Remarks delivered by Dr. Hon. Kenny D. Anthony, to the XIV Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, Havana, Cuba
Securing the Development of Small States:
The Role of the Non-Aligned Movement
Remarks delivered by Dr. Hon. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia to the XIV Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, Havana, Cuba
11 – 16 September, 2006
Chairman Raul Castro Ruz,
Former Chairman of our Movement, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi,
Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, President Thabo Mbeki,
Fellow Heads of State and Government,
Foreign Affairs Ministers and other Representatives of Member-states,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A MOMENT OF NOSTALGIA
This XIV Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), so graciously and efficiently hosted by H.E. Dr. Fidel Castro Ruiz, President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, his Government and the people of this warm Caribbean State, is tinged with nostalgia. I too, was here in 1979. It was in this hall that I represented my country, albeit in an observer capacity, at the first Non-Aligned Summit held in Cuba. It was truly a glorious experience. I recall then, the excitement, the vitality and the sense of purpose of that summit. I recall too, he entry of the President of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Arafat, as he strode into the Conference Hall, his officials barely able to keep pace with him. We honour him and respect the memory of his struggles for his people.
Since the adoption of the Bandung Principles and the coming into existence of the NAM in 1961, human evolution and the progress of societies have accelerated in unimaginable dimensions. The demolition of physical and intellectual barriers within and between states and the peoples of our planet, is cited as evidence of progress. It is said that all citizens of Planet Earth are free to avail themselves of the fruits of our civilizations, the tremendous economic growth of the last half-century and the dynamic new developments in information and communication technology.
Apparently, this is true for some, but not for the vast majority. For many small countries, the disappointments are palpable. Those of us who live in small island states and once survived on agricultural exports know differently, because we are the victims of the first wave of unprotected trade. Globalization may have triumphed, but some economies have been destroyed.
A STRIDENT UNFAIRNESS
The truth is, small countries confront a strident
unfairness and lack of interest in their well-being and, indeed, their survival.
At the political level, the voices of small states are rarely permitted to
influence the debates on changes to the international political order, the
reform of the United Nations or the shaping of relevant principles for
UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF BENEFITS
Both the benefits and burdens of Globalization, in its current form, are unevenly distributed. There is a deepening marginalization of developing countries as the burdens fall unjustly upon them in greater measure than the benefits. The world may no longer be divided between East and West, but it is certainly more sharply divided between rich and poor, between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.
At the economic level, deepening poverty,
exacerbated by the phenomenon of globalization and a growing sense of
hopelessness, have generated unprecedented levels of migration from poor
countries by citizens convinced that the developed world holds out a guarantee
of a better life for them.
Within this paradigm, the role of the NAM as a mechanism for the coordination of the political voices of the disadvantaged into a more potent force for meaningful and just international relations, is needed more than ever before.
The NAM should not exist to solely protect the strong among us. It must also protect the weak, the vulnerable and the marginalized.
SEARCHING FOR A JUST OUTCOME
Indeed, this responsibility compels the NAM to promote a radical re-thinking of the process of Globalization. The aim must be to ensure that it delivers a just and positive outcome for all nations, without regard to size, natural resource endowment or geographical location.
In order to attain its objective of promoting and encouraging “the sustainable development of peoples through international cooperation,” the NAM, along with the G-77 and China, must insert itself in the debates on issues of trade and economic relations. The resolution of these debates will determine whether or not the member-states of the NAM will be better positioned to enjoy sustainable development.
DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Similarly, the NAM’s commitment to promoting peaceful co-existence between nations and the promotion of mutual interests and cooperation can only find meaningful expression through a dynamic engagement by the NAM in the process of United Nations Reform. We must remain focused in supporting calls for the genuine democratization of the United Nations and its Security Council. The special powers and privileges accorded to some states are anachronistic and no longer justifiable in this global conjuncture. Governance of international institutions must give way to the new realities in an open and transparent manner.
THE RELEVANCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
Since the old divide between East and West ceased to be a political reality, many have questioned the relevance of the NAM. Some have articulated that the space for a predominantly political dialogue is of limited utility as nations strive for greater economic development and social progress. For our part Saint Lucia believes that the NAMs intervention in the major political debates of our time serves to ensure that a well-defined voice speaks for the South and represents the perspectives of developing states.
BROADENING RELATIONS WITHIN THE MOVEMENT
Saint Lucia adds its voice to the call to broaden our relations within the NAM to respond more directly to the pressing economic and social issues that confront the disadvantaged among us. All members of the NAM are committed to attaining the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), but the score-card on progress towards this achievement is, at best, chequered. Greater cooperation between member states of the NAM in the attainment of these goals will serve to concretize the value of our organization in a tangible way.
When we argue for a more equitable world order to permit the sustainable development of all states, this imposes an obligation on those of our member states who are greater beneficiaries of the world economic order to play a role in reducing the current inequalities and imbalances in development. Our voice in defense of the transformation of the existing international economic paradigm must be matched by our actions to help achieve the same. We must be living examples of the moral order that we advocate, among us and to the world.
A MAJESTIC EXAMPLE
In this regard, the Republic of Cuba stands out as a majestic example of international cooperation. This little country, enduring an economic blockade by the United States for 45 years, has trained thousands of doctors, engineers and other professionals, at its own expense, for developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Thousands of citizens from the Caribbean and Latin America have had their sight restored and improved under Cuba's Miracle Eye Care programme. I salute the humanitarian impulse of President Fidel Castro, the Government and People of Cuba. Cuba gives freely and asks for nothing in return.
If we are here to recover our purpose, our spirit, our direction, then there is no better place to do so than Cuba. I pray that our Comrade, our friend, Fidel Castro, recovers to lead us on our journey in this triennium. We need his wisdom, his passion and his courage, now more than ever.
I thank you.
14 September 2006
© 2012 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.
Read our privacy guidelines.