JOSE ANTONIO GARCIA BELAUNDE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru, said it was regrettable that the convergence of wills around the economic and financial crisis had not been present with the same determination to reach the Millennium Development Goals and to face the threats that seriously endangered liberty, democracy and regional and global stability.
“How can we explain to our people that, in the middle of one of the most serious world economic recessions and before the existence of more than one billion in extreme poverty in the world, countries dedicate more than $1,464 billion to military expenses in 2008?” he asked. Over the past five years, countries in Latin America had devoted a total of $156 billion to military expenditures. He, therefore, reiterated Peru’s proposal to establish a non-aggression pact that guaranteed a Zone of Peace in South America, as well as the creation of a “peacekeeping and intervention force” to impede any conflict in the region.
He said it was also important that the fight against trafficking in narcotic drugs was at the centre of the world agenda, as it had a dangerous link with terrorism, and violence in general. The illicit production of the coca leaf was causing irreparable damage in the Peruvian Amazon forest because of logging and burning of forests. Although Peru had dedicated financial and human resources to fight the scourge, it felt it was a solitary effort, as the international community did not offer an adequate and rapid answer. He asked the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to compile a report with updated figures of the global resources dedicated to face illicit traffic in narcotics drugs, as well as identifying key programmes to intensify cooperation with the most affected countries.
Another sensitive issue was climate change and the preservation of the environment, he said. Concrete objectives must be established regarding technological transfer. He reiterated Peru’s proposal to establish a world fund to support measures of mitigation and adaptation and apply a duty of $0.5 per oil barrel. Peru also proposed the establishment of integrated programmes of adaptation to climate change, financed by the Global Environment Facility and/or the World Bank.
He said the situation of migrants was also an issue of special interest for Peru and other developing countries. His country actively promoted the human rights of migrants and their families and the shared responsibility of countries of origin and host countries in dealing with that phenomenon. Migration was a vital development tool. Xenophobic and discriminated pressures should be avoided.
Finally, he stressed that the democratic process in Honduras had been interrupted abruptly. Measures against the Embassy of Brazil should be repudiated. He called for a dialogue that would lead to the re-establishment of the democratic system. The return of President Manuel Zelaya should be used by all Honduran political forces to establish a Government of unity and national reconciliation, based on the San Jose Agreement.