Terrorism will not cease while inequalities remain

Campaign News | Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Cuban diplomat calls for world disarmament at Geneva

Geneva, Mar 23: Stopping terrorism requires reducing global inequality by implementing policies that reduce military spending and increase aid for development, Cuban diplomat Jorge Ferrer Rodriguez told the U.N. Commission on Human Rights on March 24.

"Terrorism cannot be defeated nor can armed conflicts be prevented if the abysmal inequalities that divide us are not overcome," Ferrer Rodriguez insisted.

"Neither will there be peace or development without general and complete disarmament, including the arsenals of the major powers, and without the funds made available (by this disarmament) being used for global progress," he added.

"What the world needs is to declare global war on underdevelopment, hunger, poverty, illiteracy and preventable diseases, like AIDS," said the representative from Cuba, one of the 53 countries that make up the U.N. commission.

"What the world needs are not armies of soldiers sowing death and destruction, but armies of physicians, teachers and engineers bringing health, education, progress and well-being," Ferrer Rodriguez noted, emphasizing that "this is the only option."

The diplomat lamented the "persistence of the unjust,immoral, unsustainable and unequal international order," and wars, especially those waged by the United States, which he called "the most serious and immediate dangers" threatening the right to development.

Ferrer Rodriguez complained that "the United States wasted $400 billion last year" on military expenditures and criticized Washington's "warmongering," noting "they have announced the possibility of preemptive attacks on 60 or more underdeveloped countries."

He noted that international cooperation was "an inescapable duty and obligation," and lamented the lack of sufficient desire on the part of some industrialized countries to provide the economic means for development to poorer nations.

Ferrer Rodriguez noted that the efforts of developing nations "are increasingly thwarted by international obstacles, forces and influences that are not within the control of their governments, but have their origin in the unjust global order and failed neoliberal policies" imposed by rich countries and multilateral lenders.

Latin Americans use the terms "liberal" and "neoliberal" to describe market-oriented laissez-faire economic policies associated with conservative schools of thought.

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