the context of an Israeli political discourse that does not hesitate to brandish aggressive, extremist positions, which in many aspects and its practical application on the ground is inciting religious conflict. This is something we firmly reject based on our principles and convictions and our understanding what it means to fuel such fires in this very sensitive area full of explosive flashpoints and how it can fuel the action of extremists from various quarters, especially those trying to use tolerant, monotheistic religions as an ideological justification for their terrorism.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We, on our part, and as proof our seriousness and our sincere intention to create an opening in this impasse, conducted exploratory talks with the Israeli Government at the beginning of this year upon the initiative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We have also encouraged the expressed desires of several countries to contribute to efforts to break the cycle of deadlock and have also ourselves undertaken initiatives to create favorable conditions for the resumption of negotiations. Unfortunately, however, the result of all these initiatives has been very negative.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There can only be one understanding of the Israeli Government’s actions in our homeland and of the positions it has presented to us regarding the substance of a permanent status agreement to end the conflict and achieve peace. That one understanding leads to one conclusion: that the Israeli Government rejects the two-State solution.
The two-State solution, i.e. the State of Palestine coexisting alongside the State of Israel, represents the spirit and essence of the historic compromise embodied in the Oslo Declaration of Principles, the agreement signed 19 years ago between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel under the auspices of the United States of America on the White House Lawn, a compromise by which the Palestinian people accepted to establish their State on only 22% of the territory of historic Palestine for the sake of making peace.
The recent years have actually witnessed the systematic acceleration and intensification of Israeli measures aimed at emptying the Oslo Accords of their meaning, while simultaneously building facts on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that are making the implementation of the Accords extremely difficult if not completely impossible.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Israel aims to continue its occupation of East Jerusalem, to de facto annex large areas of the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to continue occupying a large portion of the Territory under different pretexts. It refuses to engage in any serious discussion of the issue of the Palestine refugees. It wants to continue its occupation of Palestinian water basins and its control over the most fertile agricultural areas in our land as well as over our air, skies and borders.
The final map and borders that can be drawn in accordance with Israel’s official positions reveal to us the following: small Palestinian enclaves surrounded by large Israeli settlement blocs and walls, checkpoints and vast security zones and roads devoted to the settlers. Thus, the enclaves would remain subject to the full dominance of military, colonial occupation, only packaged under new names, such as the unilateral plan for a so-called State with provisional borders.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Israel refuses to end the occupation and refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine. Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I speak on behalf of an angry people, a people that feels that, at the same time that they continue with their calls for their right to freedom and their adoption of a culture of peace and adherence to the principles and rules of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, rewards continue to be illogically bestowed upon Israel, whose Government pursues a policy of war, occupation and settlement colonization. And Israel continues to be permitted to evade accountability and punishment and some continue to obstruct the undertaking of decisive positions regarding its violations of international law and covenants. This, in fact, represents a license for the occupation to continue its policy of dispossession and ethnic cleansing and encourages it to entrench its system of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite our real feelings of anger, we, in the name of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, reaffirm, without hesitation, that we as committed to peace and international legitimacy and its covenants and its resolutions as we are adherent to our inalienable national rights and aspirations, and we reaffirm that we are committed to non-violence and reject terrorism in all its forms, particularly State terrorism.
Despite our feelings of disappointment and loss of hope, we continue to sincerely extend our hands to the Israeli people to make peace. We realize that ultimately the two peoples must live and coexist, each in their respective State, in the Holy Land. Further, we realize that progress towards making peace is through negotiations between the PLO and Israel.
Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community: there is still a chance – maybe the last – to save the two-State solution and to salvage peace.
However, this urgent task must be pursued via a new approach. Whoever rushes to advise us to repeat an experience that has proven to be fruitless – negotiations with the Israeli Government without clear terms of reference – must understand that this will result in reproduction of failure and again provide a cover for entrenchment of the occupation and will finish off an already-dying peace process. And, whoever who advises us to wait, must realize that the festering situation in our country and our region has its own timing and can neither withstand further procrastination and delay nor its placement at the bottom of the global agenda.
The approach required for saving the chance for peace must first and foremost be predicated on the understanding that racial settler colonization must be condemned, punished and boycotted in order for it to be completely halted. This approach also requires reaffirmation of and adherence to the terms of reference and foundations of the solution to the conflict, which have been endorsed by all of you.
The core components of a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict do not require effort to discover, but rather what is needed is the will to implement them. And marathon negotiations are not required to determine them, but rather what is needed is the sincere intention reach peace. And those components are by no means a mysterious puzzle or intractable riddle, but rather are the clearest and most logical in the world. This includes the realization of the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and the realization of a just, agreed solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194 (III), as prescribed in the Arab Peace Initiative.
Indeed, the fundamental components of the solution to the conflict exist in the documents and resolutions of the United Nations and in the resolutions of regional organizations, starting from the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) and the African Union (AU), as well as in the statements of the European Union (EU) and the international Quartet.
The international community, embodied in the United Nations, is required now more than ever to uphold its responsibilities. The Security Council is called upon to urgently adopt a resolution comprising the basis and foundations for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that would serve as a binding reference and guide for all if the vision of two-States, Israel and Palestine, is to survive and if peace is to prevail in the land of peace, the birthplace of Jesus (peace be upon him), and ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the final resting place of Abraham (peace be upon him), the land of the three monotheistic religions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The independence and freedom of the State of Palestine is above all and ultimately a sacred right of the Palestinian people and an entitlement that must be realized for it has been long overdue for too many decades.
At the same time, the Palestinian National Authority has affirmed, through implementation of its State institution-building program, the ability to create an advanced model for an effective, modem State through the development of the performance of its institutions, public finance management through the adoption of transparency, accountability and rules of good governance. These achievements have been considered by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to constitute an impressive undertaking and success story, one that was again commended in the latest report just a few days ago, confirming full Palestinian readiness for the transition to an independent State, while at the same time stressing that the Israeli occupation remains the only obstacle to the realization of the State of Palestine.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When, a year ago during the previous session of the General Assembly, we submitted our application for consideration by the Security Council to allow the State of Palestine to assume its rightful place among the nations of the world as a full member in the United Nations, a major and hostile uproar was raised by some against this political, diplomatic, peaceful step aimed at saving the peace process by asserting its basis and foundation. However, our endeavor was aborted, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the countries of the world supported, and continues to support, our application.
Yet, last autumn, when the countries of the world had the opportunity to declare their stance without any restrictions or “veto”, they voted, despite enormous pressures, in strong support of the acceptance of Palestine as a Member State of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A year has passed and Palestine, the homeland of Mahmoud Darwish and Edward Said, is playing its role in UNESCO with high responsibility and professionalism, and is committed to international conventions, cooperating with all Member States in order to advance the objectives of the organization, and providing a model of what its positive, constructive contribution in international organizations would be.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In order to enhance the chances for peace, we will continue our efforts to obtain full membership for Palestine at the United Nations. And, for the same purpose, we have begun intensive consultations with various regional organizations and Member States aimed at having the General Assembly adopt a resolution considering the State of Palestine as a non-Member State of the United Nations during this session. We are confident that the vast majority of the countries of the world support our endeavor aimed at salvaging the chances for a just peace.
In our endeavor, we do not seek to delegitimize an existing State – that is Israel; but rather to assert the State that must be realized – that is Palestine.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
More than 64 years have passed since A1-Nakba and a large portion of those who were its direct victims and witnessed its horrors have died with their memories preserved in their minds and hearts about their beautiful world that was devastated, their warm homes that were demolished, and their peaceful villages that were erased from existence, and about their renaissance that was undermined, and their loved ones, dear men, women and children, who were killed in wars, massacres, attacks, raids and incursions, and about their beautiful country that was a beacon of coexistence, tolerance, progress and a crossroads of civilization. They died in the camps of displacement and refuge to which they were expelled following their uprooting fi’om their homeland as they awaited the moment in which thcy would resume their suspended lives and complete their journey that was interrupted and repair their shattered dreams. They died while they clung to their legitimate human right to justice and freedom and to redress for the historic unprecedented injustice inflicted upon them.
At present, 77% of the Palestinian people are under the age of 35 years. Although they did not experience the horrors of A1-Nakba, they know very well the details of its horrendous facts from the accounts told to them by their parents and grandparents who endured it. And, they are suffering its ongoing effects until today and every day as a result of the practices of the occupation and the settlers on a land that is diminishing and a horizon before them that is blocked against their simple, ordinary dreams. They see their homeland and, their present and future vulnerable to continued usurpation and they say firmly: we will not allow a new Nakba to happen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I say to you that the brave Palestinian people will not allow themselves to be the victim of a new Nakba. My people will continue their epic steadfastness and eternal survival in their beloved land, every inch of which carries the evidence and landmarks affirming their roots and unique connection throughout ancient history. There is no homeland for us except Palestine, and there is no land for us but Palestine. Our people will continue to build the institutions of their State and will continue to strive to achieve national reconciliation to restore the unity of our nation, people and institutions via resorting to the ballot boxes, which will confirm our people’s pluralistic democratic choice. Our people are also determined to continue peaceful popular resistance, consistent with international humanitarian law, against the occupation and the settlements and for the sake of freedom, independence and peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prevent the occurrence of a new Nakba in the Holy Land.
Support the realization of a free, independent State of Palestine now.
Let peace be victorious before it is too late.
Turkey:Statement by Ahmet Davutoğlu at 67th UN General Assembly
At the outset, I wish to congratulate my dear friend His Excellency Vuk Jeremic for his election as the President of the 67th General Assembly.
I believe with his able leadership he will contribute greatly to work of the General Assembly.
I want to be frank and speak the language of the peoples we all represent.
Every year, we all gather here at the United Nations, the embodiment of the human quest for peace, security and international order.
We exchange views on the daunting challenges that we all face and express our strong commitment to resolve them.
On many matters, we speak as one, yet we often fail to act in unity.
We express our commitment to the settlement of the frozen conflicts.
We have time and again declared our support for a two-state solution to the Palestine, and accepted numerous resolutions to this end.
However, we still hope, one day, Palestine will be represented as an equal member in this Assembly.
For instance, we underline the need for a solution to Nagorno-Karabakh in accordance with the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, yet there has been no single step towards resolution of this problem for the last two decade.
Yet again, the Cyprus problem has remained unresolved for almost half a century. Nearly a decade has passed since the UN Settlement Plan of 2004, which was endorsed by the entire international community.
However, the Turkish Cypriots continue to face isolation, unlawful and unjust embargo as if it was a token of appreciation for their support for UN-led settlement.
My point speaks for itself: While we cannot resolve current problems, each year we find ourselves besieged by ever mounting new ones.
Terrorists continue to strike and take lives of innocent people. Yet, we still have no effective international response and adequate solidarity against the scourge of terrorism.
Today, some states employ methods of state violence and brutal oppression with impunity that cost lives of the innocent citizens that they are obliged to protect.
We firmly believe that human life is sacred. And life is the foremost blessing for any human being whoever and wherever they are.
However, millions of people live in poverty and under oppression. They are deprived of their fundamental rights and freedoms, suffering extreme conditions that no human being should ever live through.
To soothe our collective conscience, we constantly reiterate pledges to help alleviate the misery of these people.
However we fall short of matching our words with deeds.
We live in perpetual hope. After all, as human beings, we are the children of hope.
For us, every dawn, every sunrise, and every spring signifies a beginning of hope.
We yearn for peace, and idealize peace. It is the essence of our nature.
Humanity expects from us, the leaders of nations, to move mankind toward real peace.
However, we lag far behind in meeting the expectations of our nations.
