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PM Anthony Calls For UN to Return to Core Values

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony says, St. Lucia will resist any attempts to de-legitimize and render irrelevant and toothless, the time-honoured institution that is the United Nations. Dr. Anthony, who addressed the Opening of the General Debate of the UN’s 58th Assembly on Tuesday September 23, 2003, told other world leaders that any strategy claiming to embrace peace, security, and justice and yet excluding the United Nations, belies a flawed and unreal conception of world affairs.

The UN, Prime Minister Anthony said, has been instrumental in the preservation of the nation-state within a framework of binding relationships among governments. More importantly, the United Nations has been a devoted guardian of individual rights and freedoms. Consequently, the St. Lucia leader called for the completion of the efforts at reforming the United Nations Security Council, to better reflect the realities of this new century and to make it more representative, more democratic, legitimate and transparent.

“The existing veto system is too easily influenced by national interests to address serious issues afflicting humankind. If "A Coalition of the Willing" could be assembled for war, then surely, we can also gather "A Coalition of the Willing" to address the problems of poverty, disease, illiteracy, hunger and trade imbalances. There can be no sanitizing of one corner of the globe while contagion, despair and desperation fester elsewhere. There is no security for the one while insecurity plagues the other.” Ultimately, the strength of the United Nations must come from the political will of the member states - a political will that must accept that everyone should adhere to, abide by, and implement all the decisions of, and resolutions adopted by the organization, Dr. Anthony said.

Muscular unilateralism and the emerging doctrine of diplomatic unilateralism Dr. Anthony remarked, could not be the preferred approach to serious global issues. “It has become abundantly clear that the international community will not succeed in its war against terrorism, if it fails to address root causes. The current war on terrorism is designed to capture, confine or eliminate existing terrorist webs without addressing the causes of terrorism. Terrorism does not simply stem from the arrogance and madness of a few dictators and misguided fanatics - it is also the result of deep-seated inequity, and sometimes, bigotry.”

He went on, “If the status quo denies opportunity, freedom and fulfilment to those who hunger and dwell in despair, the appeal of chaos and extremism as an avenue to change becomes that much more attractive. If on the other hand, we perceive that the world order works in all our interests, then there will be universal commitment to sustain that order. Consequently, it is imperative that the international community jointly address economic injustice and political exclusion as common enemies of us all.”

Prime Minister Anthony went on to reiterate the need for reform of the system of global economic governance so as to allow for fair trade and special and differential treatment for developing countries. The current global governance system he said, has failed many small states by eliminating commodity protocols, and the quota and price preferences that sustain small economies.

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