24 de setembro de 2009

Fradique Menezes

Discurso do Presidente de São Tomé e Príncipe,
Fradique Menezes,
no Debate Geral da 64.ª sessão da Assembleia Geral da ONU.


24 September 2009

Before anything else let me please congratulate Your Excellency Mr. Ali Treiki of Libya, a country with which we maintain excellent relations of brotherhood for your election to this important post, which you will certainly carry out with your usual excellence.

I would also like to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Miguel d'Escoto for the excellent work he carried out during his presidency of the 63rd session on the world economic crisis.

A year has passed since the 63rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly and yet we have still not recovered from the full effects of the global economic crisis, despite enormous efforts on the developed countries.

The same distortions in the world's economy remain. But we are not only facing economic and financial problems.

Our biggest challenge today is guaranteeing the future of our planet not just in the economic sense, but also resolving the climate change issues that threaten the very survival of small island nations like Sao Tome e Principe. Though our carbon emissions are insignificant, and our forests playing a key role as part of the world's lungs, sea level is already causing coastal erosion around our country.

Time is no longer on our side, but has become our unforgiving judge.

There is no time for more unfounded justifications justifying non-fulfillment of the Kyoto Protocol. We cannot continue evading these essential environmental issues that are not a question of developing countries against developed ones.

We need urgent measures which are global and concrete to save us from this crisis.

The Secretary-General's report on the functioning of the United Nations contains some important aspects that we have given considerable attention because my country shares similar concerns.

I am referring to the urgent need for reform the U.N. system. Africa, and especially the small countries on the periphery, continue mired in the deepest poverty.

Our problems are particularly difficult to solve due to a combination of factors, and, therefore, deserve a more systematic approach and more diligent attention from the international community.

Peace and security combined with economic development can only be achieved through multilateral efforts. And Sao tome e Principe gives its unconditional support to seeing this institutionalized on the U.N/s agenda.

In a world still confronting an economic crisis of global proportions, along with the threats we face from climate change, there is an urgent need to guarantee food security as well as energy security, and the only way we can face this as well as pandemic illnesses and the crisis of refugees around the world is through multi-lateral activism, based on international law, on the principles of the U.N. Charter, reaffirming our commitment to achieve the objectives set out on the 2005 U.N. Global Summit.

But these efforts will only be truly achieved when this and other international organizations are run on a more egalitarian basis, and with more solidarity.

In this regard we would like to call for support for the much repeated proposal for reforming the U.N. system, and particularly the issue of permanent members of the Security Council. The latter is nota n issue that can continue to be put off. There must be more justice and the voices of African nations have been heard over and over again asking for representation when issues that are crucial for the world are taken. We strongly support the African Union's call for Africa to be represented on the U.N. Security Council.

Let me also mention the Millennium Development Goals. We are far from making the desired progress on achieving the stated goals. We must do better. But I can say that in Sao Tome e Principe we have made determined efforts, especially to achieve the objectives in the areas of health and education, and we are almost there.

As temperatures have risen over the past decades, causing the glaciers and polar ice caps to melt have already caused sea level rise which threaten our country. These environmental changes cannot be seen in isolation, because they also create an increase in global insecurity, as we all face more violent storms, droughts, and the resulting massive migrations and the growing number of pandemics that sweep through every country which weaken many governments.

The U.N/s negotiations aimed at creating a substitute for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which establishes limits on greenhouse gas emmissions by 2012 for 37 countries in the developed world, and an attempt to profoundly alter the direction of climate change. We hope that the 2020 objectives can be formalized during the Copehagen Climate Summit. Even in this week's sessions, including those of the Small Island Development States, we have seen the growing concern among all member states to see this Summit succeed.

We would like to express our pleasure with recent positive events beween the Republic of China-Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. We continue to defend a wider participation for the Republic of China- Taiwan at the United Nations. We are gratified with the entry of this nation of 23 million people as an observer at the World Health Organization. We hope to see China-Taiwan at all the other U.N. agencies so that they, too, can take advantage of the valuable contributions this developed country can make. On the other hand, while things are improving as regards China-Taiwan, sadly we are disappointed that there is less progress as regards the trade embargo of Cuba. Though we have seen enormous courage as regards closing Guantanmo, and some other smaller steps, we hope that the new U.S. presidet will soon bring this to an end.

The road ahead is long. World collaboration must be made in terms of availability and responsibility to ensure sustainable development for all countries. I would like to make a call here for greater cooperation between developed and developing countries, between donors and recipients, to ensure that programs work at the grassroots level.

Consultations should not just be at the level of government officials, but should go directly to consult more closely with the actual recipients of the programs designed to increase development. I am referring specifically to consulting more with rural communities, with teachers, with doctors and nurses, with the farmers, fishermen, and all sectors who must be involved with planning and execution as well as accountability.

The United Nations continues to be an indispensible organizaiton for the government and people of Sao Tome e Principe. We hope that the U.N's crusade will continue to maintain peace, to guarantee security, and to support international development efforts for the betterment of all.

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