I have inserted extracts from the UN presentations of some of the states that are major players on the continent.
In particular, I would like to draw your particular attention to
A. Pres. Mugabe's clear sighted perspective on the west's duplicity on the questions of human rights and democracy; racism practiced against the Africans born in the US...and his clear denunciation of neo-colonialist practices of the west and their entities such as the IMF;
B. Pres. Nujoma emphasis on the role of great revolutionaries such as Nkrumah and Nasser in Africa's liberation;
C. Both Nujoma and Mugabe's views on internationalist issues such as the wars -- blockades are a tool of war remember --waged against Cuba, Iraq and Palestine;
D. Pres. Obasanjo's discussion on the current stage of the AU;
E. Pres. Mbeki's assertion about the power imbalance in the world and his assertion that perhaps there is abuse of power by the global elites -- it underlines the need for the ANC to adopt a firm revolutionary position on these issues, and stop hedging;
F. I note the fact that Libya, unlike the Mbeki government, continues to push for a UN Security Council Seat for the AU, whereas, unfortunately, Mbeki has already made the comment that such a position should be discarded because of opposition for other quarters of the globe.
The issue is this, should or shouldn't Africa propagate its position, are our position to be determined by external entities, well meaning or other wise? If Africa were to unite, to create a continental government, then there would not be the question of the world respecting her wishes in such matters.
Zimbabwe - Pres. Mugabe
Mr President, at the 58th Session, I spoke about the need
to reform the United Nations and its related bodies so as
to make them more democratic. I stressed the perils
inherent in the status quo, particularly, with regard to the
dominance of global politics by one superpower and its
closest allies. While we welcome the current debate on
enhancing the authority and role of the United Nations,
we wish to stress the need to address the core issue of
democratisation of international governance. Debate on
the reform of the Security Council has been too longdrawn
because of attempts calculated to protect those
whose interests are best served by the status quo.
Ironically, it is some of the same forces that, since last
year, have been raining bombs and hell-fire on innocent
Iraqis purportedly in the name of democracy. Iraq today
has become a vast inferno created by blatant and
completely illegal and defiant acts of aggression by the
United States, Britain and their allies, in the full trail of
which the world has witnessed mass destruction of both
human lives and property, and with them our human
rights, values, morality and the norms of international
law as enshrined in our Charter. We are now being
coerced to accept and believe that a new
political-cum-religious doctrine has arisen, namely that "There is but
one political god, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair is his
prophet". Mr President, the U.N. Charter remains the
only most sacred document and proponent of the
relations of our Nations. Anything else is political
Regrettably, we continue to see the unfortunate and futile tendency
to use assistance in this area as reward for political compliance and
malleability, making it unavailable to countries whose
governments are deemed "inconvenient". Let it be realized that
the pandemic does not respect boundaries, and these self-serving,
selective approaches will have little or no meaningful results.
Zimbabwe has also had to withstand unprovoked, declared and
undeclared sanctions, imposed by Britain and its allies who are
bent on bringing down our legitimately elected Government. Mr
Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, has arrogantly and
unashamedly announced in his Parliament that his government was
working with Zimbabwe's Opposition Party to bring about regime
change. Once again, the lawless nature of this man who along his
Washington master, believes he is God-ordained to rule our world,
has shown itself. Regime Change is an inalienable right of our
Zimbabwean people who, through their sovereign vote, can make
and unmake our governments. In any case, we reject completely
the pretended assertions of democracy by our former colonial
masters, whose undemocratic regimes we taught the lesson of one
man or one woman one vote through our liberation struggles. Here
in the United States we remain aware of the plight of the Black
American of both yesterday and to-day and of the semi-slave and
half-citizen status that has been his burden. Have the Blacks in the
U.S.A. got equal politics, social and economic rights and status as
their white counterparts?
I wish to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my
Government and that of the people of Zimbabwe for the
humanitarian assistance we received from the international
community during our period of need. Without such support, we
would not have been able to avert a major catastrophe.
I am pleased to inform you Mr President that we have, in
spite of the sanctions and evil wishes of Britain and its
allies, now emerged from that difficult phase. We had a
relatively good agricultural season this year and our Land
Reform Programme has begun to make a significant
contribution towards the turn-around of our economy.
