Feb 9, 2011, 1:24 PM
The Gambian leader, His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh on Thursday, September 24, addressed the world leaders at the recently concluded 64th United Nation General Assembly in New York, United States of America.
Below we reproduce the full text of the speech, courtesy of The Daily Observer Newspaper website:
Excellencies Heads of State and Government Royal Majesties Ladies and gentlemen
I would like first of all to thank Almighty Allah for granting us yet another opportunity of the gathering of world leaders. My delegation would want to thank President Obama and the Government and people of the United States of America, and the leadership of the United Nations for the warm welcome and the facilities placed at our disposal since our arrival.
Mr. President, Permit me to felicitate H.E. Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockman for his inspiring leadership and for conducting well the affairs of the 63rd Session. By the same token, I extend warm felicitations to Dr. Ali Treki, on his election to lead this important 64th Session. He has the full support of my delegation. Our special thanks go to H.E BAN KI Moon the UN Secretary-General for his stewardship, and the commitment he has manifested to the welfare of humanity, particularly of Africa.
The theme "Effective response to global crises: strengthening multilateralism and dialogue among civilizations for international peace, security and development" adopted for this year's Session, is indeed apt and relevant and demands that all nations big or small must adopt multilateralism and dialogue in fostering international partnership, and on all matters of common concern to global peace and development.
The complexities of today's world are such that no nation can successfully confront alone. Some issues cannot even be resolved by regional groupings acting independently. Much can be achieved only when we all collaborate and work together within the framework of multilateralism, based on mutual understanding and respect but above all sincerity, strong commitment, universal justice under the same rule of law and equity.
Our global body, the United Nations, has indeed adopted countless resolutions, which if implemented to the letter would have made this world a better place all mankind and indeed other creatures of our planet. Unfortunately, there are some members states of the United Nations who block well meaning resolutions necessary for the maintenance of world peace and even question or disregard resolutions passed by this august body with impunity.
As long as this continues to be the order of the day, the United Nations will remain united by name only; unable to achieve, in full, the fundamental objectives for which it was establish. Urgent reforms are therefore needed in the modus operandi of the United Nations to ensure that this impunity is abolished and the principle of equality among nation states irrespective of their geopolitical size, location, or economic circumstances, race or religion are safeguarded. Double standards have no place in the United Nations.
There cannot be peace and security in the absence of justice for all. There cannot be justice in the face of abject poverty characterized by hunger and starvation, disease, and lack of basic social services as a result of exploitation. There cannot be justice if there is merciless exploitation, suppression and criminal invasions of sovereign states.There cannot be peace if there is no development as a result of marginalization, injustice and racism.
Unfortunately, injustice, racism, merciless exploitation and marginalization of especially the Developing nations by the Developed nations are the order of the Day.
Africa and Africans are the poorest of the poor despite the fact that the African continent is the richest in terms of Mineral and other Natural resources! This is the sad fact that despite the African continent being the source of 90% of the precious minerals, gemstones and strategic raw materials for the industrialized north we the Africans are the poorest of the poor!
Mr. President, it is no fault of ours if we the Africans are poor today. This situation is brought about by the perennial locust invasion and their permanent presence in Africa. They devour 90% of our useful African resources ranging from Agricultural to Mineral, Flora and Fauna resources. These locusts are present in all African resource rich countries today. This devastating permanent locust invasion is exacerbated by another destructive phenomenon, permanent drought, which is affecting all African countries without exception.
We cannot do anything about these two deadly scourges in the African Continent because in the case of the locusts, they are protected by a one-sided international treaty that has been imposed on all the third World countries and not only Africa. For the drought, it is even worse as no irrigation system in Africa can eradicate it.
The locust I am talking about are the Western Multi National companies that exploit our Natural resources as well as agricultural produce taking 95% of the financial value and leave us the owners of these resources with the 5% or less at most. Is it not interesting that with regards to mining of African Mineral resources only four African countries receive more than 3% royalty from these Multi National Mining Companies? The rest receive only 3% royalty or even less. In the case of petroleum exploitation, few countries receive above 15% royalty etc.
There is nothing African Countries can do about this because these locusts have absolute monopoly of the Technologies being used in these extractive industries. The treaty that makes it impossible for us to do anything about it is called GLOBALISATION, which means the EXLOITATION of poor third world countries' resources by the Rich First World Countries. With regards to the drought, which is the debt burden, very few rich countries have cancelled the debt owed to them by third world countries.
This excruciating debt burden consumes 80% of the 5-3% left by the Multi national Companies. Our Agricultural produce like tea, coffee, cocoa etc are bought at prices fixed by the buyers in most cases at an average price of not more than one US Dollar per kilo whist the same produce are being sold at more than fifteen US Dollars per kilo when processed. So for every kilogram of our agricultural produce worth fifteen Dollars at the international western market we get only one Dollar! How can Africa develop and emerge out of this object poverty. African resources have been continuously looted from the 11th century to date. Everything in Africa that the locusts could set eyes on are looted uptill today. Even dead bodies, have not been spared by the locusts. Graves were and are being desecrated and human bodies called mummies have been stolen from Africa.
In such a situation where even Africans in their graves are not spared by these locusts on the rampage, who in his correct state of mind expects us to be rich and developed in Africa. In Africa, RIP on a tombstone, which normally means Rest In Peace has never been respected. RIP - means Respected If Poor, that is the body in the tomb was not buried with any precious jewelry. The UN must come to the rescue of Africa otherwise we Africans stand ready to liberate ourselves from this eternal bondage at any cost. As from now the AU would work towards ensuring that African Nations and our Farmers get their rightful share of our God- given natural and agricultural resources. We will no longer accept less than 65% royalty of our natural resources.
