27th SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON CHILDREN
Mrs. Lila T. Abaúnza de Bolaños
First Lady of Nicaragua
Minister of State
Head of Delegation
New York, May 8, 2002
(Check against delivery)
Mr. President of the General Assembly:
Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a pleasure to congratulate you on your appointment as President
of the General Assembly as well as for the outstanding work you have done
It is an honour for me to participate in this special session of the United Nations General Assembly to follow up the World Summit for Children, on behalf of my husband, the President of Nicaragua, Mr. Enrique Bolanos Geyer. But I am not here merely because I happen to be in an important position at the moment, owing to the circumstances of life, but rather because I am specially motivated to be here as a woman, a daughter, a wife and a mother.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the United Nations: I come to speak before you
as a housewife. I come knocking at your doors in humility, with a fervent
appeal from this podium of worldwide resonance to those who still believe
- and also those who do not believe - in the Family as an institution.
Listen to the ineffable reality of a child's babbling: the first syllables of the child calling his parents raise the columns of his first temple of love. When we knock down these columns, the consequences are devastating! Without the family, we cannot build a society with a human face!
The family is the bond between a woman and a man: man and woman were created by God. In each other, they find their repose. The family is the man standing by the woman and the woman standing by the man: and side-by-side, they represent the future. I say this as a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother who has been happily married for 52 love-filled years. There is no other type of family, only the family built on love.
We are all part of a divine plan, although we are free and thus capable
of distorting this plan, of skirting it, of altering its course, of making
it go wrong. but even then, the family will continue to be the last stronghold
against the challenge of history.
In my country, as in the rest of the world, there are many, many households, which are genuine temples of love, even amid dire poverty which they overcome with love. In love their children are conceived and through sacrifice, they are raised, taken to school, helped with their homework, healed and pampered when they are sick and formed until they become men and women who are valuable members of their communities. They live and grow in love, in tears and in laughter.
Not all fathers, mothers and families, however, are like this. This is why I am deeply concerned about some distressing situations, in my own country and beyond it, which affect family life. A great percentage of the children born today are children of single adolescent mothers who deprive the boy or girl child of the right to have a father and a stable family. This is the beginning of irresponsible fatherhood and motherhood.
We cannot enforce love of children through legislation. However, here
in the United Nations, we have agreed on some measures to protect children
who do not receive love from their parents. In Nicaragua, in recent years,
guided by these parameters, we have brought about social, legal and administrative
changes, basing our vision on the doctrine of integral protection of our
children and adolescents as fully fledged citizens with rights and duties.
By way of illustration and proof, and
in the interest of time, I am circulating a document to you, which summarizes these legal and administrative measures.
I am also concerned about the problem of unemployment, which cuts offthe means to bring bread to the table; and I am concerned about street boys and girls exposed to the danger of drugs and prostitution.
To a large extent, however, the accomplishments I have described are jeopardized by the very real problems of poverty, natural disaster and the disintegration of the family. That is why I feel the urgent need to build my people`s awareness of the universal values of the human being. And in this context, international solidary is vital to respond to the challenges of our time.
In 1945, the 51 founding States of this Organization truly held up a
torch whose glow illuminates the truth about the human being, human dignity
and greatness, which begin at the mother's breast. And it is reasonable
to expect taht freedom should also mean protecting these whose hopes and
future are not guaranteed at birth. As a daughter, I cannot ask for others
any less than the gift of life that was given to me. And as a mother I
cannot demand less, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, than a civilization
that values the human being.
I thanks God for giving me the opportunity to express with all my heart, our concern and resolution on tracing a definitely course thorough the future well being of all the children of the World.
May God always guide this Assembly and bless us all.