H. E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, Chairperson of the Delegation
29 September 2008
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MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA (Ecuador) said that Member States supported peacekeeping budgets with millions of dollars but resisted support for development programs. That puzzling order of priorities reflected a profound need for United Nations reform, including the increase of membership of the Security Council, the strengthening of the General Assembly, and broader democratization of the Organization.
Viewing the Millennium Development Goals as a minimal requirement, she called for Member States to go beyond the guidelines. Ecuador’s Government was successfully working on increasing the quality of life for citizens of the country. Economic and social policies were targeted at addressing the unequal distribution of income, employment, and the right to health and education, among others. Ecuador and other developing countries hoped the upcoming Doha review conference on Financing for Development would engender external financing, relief of external debt, and reform of international financial institutions, to name a few.
The fulfilment of the commitment by donor countries to allocate at least 0.7 per cent of the GDP was particularly important. She requested special attention to middle-income countries, as they comprised more than 41 per cent of the poor in the global community.
The fight against terrorism could not excuse some Member States from their obligations to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other States. Human rights violations, incarceration and torture of alleged terrorists needed to be addressed by the international community. The Human Rights Council was the best mechanism for the preservation of human rights, but all countries needed to put aside their political objectives for the Council’s work to be effective. Ecuador had shown its commitment to participate in this goal by being the second country to the Universal Periodic Review.
The role of the United Nations in South-South cooperation was a primary function of the Organization and she was confident that the high-level conference on South-South cooperation scheduled in 2009 would offer an opportunity for such cooperation. However, without total commitment to economic and social development, talks for international peace and security would not be effective. In this regard, she noted the role of the Group of 77 and China, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement.
On the issue of migration, Ecuador had implemented a comprehensive immigration policy aimed at guaranteeing the protection of migrant persons, regardless of origins or status. In this regard, she could not support the Return Directive issued by the European Union. Ecuador’s new constitution had established the principle of universal citizenship, and President Rafael Correa had said, “there are no illegal human beings, only practices that violate the rights of persons”. With more than 200,000 Columbian citizens seeing refuge in Ecuador, she called for the cooperation and support of the international community.
She concluded with a call for multilateral relations between nations that aimed to ensure global challenges were addressed successfully. She announced that Ecuador’s own steps towards democracy resulted in the country approving yesterday of a new Political Constitution of the State, heralding a new social pact aimed at human welfare and harmony with nature.