If it is not for us to provide relief and give hope to a child living in a refugee camp or in open prisons in certain parts of the world, then what is the prospect that we will cultivate real peace?
When a child opens his eyes to a world of extreme poverty and oppression in a refugee camp or in the streets of her neighborhood; when a parent leaves behind a destroyed house, orphans and widows, how can we prevent them not to succumb to despair and pessimism?
If we cannot regard the rights of a person in Syria, Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan and Rakhine region and other places, as equal as of our own, how can we talk about freedom and justice?
If fundamental human rights are forfeited for the sake of power politics, and become negotiable and even alienable in talks among a few nations in the UN Security Council, how are we to achieve universal human rights and security?
If we remain incapable to take actions to preserve the universal principles that the forefathers of the United Nations set out when forming this body, how can we demonstrate to the people that the flag of the UN represents hope and a safeguard for their destiny?
If the use of force is accepted as an unlimited means;
If indiscriminate attacks and collective punishment becomes weapons in the hands of cruel regimes against their own citizens, as we are witnessing every day—day and night—in Syria;
If we fail to hear and rise up to the cry of innocent masses wherever they are;
And if we cannot force these brutal regimes to submit to justice and the rule of law, how are we to maintain international peace and security?
The peaceful world, as the founders of the United Nations envisioned, cannot be established if we remain ineffective in our work against these challenges.
Let us not forget:
Our inability to act becomes the tool in the hands of despots and destructive regimes to demolish their cities, towns and villages, massacre their own citizens, and make a mockery of the civilized world and the United Nations.
Our failure to address a humanitarian crisis shakes our collective conscience. Worse, however, our inaction eventually emboldens oppressors and aggressive regimes, creates evil alliances to perpetuate and commit crimes against humanity.
And let us make no mistake:
Mercy shown to an oppressor is the most merciless act toward people under oppression.
And if not now, when are we supposed to act in unity?
And if it is not the United Nations, who is to lead? If it is not us, then who will shoulder the responsibility to protect the innocent civilians?
And let us now imagine that we are in the shoes of those people, how can we even dream about a real future?
We need a strong, efficient and credible UN. To this end, we must first tackle the long outstanding issue of the UN reform to make it fit for purpose.
The working methods and structures of the UN are not commensurate with the current realities of the world.
The UN Security Council, with its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security, should become more representative and functional.
It has to respond to the real needs of the world.
That is the only way that it will remain relevant in the enormous challenges that we all face.
I can freely appeal to your conscience, as Turkey has solid record, be it Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Bosnia or cooperation with the LDCs, the Alliance of Civilizations initiative and the Mediation for Peace among many.
Allow me now to briefly touch upon some specific issues, which continue to pose formidable challenges for the international community.
Let me start and underline that the recent attacks against the Prophet Mohammad – peace be upon him- and Islam are outright provocations.
They aim to pit nations and peoples against each other. We deplore in the strongest terms the malicious attempts to denigrate the most sacred values of Islam and any faith.
We condemn all sorts of incitement to hatred and religious discrimination against Moslems and people of other faiths.
Unfortunately, Islamophobia has also become a new form of racism like anti- Semitism.
It can no longer be tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression.
Freedom does not mean anarchy. It means responsibility.
The purpose of the Islamophobia is clear and simple:
It aims to create an abstract, and an imaginary enemy from the millions of peace loving Moslems all over the world.
Regretfully, accepting generalities, stereotypes and prejudice as truth, many people unknowingly become Islamophobic.
However, no agenda, no provocation, no attack, no incitement of hatred can darken the bright face of Islam.
At the same time, we condemn all sorts of provocations and violence that led to the loss of lives in many countries, including the US Ambassador in Libya.
I express our sincere condolences for all who have lost their lives. Violence against innocent people cannot be justified under any pretext. Any such activity, no matter by whom it is carried out or for what purpose, is a betrayal against the soul, spirit and letter of Islam.
However, the recent events are testament to a more serious problem that should concern not just Moslems, but the adherents of all faiths and religions.
The alarming increase in the number of acts that defame religions and thereby people who adhere to such religions, have now serious implications for international peace and security.
Therefore, time has come to establish denigration of all religions and their followers as a hate crime.
We have to take swift measures.
We cannot and we shall not leave our future vulnerable to the reckless provocations of all sorts of extremists.
We need to craft a universal policy and legal instrument that while protecting free expression, should also ensure respect for religion and prevent the intentional insults against everyone’s faith.
The solution should not be arbitrary. It has to focus on those who defame a faith with the intention of inciting discrimination, hostility or violence.
We have to fmd a balance between protecting the rights of an individual or group to free expression and protecting the right of another individual or group to not to become the target of hatred, emotional, incited or psychological violence.
So from this stage, I would like to make a strong appeal to the members of the international community to set up all necessary instruments in combating all acts of hate crime, including the delaigration of religions and defamation of their followers.
The United Nations, in particular, must lead this effort and should provide the international legal framework to this end.
We are resolved to actively pursue this objective and work diligently with the likeminded nations and international organizations to ensure that we take a united and effective stance against Islamophobia and all forms of hate crimes.
On the other hand, we are well aware of the need to ensure the safety, security and protection of the diplomats. In the last four decade, Turkish nation lost its 33 diplomats because of the ASALA terrorism.
We encourage the UN to focus on a new understanding for protection of the diplomats.
As a mockery of the values we all share, the people of Syria continue to suffer under the brutality and the tyranny of the regime in Damascus for the last 18 months.
The numbers speak in volume.
More than 30 thousand people were killed so far, around 500 hundred thousand Syrian fled to neighboring countries, and about/3 million/ people are internally displaced.
Unfortunately, this humanitarian tragedy has become just a statistic for many.
And what has the international community done to stop this carnage?
We are yet to see a single effective action to save innocent lives.
It is such a disgrace to witness that today, after 20 years, the ghosts of Serebrenica and Halapcha still continue to haunt us, this time in the cities of Syria.
