57th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
New York , 20 September 2002

Mr. Chairman,

The Heads of State that have preceded me on the floor of this forum have been extremely eloquent in their open condemnation of terrorism, in their diagnosis for the eradication of extreme poverty, in the search for a new international order that guarantees peace and security to the planet, and in the reservations expressed about a globalization process that, misunderstood, will finish by making the gap between rich and poor unsurpassable.

What can we contribute to this debate in addition to what has been said? The urgent need to put an end to this sterile rhetoric and to begin injecting new and greater financial resources for development.

From us, the poor countries, it is demanded austerity, fiscal discipline, respect to the free trade and market rules and cooperation in the fight against the scourges that affect humanity nowadays, namely terrorism.

In return, developed countries shut their doors in our faces when our goods try to be admitted in their large markets, we are denied the right to claim the presence before our justice courts of fellow nationals who have betrayed public faith in our countries and who are today sheltered in developed countries with suspicious complicity.

Developed countries ask of us more involvement in the fight against terrorism, and in the prohibition of drug trafficking; however, we have not received the resources they have committed to carry out our action plans.

When we hope to negotiate in a serious and creative way with international credit agencies, we are suggested and imposed terms that, if accepted, would dangerously weaken our young and sometimes fragile democracies.

We are asked to be competitive, and when we deliver to the markets the fruits of our toils, millionaire barriers of subsidies are raised that make it impossible for us to have any hope of competing fairly.

The fact is that developed countries still do not understand that our peoples, in their poverty, are deeply perceptive and until today they fail to understand the benefits of a globalization process that threatens to never knock at their doors.

We the presidents of developing countries are severely criticized when at our return from summits and international forums we bring meager results and when the resolve of those that have more to help us is only seen in the arid sheet of a consensual declaration.

I want to be very clear and simple in expressing my thoughts before this forum:

Hypocrisy, inequity, injustice and increased poverty are the main causes that alter peace and create a framework where violence, sectarian extremisms and misunderstandings find fertile ground.

The developed world has found new and discriminatory methods to rate our countries: financially, socially and ethically. There are some that are willing to perpetuate this perverse behavior of categorizing us under parameters fixed by those who have more.

We are recriminated for lack of transparency, for the alleged lack of respect of the law, and gigantic losses are caused by acts of corruption. Could it be possible that the very foundations of the capital system have not been seriously damaged by the scandals that have taken place in the most wealthy and powerful nations?

Our emigrants are discriminated against and developed countries forget how the most prosperous nations succeeded in creating their identities, through the mixing of races or by opening their arms to those yearning for progress and freedom.

Developed countries demand the strengthening of our institutions and lyrically support democratic processes, while these follow many times ways that are foreign to our idiosyncrasies, traditions and culture.

Messrs. delegates, we must break paradigms, and we must do it now.

We must not insist in simplifying, with a purely economic vocabulary, all the benefits of a globalization process that is still not understood by all nor assimilated in each of its components.

We are talking of free flows of capitals, and these only take the form of transfers of investments in the Northern Hemisphere. Countries in the Southern Hemisphere have typically received these same capitals in the form of expensive loans, whose heavy load has been impossible to relieve through time.

This is because when the North looks to the South it sees it with paternalistic, patronizing eyes. The, widely publicized equity in the terms of exchange is only apparent in statements, guidelines and textbooks of developed countries.

What do we need, I ask, for a group of nations, as large as any represented here, to find fast and clear ways towards equality and development?

One single language! Determined actions! The same set of principles, new global ethics!

New ethics that repudiate terrorism, but that with the same strength and determination fosters with deeds our creative efforts to eradicate poverty; poverty that threatens the most elemental principles of human dignity.

When food is lacking, when there is no health or education, and when the survival instinct itself is limited, very little or nothing can be done to pursue values and ideals cherished by any developed society.

My country condemns terrorism. My government supports all efforts to eradicate it, but Ecuador also demands the creation of a new coalition and a new order to fight against poverty.

This is a new century: a century of solidarity and hope.

This is a new century: a century of respect for all nations and for the principles and instances that govern international law.

This is a new century: a century where all activities that attempt against the sanctity of human life are condemned and prosecuted.

But this must also be century of changes of attitudes and of proposals.

A time when we no longer speak of the eternal debt of the poorest with the developed, but of the great opportunities that these have to build a fairer world, buttressing the development of the poorest.

As a global citizen, I am worried that, on occasion, the commitment to ensure the very existence of the planet is not equitably shared. Everything is asked of us countries rich in mega diversity and renewable resources, and in return we are denied financial tools to seek alternative resources for development that do not entail the destruction of our natural resources. As if this commitment should only fall on our shoulders.

We must fight to create and improve the quality of life on Earth. But the object of this fight should be every man and woman that populates the Earth, and not only those lucky enough to have been born in the North.

Ecuador wants to be an ethical referent in the face of the future.

Ecuador wants to go to every forum and make everybody hear the voice of reason.

Ecuador wants to create, in liberty. A more just and united society. From the very center of the two hemispheres Ecuador wants to be the bridge that unites North and South, two regions that should walk together towards development and not be separated only by geographic conventions.

Thank you Mr. Chairman and Messrs. Delegates for this extraordinary chance to address the world.

Thank you for your continuous efforts to make the United Nations the highest forum of international debate.

My country and my Government acknowledge this body as the highest instance for debate and for the settlement of the problems that incessantly affect humanity.