Spotlighting regional issues, UN reform, Latin American leaders address General Assembly

25 September 2014

Nicolas Maduro Moros, President of Venezuela called for an in deep transformation of the United Nations by revamping leadership of the Security Council and strengthening the clout of the Secretary-General.

“Debates taking place within these halls must be able to successfully tackle the major issues facing the world,” he told the delegations gathered for the General Assembly's annual high-level debate.

Closer to home, he said Latin America is taking its place and coming to the fore, through key partnerships like the Bolivarian Alliance and Petrocaribe, which is now starting to form ties with the rest of the world. Venezuela had the largest oil reserves in the hemisphere and for the first time in 90 years had fully recovered its own oil resources for the basis of its own development. Imperialist powers could not succeed with Hugo Chavez, and they would not succeed with him either, the President pledged.

Mr. Maduro Moros urged United States President Barack Obama to end the embargo in Cuba and called on the General Assembly to draft a document that would defend poor countries against “vulture funds” that sought to plunder economies and impose detrimental finance systems. He expressed solidarity with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Argentina in particular. A decolonization plan for Puerto Rico was critical so that the island could join its neighbours in CELAC.

He also demanded the release of Oscar Lopez, who had been imprisoned for almost 35 years in a United States prison, saying that this man's only offense was to defend the sister country of Puerto Rico.

Addressing the Assembly earlier in the day, President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado, expressed concern that a growing number of unaccompanied children had migrated to the US this year, because of violence, drug trafficking and a lack of opportunities. Honduras was merely a transit territory for a war created by drug-consuming countries in the north and drug-producing countries in the south.


President Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado of Honduras addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

“We must create a multinational force capable of successfully confronting this transnational phenomenon,” urged the President. “These children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They are innocent victims,” he said, adding that yesterday he handed the Secretary-General the “Alliance for Prosperity” plan, a blueprint to support Central Americans.

Generating work opportunities for the parents of child migrants is vital. On a national level, his country's “Everyone for a Better Life” programme was designed to bring potable water, basic sanitation, housing and children's school fees and healthcare to 835,000 Honduran households in need. Since taking office eight months ago, he focused on creating just conditions for Honduras but investments were needed to create better-paying jobs.

He said Honduras had reformed its Constitution to economic development zones known as Zede with special legal, economic administrative and political jurisdictions. The zones offer a non-political structure for companies guaranteeing transparency and political stability for investors.

On the climate change front, he said that energy efficient stoves had replaced thousands of wood-burning stoves- the cause of 37,000 deaths in the country annually. Each energy efficient stove saved 15 mid-sized trees annually, said President Hernandez Alvarado.


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