H.E. Mr. Francis Garlawolu
Senator and Head of Liberian Deleagetion
Madam President, Ladies and Gentlemen
Madame President, My delegation would like to join previous speakers before us to congratulate you on your election to chair our deliberations. My delegation is convinced that with your wealth of experience we are expected to benefit from your chairmanship and that you can count on our fullest cooperation and support.
Consistent with its long standing policy and desire to rid the universe of every form of inhumanity, indignity, degradation and human suffering as evidentially and historically manifested in its undaunted campaigns and struggles for the absolute decolonization and total liberation of Africa, Liberia unflinchingly supports further initiatives that would put finality to the abhorrent scourges of Racism and any concept or practice that would reduce the natural status of the human person based on colour, religion or political ideology.
I am very glad that the God of conscience has inspired you great men and women of all races to gather here today to discuss the most decisive and appropriate means by which humanity may be totally redeemed from every form of injustice, which, if not immediately dealt with, shall place the destiny of weaker Nations and men into the vicious hands of powerful Nations.
It was through the efforts and dreams of great people like you that slavery, the worst form of injustice, was fought and debilitated;
Indeed, it was by the vision of men and women like you that colonialism found its untimely demise; yes, it was by the grace of God that apartheid was fought and finally defeated.
The questions which must be carefully considered and answered are:
Has slavery been totally banished from the face of the earth?
Are we sure that the surviving heirs of the slave Masters have not adroitly designed another chicanery to re introduce and maintain their slave estate?
Can we boast of the complete decolonization of Africa when the colonialists have transformed themselves into business entrepreneurs?
My answer is No. A slave Master will always be a slave Master no matter the intricacy of time.
It is now clear that xenophobia, racial discrimination, sanction and the concept of globalization are elements of slavery.
For example, let me take globalization from the African context. Our own African idea of a village is simple.
A village is run by a General Chief, Quarter Chief and a Council of elders. The over all Chief commands the Quarter Chief and influences decision of the Council of elders.
Now with the creation of the envisaged global village, who is going to be the over all Chief - the Quarter Chief; and the Council of elders? We all know that America is going to be the General Chief while Great Britain the Quarter Chief with the Security Council as Council of elders. They are going to dictate the affairs of this village without any successful opposition. Today we see the United Nations endorsing the decisions of America and Great Britain to impose unjust sanctions on weaker Nations without due process of law.
Any African Leader who refuses to submit to their whims and caprices automatically becomes their target and is seriously victimized either by sanction or lack of economic aids.
Madame President, distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I believe you have heard all sorts of negative things about Liberia and our President, Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor.
These are all lies instigated by powerful Nations to purposely undermine the economic and social stability of Liberia.
Like some African Nations, Liberia has had a bitter experience of slavery.
Some of our fore fathers and mothers were forcibly taken from the soil of Liberia to the plantations of slave masters in the United States of America, where they were treated as mere beasts. After the so-called emancipation, some of our people returned home and joined their indigenous parents to re establish a Nation called Liberia.
Hence, Liberia formally gained her independence on July 26,1847.
Since our independence, the World Powers had always manipulated our Leaders, treating them as mere surrogates, stooges or puppets. Hence, many considered Liberia a puppet regime, directly taking orders from Washington.
Then came Mr. Charles Ghankay Taylor, a patriotic Liberian, who led a civil uprising in 1989, against the most powerful military dictator, Mr. Samuel K. Doe, and deposed him in less than six months. Ironically, this despot was supported by the World Powers at the expense of the Liberian masses.
Of-course, with the hidden hands of the World Powers, several Warring Factions emerged to stop Mr. Taylor, but the Economic Community of West Africa swiftly intervened and effected disarmament with great success.
Consequently, the most transparent democratic election was held in 1997, with International Observers attesting to the results which declared Mr. Taylor as winner with 85% of the votes among 12 Presidential Candidates.
