[OPE-L] President Chavez's Speech to the United Nations

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Thu Sep 22 2005 - 20:47:06 EDT


Friday, Sep 16, 2005  	

By: President Hugo Chavez

Your Excellencies, friends, good afternoon:

The original purpose of this meeting has been completely distorted. The
imposed center of debate has been a so-called reform process that
overshadows the most urgent issues, what the peoples of the world claim
with urgency: the adoption of measures that deal with the real problems
that block and sabotage the efforts made by our countries for real
development and life.

Five years after the Millennium Summit, the harsh reality is that the
great majority of estimated goals- which were very modest indeed- will not
be met.

We pretended reducing by half the 842 million hungry people by the year
2015. At the current rate that goal will be achieved by the year 2215. Who
in this audience will be there to celebrate it? That is only if the human
race is able to survive the destruction that threats our natural

We had claimed the aspiration of achieving universal primary education by
the year 2015. At the current rate that goal will be reached after the
year 2100. Let us prepare, then, to celebrate it.

Friends of the world, this takes us to a sad conclusion: The United
Nations has exhausted its model, and it is not all about reform. The XXI
century claims deep changes that will only be possible if a new
organization is founded. This UN does not work. We have to say it. It is
the truth. These transformations ? the ones Venezuela is referring to-
have, according to us, two phases: The immediate phase and the aspiration
phase, a utopia. The first is framed by the agreements that were signed in
the old system. We do not run away from them. We even bring concrete
proposals in that model for the short term. But the dream of an
ever-lasting world peace, the dream of a world not ashamed by hunger,
disease, illiteracy, extreme necessity, needs-apart from roots- to spread
its wings to fly. We need to spread our wings and fly. We are aware of a
frightening neoliberal globalization, but there is also the reality of an
interconnected world that we have to face not as a problem but as a
challenge. We could, on the basis of national realities, exchange
knowledge, integrate markets, interconnect, but at the same time we must
understand that there are problems that do not have a national solution:
radioactive clouds, world oil prices, diseases, warming of the planet or
the hole in the ozone layer. These are not domestic problems. As we stride
toward a new United Nations model that includes all of us when they talk
about the people, we are bringing four indispensable and urgent reform
proposals to this Assembly: the first; the expansion of the Security
Council in its permanent categories as well as the non permanent
categories, thus allowing new developed and developing countries as new
permanent and non permanent categories. The second; we need to assure the
necessary improvement of the work methodology in order to increase
transparency, not to diminish it. The third; we need to immediately
suppress- we have said this repeatedly in Venezuela for the past six
years- the veto in the decisions taken by the Security Council, that
elitist trace is incompatible with democracy, incompatible with the
principles of equality and democracy.
And the fourth; we need to strengthen the role of the Secretary General;
his/her political functions regarding preventive diplomacy, that role must
be consolidated. The seriousness of all problems calls for deep
transformations. Mere reforms are not enough to recover that "we" all the
peoples of the world are waiting for. More than just reforms we in
Venezuela call for the foundation of a new United Nations, or as the
teacher of Simón Bolívar, Simón Rodríguez said: "Either we invent or we

At the Porto Alegre World Social Forum last January different
personalities asked for the United Nations to move outside the United
States if the repeated violations to international rule of law continue.
Today we know that there were never any weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq. The people of the United States have always been very rigorous in
demanding the truth to their leaders; the people of the world demand the
same thing. There were never any weapons of mass destruction; however,
Iraq was bombed, occupied and it is still occupied. All this happened over
the United Nations. That is why we propose this Assembly that the United
Nations should leave a country that does not respect the resolutions taken
by this same Assembly. Some proposals have pointed out to Jerusalem as an
international city as an alternative. The proposal is generous enough to
propose an answer to the current conflict affecting Palestine.
Nonetheless, it may have some characteristics that could make it very
difficult to become a reality. That is why we are bringing a proposal made
by Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of the South, in 1815. Bolívar
proposed then the creation of an international city that would host the
idea of unity.

We believe it is time to think about the creation of an international city
with its own sovereignty, with its own strength and morality to represent
all nations of the world. Such international city has to balance five
centuries of unbalance. The headquarters of the United Nations must be in
the South.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are facing an unprecedented energy crisis in
which an unstoppable increase of energy is perilously reaching record
highs, as well as the incapacity of increase oil supply and the
perspective of a decline in the proven reserves of fuel worldwide. Oil is
starting to become exhausted.

For the year 2020 the daily demand for oil will be 120 million barrels.
Such demand, even without counting future increments- would consume in 20
years what humanity has used up to now. This means that more carbon
dioxide will inevitably be increased, thus warming our planet even more.

Hurricane Katrina has been a painful example of the cost of ignoring such
realities. The warming of the oceans is the fundamental factor behind the
demolishing increase in the strength of the hurricanes we have witnessed
in the last years. Let this occasion be an outlet to send our deepest
condolences to the people of the United States. Their people are brothers
and sisters of all of us in the Americas and the rest of the world.

It is unpractical and unethical to sacrifice the human race by appealing
in an insane manner the validity of a socioeconomic model that has a
galloping destructive capacity. It would be suicidal to spread it and
impose it as an infallible remedy for the evils which are caused precisely
by them.

