‘Legal equality of states’ needed at UN, Venezuelan ambassador tells General Assembly

Amb. Jorge Valero Briceño addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier

1 October 2012 – In calling for significant reform of the United Nations, Venezuela’s representative to the world body, Ambassador Jorge Valero, told the UN General Assembly today that a “re-foundation of the United Nations is necessary” with a new international order based on the “legal equality of states.”

Addressing the 67th Assembly’s General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York, Ambassador Valero described such a levelling as an “unavoidable demand” as he enumerated the changes Venezuela sought of key UN institutions.

“The Security Council must be democratized in order to express the will of all countries,” Ambassador Valero said. “The General Assembly demands revitalization, and the Secretary-General must be elected democratically – by all Member States. International peace and security cannot be built on the basis of the privileges of the few.”

He also called for the UN to address a “reform of the global and economic financial system,” and said all countries must have an equal voice in the search for solutions to issues related to development.

The Venezuelan Ambassador noted that his country appreciates efforts made by the United Nations to improve its mediation capacities in crisis situations “that may have negative consequences for international peace and stability,” adding that it is necessary for the UN to act in a “neutral and impartial way, in order to strengthen its ability to mediate in cases in which it is voluntarily and expressly requested by the parties involved in international conflicts.”

On the global economic crisis, the Ambassador said “capitalism” is trying to overcome the crisis affecting global economic and financial structures by “appealing to new imperialist methods and the super-exploitation of workers ¬– even in developed countries.”

He said that Latin America and Caribbean countries had, nevertheless, faced the crisis with “relative success,” stating that a “significant rebound” in the region’s economy in 2010 had enabled it to “mitigate” the effects of the 2008-2009 slow-down.

“Latin America and the Caribbean are well positioned on the world stage, thanks to the consolidation of regional integration initiatives, aimed at strengthening its political and economic autonomy,” he said.

Ambassador Valero described what Venezuela sees as an evolution of global power structures, saying that the “unipolar system of imperial domination” was in crisis, and that a “pluripolar and multicentral system” was rising ¬– to the point whereby “emerging countries and new regional blocs contribute to the democratization of international relations.”

On the crisis in Syria, Ambassador Valero said Venezuela supported the peace efforts of the N-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, and said his country encouraged political dialogue “between Syrians.”

He added that Venezuela rejected “foreign intervention and the terrible policy of regime change,” and highlighted his country’s support for the Palestinian cause, and for the “sovereign right of the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

“A military strike against the Persian nation would have dire consequences for world peace,” the diplomat noted.

Ambassador Valero is among scores of heads of state and government, and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual, national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on Monday.


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