Despite the partial drought at the beginning of the
season, we have managed this year to realise a good
harvest, certainly, one good enough to ensure that we
meet our food requirements until the next season. We
plead with the IMF to stop its strange political
mouthings, lies and fabrications about our situation. Our
own regional organisations know the truth about
Mr President, my Government is determined to eliminate
corruption and its corrosive effects on national
development efforts. After signing the International
Convention against Corruption in November last year,
we have put in place legal and administrative measures
that have already arrested a growing and deliberate
tendency to circumvent normal business practices,
particularly, in the financial services sector. Our efforts
have, however, experienced some set-backs as some
countries, particularly in the developed West, provide
safe havens for fugitive economic saboteurs from our
Mr President, the fight against international terrorism has
exposed the duplicity and insincerity of erstwhile leading
democracies and human rights monitors with regard to
the question of the observance of human rights. We have
seen established international conventions being thrown
to the dogs, and resolutions of the General Assembly and
other UN bodies on this issue come to naught.
We are seriously concerned that the United Nations, the
pre-eminent instrument for the maintenance of
international peace and security, watched helplessly
while Iraq was plundered by the US and UK-led socalled
coalition of the willing. Such belligerent gunslinging
diplomacy and illegitimate territorial occupation
of the state of Iraq are blemishes on the fair play image
of the UN.
While the sadistic scenes from Abu Ghraib remain vivid
in our minds, other places in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay
have provided useful samples of the Western concept of
respect for human rights. Let me say once again that
the West should spare us their lessons on human rights.
They do not have the moral authority to speak about, let
alone, parade themselves, as torch-bearers of human
Zimbabwe remains deeply concerned
about the situation in the Middle East. We continue to
be revulsed by a situation where the collective decisions
and authority of the United Nations are disregarded with
impunity on account of big brother support. We demand
an immediate lifting of all restrictions illegally imposed
on the Palestinian people, which have seen President
Yasser Arafat remain a virtual prisoner of foreign
occupation. We welcome the recent opinion given by the
International Court of Justice that found the construction
of the Israeli wall to be in contravention of international
law, and the subsequent General Assembly Resolution
that demanded the immediate halt to that monstrosity.
Mr President, as you are aware, the African Union earlier
this year established its own Peace and Security Council
to seek and promote African solutions to African
problems. Already, the Council is seized with the matter
of the crisis in Western Sudan. These efforts need the
support of the international community.
Namibia - Pres. Nujoma
You will recall, Mr President, the renewed spirit and firm resolve
for change demonstrated by the African leaders in July 2002 in
Durban, South Africa. In transforming the OAU and launching the
African Union and its development arm, NEPAD, there we stressed
a new beginning for Africa. We also reiterated our commitment to
embrace the African Diaspora in the consolidation and the
transformation of our continent.
I am, therefore, delighted to note that the outgoing President of
the General Assembly, Mr. Julian Hunte hails from a sister
country of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. I pay tribute to him for
his excellent and successful service to the United Nations in
pursuit of a better world characterised by peace and cooperation
among nations, peoples and governments.
We are gathered once again at the United Nations Headquarters to
reaffirm the precious ideals, principles and purposes of the United
Nations and to make them ring true in action towards ending
armed conflict, saving our children and investing resources for
eradicating hunger, disease and poverty in the world.
Our illustrious and hardworking Secretary-General, my Brother
Kofi Annan of Ghana, has left no stone unturned in his tireless
efforts by exerting his authority in conflict situations and
insisting on the centrality and legitimate responsibility of our
Organisation to be on the side of the poor, the weak and the
needy in the world, as we search for lasting solutions to the old
and new challenges confronting humanity.
UN Member States collectively pledged, among others, and by
• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• Achieve universal primary education
• Promote gender equality and empower women
• Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health
• Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other
• Ensure environmental sustainability
• Develop global partnership for sustainable development
By endorsing these development goals and targets, our
Governments have made a serious and irrevocable commitment,
through reliable public policy interventions, to care for millions
of our children all over the world, who are asking for nothing
more than love, protection and a peaceful childhood.
In this undertaking, we cannot ignore the ever widening income
gap between the rich and the poor, between the industrialised
North and the developing South. This situation represents a
dangerous time bomb which the world can ill-afford to let take
its own course. Our planet earth is too small to perpetuate the
unacceptable co-existence of abject poverty and abundance of
prosperity within its fold. We will only deal with this situation
effectively, when we promote mutually beneficial commercial
trade between the North and South within the framework of
North-South and South-South Cooperation.
