The Guardian September 13, 2000


Fidel Castro speaks to UN Millennium Summit

There is chaos in our world, both within countries' borders and beyond. 
Blind laws are offered like divine norms that would bring peace, order, 
well-being and the security our planet so badly needs. That is what they 
would have us believe.

Three dozen developed and wealthy nations that monopolise the economic, 
political and technological power have joined us in this gathering to offer 
more of the same recipes that have only served to make us poorer, more 
exploited and more dependent.

There is not even discussion about a radical reform of this old institution 
 born over a half century ago when there were few independent nations  
to turn it into a true representative body of the interests of all the 
peoples on Earth; an institution where no one would have the irritating and 
anti-democratic right of veto and where a transparent process could be 
undertaken to expand membership and representation in the Security Council, 
an executive body subordinated to the General Assembly, which should be the 
one making the decisions on such crucial issues as intervention and the use 
of force.

It should be clearly stated that the principle of sovereignty cannot be 
sacrificed to an abusive and unfair order that a hegemonic superpower uses, 
together with its own might and strength, to try to decide everything by 
itself. That, Cuba will never accept.

The poverty and underdevelopment prevailing in most nations as well as the 
inequality in the distribution of wealth and knowledge in the world are 
basically at the source of the present conflicts.

It cannot be overlooked that current underdevelopment and poverty have 
resulted from conquest, colonisation, slavery and plundering in most 
countries of the planet by the colonial powers and from the emergence of 
imperialism and the bloody wars motivated by new distributions of the 
world.

Today, it is their moral obligation to compensate our nations for the 
damages caused throughout centuries.

Humanity should be aware of what we have been so far and what we cannot 
continue to be.

Presently, our species has enough accumulated knowledge, ethical values and 
scientific resources to move towards a new historical era of true justice 
and humanism.

There is nothing in the existing economic and political order that can 
serve the interests of Humankind. Thus, it is unsustainable and it must be 
changed.

Suffice it to say that the world population is already six billion, 80 per 
cent of which live in poverty.

Ages-old diseases from Third World nations such as malaria, tuberculosis 
and others equally lethal have not been eradicated while new epidemics like 
AIDS threaten to exterminate the population of entire nations.

On the other hand, wealthy countries keep investing enormous amounts of 
money in the military and in luxurious items and a voracious plague of 
speculators exchange currencies, stocks and other real or fictitious values 
for trillions of dollars every day.

Nature is being devastated. The climate is changing under our own eyes and 
drinking water is increasingly contaminated or scarce.

The sources of man's seafood are being depleted and crucial non-renewable 
resources are wasted in luxury and triviality.

Anyone understands that the United Nations basic role in the pressing new 
century is to save the world not only from war but also from 
underdevelopment, hunger, diseases, poverty and the destruction of the 
natural resources indispensable to human life.

And it should do so promptly before it is too late!

The dream of having truly fair and sensible rules to guide human destiny 
seems impossible to many. However, we are convinced that the struggle for 
the impossible should be the motto of this institution that brings us 
together today!

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