One can argue about the reasons for the failure of the Security Council to stop violence of the Syrian regime.
However, there can be no legitimate explanation for the failure of the Security Council to reflect the collective conscience of the international community.
It has to uphold its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security.
It is the inability of the Security Council to act that still encourages the Syrian regime to kill ever more people.
If the Security Council does not follow the conscience of the international community that was reflected by the resolutions adopted with more than two thirds of vote in this General Assembly, who will respond to the cries of the Syrian people?
For how long we, the international community, will allow this humanitarian tragedy to continue?
The responsibility to protect the people of Syria is our fundamental duty.
No political differences, no balance of power politics, no geopolitical considerations should prevail over our conscience and our concern for the destiny of the Syrian people.
More importantly, the situation in Syria has evolved into a real threat to regional peace and security.
The Syrian regime deploys every instrument to turn the legitimate struggle of the Syrian people into a sectarian war, which will engulf the entire region into flames.
And unfortunately, the longer this regime is allowed to wage its campaign of violence, the harder it will be to prevent such a dreadful eventuality.
It is high time that the UN Security Council must take action as this Assembly called for.
There has to be a solution to ensure the immediate safety and security of the Syrian people.
There has to be a solution for a sound transition process that will pave the way for the creation of a new and democratic Syria.
The regime in power has to step down and allow an interim Government to lead the country to free and fair elections.
The Syrian people need our united support and solidarity in their struggle for their future and for having the right to a legitimate and representative government.
The Turkish nation stood by their brethren, the Syrian people, in their legitimate struggle.
We now care for 90 thousand displaced Syrians.
And let me underline once again:
Since the beginning of the conflict we never have and we will never hesitate to be with our Syrian brothers and sisters at their most difficult hour.
Another tragedy that has long been taking place before our eyes in the Middle East is Palestine.
This is the fourth General Assembly where we keep on stressing the unacceptability and unsustainability of the situation in Gaza. However, to date, there has been no progress.
As a result, in the fourth year of the unlawful blockade by Israel, the people and particularly the children in Gaza continue to live in despair, desolation and fear.
There have been many decisions and resolutions adopted in the UN calling for the lifting of this blockade.
But as of today Israel persists in its illegal policy and thus causes misery and anguish in Gaza.
In fact, we see the same attitude by Israel over the entire occupied Palestinian territories.
Despite insistent calls by the international community, it carries on with its illegal settlements on Palestinian land and thus deliberately undermines the prospects of a peaceful two-state solution.
Indeed, when President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at this Assembly last year and declared the right of Palestine to be recognized as an independent state, I remember seeing the whole Assembly in standing ovation.
But today, we are yet to see the State of Palestine as an equal member of this Assembly.
How can we convince the Palestinian people that the international community is serious about a two-state solution while no UN resolution helped their just cause for an independent state of Palestine.
Turkey will certainly support the Palestinian people in their quest for statehood, dignity and peace.
While the whole world’s attention is rightly focused on the Middle East, we should not forget that there are serious human tragedies taking place elsewhere too.
And we do not have the luxury to turn a blind eye to any human suffering.
As I have personally witnessed during my visit in June, the people of Rakhine region and especially the Rohingya Moslems are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
The democratization process underway in Myanmar provides us with a window of opportunity as the government repeatedly stressed its readiness to cooperate with the international community for easing the suffering of these people.
Before concluding my remarks, I wish to touch upon yet another long-standing conflict, which also requires immediate practical steps towards a fair and lasting solution.
I am referring to the Cyprus problem. Unfortunately, the new round of talks started in 2008, are stuck with no end in sight, due to Greek Cypriots’ intransigence and lack of political will.
And today, despite half a century’s experience and body of UN work, there is still not a clear perspective for solution.
The Turkish Cypriots have so far proven their firm commitment to a negotiated solution, but yet remain subject to inhumane and unlawful embargo.
This is simply unfair.
They should not be forced to play this game for an indefinite period without a clear perspective and timeline for a solution.
The international community must not remain indifferent to what is happening in Cyprus either.
After all, the continuation of the problem creates additional risks for the stability of the region.
Moreover, the unilateral exploration of oil and natural gas by the Greek Cypriots around the island further intensifies the risks.
Under these circumstances, the UN must do more than what it currently does. The Security Council in particular has to facilitate a solution rather than merely sustaining the status quo.
A change of mentality is essential. There should be a distinction between those that seek and aspire for a solution and those who reject it.
It is no longer enough to play lip service to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. It is time to act before it is too late.
In concluding, I wish to go back to what I said at the beginning of my remarks.
We are at the end of the opening session of yet another UN General Assembly.
We all expressed our desire and commitment for a more peaceful and prosperous world.
However, ensuring positive change can only be realized if our actions match our words and promises.
Every attempt to achieve our objective for real peace,
Every moment we spend to uphold the right and justice,
Every effort we make for freedoms and human rights, however small, will provide the biggest comfort for those who struggle to have a say on their destiny.
A while ago, I asked if not now, when… This year let us make a difference and let us hope that we will not repeat the same question next September.
Afganistan:Statement by Hamid Karzai at 67th UN General Assembly
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Every year our gathering in this prestigious hall is a manifestation of our faith in the fundamental equality of nations, as well as the continued relevance of the United Nations as the key international forum for achieving a safer, more secure and prosperous world. The General Assembly is a unique opportunity to engage in sincere and result-oriented dialogue with a view to addressing the challenges that confront us all.
As we speak today, the world is shaken by the depravity of fanatics who have committed acts of insult against the faith of over 1.5 billion Muslims. We strongly condemn these offensive acts, whether it involves the production of a film, the publication of cartoons, or indeed any other acts of insult and provocation. Such acts can never be justified as freedom of speech or expression. Equally, they cannot give reason for the genuine protests to be used to incite violence and chaos with terrible losses of innocent lives.