I would like to point out for emphasis that the Millennium
Development Goals and Targets by themselves are only
declarations of intent by States and promises on behalf of our
Governments to translate them into sustainable policies,
buttressed by adequate financial and technological resources, to
make a real difference in the lives of our peoples.
The world has enormous resources to fight and defeat poverty,
hunger and under- development. We must insist, in this process
of dialogue, on a realistic balance between the total world
spending on war and weapons technology, on the one hand, and
the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and
Targets, on the other. What is required is political will and
compassion on the part of world leaders. The debate on weapons
of mass destruction must not divide UN member States, but
should lead nations to find and enhance peaceful co-existence
and cooperation. Developed countries should consider their
support to the countries of the South, as an act of enlightened
contribution to regional and global stability, and as an purposeful
incentive towards encouraging increased mutual beneficial
commercial trade and investments among all nations.
Many world renowned revolutionaries, particularly in the
African Continent rendered selfless sacrifices, not only towards
the independence of our motherland, but to free the African
continent from colonial exploitation and apartheid colonialism.
I therefore would like to pay homage and salute the visionary
leaders of the African Continent who shaped the vision of
African unity and the continent's emancipation from the yoke of
colonialism, foreign occupation and apartheid. Dr Kwame
Nkrumah, the First President of Ghana; Ahmed Ben Bella, the
First Prime Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of
Algeria; Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt; Julius Kambarage
Nyerere of Tanzania; Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia; General
Murtala Muhamed of Nigeria, Dr Antonio Augustinho Neto of
Angola and other African Leaders and Pan-Africanists.
We salute them for their dedication and support to the fight to
break the chains of colonialism and the historic quest to free the
African people from the bondage of foreign occupation.
Namibia's protracted liberation struggle was bloody and bitter. It
demanded untold suffering and sacrifices of our people inside
the country and the rest of us who were forced to spend many
decades in exile. During the years that followed, the
international community recognised the legitimacy of our just
cause for freedom, equality and justice, and endorsed the
Namibian people's struggle, led by our National Liberation
Namibia became the principal legal responsibility of the UN
itself and a unique partnership was forged in that way for a
common cause between this world Organisation and the
struggling Namibian people, that endured for thirty daunting and
From the days of the OAU, the United Nations and Africa have
been true partners. In the process they offered each other mutual
support and ever increasing cooperation in the vital fields of
conflict resolution, peace-building, humanitarian relief and
social development. Now that the African Union has established
its Peace and Security Council, as well as NEPAD, we envisage
a wider scope for cooperation and resource mobilisation to plan
for the prevention of armed conflicts and human suffering in
Without concrete and sustained peace and stability, Africa's
economic growth and poverty eradication will remain unfulfilled
dreams. They will make our promises empty and a betrayal to
the African masses. We must act collectively to nurture their
hopes and make their dreams come true.
From this podium and at various other venues, Namibian leaders
and delegates have repeatedly argued for our beliefs in a
peaceful, democratic, transparent and just international system.
We have advocated for such a system that will bring the poor and
the rich of the world together to save lives of millions and pursue
sustainable development and human security as our common
To achieve that noble end, the United Nations itself and in
particular the Security Council cannot continue operating on the
basis of undemocratic structures of representation and decisionmaking.
The overall reforms that have already been agreed upon
should be implemented without delay. Political will is what is
lacking. We can do better and now is the time. Africa needs its
place as a key role-player in this world body and now is the time
for that to happen. Africa demands its share of responsibility.
The current war in Iraq has divided the world, causing enormous
human suffering and undermining socio-economic well-being of
countries not only in the Middle East, but world-wide. We too in
Africa feel the negative impact of that situation. Millions of people
in Africa, especially in Sudan and the Great Lakes Region continue
to experience untold suffering due to conflict and war. Regrettably,
there is widespread distrust and the danger of nuclear proliferation
makes the situation even more alarming for everybody.
The UN Settlement Plan for Western Sahara must be
implemented. The inalienable right of the Palestinian People
must be realised. We owe it to them. Namibia reiterates its call
for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the US embargo
against Cuba, in order to allow the people of the two countries to
The global security situation has also been worsened by the
emergence of mercenaries and private armies which have now
become the world's biggest political challenge. Mercenaries are
amassing arms and launching military offensives against
legitimate governments to support companies who scramble for
oil, gas, diamonds and other world's precious resources. The
African continent has not been spared by these misfortunes.
