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H.E. Mr. Samuel Santos López, Minister For Foreign Affairs

26 September 2008

Statement Summary

SAMUEL LÓPEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, noted a common vision among Member States:  agreement on the urgent need to act as one to successfully solve the world’s problems, including hunger, poverty, high oil prices, climate change, terrorism and recognition of human rights among them.

At the same time, he called for making the United Nations more democratic, with sufficient guarantees that countries’ interests be taken into account.  It was unthinkable to consider a system that gave priority to the hegemony of the few, over the interests of the majority.  Such injustice had been the cause of deep social and economic imbalance, an accelerated arms race, and wars of aggression, which, under the subterfuge of some gained freedoms, had hidden an illegal appropriation of energy and natural resources.  The global security situation had grown more volatile, he said, urging “intelligent” action to avoid new civil wars and, among other things, lead to complete disarmament.

Nicaragua, a victim of foreign intervention, had understood early on there was no greater value than freedom, he continued.  Hunger and poverty were sapping economic and social progress for future generations, and today, millions lived in extreme poverty.  The Millennium Development Goals needed greater impetus from nations with greater financial resources, as well as from international financial institutions.  Recalling the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on development financing, he said developing country needs must be at the heart of the development programme.

Most donors were not respecting their pledge to increase their aid, he said, also citing data by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showing weapons spending in 2007 alone at $1.399 billion.  He called for setting aside 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product without conditions, and reiterated that eradicating poverty required addressing injustices, including unbalanced trade relations.  “Unbridled capitalism” had led the world into a serious situation, he continued, noting that a few hours ago, the World Bank President had said the United States financial crisis would severely affect development assistance, notably for the poorest countries.

For its part, Nicaragua aimed to overcome poverty, and its citizens would help redefine the country’s path to doing so.  The Government had proposed including in policies measures to preserve the environment and patrimony, he said, calling for a new environmental world order which ended the utilitarian use of resources.  Nicaragua was also working on food sovereignty, developing “zero hunger” programmes and providing gasoline tanks to families at low cost.

Achieving the United Nations’ ideals required “reviewing our own house”, he asserted, calling for working together to democratize the Organization and welcomed the high-level debate on the issue.  Nicaragua was prepared to play a constructive role in that dialogue.  Calling the Charter a “fundamental reference point” for action, he said its principles must prevail above egotistical interests.

[Source: GA/10756]