It is a matter of grave concern that our world remains strewn by daily occurrence of violence, hatred, and injustice. In particular, the menace of Islamophobia is a worrying phenomenon that threatens peace and co-existence among cultures and civilizations. I call upon leaders in the West, both politicians and the media, to confront Islamophobia in all its many forms and manifestations.
It is incumbent upon us all to advance the cause of dialogue and cooperation, to fight the forces of division and hatred and to fulfill the promise of a better and brighter future for coming generations. We must work to defeat the protagonists of the conflict of civilizations, and support the voices of tolerance and understanding.
My country Afghanistan is testament to the benefits of multi-lateral cooperation and international solidarity. It was a little over a decade ago when many countries from across the world joined the Afghan people in our struggle for peace and against the forces of extremism and terrorism.
At the time, Afghanistan was a country decimated in all regards. For decades, we had suffered unnoticed from violence, deprivation, and from sinister foreign interference. Long before terrorism struck the world as a common security threat, Afghans were the victims of the atrocity of terrorist networks from different parts of the world that had made Afghanistan their haven.
Looking back to ten years ago, Afghanistan has transformed remarkably. Democracy has taken root; health services are accessible to the majority of the population, in all corners of the country; millions of students – boys and girls – are enrolled in primary and higher education.
Our achievements have not come about easily, and the true aspirations of the Afghan people for peaceful, prosperous lives are yet to be realized. As the world’s fight against terrorism continues unabated, the Afghan people continue to pay the biggest price any nation has paid – in both life and treasure.
Terrorism is not rooted in the Afghan villages and towns – it never was. Its sources and its support networks all exist beyond Afghanistan’s borders. Therefore, while the international community’s security is being safeguarded from the threat of terrorism, the people of Afghanistan must no longer be made to pay the price and endure the brunt of the war.
It is in deference to the immense sacrifices of the Afghan people, and the precious lives lost from the international community, that the campaign against terrorism must be taken to the sources of terrorism and must be result-oriented.
Today in Afghanistan, we pursue the cause of peace and an end to violence as a matter of great urgency. Peace being the utmost desire of the Afghan people, and convinced that military effort alone is not an adequate strategy to bring security, we have initiated the peace and reconciliation process which aims to bring all elements of the armed opposition to peaceful lives in the society.
Last year this month, my attendance at the UNGA was cut short by the tragic assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, the then Chairman of the High Peace Council. His life was taken by a terrorist who posed as a peace emissary, and by doing so dealt our peace process a serious blow. This year, however, I am proud that late Professor Rabbani’s son, Mr Salahuddin Rabbani, who has stepped up to take the Chair of the HPC, is part of my delegation in New York.
As I have repeated often-times, my hand of peace and reconciliation remains extended not only to the Taliban but also to all other armed opposition groups who wish to return to dignified, peaceful and independent lives in their own homeland. What we ask of them in return is simple: an end to violence, cutting ties with terrorist networks, preserving the valuable gains of the past decade, and respecting our Constitution.
To help facilitate the peace process, I ask of the United Nations Security Council to extend its full support to our efforts. In particular, I urge the 1988 Taliban’s Sanctions Committee to take more active measures towards delisting of Taliban leaders as a step to facilitate direct negotiations.
In pursuing the path of peace, we remain hopeful for the critical role that our neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, has to play. Over the recent years, we have engaged our friends in Pakistan in a close dialogue in support of the Afghan peace process. It is a dialogue that, we believe, is critical for Pakistan’s own security, and the security of the wider region and beyond.
We are deeply committed to our brotherly relations with Pakistan, but are aware of the challenges that may strain our efforts at building trust and confidence. Such incidents as the recent shelling of Afghan villages risk undermining the efforts by both governments to work together in the interest of our common security.
During the past two years, our national priority has been to have Afghanistan’s own security forces assume full security responsibility. The Transition Process will be completed by mid 2013 and NATO and ISAF forces withdrawn from the country by end of 2014.
Apart from advancing Transition and pursuing the peace process, the past year has been one of significant progress for consolidating international commitment and partnership.
In Chicago last May, we received the long-term commitment by NATO and other countries for the training, equipping and ensuring the sustainability of Afghanistan’s national security forces. In Tokyo this past July, the international community reaffirmed strong commitment to Afghanistan’s social and economic development during the Transformation Decade, for which we are grateful.
The “mutual accountability framework,” adopted in Tokyo, sets in place a clear structure for a more result oriented partnership and cooperation. We welcome the international community’s readiness to align aid with our national priorities and channel assistance through the Afghan budget. On our part, we reiterated our determination to improve governance and to collaborate with our international partners to wipe out the cancer of corruption – whether it is in the Afghan government or the international aid system.
We recognize that Afghanistan’s destiny is tied to the region that surrounds it – whether in face of our common threats, such as terrorism, extremism, and narcotics, or the opportunities we must grasp to grow and prosper. In this context, the Istanbul Process presents a new agenda for security, confidencebuilding and cooperation across the region of which Afghanistan is the centre. We will spare no effort to build strong and lasting relations with our neighbors -near and extended.
Turning to the international arena, Afghanistan views the situation in Syria with much concern. For over a year now, the thousands of our Syrian brothers and sisters have lost their lives due to an escalating cycle of violence. We welcome the appointment of the new Joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. We know from Mr. Brahimi’s well-respected role in Afghanistan, that he brings with him vast experience and a unique ability to the task before him.
The continuing plight of the Palestinian people has been a deep source of distress for Afghanistan and the rest of the international community. The people of Palestine have suffered immensely, for far too long. We remain in full support of the realization of the fights of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, including their right to an independent Palestinian State. The time has come for an end to the occupation, and for realizing a just, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the conflict, based on the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
And finally, the UN reform remains an important agenda at the international level. Since its inception in 1945, the UN has exercised a key role in promoting a safer and more secure world, improving the lives of citizens worldwide, and safeguarding and promoting human fights. Nevertheless, in view of our ever-changing world, we cannot negate the fact that this organization is in dire need of a comprehensive reform, enabling it to better reflect the new challenges and realities of our time. The reform of the UN Security Council is an issue long overdue. Achieving a reformed Council that is more inclusive, representative and transparent must remain a priority; and we welcome the ongoing progress within the framework of the inter-governmental negotiations (IGN).