The United Nations is the ideal place where solutions should be
found through multilateral negotiations and compromise. The
Secretary-General needs unwavering support from all member
States to play an effective role in the Middle East, Africa and in
other conflict situations around the world. Whether fighting
poverty, HIV/AIDS or terrorism, the international community
must act as one. We must stop the looming catastrophe and
suffering. Instead, we must promote human security and
prosperity for all.
Nigeria - Pres. Obasanjo
Nigeria remains unshakeable in its commitment
to, and support for the strengthening of the United
Nations and the protection of its cherished ideals, in
particular the maintenance of international peace
and security as well as cooperation among states in
solving international economic, social, cultural and
The problem of unremitting conflicts in various
regions of the world and the ever-increasing difficult
task of seeking solutions to them, continue to pose
serious challenges to the world body. Nigeria and
the African Union commend the United Nations for its
determined engagement in crisis resolution and
peacekeeping, particularly in Africa. We have noted
with appreciation the changes in the concept of
Notwithstanding, we believe some improvements
are still necessary to enable a Peace Operation by
the United Nations to address the social and
economic challenges that inevitably confront
countries emerging from conflict. These socioeconomic
issues invariably form important part of
the causes of the conflict in the first instance.
We also appeal for continued enhancement of the
capacity of regional organizations to undertake
initiatives on crisis resolution in their respective
regions. For its part the African Union has engaged
in improving its mechanism for conflict resolution
and in May this year established a Peace and
The first challenge of the AU Peace and Security
Council has been the situation in the Darfur Region
of Western Sudan, which has aroused world
attention by the reported carnage in that region. On
behalf of the AU, I want to thank the international
community for the humanitarian intervention being
undertaken. As is well known, the AU has deployed
troops into the region to monitor a cease-fire
between the Government of Sudan and the opposing
Movements - the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
(SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement
(JEM). Moreover the first substantive Peace Talks
took place in the Nigerian capital Abuja under the
auspices of the AU from August 23 rd to September
18, 2004. The Sudanese parties reached agreement
on the first point of the agenda, namely -
Humanitarian Issues, out of their 4 points. They also
made progress on the second point, namely, Security
Issues, before adjourning for consultation. Followup
meeting is expected to be resumed in Abuja
about 21st October 2004, on the other issues, namely
Political Issues and Economic and Social Issues.
I am closely following the developments in
consultation with the Chairperson of the Commission
of the African Union and others. I call upon the
international community to continue to lend us its
support in resolving the Darfur conflict and its
It is cheering to note the progress being made in
Somalia particularly in constituting the Parliament.
The efforts of the regional countries, which are
demonstrating an unprecedented collaboration in
helping the Somalis to move the process forward,
should be applauded. The Somalis themselves
should continue to demonstrate commitment to
repair past errors and make of their country a
respectable member of the AU and the United
The Great Lakes Region remains a flash point of
violence as exemplified by the recent massacre of
more than 150 persons in a refugee camp in Burundi.
On June 25, 2004, President Kabila of the Democratic
Republic of Congo and President Kagame of Rwanda
met in Abuja at my instance and agreed to activate
the Joint Verification Mechanism. Thereafter, a
meeting of all stake holders was held during the AU
Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6 - 8 July, 2004
with the participation of the UN Secretary General, in
order to accelerate the activation of the Joint
Verification Mechanism. I am hopeful that this
renewed process would facilitate a better
understanding to stem this spate of massacre and
engender a peaceful resolution of the protracted
crisis in the Great Lakes Region.
With regard to the West African sub-region, the
African Union and ECOWAS continue their efforts,
with the constant support of the United Nations to
ensure steady progress in the peace processes in
Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. To this end and in order to
address the standstill in the implementation of the
Linas Marcousis Agreement on Cote d'Ivoire, an
extraordinary Summit was held in Accra, Ghana
under the auspices of ECOWAS on July 29th 2004.
We benefited from the presence of UN Secretary-
General, Kofi Annan as well as some non ECOWAS
African Heads of State. If the agreements we
reached at that Summit are faithfully implemented,
an end to the conflict should be in sight.
On the margin of the Accra Summit, we also
addressed the problems that were retarding the
implementation of the Liberian Comprehensive Peace
Agreement. In discussions with all the Liberian
leaders, we agreed on decisions on the main
contentious issues and we have since been
witnessing encouraging signs of implementation of
I should remark that we noticed once again that
the delay in providing the resources promised by
countries during the Liberian Pledging Conference
held here in the UN Headquarters in February 2004
constitutes an avoidable hindrance to the
advancement of peace in Liberia. I, therefore call on
all our well meaning partners who were kind enough
to make pledges to kindly redeem those pledges.
