“No justice, no peace”, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister tells the U.N.

In his speech at the U.N General Assembly meeting, Roy Chaderton touches on multilateralism, criticisims of the US war on Iraq and neoliberalism, and describes poverty as a form of terrorism.

During his speech at the 58th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Foreign Relations Minister Roy Chaderton reaffirmed Venezuela’s support of the UN “from a position that is critical but unambiguous and totally consistent with its highest goals.”

Chaderton spoke of how Venezuela had to embark in a profound process of change for peace and democracy because the country in spite of “being the richest and most democratic nation in Latin America,” has “squandered its unique historical opportunities and has fallen into a process of ethical and social decay that has brought us close to the abyss.”

Coup d’etat and the role of the media

The Chancellor touched on the coup d’etat of April 2002 promoted by the opposition sectors affected by the democratic transformation of the country. “They resorted to the military coup, to oil sabotage to financial panic and to indirect terrorism. Thank God, they failed, but they caused much damage,” he said.

Chaderton said that the new Venezuelan economy being built right now has stirred up neo-liberals, whom he described as “the most egoistic and insensitive sector of our country and the international community”. He described the Venezuelan economy as “free but not anarchic, that protects private liberty without bowing down to the Gods of the market.” He then went to explain how entrepreneurs who took no economic risks, who would not compete, who would evade taxation, and who have been protected by the Government under a captive market, promoted the coup against the Government of Venezuela, allied with international sectors that had been its beneficiaries in the past.

The dictatorship of the media

Chaderton invited the international community to go to Venezuela and see for themselves the strength of Venezuela’s society and “the immense civil liberties available in our country, including the broadest freedom of expression in our entire hemisphere.” He asked them to become familiar with Venezuela’s media, which has played a main role in trying to destabilize the country, including participating and celebrating the coup d’etat. He said that the most carefully hidden threat against democracy is “the dictatorship of the media, the fountainhead of the culture of violence and mediocrity.”

No justice, no peace

The minister said that the goal of Venezuela’s government is peace and reconciliation among the Venezuelans. “In our democracy, there is hope and space enough for everyone,” he said.
Then he went on to say that peace is also the goal of the United Nations, but that “there will be no lasting peace without social justice, there will be no stable democracies without social justice and liberty will be a fraud without social justice.”

Unilateralism is oppressive

Chaderton lamented that the General Assembly’s activities were overcast by “the devastating attack on the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad and the sequels to the war in Iraq.” He called all members to strengthen the response capability of the UN.

“Venezuela has been aimed at restoring and promoting multilateralism as a medium and background for the structuring of a multipolar world. Unilateralism is monochromatic, sluggish and oppressive. Multilateralism is colorful, animated and democratic.”

Chaderton described Venezuela’s role of chairing the Group of the Seventy-Seven (G-77) last year and the Group of the Fifteen (G-15), whose Summit Meeting will be held next year in Venezuela. “Through these mechanisms, the Developing Countries are expressing their multilateral voice and their aspirations for the universal common good and for international social justice.”

Not to war

“We must reinforce the democratic and participatory nature of the Assembly General. And we want the Economic and Social Council to become the powerful organ that it has not yet been allowed to be.

The Charter of the UN cannot be tailored to order for our unilateral conveniences. War is not a romantic adventure which brings us to a happy ending where the villains are put to rout by the superheroes.

Force should not be used by a Government at the discretion of whoever happens to be interested at the time.”

Poverty and social disenfranchisement: the most destructive forms of terrorism

Chaderton described Venezuela’s commitment to fighting terrorism “Venezuelan Parliament converted the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism into a Law of the Republic.” Recently, Venezuela filed documents for the ratification of the Convention Against Terrorist Attacks with Bombs, the Convention Against the Financing of Terrorism and the Organizational Protocol for the Convention on the Rights of the Child with regard to the Participation of Children in Armed Conflicts.

“However, we must persevere in our head-on struggle against the most widespread and destructive forms of terrorism: poverty and social disenfranchisement. Otherwise, we shall not be able to realize the objectives of the Millennium Summit Meeting to reduce world poverty 50% by the year 2015, and we shall be defrauding our populations and sowing further conditions for violence, terrorism and war,” he said.

He said that the source of hunger, misery and disenfranchisement in the Developing World is “caused by an unjust economic system, enveloped in the practices of savage neoliberalism and in the globalized economy, with an unbalanced system of commercial interchange which generates unemployment, inequality and resentment. It is a system that offends against the dignity of the human individual.”

One of President Chavez’s proposed initiatives to fight poverty is the creation of an International Humanitarian Fund. The proposal was made again in this UN meeting.

The complete speech with which cover other topics can be read in Venezuela Analysis’ document section at: