H.E.Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly,
H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General,
Heads of State, Heads of Government, Authorities participating in this 75th Session of the UN General Assembly,
At the outset, I want to apologize for removing my face mask, which is necessary in this time of pandemic, and I want to greet all who watch and listen to us around the world. Allow me to congratulate you, Mr. President, on behalf of the Constitutional Government of Venezuela and the People of our Bolivarian Republic for assuming the Presidency of this 75th Session of the General Assembly. A great occasion of great importance due to the stellar situation that humanity is going through caused by this world emergency generated by the COVID-19.
I say a stellar situation because, in addition to posing serious difficulties for the complex planetary order, it is also an opportunity to reflect on and promote the change of paradigms that humanity itself, especially the great majorities who are vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, expect so much from us, so much from world leaders.
In this same General Assembly, in 2001, our Eternal Commander Hugo Chávez said -I quote -“We come, then, without fear, with much good faith, with much optimism in life, in brotherhood, in union and in the supreme possibility that we, the leaders of the countries of the planet, have today to seek and build real solutions to real problems in order to seek justice and peace”. From Venezuela, we believe that the world must be completely revised, with a great magnifying glass said Commander Chávez; a very powerful magnifying glass, because the world has become very bad, it has been stumbling from one mistake to another. It was a call made by Commander Chávez in 2001, to take a sense of reality in the re-founding of the United Nations Organization. And we have arrived at 2020, insisting on this need for renewal of the paradigms.
Venezuela recognizes that, in these 75 years, the United Nations Organization has given great contributions to humanity. However, we demand more will and efforts to preserve the achievements, to advance in new objectives. We insist on the need to strengthen South-South cooperation and to create alternative mechanisms for financing and technical support that will back up the initiatives and priorities defined by our peoples to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a timely and urgent task and every day counts.
“The South also thinks, the South also matters, the South also exists”, as the poet Benedetti said, from his centennial presence. We must all work to save our planet. We make a call to achieve the highest political commitment to fight climate change which is a reality and an urgent priority. We recognize the importance of strengthening mitigation and adaptation actions, in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. We therefore reaffirm the importance of the means of implementation for developing countries to carry out their climate actions. Noam Chomsky recently warned, “there is not much time left”.
The United Nations and humanity as a whole face a deep and complex crisis, combining the COVID-19 pandemic with the global climate change challenges and sustainable development. Added to this disturbing scenario is the no less alarming claim of the great powers to lead humanity into direct confrontation in the military sphere. This would be, perhaps, the last one for our species.
The United States of America, far from taking a positive or proactive leadership position, conducts itself erratically under a government that is intransigent and hostile to diplomacy and high politics, since it openly disregards multilateralism and any type ofpre-existing global rule and international law, in particular, respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, dialogue among nations, peaceful resolution of disputes and the prohibition of the threats oruse of force as such.
Venezuela has traditionally been a host country of refugees and migrants. However, as a direct consequence of the criminal unilateral coercive measures and the economic aggressions imposed by the government of the United States on our people, a process of migration of citizens has taken place, fundamentally for economic reasons. Nevertheless, at present, our country is facing and experiencing a wave of voluntary, massive returns of thousands of Venezuelan migrants, from the countries with very high levels of COVID-19 infections, such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, motivated by different reasons, the most important being the failure of COVID-19 management in those countries. Secondly, the systematic violation of the human rights of Venezuelan migrants, anachronistic and xenophobic policies against migrants of our country, including from high levels of government in those countries; discrimination, mistreatment, lack of socio-economic conditions, a situation of semi-slavery, human trafficking, calamities that our migrants have suffered in clear violation of their human dignity. What has been the reaction of the world? – we wonder – that says to be concerned for Venezuela in the face of these reprehensive facts: complicit silence.
As we said, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the already unsustainable living conditions of thousands of migrants in the so-called host countries, who have reported the worsening of abandonment and the lack of response and attention from the authorities in those countries. The fragility of the social protection systems of these countries has become evident, and they are sometimes presented as social and economic models. And we wonder once again, how is itpossible, despite the great amount of dollars that have been given to these governments through extravagant donor recruitment conferences for Venezuelan migrants? What did they do with that money? Did these governments steal it? We believe that we must certainly review, with institutional and scientific rigor the role that some United Nations Agencies, or some people from some Agencies, have been playing in these processes, such as UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
For the sake of the reconciliation and complying with the agreements reached in the National Dialogue Table between the Venezuelan political forces, in September 2019, a series of measures have been adopted to benefit and guarantee democracy in Venezuela. Recently, 110 citizens belonging to right-wing opposition groups were pardoned and prosecuted for several crimes related to aggression against our country. With this decision, we seek to continue building the path towards national reconciliation, understanding that peace deserves all efforts and we will not cease, Mr. President, in our commitment to this task.
In faithful compliance with the provisions stablished in our National Constitution, approved in a referendum by the Venezuelan People in December 1999, the 25th democratic election in 20 years will be held next Sunday, December 6th, 2020. This time, to renew the Legislative Power, with the participation of more than 14,400 candidates, from more than 107 political organizations from the entire national ideological spectrum. In Venezuela, I can tell you, there are all the necessary guarantees to hold the parliamentary elections and that is why we have invited the world to join us, to be witnesses of a living democracy, nothing and nobody will be able to take away from the Venezuelan People the right to elect the new Legislative Power, since this is a fundamental tool for collective existence and will be an expression of the will of the original power. No one decides for us Venezuelans; we do not intervene nor do we intend to do so in any case – ever – before any other nation, we are respectful and thus we demand respect. Even so, the Government of Washington, which has led its own people to the collapse of the pandemic – which, by the way, will hold presidential elections next November -, in blatant violation of international law, illegally imposed new unilateral coercive measures against the Venezuelan democratic institutions, in this case, the Electoral Power, to try to interfere with the conduct of the parliamentary election provided for in our Constitution. This is why, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates the need to vindicate the principles of respect to sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples, expressed in the United Nations Charter, whose illegal violation by some Member States of this Organization is intended to lead Venezuela to violence and conflict. We will not allow it! We demand respect. The Venezuelan path is of peace, democracy, freedom, vote, participation and protagonism of the people. That is how it has been, and that is howit will be.
Authorities of the world, Heads of State, Heads of Government,
Here is Venezuela standing! With its historical dignity, in peace. Ready for new challenges; ready for new victories. I bid you farewell, wishing for union, peace and cooperation of the whole world. Thank you very much.
Source: United Nations / RedGlobe