Haitian President René Préval used the podium of the General Assembly today to thank the world for all its aid after January’s devastating earthquake while at the same time calling on it to end the age of greed, dethrone the god of profit and help the poorest countries develop.
If, despite important progress, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) still have a long way to go if they are to achieve the targets of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, and lack of education and health services by 2015, the fault lies with the developed countries for not living up to their commitments, Mr. Préval said.
“What can one say of the trillions of dollars swallowed up over the past 10 years by wars as bloody as they were unjustified?” he asked. “What can one say of defence budgets that every year surpass by far what would be need to attain the MDGs?
“What can one say of the incalculable wealth vaporized during the speculative stampede, in the arrogant supremacy of the virtual economy over the real one? Are going to carry on sacrificing the well-being and lives of millions of human beings, the future of our planet, to this culture of fear and greed?”
The time has come to invent a new form of globalization founded on the simple notion of our common humanity, trust, cooperation and mutual respect, Mr. Préval said.
“We must break urgently with that vision which sets profit up as a veritable divinity, which reduces citizens to simple consumers and our Earth to a colony devastated by our fault. Must the poor still pay for the squandering and unbridled appetites of their more fortunate kin? Must they give up a better life to feed the consumer frenzy of the so-called developed countries?” he declared.
“The only hope that is left is that of a renewed humanism, lucid, encompassing all that lives and the environment on which we depend and for which we are simultaneously responsible.”