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From artr@juno.com Mon Sep 11 10:30:48 2000
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 23:55:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [EMMAS] Castro's Short Speech in Harlem
From: art b Rosenblum <artr@juno.com>
Article: 104569
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: YE8!!LW^"!-Yh"!Wg##!

Our species has acquired sufficient knowledge, ethical values and scientific resources to advance toward a new historical stage of genuine justice and humanism

Speech given by Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, at the Millennium Summit, United Nations, New York, on 6 September 2000

This is a translation of the transcript of the Council of State.

Your Excellencies:

In our world, chaos reigns within and beyond borders. Blind laws are presented as divine norms that will bring the peace, order, well-being and security so much needed by our planet. That is what they want us to believe.

The 30 developed and wealthy nations which have the monopoly over economic, technological and political power are meeting here with us to offer us more of the same prescriptions that have only served to make us steadily poorer, more exploited and more dependent.

There has not even been any mention of radically reforming this longstanding institution, which came into existence more than 50 years ago when there were only a few independent countries, of converting it into an agency which is truly representative of the interests of all the peoples of the world, without anybody having access to irritating and undemocratic veto power, and of initiating a sane process to extend the number of members and the representativity of the Security Council, and convert it into an executive body subordinate to the General Assembly, which should make the decisions on issues as vital as intervention and the use of force.

We have to state with total conviction that the principle of sovereignty cannot be sacrificed to an exploiting and unjust order in which a hegemonic superpower, with the backing of its power and force, attempts to decide everything. Cuba will never accept that.

The fundamental causes of current conflicts are to be found in the poverty and underdevelopment prevailing in the immense majority of countries, and in the unequal distribution of wealth and knowledge reigning in the world.

It should not be forgotten that this underdevelopment and poverty are the direct consequence of the colonial powers conquest, colonization, slavery and plunder of most of the earth, the emergence of imperialism and bloody wars fought in order to carve up the world again and again. Today they have the moral responsibility to compensate our countries for the damage they have inflicted on them over centuries.

Humanity must become aware of what we have been and what we continue to be.

Today, our species has acquired sufficient knowledge, ethical values and scientific resources to advance toward a new historical stage of genuine justice and humanism.

Nothing in the existing economic and political order is of service to humanity. It cannot be sustained. It has to be changed. It is enough to recall that we are now six billion inhabitants, 80% of whom are poor.

Centuries-old diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and other equally mortal illnesses have not been overcome in the Third World nations; new epidemics like AIDS are threatening to extinguish entire populations, while the rich nations are investing fabulous sums in military spending and luxuries, and every day a voracious plague of speculators are exchanging currencies, stocks and other real or fictitious assets valued at trillions of dollars.

Nature has been destroyed, the climate is visibly changing, water for human consumption is contaminated and insufficient, the oceans source of food for humans is being exhausted, nonrenewable and vital resources are being squandered on luxuries and vanities.

Anyone can comprehend that the fundamental objective of the United Nations in the century which is upon us is that of saving the world, not only from warfare, but from underdevelopment, hunger, disease, poverty and the destruction of the natural resources indispensable for human existence.

And this must be done in haste, before it is too late!

The dream of attaining norms that are truly just and rational to rule over human destiny would appear to many as an impossible one.

Our conviction is that the struggle for the impossible should be the theme of this institution which has brought us together today!

Thank you very much. (PROLONGED APPLAUSE)

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