Not too long ago the President of the United States went to an
Organization of American States' meeting to propose Latin America and the
Caribbean to increase market-oriented policies, open market policies-that
is neoliberalism- when it is precisely the fundamental cause of the great
evils and the great tragedies currently suffered by our people. : The
neoliberal capitalism, the Washington Consensus. All this has generated is
a high degree of misery, inequality and infinite tragedy for all the
peoples on his continent.

What we need now more than ever Mr. President is a new international
order. Let us recall the United Nations General assembly in its sixth
extraordinary session period in 1974, 31 years ago, where a new
International Economic Order action plan was adopted, as well as the
States Economic Rights and Duties Charter by an overwhelming majority, 120
votes for the motion, 6 against and 10 abstentions. This was the period
when voting was possible at the United Nations. Now it is impossible to
vote. Now they approve documents such as this one which I denounce on
behalf of Venezuela as null, void and illegitimate. This document was
approved violating the current laws of the United Nations. This document
is invalid! This document should be discussed; the Venezuelan government
will make it public. We cannot accept an open and shameless dictatorship
in the United Nations. These matters should be discussed and that is why I
petition my colleagues, heads of states and heads of governments, to
discuss it.

I just came from a meeting with President Néstor Kirchner and well, I was
pulling this document out; this document was handed out five minutes
before- and only in English- to our delegation. This document was approved
by a dictatorial hammer which I am here denouncing as illegal, null, void
and illegitimate.

Hear this, Mr. President: if we accept this, we are indeed lost. Let us
turn off the lights, close all doors and windows! That would be
unbelievable: us accepting a dictatorship here in this hall.

Now more than ever- we were saying- we need to retake ideas that were left
on the road such as the proposal approved at this Assembly in 1974
regarding a New Economic International Order. Article 2 of that text
confirms the right of states to nationalizing the property and natural
resources that belonged to foreign investors. It also proposed to create
cartels of raw material producers. In the Resolution 3021, May, 1974, the
Assembly expressed its will to work with utmost urgency in the creation of
a New Economic International Order based on- listen carefully, please-
"the equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and
cooperation among all states regardless of their economic and social
systems, correcting the inequalities and repairing the injustices among
developed and developing countries, thus assuring present and future
generations, peace, justice and a social and economic development that
grows at a sustainable rate."

The main goal of the New Economic International Order was to modify the
old economic order conceived at Breton Woods.

We the people now claim- this is the case of Venezuela- a new
international economic order. But it is also urgent a new international
political order. Let us not permit that a few countries try to reinterpret
the principles of International Law in order to impose new doctrines such
as "pre-emptive warfare." Oh do they threaten us with that pre-emptive
war! And what about the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine? We need to
ask ourselves. Who is going to protect us? How are they going to protect

I believe one of the countries that require protection is precisely the
United States. That was shown painfully with the tragedy caused by
Hurricane Katrina; they do not have a government that protects them from
the announced nature disasters, if we are going to talk about protecting
each other; these are very dangerous concepts that shape imperialism,
interventionism as they try to legalize the violation of the national
sovereignty. The full respect towards the principles of International Law
and the United Nations Charter must be, Mr. President, the keystone for
international relations in today's world and the base for the new order we
are currently proposing.

It is urgent to fight, in an efficient manner, international terrorism.
Nonetheless, we must not use it as an excuse to launch unjustified
military aggressions which violate international law. Such has been the
doctrine following September 11. Only a true and close cooperation and the
end of the double discourse that some countries of the North apply
regarding terrorism, could end this terrible calamity.

In just seven years of Bolivarian Revolution, the people of Venezuela can
claim important social and economic advances.

One million four hundred and six thousand Venezuelans learned to read and
write. We are 25 million total. And the country will-in a few days- be
declared illiteracy-free territory. And three million Venezuelans, who had
always been excluded because of poverty, are now part of primary,
secondary and higher studies.

Seventeen million Venezuelans-almost 70% of the population- are receiving,
and for the first time, universal healthcare, including the medicine, and
in a few years, all Venezuelans will have free access to an excellent
healthcare service. More thatn a million seven hundred tons of food are
channeled to over 12 million people at subsidized prices, almost half the
population. One million gets them completely free, as they are in a
transition period. More than 700 thousand new jobs have been created, thus
reducing unemployment by 9 points. All of this amid internal and external
aggressions, including a coup d'etat and an oil industry shutdown
organized by Washington. Regardless of the conspiracies, the lies spread
by powerful media outlets, and the permanent threat of the empire and its
allies, they even call for the assassination of a president. The only
country where a person is able to call for the assassination of a head of
state is the United States. Such was the case of a Reverend called Pat
Robertson, very close to the White House: He called for my assassination
and he is a free person. That is international terrorism!

We will fight for Venezuela, for Latin American integration and the world.
We reaffirm our infinite faith in humankind. We are thirsty for peace and
justice in order to survive as species. Simón Bolívar, founding father of
our country and guide of our revolution swore to never allow his hands to
be idle or his soul to rest until he had broken the shackles which bound
us to the empire. Now is the time to not allow our hands to be idle or our
souls to rest until we save humanity.

Translated by Nestor Saánche

RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY,  Paul Zarembka, editor,  Elsevier Science
********************* http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

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