8 September 2000


8 September 2000

Press Briefing



Reporting on the results of the Third Roundtable meeting of the Millennium Summit, its Chairman, Hugo Chavez Frias, President of Venezuela, said at a press conference this evening that the dialogue had been active. Several matters had been clarified and ideas had been generated, through wide participation by heads of State.

An important consensus had been reached on the need to transform the United Nations, he said. One could not navigate in the twenty-first century with a map from the end of the Second World War. The transformation would have social, economic and political implications.

Attention at the Roundtable had focused on regional and local conflicts, he explained. Some heads of States had called for the strengthening of mechanisms to prevent conflicts and development of capacity to neutralize conflicts, as well as deal with existing ones. The key objective was to foresee, prevent and neutralize conflicts. This approach also applied to mechanisms dealing with drug trafficking, where there was a need to democratize the United Nations. This required a new vision of shared responsibility between the producer, transit and consumer countries, which implied equality, shared responsibility and democratization.

In response to a question, he said there was also agreement that that the Secretary-GeneralÂ’s proposals could only be implemented through unity. Global problems, such as poverty, required global solutions. Without a sense of unity between nations it would be impossible to achieve world peace and stability.

When asked where he stood on the issue of sanctions, Mr. Chavez said that sanctions were an outdated mechanism. There were other ways to achieve the objectives of sanctions with regard to both Cuba and Iraq.

A correspondent asked what changes could be implemented in the Security Council given the veto power of the five permanent members. President Chavez said the issue had not been discussed, but it was his view that the Council should be reformed to make it more democratic. The concept that one country could veto the decisions of the General Assembly seemed undemocratic. The representatives of Iraq, Cuba, Peru, India, Israel, the Republic of Moldova, Australia and Norway had expressed similar ideas.

In response to questions about the impact of global oil prices on the Central American region, he said that a proposed range of $22 to $28 per barrel had been accepted today by most of the OPEC countries. This would prevent volatility. Explaining factors affecting stability of world oil supply, he said the role of intermediary speculators and taxes was important. Other factors also affected the stability of the region, including the role of the level of foreign debt and unequal terms of trade, which could not be ignored.

Chavez Frias Press Conference - 2 - 8 September 2000

Mr. Chavez, said that he was working for regional peace. Asked about the military nature of the Colombia Plan toward that end, he said one could not solve a 50-year armed conflict by sending in more troops, weapons and materiel.

Asked why had Cuba been allowed into two of four roundtables, he explained that there were no restrictions on participation. In fact, Lithuania had also participated in more than one.

The participants in the Third Roundtable were: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel, the Kyrgyz Republic, Liechtenstein, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Maldives, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, the Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, the Sudan, Tongo, Trinidad and Tobago and Zimbabwe.

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For information media. Not an official record.