Switzerland:Statement by Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf at 67th UN General Assembly
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and gentlemen,
10 years of Switzerland in the UN
It was exactly ten years ago that Switzerland joined the UN as the one hundred and ninetieth member state. And it was the first country in which UN membership was approved by the citizens in a popular vote. The UN and Switzerland share the same values and pursue the same goals: the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development, the protection and promotion of human rights and the provision of emergency relief to victims of conflict and natural disasters.
We face significant and pressing challenges in all these areas. Climate change, food security, water scarcity, migration, organised crime, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons do not halt at our borders. These are global challenges, which threaten entire regions. In an increasingly interconnected world, we have to search for global solutions; global solutions which enjoy regional and national support. It is not enough to simply maintain the status quo. We have to find solutions today for the challenges we will face tomorrow.
For a strong, modern and efficient UN
The UN has worldwide membership. This gives it unparalleled legitimacy and places it in a unique position to find and implement solutions to global challenges, solutions which therefore enjoy broad support. In view of the growing interdependence between these challenges, we need the UN now more than ever. It must take its place at the heart of international governance. But each and every member state is called upon to play its part. If we are to master these herculean tasks, it is not enough to settle for the lowest common denominator – as is all too often the case when consensus is reached at the UN.
In order for the UN to overcome these challenges, it must be efficient, innovative and capable of taking action. What does that mean?
The UN can be efficient if it updates and optimises its processes so that it can act more rapidly and in a more coordinated manner, despite growing budgetary pressures. Switzerland supports the reform agenda of the UN Secretary-General. This should be implemented swiftly.
The UN can be innovative if it develops new ideas and approaches which fully capture the big picture. The current UN structures have evolved over a number of decades. As a result, people tend to think and act along conventional lines. More intensive exchanges within the UN, as well as with actors from the worlds of academia, civil society and the private sector, promote creativity and foster broad support for UN activities. Such exchanges are actively encouraged at the UN headquarters in Geneva. Switzerland also supports the expansion of the UN’s ‘think tank’ activities. The grouping of these activities in Geneva would create even greater creative potential.
The UN is ultimately capable of acting if it helps to find solutions to conflictive issues and does not block them. The exercising of veto rights in the Security Council in cases of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity is difficult to justify. Switzerland and other member states therefore continue to call for a reform of Security Council working methods. Its transparency and cooperation with other UN bodies should be improved and the use of veto rights should be limited.
Peace and Security
As the theme of the current General Assembly you have chosen ’bringing about adjustment or settlement of international situations by peaceful means’. I congratulate you on your choice. In recent years, the UN has expanded its capacity in mediation and preventive diplomacy and in particular has improved its mediation processes. However, we must go a step further, as the lion’s share of the UN budget is still used for peacekeeping operations.
Switzerland believes that investing more in peaceful means of dispute resolution, particularly mediation and preventive diplomacy, will pay dividends in the long run. The same can be said of states as of people: prevention is better than cure!
It is not simply a question of cost: every conflict that is avoided also prevents human suffering and stops those countries concerned from taking a step backwards in their development. Over the last ten years, Switzerland has been actively involved in over thirty mediation processes in around twenty countries. It regularly makes its knowledge and experts available to the UN and would like to see this cooperation intensified.
Special Political Missions are a modern response to these complex political realities. For example, they allow the UN to respond rapidly and flexibly to constitutional crises or coups. And as the main instrument of preventive diplomacy, they should be reinforced, for example by creating an appropriate budget framework for them in the UN system.
If attempts at prevention fail, the international community must take decisive action. And in such cases, the UN has to demonstrate that it is an assertive organisation capable of taking action.
Switzerland is following the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria with great concern. Human rights and international humanitarian law are being flouted in Syria as we speak; innocent people are dying, caught in the crossfire between the Syrian army and the armed opposition. Thousands of people have been killed, hundreds of thousands are trapped, over a million are trying to flee within their own country, and over 250 000 (two-hundred and fifty thousand) have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Gaining access to injured and traumatised victims unable to leave the embattled territories is almost impossible. UN organisations estimate that 2.5 (two point five) million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Switzerland has contributed humanitarian aid to Syria and neighbouring countries amounting to over 15 (fifteen) million dollars (13 million Swiss francs).
There will be no security as long as human rights are being violated in the most serious manner, and as long as those responsible believe that they are safe from prosecution. Switzerland therefore demands that those responsible for serious human rights violations be called to account. Impunity is not only immoral. It also hinders the post-conflict reconciliation process in society and encourages history to repeat itself. Switzerland heads a group of over thirty countries calling for Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court. I call upon you, the heads of state and government present here today, to support this initiative.
The international community must be made aware of the extent of human rights violations in Syria. Switzerland welcomes the work of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council and calls for it to be strengthened.
Lastly, Switzerland also welcomes the appointment of the new Joint Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Brahimi. It will do its utmost to help him find a political solution to the conflict.
We know that we are not using the world’s available resources sustainably. We know that humans are exploiting these resources for short-term gain and that we are the cause of climate change. The fate of our planet rests in our hands. Much will depend on whether we succeed in making the step to sustainable development, and whether we succeed in moving towards a ‘green economy’. The Outcome Document from Rio+20 provides an opportunity to do this. We must act today so that future generations do not have to pay the price for our inaction.
A great deal of mutual distrust remains, however. As does the fear that not everyone will be able to compete on equal terms in a green economy. We must overcome this hurdle. Switzerland will play its part in sharing the burden between north and south. The Green Climate Fund will be a key element in financing this restructuring. It should therefore be set up without delay, and in an optimal environment. I am convinced that Geneva can offer that environment.
