Deputy Secretary-General urges 'globalization of values'

Deputy Secretary-General urges 'globalization of values'

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today said worldwide economic interdependence must be underpinned by a "globalization of values" in order to foster solidarity, tolerance and respect for human rights.

Accepting an honorary degree from the University of Turin in Italy, Ms. Fréchette warned that the developed world must act to stem problems in developing countries sooner or later. "Either we help the poor and developing countries today, out of a sense of moral obligation and enlightened self-interest, or we will find ourselves compelled to do so tomorrow, when their problems become our problems, in a world without walls," she said.

To illustrate her argument, Ms. Fréchette cited the words of Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian general who led the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda during the country's genocide, "and whose pleas for reinforcement went tragically unheard until it was too late."

Following an attempted suicide, she said, Mr. Dallaire had written a letter urging developed countries to move "beyond self-interest, strategic advantages and isolationism, and to raise their sights to the realm of the pre-eminence of humanism and freedom."

"Those words came from deep in the soul of a man traumatized by a collective failure, which he himself had striven harder than anyone to prevent," she said. "They should inspire us all to reflect on the nature of global values, and the courage needed to defend them."