HORACIO CARTES, President of Paraguay, said efforts to strengthen the United Nations should aim to build a world of fairness and solidarity, which involved overcoming the inequities overshadowing the world order. Paraguay sought to reduce poverty through policies that fostered employment and housing, as well as access to education and health services. It aimed to achieve inclusive growth. With one of the strongest growth rates in the region, Paraguay had diversified its economy through industrialization and increased production, and sought to modernize its infrastructure.
He said his country, with 75 per cent of its population younger than 40 years, had valuable human capital. “We trust the immense potential of our youth,” he said, highlighting a $73 million scholarship programme for 1,500 professionals to complete advanced degrees in the best universities around the world. On 17 September, the Government had put in place an instrument to regulate the law on free access to public information and Government transparency, which allowed people to exercise their right to be informed. He supported cooperation, exchange and complementarity among countries and regions. People were the most important resource, and education was essential. Developed countries should increase financing for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as education and scientific research should be a universal public good.
Regarding people fleeing conflict, as in Syria, he urged the United Nations to encourage States to support the most vulnerable. Preserving the environment was another concern, and Paraguay had prioritized the rational management of its natural resources. Effort and political commitment should be redoubled at the upcoming Climate Change Conference. On United Nations reform, the General Assembly’s legitimate powers should be restored and the Security Council’s working methods should be improved, in order to make decisions that were more transparent and ensure that the views of non-member States were heard. He welcomed efforts by “the government of Taiwan” to reduce cross-strain tensions, calling for pragmatic dialogue and mutually beneficial interaction. Along similar lines, he reaffirmed Paraguay’s support for the peace process in Colombia. More broadly, he said the rights to freedom, assembly, human integrity and quality of life were essential.