NAYIB ARMANDO BUKELE, President of El Salvador, pointing to the freedom yearned by his people and by all peoples to determine their own course, said the powerful must respect the freedom of others. Recalling the history and struggles of the people of El Salvador, he lamented the lack of respect that countries with more territory, money and power have for his country. They are incorrect, he pointed out, in thinking that “they are also the master of [El Salvador].”
In utilizing two neighbours who live next to each other — one in a small and humble house and the other in a beautiful and gigantic palace with immense land and treasures — as an extended analogy, he illustrated the dynamic which exists between countries. The richer neighbour, he said, does not have the right to decide nor the authority to dictate terms to the poorer neighbour. What the poorer neighbour does by way of repairs, upgrades and improvement should not bother the rich neighbour. Rather, the richer neighbour should be glad that poorer neighbour is doing better than before.
El Salvador, he continued, is still fighting for its freedom. It will not be free, sovereign and independent, he maintained, until the powerful understand that “we want to be their friends, that we admire them, that we respect them, that our doors are wide open to trade, for them to visit us to build the best possible relations.” They cannot, he added, “come to our house to give orders not only because it is our house but because it makes no sense to undo what we’re doing, what we’re achieving.” El Salvador’s immense progress and achievements — in moving from being the most dangerous country in the world to becoming the safest country in the Americas; from being known for gangs, death, violence and war to being known for its beaches, surfing, volcanoes, financial freedom, good governance and its end to organized crime — are just the beginning. In asserting El Salvador’s right to continue its path to development, he noted the ongoing need for the recognition of its right to be free for it to be truly independent.
The path to freedom, he asserted, will happen much more quickly without the resistance of powerful countries and with their active assistance. As each people should find its own path, he humbly offered the friendship of El Salvador to others.
Reflecting on his address to the General Assembly three years ago, he reiterated his view on the obsolete nature of the format. In reminding countries of the purpose of the United Nations and in referencing the Charter, he suggested that the change from a unipolar world to a multipolar one would be better if it had instead moved towards a world in which each people are truly free to set their own course, one in which all nations — regardless of size — contribute their experiences and abilities to resolve humanity’s problems. He expressed hope that the United Nations will become relevant again over time once other peoples and other nations emerge to fight for their freedom.