While the United Nations is justifiably seized
with the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD), such as nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, the question of Small Arms and light
Weapons (SALW), can no longer be ignored. While
the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction is
awesome, small arms and light weapons are killing
people every day at a rate cumulatively amounting to
Nigeria and the African Union welcome the
commencement of negotiations for an international
legally binding instrument to enable States identify
and trace illicit small arms and light weapons
globally. Of particular interest to Africa is the
enormous potential that such a legally binding
instrument can have on peace and security in our
region. We should therefore not relent in our efforts.
Let me seize this opportunity to soundly
condemn the totally unacceptable role of
mercenaries and their sponsors in Africa. The recent
attempted invasion of Equatorial Guinea and other
such attempts go against every imaginable rational
effort at promoting stability and democracy on the
continent. We call on the United Nations to join the
African Union in sending the right signals of
condemnation to those mercenaries and their
Our quest for global peace and security will
prove unsuccessful unless we intensify international
cooperation for development and the reduction of
poverty. Only four years ago we adopted the
Millennium Development Goals which pointedly fixed
a target of 2015 for reducing by half those living in
poverty. Yet by now, alarm is being raised that if
present trends continue, that target may not be met,
particularly in Africa which apart from the challenges
of development is also being ravaged by pandemic
Speaking on behalf of the African Union as its
current Chairperson I should like to assure this
august assembly that we Africans are determined
that we shall exert all our efforts to overcome those
obstacles to our development that are within our
control. To this end we are pursuing, with the
personal commitment and involvement of our Heads
of State themselves, the implementation of the
priorities set in our flagship programme, namely the
New Partnership for Africa's Development - NEPAD.
On this note, we appreciate the conclusion in the
Secretary-General's "Second Consolidated Report on
Progress in Implementation and International
Support" for NEPAD that "African Countries have
demonstrated their commitment to advancing the
implementation of NEPAD by earmarking financial
allocations to selected sectoral priorities" and that
"the development partners of Africa can give further
practical expression to their support for the efforts of
African countries by taking action in three important
areas: first, by creating an enabling international
environment that is supportive of growth and
development in Africa; second, by bringing much
needed coherence to trade, aid and debt policies, so
that African countries are the net beneficiaries of
international actions in those areas; and third, by
undertaking concrete measures to accelerate the
implementation of NEPAD by making significant
financial outlays to fund the key sectoral priorities of
NEPAD I believe that the message to our
development partners is very clear.
To demonstrate our commitment to the principle
of good governance, transparency and the rule of
law, 23 African countries have already subscribed to
the Peer Review Mechanism. It should be recalled
that the Peer Review Mechanism represents Africa's
voluntary commitment to a set of performance codes
and standards to foster best practices and share
lessons in the management of national affairs.
The promotion of agriculture is being vigorously
pursued both for its export potentials and poverty
alleviation. Encouraging growth rates in agricultural
production are already being recorded in several
African countries. Simultaneously we are
intensifying our efforts in the promotion of agrobased
In furtherance of our efforts at self-help, AU
Heads of State and Government held an
extraordinary Summit on Employment Creation and
Poverty Alleviation in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
from September 5-9, 2004. We adopted a far
reaching Declaration and Programme of Action. For
implementation and monitoring, we also adopted
Mechanisms at the National, Regional and
What may act as a drawback in implementation
of this most important area for pulling the African
populace off our poverty and misery is the inevitable
issue of adequate resources for meeting our
otherwise realistic goals. On behalf of the African
Union, I appeal to our partners to demonstrate once
again our shared common global interdependence
and common humanity.
Africa requires genuine partnership anchored on
the principle of mutual benefits, to ensure the
attainment of sustainable development. One such
area of partnership is in respect of Africa's external
debts. The negative impact of debt on the economic
circumstances of African countries, particularly the
LDCs, can no longer be denied. We remain convinced
that resolving the lingering debt crisis
comprehensively through innovative action, would
brighten the prospects of development in Africa.
Africa welcomes the consensus that emerged
from the recent meeting of the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in
Sao Paulo, Brazil. That consensus reflected a shared
conviction that the organization can continue to
coordinate our view on trade and development
matters. This could not be otherwise if the
Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved
and the benefits of expanding trade are to be
enjoyed by all peoples and societies.
