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H.E. Mr. Mohlabi Tsekoa, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations

27 September 2008

Statement Summary

MOHLABI TSEKOA, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations of Lesotho, said the current energy crisis was now competing for attention with the even more urgent food shortage crisis.  Ensuring food security was of utmost importance to developing countries, where abject poverty, malnutrition and the spread of HIV/AIDS had reached unacceptable levels.  “All of humanity has a right to food.  Hunger is a violation of human dignity,” he said. 

International commitments to fight hunger must now be implemented.  The way forward had been set out this past June at the Food and Agriculture Organization emergency food security conference, as well as by the “Group of Eight” statement issued at the Hokkaido Tokyo Summit.  That statement had stressed the importance of stimulating world food production and increasing investments in agriculture.  Development partners such as the Bretton Woods institutions must scale up efforts to help farmers in the least developed countries. 

Continuing, he said the world must remember that the United Nations had been born out of the ashes of the Second World War, and yet, every year, new hotspots and “designer wars” broke out as some big and powerful States resorted more and more to the use of force.  The illusory goal of imposing their will on others by force only led to a more unstable and dangerous world.  Further, the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction was being abused when it was used to target certain African leaders.  That Principle must be impartially and objectively applied so it was not used for political purposes.  With that in mind, he said that the International Criminal Court must enjoy full support and trust.  The Court must also be immune to external influences.

Finally, he said the Security Council must be an honest arbiter in conflicts.  It should not turn a blind eye to a situation in one country and then act when a similar situation obtained in another.  The Council must also be reformed in such a way that integrity and credibility enabled it to carry out its lofty mandate more efficiently.  He went on to say that the international community should support the people of Zimbabwe in its historic feat of having set aside political differences for a Government of national unity.  The Council should also intervene more decisively in the Middle East, Western Sahara and the Balkans, and in ending the unilateral embargo against Cuba.

[Source: GA/10757]