We the Africans have been suffering for too long at the hands of the westerners and we will put an end to this. It is African sweat, blood, tears and natural resources that have built the North throughout almost five centuries of merciless and racist exploitation up till today.
Enough is enough. Instead of being respected, we are being called all sorts of names and given all sorts of titles, Dictators, Corrupt Leaders, failed states and even Rogue States.
We the new Generation of African Leaders would put an end to these humiliating, degrading and racist treatment by any means necessary. The world will not live in peace and security as long as this dehumanizing and racist status quo continue to prevail with regards to the continent of Africa and Africans. We have been forced to endure this for far too long and now we can going to put an end to it as we have ended Apartheid in South Africa; by force if need be. We will defend our humanity, our dignity, our resources, our interests and our culture as from now.
HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis are killer diseases. While I would like to reiterate my delegation's support for the work of Global Fund to fighting these diseases, I wish to call for concerted efforts at resource mobilization to support international research on traditional medicine and alternative diseases treatment programmes. These traditional systems are in most instances more cost-effective, yet abandoned for the sorts of criticisms that come from multinationals who feel threatened that certain traditional breakthroughs would be detrimental to their corporate existence and interests. These multinationals value their monetary gains more than human life.They should not be allowed to hold humanity to ransom. Their insatiable appetite for massive wealth at any cost have pushed them to the point of blindness and insensitivity to human suffering and loss of human life in the developing world especially in Africa.
On international peace and security, my delegation again calls for more honest and stronger international cooperation and dialogue in addressing conflict prevention, peaceful resolution and respect of others cultural values, norms and ways of life. We must respect the fact that humanity is created to be diverse as planet Earth has different regions, each having diverse climate and ecosystems. Therefore there is bound to be diversity in the colours of our skin diversity in the way we live and differences in our beliefs. Diverse as we may, we are part and parcel of the one human family created by the one and only GOD Allah. If we accept this principal that we are all human beings equal before the Only God that created us, and, that differences in religion and skin colour do not make one less human than others then we will all live in perfect peace and harmony in this global village called world.
The problem is that some play God and believe that by virtue of the colour of their skin, they are better than the rest of humanity and therefore should dictate to them how they should live and how they should worship God. They impose their value systems on the rest of humanity. This unacceptable dictatorship is the source of all the world's major conflicts and a contributing factor to the persistent threat to world peace.
Racism is on the rise, extreme hate mongers are increasing in numbers and ranks and, instead of condemning them as criminals and terrorists, they are called the far right, neo Nazis or supremacists and tolerated and even encouraged by the same powers who would happily bomb then back to the stone age if they were Muslim, black African or Asian. As long as this status quo does not change, peace and security would continue to be an elusive dream as people; rich or poor, Muslim or non Muslim, black or Asian are bound to defend their human dignity at any price. My delegation therefore calls for a united front against this dictatorship of a few over the rest of humanity. And in the interest of our collective security, the United Nations should see to the total elimination of racism and hate in all its forms whatever it takes, so that we can bequeath to generations of humanity yet unborn, a very peaceful and prosperous would devoid of destitution, exploitation and marginalization.
In this context, my delegation would like to see a speedy resolution of the plight of the Palestinians. We call on the state of Israel to accept and respect the two-state solution that the international community has so clearly articulated without preconditions. We also urge the UN Security Council to ensure that its resolutions are respected by all states and enforced to the letter and spirit of the UN and not allow certain states a choice of not only ignoring these resolutions but violating them with impunity, while other states face drastic and devastating military action if such resolutions are passed against them and they so much as ask for clarification. The state of Israel has ignored and violated all UN Resolutions and conventions with regards to the Israel Palestinian conflict with not only impunity but with the support and protection of certain powers of the world whilst other countries have paid a very high price for merely not complying fully with a security council resolution. The UN Secretary Council should stop this unfortunate double standards. The UN must not be turned into an Animal Farm.
Secondly, there is also the lingering issue of the Republic of China (Taiwan). My delegation holds the position that Taiwan should be invited to participate in all the meetings and activities of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) amongst others. Taiwan has a legitimate right to full membership of all UN Specialised agencies since even NGOs have either full membership or observer status to these UN Agencies.
Taiwan with 23 million people, a democratic state is still being denied this fundamental human right that the UN is supposed to uphold and protect in the first place. My delegation also hereby calls on the UN to urge the United States of America to immediately and unconditionally lift the embargo on Cuba in accordance with the wishes of more than 98% of the membership of this August Body. This trade embargo continues to hurt Cuban Women and children. The Cuban children that are born into these extreme hardships have committed no crime. The punishment of women and children because of political difference is a very serious violation of children's rights.
Thirdly, my delegation renews its full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco, and on the question of the Moroccan Sahara, we remain convinced that the proposal of the Moroccan Government to grant substantive autonomy to the Sahara Region on the basis of the negotiations initiated by the Security Council, and conducted and agreed by the Parties would lead to a lasting and peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Finally, my delegation has been following keenly but with deep dismay, the protracted negotiations and a seeming connivance to prevent the reform of Security Council. Africa would like to see to this Reform undertaken and a balanced representation of the Continents in the Security Council. My delegation therefore urges the President of the General Assembly to exert more effort on the issue within the term of this 64th General Assembly, and ensure that the continent of Africa has at least two permanent seats at the Security Council with full veto powers Africa, a continent ten times the size of Europe does not have a single permanent seat at the Security Council whilst Europe has more than one permanent seat. Africa has been subjected to discrimination, marginalization, exploitation and humiliation for very long time. We the Africans are no longer going to accept this status quo. We will put an end to this not later than December 31st 2010. You are hereby put on notice.
I wish you all a successful 64th Session.