By launching a new initiative to commence a new
round of multilateral trade negotiations, developing
countries have thrown down the challenge to our
development partners in exploiting the global
opportunities for growth and development. We hope
they will reciprocate.
Last year the UN Secretary General launched a
United Nations Reform Initiative, which we all
warmly commended. In pursuit of this initiative the
Secretary General appointed last year, a High Level
Panel of Eminent Personalities to examine ways of
strengthening the UN through institutional reforms
and processes. We are looking forward to the report
of that Panel. Nigeria, and indeed Africa, holds the
view that the Security Council should be expanded in
the permanent and non-permanent categories to
make it more representative, effective and
acceptable. We expect that those regions of the
world that are currently unrepresented in the
permanent membership category should be given
membership. Africa whose issues occupy a
substantial part of the Security Council's time ought
to be accorded priority consideration for permanent
membership, and Nigeria, I strongly believe, is a well
South Africa - Pres. Mbeki
"We have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world's people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs."
We went on to say, "We are determined to establish a just and lasting peace all over the world in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter."
We also said: "(Our efforts to make globalisation fully inclusive and equitable) must
include policies and measures, at the global level, which correspond to the needs of
developing countries and economies in transition and are formulated and implemented with their effective participation."
To this we added the commitment that, "We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme
poverty... We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone
and to freeing the entire human race from want."
Naturally, we have no choice but to agree that we did say all these things, and would
undoubtedly agree that we meant what we said. I trust that this would not mark the end ofthe range of issues over which we would speak with one voice.
I say this because when I have asked myself the question – have we achieved the goals we set ourselves? – I have found it impossible not to answer that we have failed. There may very well be others among us who will take a different view and say that a good beginning has been made, and therefore that it is too early to say we have failed.
But I am certain that if we say to those affected by violence and war that we have made a good beginning towards the establishment of a just and lasting peace all over the world, they will not believe us. I am equally certain that if we say to those who, everyday, go to bed hungry, that we have made a good beginning towards freeing the entire human race from want, they will also not believe us.
I would make bold to say that the vision of human dignity, equality and equity at the
global level we enunciated in this imposing forum four years ago resonates among the ordinary people who are victims of hunger and war as a beautiful dream that will
inevitably be deferred.
Does this mean that when we made the promises we made, we deliberately intended to tell the .billions of ordinary people a lie? The answer to that question is obviously no!
Did we speak as we did simply because talk is easy and cheap? Again the answer to that question is obviously no!
The question must therefore arise as to why the grandeur of our words and the vision they paint - of a world of peace, free of war, a world characterised by shared prosperity, free of poverty – has not produced the grand results we sincerely sought and seek!
It would seem to me that the answer to that question lies in the fact that we have, as yet, not seriously confronted the difficult issues that relate to the uses and perhaps the abuses of power.
Yesterday our Secretary General, the Honourable Kofi Annan, spoke eloquently about the three thousand year old code of Hammurabi, and said "That code was a landmark in humanity's struggle to build on order where, instead of might making right, right would make might."
We took it that the Secretary General was, in his own elegant way, drawing
our attention to the central question of our day – of the uses and abuses of power!
Contemporary human society is characterised by a gross and entrenched imbalance in the distribution of power. That power is held and exercised by human beings. As human beings, the powerful share many things with the powerless. Together, the powerful and the disempowered share the common human needs to eat, to drink water, to be protected from the elements, to dream, to love, to laugh, to play, to live.
But life itself tells us that all that and only that describes what human beings share. The rest, the relations among us as social beings, is defined by our varied access to power and its exercise.
Without fear of contradiction, I have said that we all agree that later this year, we will
receive the Report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.
I am equally convinced that, depending on where we stand relative to the power equation, we will hold radically different views about what constitutes humanity's most serious threats and challenges, and therefore what must be changed to respond to that perceived reality.
Both the powerful and the disempowered will undoubtedly agree that terrorism and war represent a serious threat to all humanity. They will agree that we were right to make the commitment in the Millennium Declaration to work for "a just and lasting peace all over the world in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter."
Many of those who have already addressed the Assembly have correctly drawn our
attention to many instances of terrorism and war to which we are all opposed. They have spoken of the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the African and American lives these claimed, of the heinous 9/11 outrage in this city, the acts of terrorism in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain, Israel, Gatumba in Burundi, Beslan in the Russian Federation, and elsewhere.
