Peru’s President says development must align with core UN Charter principles
Among several speakers from the Latin American and Caribbean region addressing the General Assembly today, Peru’s President, Ollanta Humala Tasso, outlined in his address several ways his country was making strides in sustainable development without straying away from the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, such as peace and security and human rights.
“We see ourselves as an emerging country with strong institutions, proud of our cultural diversity and the skills of our people. [We] have reached important levels of poverty reduction,” said President Humala Tasso.
He shared how his Administration has advanced in the fields of health and education by implementing social programmes that provide free meals and pensions to vulnerable populations and scholarships to students. In fact, he said, the budget for social programmes for 2015 has increased by 12 per cent compared to that of the previous year. The multi-agency development strategy put at the “centre of all actions the human being and family.”
However, historically, Peru has faced corruption and other great challenges posed by the drug problem, Mr. Humala Tasso said, urging the world to help overcome this “unquestionably global” threat. To strengthen regional and international partnerships, Peru plans to deepen trade relations, improve the existing 17 trade agreements covering 95 per cent of its foreign trade, and work towards completion of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks. Peru also called to end the economic blockade against Cuba.
Climate change required global, rather than national, answers, Mr. Humala Tasso urged, adding that if the world does not take immediate action, the impact of climate change could take a bite of over 5 per cent of Peru’s GDP by 2030 and 20 per cent by 2050. To tackle this, Peru has taken several steps, including with the recent modification of the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity to promote the fair sharing of resources.
“Peru is not just a country but also a civilization. Its culture is part of the world heritage, as recognized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultrual Organiztaion (UNESCO), which means a universal recognition to the extraordinary work of our ancestors, who knew how to harmonize development and the environment in a sensible way,” said Mr. Humala Tasso.
Also addressing the General Assembly, the President of Panama cited inequality, along with the fight against organized crime, drugs and human trafficking, and the regulation of migration flows to more developed economies as the most serious conflicts facing the Central American country.
Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, President of Panama, addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak
Taking the podium, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez called for greater coordination so that these challenges would be more effectively addressed.
“As leaders we must understand that in order to achieve and maintain peace in the world, we must first lead our nations along the same path,” Mr. Varela said, underscoring his personal commitment to social justice and the rule of law.
He described Panama as “a country of convergence” where, due to the Panama Canal, which this year marks its centennial, “all the world’s flags come together” like at the UN Headquarters.
Mr. Varela, who assumed the Presidency this year, reiterated his commitment to sustainable development, and particularly signaled efforts to prepare the country’s youth to become “responsible youth.”
“We live in a diverse world, with different cultures, religions, and political systems, but we can always find common ground in the wellbeing of our citizens,” he added.