STATEMENT BY THE HON. CARL B. GREENIDGE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE COOPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA AT THE FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)
“UPHOLDING THE UN CHARTER AND THE PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES OF THE NAM: TOWARDS A CULTURE OF PEACE”
Mr. Chairman and distinguished colleagues,
Guyana welcomes the convening of this Ministerial Meeting of the Movement. Our meeting is timely on account of the fact that, as has been previously recognized, we live in a world that faces multiple, complex and newly emerging threats and challenges to international peace and security. For this reason, it is prudent at this juncture to harness and enhance multilateralism in order to respond effectively to the myriad challenges we face, especially within the framework of international law.
In this regard, the UN Charter and the purposes and principles of the NAM, on which our reflections have been invited today, provide us with mutually reinforcing springs of inspiration and, together, a true, tested and ample foundation for movement towards a culture of peace.
For Guyana, as a small, developing country with well-known security challenges, multilateral recourse has been an automatic instinct and imperative. Indeed, our close reliance on the Charter of the United Nations and such pivotal NAM principles as the peaceful resolution of disputes, respect for the territorial integrity of States, noninterference in the internal affairs of States and solidarity with other States have produced rich synergies and served us well in all aspects of our development endeavour.
In commending this approach which we have ourselves faithfully and fruitfully pursued to the consideration of all member states as we seek to entrench a culture of peace, let me mention four specific aspects that my delegation is convinced will lend to accelerated progress towards a Culture of peace.
First, we must renew our faith in multilateralism as the catalyst for creating a world of which our forefathers dreamed and which it is our obligation to make a reality. Our embrace of multilateralism must be holistic and authentic. While our perspectives may
differ, dialogue, engagement and compromise must remain at the heart of multilateralism as these are the means by which we can achieve real results. The challenges we face at the current juncture require us to act in concert to generate real solutions and my hope is that we will work together for the triumph of multilateralism.
Second, while we uphold multilateralism as the vehicle for achieving our collective goals, this can never translate into a dissolution of our sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence. On the contrary, Mr. Chair, we come to the table as sovereign equals capable of contributing to decisions that ultimately enhance the wellbeing of our peoples. Guyana abhors all attempts to infringe on the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and urges the Movement to be unrelenting in its protest against every action that seeks to compromise these sacred principles.
Third, Guyana affirms that respect for the inherent dignity, equality and inalienable rights of all members of the human family remains the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. One of the principal tenets on which a culture of peace has to be based is full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Our work is incomplete as long as any person anywhere continues to experience the violation of his or her rights. As a peace-loving force, the NAM should therefore cite and exercise moral suasion on those who perpetrate human rights violations with seeming impunity, even more so when they are numbered in this Movement. The Movement should strive to be clear, consistent and unified in responding to all instances of infringements.
Fourth, peace and development are intertwined and interdependent and one cannot be achieved without the other. As a Movement essentially of developing countries, we know too well the struggles associated with poverty, including extreme poverty – struggles that are often compounded by insecurity and instability created by the presence of illicit weapons in and perpetuation of illicit activities in our territories. Mr. Chair, we have to collectively undertake the mammoth task of confronting the elements that produce insecurity in our countries and in our world at large. As daunting as it may appear at times, let us be ever mindful of the fact that insecurity is detrimental to development. I therefore urge all Members to renew their commitment to the UN’s disarmament agenda, not only in word, but more importantly by requisite action as together we work for development, peace and security.
I have briefly offered these four elements as a means of reinvigorating our principled pursuit of a culture of peace that answers the challenges of our times and premised on the Charter and the core principles of this Movement. It is clear that progress towards a culture of peace will entail the reshaping of our collective mindset towards values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour, and ways of life that are conducive to peace. It is therefore critical, in this context, to strengthen solidarity among the Members of the Movement and to set the example so that the seeds of the culture of peace planted so long ago by our founders and leaders can not only take deeper root but come to full fruition throughout our world. Guyana remains fully committed to the aims of our Movement and to actively fulfilling those aims.
I thank you.