They have correctly drawn our attention to the violent conflicts in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Burundi, the Sudan, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and elsewhere, and other unsolved problems such as selfdetermination for the people of Western Sahara, that cry out for a solution.
Both the powerful and the disempowered agree and will agree that the international
community must act together, successfully to confront these situations, and therefore the threat and challenge of terrorism and war.
However, the powerful will also make the additional determination that terrorism and war constitute the central and principal threat and challenge that human civilisation faces.
They will make the determination that because, almost by definition, the terrorists target them simply because they are the powerful, they have no logical choice but to identify terrorism as the central and principal threat and challenge they face, and to which they must respond.
Because of the space they occupy relative to the power equation, what they decide will necessarily constitute the global decision of what constitutes the central, principal and most urgent threat and challenge to human society, necessitating various changes in the global system of governance. What they will decide will translate into a set of obligatory injunctions, issued by this Organisation, which all member nations will have to accept and implement.
Both the powerful and the disempowered will undoubtedly also agree that poverty, want and underdevelopment constitute serious problems that all humanity must confront.
Many of those who have already addressed the Assembly have correctly drawn our
attention to the reality of poverty that billions across the globe continue to experience.
Among other things, they have correctly reminded us of the fact that some countries are poorer today than they were a decade ago. They have pointed to the virtual certainty that we will fail to meet the Millennium Development Goals we set ourselves four years ago.
Both the powerful and the disempowered agree and will agree that the international
community must act together, successfully to confront this situation, and therefore the threat and challenge of poverty and underdevelopment.
However, the disempowered, who are also the poor of the world, will also make the
additional determination that poverty and underdevelopment constitute the central and principal threat and challenge that human civilisation faces.
They will make the determination that because they are the daily victims of deprivation and want, which claim the lives of millions every year, translating into cold statistics about shortened life expectancy, deprivation and want are the central and principal threat and challenge that humanity faces, necessitating changes in the global system of governance effectively to respond to this reality.
But because they are powerless, these billions, the overwhelming majority of the same humanity that needs to eat, to drink water, to be protected from the elements, to dream, to love, to laugh, to play, to live, will have no possibility to persuade this Organisation, mockingly described in the Millennium Declaration as "the most universal and most representative organisation in the world", to translate what they have concluded, into obligatory injunctions, issued by this Organisation, which all member nations will have to accept and implement.
If, for a moment, we resist the temptation to speak in parables or in tongues, for fear that we might be punished for telling the truth, we must say that all this produces a stark and simple reality that reflects the distribution of power and wealth in contemporary human society.
The wealthy and powerful feel mortally threatened by the fanatical rage of the terrorists,correctly. And they have the power both to respond to this present and immediate danger with all the might of which they dispose, and, because they are mighty, the possibility to determine for all humanity that what they decide is the principal threat they confront is the principal threat that all humanity faces.
The poor and powerless feel threatened by a permanent hurricane of poverty, which is
devastating their communities as horrendously as Hurricane Ivan destroyed the Caribbean island state of Grenada.
But, tragically, precisely because they are poor, they do not have the means to respond to this present and immediate danger. Neither do they have the power to determine for all humanity that what they decide is the principal threat they confront, is also the principal threat that all humanity faces, including the rich and powerful.
In the Millennium Declaration we spoke of the need to implement "policies and
measures, at the global level, which correspond to the needs of developing countries and economies in transition and are formulated and implemented with their effective
Perhaps the mistake we made was to assume that the contemporary distribution of power in human society would permit of this outcome, such that regardless of this fundamental consideration, it would be possible for the concerns of the poor to take precedence on the global agenda and the global programme of action.
We comforted or perhaps deluded ourselves with the thought that this Organisation is
"the most universal and most representative organisation in the world ", afraid to ask the question — is it?
Every year many of us who have spoken and will speak from this rostrum make an
annual pilgrimage to this great and vibrant city to plead the cause of the poor of the
world, hopeful that this time our voices will be heard. Every year, after a few days, we
pick up our bags to return to the reality of our societies, whose squalor stands out in sharp contrast to the splendour of New York and this majestic precinct that constitutes the headquarters of the United Nations Organisation.
In the aftermath, resolutions are passed. Again and again our Permanent Representatives, the Excellencies with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Powers, report that the resolutions oblige us to act to thwart the deadly plans of murderous terrorist gangs. Again and again their Excellencies report that yet another appeal has been made to the mighty and the lowly alike, voluntarily to respond to the cries of the wretched of the earth.