The transition to a green economy also requires new approaches, both in ways of thinking and acting. Any change creates winners and losers. With regard to sustainable development, however, the winners and losers are identical. They are future generations. Either they will be able to benefit from natural resources and enjoy a higher standard of living in a more or less intact environment, or they will experience a decline in the standard of living and have to cope with the far-reaching consequences of exploited resources and climate change. Our common challenge lies in generating prosperity for all without overexploiting our natural resources.
Switzerland places great importance on the post-2015 political agenda. We can all benefit from the experiences of the Millennium Development Goals and build upon them. The process is an opportunity to consider all dimensions of sustainable development together and, for the first time ever, develop a universal system of targets for the good of future generations throughout the world. Switzerland is convinced that setting Sustainable Development Goals is an important element in strengthening sustainable development. It will play an active part in preparing this new system of goals. Switzerland firmly believes that the post-2015 discussions and Sustainable Development Goals should be combined in a single process.
The Roman philosopher Seneca said: “It is not that we have so little time, but we lose so much”. So let us tackle these huge challenges today! Let us join forces to bring about more peace and security in the world and better protect human rights. Let us take action against the authors of the most serious human rights abuses and bring them to account. Let us take bold steps for more sustainable development in the interests of our children and grandchildren. And let us strengthen the UN so that, as the only truly universal organisation, it is better equipped to address these immense challenges.
Brazil:Statement by Dilma Rousseff at 67th UN General Assembly
r. Vuk Jeremic, President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Once again, a woman’s voice is opening the debate of the United Nations General Assembly. For many, we women are “half the sky”. But we want to be half of the Earth as well. With equal rights and opportunities. Free from all forms of discrimination and violence. Capable of building our own emancipation and, with it, of contributing to the emancipation of all.
A year after my statement at this same tribune, I observe that many of the problems that already afflicted us in September of 2011 remain. Today I want to return to a few of these issues, which require increasingly urgent solutions.
The grave economic crisis that began in 2008 has taken on new and worrisome contours. The choice of orthodox fiscal policies has been worsening the recession in the developed economies, with repercussions for the emerging countries.
The main leaders of the developed world have not yet found the path that combines appropriate fiscal adjustments with measures to stimulate investment and demand, which are indispensable to halt the recession and ensure economic growth. Monetary policy cannot be the only response to growing unemployment, the increase in poverty and the dismay that affects the most vulnerable segments of the population throughout the world.
Central banks in developed countries have continued to make use of expansionist monetary policy, which causes imbalances in exchange rates. The ensuing artificial appreciation of the emerging countries’ currencies makes them lose market space, which further deepens the global recession.
We cannot accept that legitimate trade defense initiatives by developing countries be unfairly classified as protectionism. We must remember that the use of “legitimate trade defense measures” is in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization.
Protectionism and all forms of trade manipulation must be fought, for they create greater competitiveness in a spurious and fraudulent manner. There will be no effective response to the economic crisis without strengthened coordination efforts between United Nations members and multilateral bodies such as the G20, the IMF and the World Bank. This coordination must attempt to reconfigure the relationship between fiscal and monetary policy, in order to prevent the deepening of the recession, control the currency war and once again stimulate global demand.
We know from our own experience that the sovereign debt of States as well as the bank and financial debt will not be dealt with in the framework of a recession. On the contrary, recession only makes these problems more acute. It is urgent that we build a comprehensive pact for the coordinated resumption of global economic growth, in order to forestall the despair caused by unemployment and the lack of opportunities.
My country has been doing its part. Over the past years we have pursued prudent economic policies, accumulated significant foreign exchange reserves, strongly reduced public debt and, with innovative social policies, lifted 40 million people out of poverty, consolidating a large domestic market. Like all countries, we were affected by the crisis. However, despite the temporary slowing in our growth rate as a result of the current circumstances, we have managed to maintain extremely high employment levels, to continue reducing social inequality, and to significantly increase workers’ income.
We have overcome the incorrect view according to which measures to stimulate growth are incompatible with austerity plans. This is a false dilemma. Fiscal responsibility is as necessary as growth measures are indispensable, for fiscal consolidation can only be sustainable in a context of economic recovery. History reveals that austerity, when exaggerated and iselated from growth, is selfdefeating. Brazil has chosen to face both of these challenges simultaneously. At the same time as we have exerted strict control over public spending, we have increased our investments in infrastructure and education. At the same time as we have controlled inflation, we have acted vigorously through policies aimed at social inclusion and poverty eradication. Furthermore, at the same time as we are carrying out structural reforms in the financial and welfare areas, we have reduced the tax burden and the cost of energy, and we have invested in knowledge to generate science, technology, and innovation. There are moments in which we cannot choose between two alternatives. They must be developed in an articulated way.
As in 2011, the Middle East and Northern Africa continue to be at the center of the attentions of the international community. Important social movements, with different political orientations, have swept away despotic regimes and brought about transition processes whose meaning and direction can still not be clearly discerned. But it is not difficult to identify in almost all of these movements a cry of protest against poverty, against unemployment, and against the lack of opportunities and of civil rights, imposed by authoritarian governments on large sectors of these societies, especially young people. Nor is it difficult to find in these events traces of historical grievances caused by decades of colonial or neocolonial policies carried out in the name of a supposedly civilizing agenda. Little by little, the economic interests behind those policies became clear. Today, we witness with consternation the unfolding of the dire situation in Syria. Brazil condemns in the strongest terms the violence that continues to claim lives in that country. Syria is witnessing a large-scale humanitarian tragedy in its territory and in that of its neighbors. The Government in Damascus bears the largest share of responsibility for the cycle of violence that has victimized a large number of civilians, especially women, children, and young people. However, we are also aware of the responsibilities of armed opposition groups, especially those that increasingly rely on foreign military and logistical support. As President of a country that is the homeland of millions of people of Syrian descent, I call on the parties to the conflict to lay down their weapons and join the mediation efforts being undertaken by the Joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy. There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. Diplomacy and dialogue are not just our best option: they are the only option. As President of a country where thousands and thousands of Brazilians Muslims live, I declare here today our vehement repudiation of the escalation of Islamophobic prejudice in Western countries. Brazil is one of the protagonists of the generous “Alliance of Civilizations” initiative, originally launched by the Turkish government. With the same vehemence, we repudiate the terrorist acts that took the lives of American diplomats in Libya.
