Statement by H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, at General Assembly Plenary Meeting to pay tribute to the memory of Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly
28 July 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This morning we pay tribute to the late Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the United
Nations General Assembly, who passed away last month.
Father d’Escoto was a renowned diplomat, politician, community leader, and priest, who dedicated his life to social justice, upholding international law, and helping the poor and marginalized people of our world.
He was a steadfast promoter of peace and non-violence. As Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister, he played a key role in several
peace processes within Central America, and was a tireless voice for unity and reconciliation.
In Nicaragua, Father d’Escoto recognized the power of diplomacy and was an ardent defender of multilateralism. As President of the General Assembly during a period of immense challenges, including the global financial crisis, he promoted this chamber as the central forum for global debate, stating “The General Assembly enables the dialogue that is essential to identify and, more importantly, agree on solutions to our most pressing problems.”
Father d’Escoto founded non -governmental organizations to empower the poor in Nicaragua. He mobilized assistance to help victims of natural disasters, and served on civil society bodies dedicated to protecting the environment.
Seven years prior to the General Assembly’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Father d’Escoto said in this great hall: “We must be brave enough to challenge the vast inequities that exist in the world. We must take steps to defuse the time bombs that are ticking at the heart of virtually all our societies. And, as unappealing as it may sound, this will require sacrifices from all of us. We must reorder our priorities if we are to fulfill the promises of security and well-being that billions of people have
entrusted in us.”
In so saying, Father d’Escoto called for all people to take up this mantle and to become leaders and advocates for a more just world.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Father d’Escoto’s message of global unity remains as relevant today as during his time on the international stage.
His unswerving faith in the human spirit, support for human rights, and belief in equality- between women and men, and
among nations large and small- shaped his life. It is fitting that on this sombre occasion we remember Father d’Escoto’s
profound words delivered to the General Assembly:
“We are all brothers and sisters and, if we hope to climb out of the terrible mess we have created, we must treat each other
with the respect and love. Call it compassion. Call it brotherhood and sisterhood. Call it stewardship. Call it solidarity. The idea is the same in all parts of the world We owe it to each other. We owe it to Mother Earth, who is struggling to survive our abuses. We owe it to succeeding generations. Let us join forces to assure that we rise to these challenges together, setting aside our petty
differences. We can, we must, make a difference …”
On behalf of the General Assembly I extend sincere condolences to the family of Father Miguel d’Escoto, and to the
Government and People of Nicaragua.
I now request the General Assembly to rise to observe a minute of silence in memory of Father d’ Escoto.
I thank you.