Cuba Addresses UN on Millennium Declaration
Campaign News | Wednesday, 21 September 2005
Ricardo Alarcon's speech in full
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. RICARDO ALARCON DE QUESADA, SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE'S POWER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT THE HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY. NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 16, 2005.
This meeting was called for the purpose of reviewing the progress that has been made “towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration” and “in the implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN Conferences and Summits”. This aim, however, been completely distorted.
Eight objectives and 18 goals had been set, most for the year 2015. They were far from immodest. To reduce poverty and hunger by a half, make primary education accessible to everyone, encourage gender equality and the empowerment of women, reduce infant mortality, improve the health of mothers, combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, guarantee environmental sustainability and develop global alliances for development.
Very little has been done to reach these goals. In many of these areas, we have actually moved backwards.
That was what we needed to discuss here, today, to undertake resolute and urgent actions which would allow us to move forward. That was our obligation as participants in this Summit.
What we witness, instead, is an unforgivable sham. This meeting was hijacked through tortuous manipulation. Those who fancy themselves the world’s owners do not even want to remember those promises and the hypocritical fanfare that came with them.
What is worse, they seek to impose alleged reforms in the UN which only seek to subjugate the organization completely and transform it into an instrument of their global dictatorship.
They would have war and hegemony become norms the world must accept unquestioningly. Along the way, with the help of submissive coryphaei, they tear the Charter to shreds, seek to reduce the Secretariat to a tool for their designs and insult the Assembly and the world that it, and only it, represents.
In the name of what? A might whose limits their ignorance keeps them from seeing? A phony war on terrorism which massacres entire populations and takes thousands of young Americans to their death? A policy that, all the while, hypocritically protects a convicted and confessed terrorist like Luis Posada Carriles and, in violation of US law itself, keeps five innocent people in prison, punishing them because they did combat terrorism?
Greed, egoism and irrationally will bring catastrophe upon us, and those who refuse to accept the possibility of a different world, born of solidarity and justice, will not be spared.
A world without hunger or poverty, which offers everyone a healthy life, education and dignity, a world free of oppression and discrimination, without wars or genocidal blockades, where the exploitation of the weakest has been done away with.
The powerful can pretend they do not believe this, but poor nations have the right to development and shall continue to fight for it.
They shall continue to strive for it beyond these walls, outside of this room. In spite of the blockade, the harassment and threats, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas emerges as a result of the historical leadership and generosity of President Hugo Chávez Frías, whose speech pronounced here yesterday, echoed the voices of peoples in his condemnation, which we fully support. The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas is an example of solidarity among peoples, returning hope to many, working towards true integration and development , and announcing a different world that all of us can build. The Alternative, a new dawn, spreads to the world from the South.
Thank you, very much.
Cuba calls UN summit unforgivable sham
UNITED NATIONS 16 Sept: Cuba on Friday called the U.N. summit an "unforgivable sham" with the powerful nations seeking to transform the United Nations into an instrument of global dictatorship.
Addressing world leaders, Parliamentary speaker Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, once Cuba's UN ambassador, mentioned the United States by name just once but clearly directed his comments at the Bush administration.
Instead of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty, hunger, primary education, infant mortality and AIDS, the powerful had tried to divert the summit into a war on terrorism and to reduce the UN secretariat "to a tool for their designs," Alarcon said.
"In the name of what?," he asked.
"A phony war on terrorism which massacres entire populations and taken thousands of young Americans to their death?"
"Poor nations have the right to development and will continue to fight for it," Alarcon said.
"We are bearing witness to an unforgivable sham."
Cuban President Fidel Castro did not attend this year's summit. He came in 2000 and also demanded the world richest nations help the poor but laced his well-crafted speech with touches of humor.
Cuban Foreign Minister blames US for UN failure
Summit has lost its objective, says Perez Roque
Havana 16 Sept: Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque said on Wednesday that the UN Summit to evaluate the Goals of the Millenium has lost its objective due to Washington's pressures and blackmail.
During a telephone interview on Wednesday night's Round Table program, the Cuban foreign minister said that the final document of the Summit is not a real expression of the problems in the world. He noted that the meeting is underway in an ambiguous environment, as some nations like Cuba give their opinions openly and strongly while others in the hallways outside the UN General Assembly fail to speak out due to pressure from a small number of countries headed by the United States.
Referring to President George W. Bush's speech, Cuba's top diplomat said that the U.S. leader was received with coldness due to his rhetoric, threats and arrogance.
In relation to the issue of terrorism, Felipe Pérez Roque said that the declaration cannot advance because an international convention is under negotiation and there is no consensus on the theme. The island's foreign minister added that Cuba and a group of Third World nations will not accept the definition of terrorism as the actions of a nation to defend itself from foreign aggression or the struggle for self-determination and sovereignty.
The Cuban foreign minister reiterated that the island recognizes state terrorism in policies and actions that have been launched against the Cuban people over the last 45 years -- pointing to Washington's economic blockade against the island.
Concerning the idea to create a UN Human Rights Council, the Cuban diplomat pointed to the numerous manipulations of the U.S. delegation to impose its conditions and to prevent Third World participation in that institution. He stressed that they have agreed to a name and that for the next year, they will try to iron out the details of this so-called Human Rights Council.
In regard to the role of the Cuban delegation during the UN Summit, despite the maneuvers to stop their participation, the Cuban foreign minister outlined the strong denunciations over the document's negotiating process, during which the U.S. excluded over 150 nations.
He referred to the many omissions in the final text, such as a commitment for the financing of the Goals of the Millennium and a commitment to total nuclear disarmament.
Felipe Pérez Roque emphasized that the debates at the United Nations demonstrated how more than 140 underdeveloped nations -- in the eyes of the United States -- have no right to peace or development and finance the capitalist societies from their own resources.
The Third World, said the Cuban foreign minister, finances the luxuries and waste of a privileged minority -- funding capitalist societies with resources ripped from the rich soil of poor nations around the world.
Cuba sees holes in UN declaration
New York, 14 Sept: A United Nations declaration approved on Tuesday in New York contains omissions and distortions, said Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno during the closing of the 59th session of the UN General Assembly.
The Cuban representative denounced the irregularities and lack of transparency of the negotiating process in the drafting of the document, which will be submitted at the Summit of Heads of State and Government to begin on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York.
Moreno protested over the absence of previously agreed upon language referring to coercive measures. The Cuban official recalled that the President of the General Assembly, Gabonese Jean Ping, had indicated with clarity that those paragraphs would be introduced in the final document.
I have no option, said the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, but to think that the omission responds to the interest of satisfying others, like the US delegation which was the only member nation to insist the language on coercive measures be eliminated.
The Cuban representative also questioned the assignment of double the current resources to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He said this contradicts the UN's insistence on a lack of funds for other important areas.
Moreno pointed out that the positions in the text will not put an end to the double standards, politicization and selectivity that has characterized the UN on human rights issues.
The diplomat further criticized the omission of the disarmament issue, and warned that this could create a disastrous precedent for the work of the United Nations.
Moreno said the results of important UN conferences over the last five years were embarrassing and that the latest declaration related to development and its financing do not reflect the interests of the so called Third World.