With our eyes still set upon the Middle East, where some of the most important challenges to international peace and security lie, I wish to touch upon the Israeli- Palestinian question. I reiterate my words of 2011, when I expressed the Brazilian government’s support for the recognition of the Palestinian State as a full member of the United Nations. I added then – and I repeat today – that only a free and sovereign Palestine will be able to fulfill Israel’s legitimate desires for peace with its neighbors, security in its borders and regional political stability.
The international community has encountered growing difficulty in dealing with the exacerbation of regional conflicts. This is manifest in the stalemates within the Security Council. It is one of the gravest problems that we face. The crisis that began in 2008 demonstrated the need for reform of the mechanisms of global economic governance. In point of fact, to this day we have still not fully implemented such reforms. Increasingly intense regional wars and conflicts, the tragic loss of human lives and the immense material losses for the peoples involved demonstrate the utmost urgency of undertaking the institutional reform of the United Nations, in particular of its Security Council. We cannot allow this Council to be replaced – as has been happening – by coalitions that are formed without its consent, beyond its control and without due regard for international taw. The use of force without authorization by the Council is illegal, yet it is beginning to be regarded in some quarters as an acceptable option. This is by no means the case. The ease with which some resort to this kind of action results from the stalemates that paralyze the Council. Because of this, it must urgently be reformed. Brazil will always fight to ensure that decisions emanating from the UN prevail. Yet we want legitimate actions, founded on international legality. In this spirit, I have defended the need for a “responsibility while protecting” as a necessary complement to the “responsibility to Protect”.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Multilateralism is stronger after Rio+20. Together, during those days in June, we held the largest and most participative conference in the history of the United Nations. We were able to take firm steps towards the historic consolidation of a new paradigm: to grow, to include, to protect, and to preserve, that is, “sustainable development”. I thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Sha Zukang for their efforts and close collaboration with Brazil, before and throughout the Conference. The outcome document that we approved by consensus in Rio not only preserves the legacy of 1992, but also sets the starting point for a sustainable development agenda for the 21st century, with a focus on the eradication of poverty, on the conscientious use of natural resources and on sustainable patterns of production and consumption. The United Nations has before it a number of tasks mandated by the Rio Conference. In particular, I would like to make reference to the definition of the Sustainable Development Goals. Rio+20 shone a powerful light on the future we want. We have an obligation to heed the many warnings being sounded by science and society. We must consider climate change one of the main challenges to present and future generations.
The Brazilian government is firmly committed to the targets for controlling greenhouse gas emissions and to the unrelenting fight against deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. In 2009, we voluntarily adopted commitments and transformed them into laws. These targets are particularly ambitious for a developing country, which must deal with pressing demands of all types in order to offer well-being to its population. We hope that those countries that bear a greater historical responsibility for climate change and that have greater means with which to face it will fulfill their obligations to the international community. Another UN initiative we salute is the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Brazil is engaged in actions to protect lives and reduce road accidents. To this end, our government is developing a wide-ranging awareness-raising campaign together with FIA (Fédération Internationale de I’Automobile).
In a context of environmental challenges, economic crises and threats to peace in different parts of the world, Brazil continues committed to working with its neighbors to build an environment of democracy, peace, prosperity, and social justice. We have made great progress in integrating the Latin American and Caribbean region as a priority for our international insertion. Our region is a good example for the world. The Rule of Law that we achieved by overcoming authoritarian regimes is being preserved and strengthened. Democracy is not a heritage immune to attacks. In order to avoid setbacks, MERCOSUL and UNASUL have been firm when they had to be, because we consider integration and democracy to be inseparable principles. I also reaffirm our commitment to keeping our region free from weapons of mass destruction. In this regard, I wish to recall the existence of immense arsenals that, in addition to threatening all humankind, aggravate tensions and hamper efforts towards peace. The world clamors for food instead of weapons, for the billion men, women, and children who suffer from the cruelest punishment inflicted on humanity: hunger. Finally, I wish to refer to a brother country, beloved by all Latin Americans and Caribbeans: Cuba. Cuba has progressed in bringing its economic model up to date. To continue on this path, it needs the support of partners both near and far. Cooperation for Cuba’s progress is, however, hampered by the economic embargo that has assailed its population for decades. The time has long since passed for us to put an end to this anachronism, which is condemned by the immense majority of members of the United Nations.
This year, we watched the Olympic and Paralympic Games organized by the United Kingdom. With the closing of the London Olympic Games, Brazil has begun the countdown towards the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, which will be preceded by the 2014 World Cup. Every two years, during the Summer and Winter Games, humanity seems to reawaken to values that should inspire us permanently: tolerance, respect for differences, equality, inclusion, friendship, and understanding. These principles are also the foundation of human rights and of this Organization. At the opening of this 67th General Assembly, I propose to all the nations here represented that they let the ideals of the Olympic flame shine upon them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Strengthening the United Nations is necessary at this stage when multipolarity opens a historic new perspective. We must work towards this end. We must work to ensure that in the multipolarity that comes to prevail, cooperation predominates over conflict, dialogue overcomes threats, and negotiated solutions are reached before and forestall interventions involving the use of force. I reiterate that in this necessarily collective effort, which presupposes the quest for consensus, the United Nations has a key role to play, particularly as the Organization and its various bodies become more representative and more legitimate and, therefore, more effective. Thank you very much.