Your Excellency, President Jean Ping, we are truly proud and inspired by the fact that you preside over the proceedings of this 59th General Assembly, because we know that you will discharge your obligations as a son of the poor of the world should. We are moved by the fact that you had as your predecessor, President Julian Hunte, who also understood intimately what has to be done to ensure that the United Nations becomes, in reality, "the indispensable common house of the entire human family."
As an Israeli said to us at our own headquarters in Pretoria a fortnight ago, it is perhaps time that we the poor and powerless abandon our wheelchairs and begin to walk unaided.
Perhaps this will help to build the social order of which Hammurabi and the Honourable Kofi Annan spoke, in which right would make might and not might, right.
Libya - Libyan Foreign Minister
Last year, we relinquished our right to speak to the President of the African Union in the hope that he would speak for the entire Union. It seemed that because the African Union does not have the post of Foreign Minister, the Ministers of member states were compelled to speak for this nonexistent post in the African Union; therefore, I am obliged to speak.
All States concur that the current structure and rules of procedure of the United Nations are faulty, and all States agree on the need for reformation. Indeed, before we can discuss reforms in the Middle East and in the former Republics of the Soviet Union or in any area of the world, we must first reform the United Nations. Before we can talk about the lack of democracy in the world, we must first admit that it is lacking in the United Nations. And as the General Assembly is the parliament of all parliaments and as the Security Council is the government of all governments, we have no right to talk about democracy and reforms in the world unless these are first addressed from and corrected at the top.
The past fifty-nine years have proven that the General Assembly is merely a decorative body without a soul, and authority rests with the Security Council which controls all the work of the United Nations. Thus, my country proposes that the upcoming 60 th Session of the General Assembly be a decisive and important meeting with invitations extended to all world leaders to attend and declare that the
60th Session shall decide on a radical reform of the United Nations.
God willing, Muammar Al-Ghaddafi, for the first time, shall attend the 60th Session as it will be a historical milestone in the United Nations and a transformation of the prevailing injustices.
We propose that the 60th Session be held in Geneva to facilitate the attendance of all world leaders and presidents even if an additional budget would have to be allocated. My country is ready to contribute financial support to this endeavor.
There are two options before us: Our first option is to transfer the authority of invoking Chapters 6 and 7 to the General Assembly from of the Security Council. If this cannot be accomplished, we have no choice but to abandon the
General Assembly and stop infusing money into this dead body. Our second option is to enlarge the membership of the Security Council by granting seats to new spaces such as the African Union, South East Asia (ASEAN) and Latin America. Additionally, the veto privilege would have to be reevaluated so as to become subject to new rules since membership of the Security Council will be expanded.
We warn that unless reform is implemented in this manner, the United Nations will cease to exist as unilateral acts are emerging outside the confines of the United Nations. The African Union must have a permanent seat in the Security Council which will alternate among its members.
As the 60th Session of the General Assembly draws closer, Libya is presenting a unique, bold and strong initiative involving the elimination of its programs of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and nuclear weapons, and the handing over of such equipment to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Libya which played the central role in the establishment of the African Union and contributed effectively to the liberation of colonized and oppressed peoples; Libya which extends along a coastline 2000 km long on the Mediterranean Sea, which is in the center of the world, a place of conflicts and a haven for tourism. And there can be no Mediterranean Sea without Libya and there can be no southern Mediterranean coast without Libya;
Libya, which gave birth to the Third Universal Theory, the middle ground between capitalism and communism, and presented the world with the Green Book in its three parts to resolve the political, economic and social problems of society;
LIBYA DESERVES TO HAVE A PERMANENT SEAT IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL.
• Col. Muammar Ghaddafi presented a proposal to world leaders which they all approve. This proposal calls for the establishment of a Committee of Wise Men whose membership would consist of Presidents Nelson Mandela, Mikhail
Gorbachev and Bill Clinton to serve as authority to resolve conflicts in our world. The United Nations should pass a resolution in support of this proposal,
• All of us must continue combating terrorism. If we want to eliminate terrorism, we must eliminate its causes and not simply pursue its operations.
• As for oil, if we want oil supplies to be stable and its prices steady, we should keep wars and potential conflicts away from oil fields.
• Note: Colonel Ghaddafi will soon address the issue of the reform of the United Nations on his website (www.algathafi.org)