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UN must lead way in forging new global economic system, Latin Americans say

UN must lead way in forging new global economic system, Latin Americans say

Luis Almagro, Foreign Minister of Uruguay
Two Latin American countries today called for a strengthened and reformed United Nations to take the lead in establishing a new, more democratic and open system in the fields of international finance and economy.

“The role of the United Nations in international economic and financial governance is key for allowing a democratization in decision-making that guarantees participation on an equal footing in global decisions that affect everyone and have a direct impact on short-, medium- and long-term planning,” Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro told the General Assembly.

His Paraguayan counterpart, Héctor Lacognata, made a similar plea in calling for a new financial architecture that achieves a fair system of trade. “We are convinced that the United Nations as a universal organization should undertake a central role in guaranteeing the success of our efforts to achieve better international coordination and coherence in the economic and financial fields,” he said.

Mr. Almagro highlighted the “imperious necessity of renewing the political commitment to attaining a multilateral system of open, equitable trade based on clear rules capable of allowing all countries to benefit from the potential that international trade offers as an engine for development.

“The eradication of hunger, the production of food and agricultural trade are in a close linkage that must be empowered through a multilateral system capable of offering guarantees to producers and ensuring the availability of food to the most vulnerable sectors,” he added, calling for the abolition of subsidies and other barriers.

While noting that the Security Council holds the primary responsibility for peacekeeping, he urged closer cooperation between the 15-member body and the 192-member General Assembly.

He recalled that Uruguay had provided more than 10,000 troops over the past six years to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) but called for a mandate that, while not disregarding the urgent security needs, would reinforce the country’s productive capacity by deploying teachers, doctors, engineers and agronomists.

“We join those calling for a just international trade that really constitutes an engine for development,” Mr. Lacognata stressed. “The hour has arrived to test the political will of Member States in fulfilling their international commitments regarding the need to fund development.”

He called for UN reform to strengthen the General Assembly since it is the most representative organ. “It must be transformed into a true world parliament where the great issues that beset humanity are debated and not sequestrated by other organs where the decisions are limited to a small number of countries which often do not take into account the opinions of the majority of members,” he said. At the same time he called for the Security Council to be enlarged.

Guatemalan Permanent Representative Gert Rosenthal also made a plea for “multilateralism in general and the United Nations in particular” in facing global challenges such as the economic crisis, climate change, and combating organized crime networks engaged in the trafficking of people arms and drugs and in money laundering.