Immediately after his inauguration President Taylor formed a Government of Inclusion, thus appointing several opposition members including warring factions ` Leaders to key positions.
A Human Rights Commission was established by Legislative Enactment.
Presently, for the first time in the history of our country, there are over 11 print and electronic media institutions freely operating in Liberia.
Since our democratic Elections neither America nor Great Britain has contributed a penny toward our reconstruction. They have persistently told Investors that Liberia is not save for investment. This has seriously undermined our young democracy. How can people say that America supports democracy - maybe democracy in that context means submission to the will of America or mortgaging the sovereignty of one's country to them.
Further, we were asked to burn all our arms and ammunitions as pre condition to receiving financial aids from them for our reconstruction, which we did in good faith, only to be attacked by dissidents with British weapons, a week thereafter.
We filed a formal complaint or protest with the United Nations but, to our utter dismay, the only response we got was to re-enforce the armed embargo against us. Is this not genocidal?
Is this not a crime against humanity? We are betrayed. Indeed we are betrayed.
The war is raging in Lofa. Some of the dissidents are conspicuously living in America and prosecuting war against our people; quite against International Law. Is this not another form of slavery - you want our people to perish from the planet. When this is done then you are happy.
Ladies and gentlemen, compounding this evil, the Security Council has endorsed the decision of America and Great Britain to impose Sanction on the dying people of Liberia. Liberia is blessed with natural minerals including diamond. Bulk of our people survive through diamond mining. The unjust sanction bars them from mining and selling their own natural gift. How do you want them to live?
The sanction further bars the President and Cabinet Ministers from travelling out of Liberia to conduct the affairs of Government. Is this not a special form of slavery, where the movement of the slave is restricted? What a travesty of justice.
The purported reason for the sanction was diamond smuggling and gun running to support rebels in Sierra Leone. There has been no iota of evidence to substantiate this false allegation. Prior to the imposition of sanction, Liberia never enjoyed the benefit of any hearing or to say the least due process of law - the law which hears before it convicts. This is against international principle of justice.
I also understand that these World Powers are trying to impose another sanction on the sale of logs from Liberia for reason that the masses are not benefiting from the proceeds thereof.
This is not only false but malicious because the little taxes collected from logging Companies are used to recondition and build roads for the people - reconstruct or renovate their damaged and dilapidated public structures such as clinics and schools.
The people of Liberia have been dehumanized. They love and support their President
because he has refused to be a puppet and to mortgage their sovereignty for a penny.
This is why the Powerful Nations are using the International media and exiled politicians to demonize President Taylor and Liberia. But the God that created the universe will not allow us to perish from the face of the earth.
Madame President, reverting to the subject of slavery, we seriously condemn, denounce, decry and deprecate every form of slavery, past or present.
Under the Universal principle of justice, every injury has a remedy therefor.
Hence, reparation is the remedy commensurate with the gravity of the incalculable injuries so unbearably inflicted on the people of Africa by slave Masters.
I believe that reparation should also cover the depletion of our natural resources by Imperialists. - they must pay sufficient damages to those countries whose children were enslaved and natural resources unjustly exploited and depleted. They must also adequately compensate African Americans than just giving few of them little opportunity or token while the masses suffer.
We therefore recommend the following:
1. That the imposition of sanction against any democratically elected Government or group of individuals be considered a crime against humanity. This is another form of slavery because it subjects the masses to great suffering, thereby reducing them to mere beggars and further divesting them of their human dignity.
2. That debt burden being an imperialist instrument often used to debilitate and economically strangle smaller Nation, it should be waived against any Nation incapable of repayment, without pre condition.
3. That refusal of any International Financial or Lending Institutions to grant loan to a needed country without any just cause, shall constitute a crime against humanity. We believe that every Nation should have the right to development and a Nation State that lacks the basic infrastructure to support its economic, social and political needs is incapable of providing the requisite enabling environment where individual development is ascertained.