SANTIAGO PEÑA PALACIOS, President of Paraguay, said multilateral institutions have achieved little tangible results in a world of much wealth and serious geopolitical problems such as the 2008 financial crisis, COVID-10 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine — resulting in frustration and a view that national solutions should prevail as interference in national sovereignty has eroded trust among Member States. “This hinders cooperation and willingness to engage for the common good,” he stressed. Measures taken by the United Nations and the Council have not been encouraging. He urged multilateral organizations to review and reform their mechanisms, measures and institutional capacities to avoid new wars like the one ravaging Ukraine. “We must work on strengthening the UN with a view to building new capacities that will enable it to respond effectively and efficiently to permanent and changing global challenges,” he said.
On Security Council reform, he said its structure should observe the UN Charter’s guiding principles to promote the peace, security and prosperity of countries on equal terms. Paraguay supports the participation of the Republic of China–Taiwan as an integral part of the United Nations system. On global trade, he said trade restrictions based on criteria, such as agricultural practices or environmental standards, generate discontent and uncertainty while creating unfair and discriminatory barriers. Turning to climate change and sustainable development, he said Paraguay has adopted sustainable agricultural practices for more than 30 years that ensure a prosperous future for its farmers and guarantee the integrity of its land and water resources. He noted that 44 per cent of Paraguayan territory retains its forest cover and 95 per cent of the area planted with cereals and oilseeds in 2022 employs sustainable technologies, such as direct seeding and crop rotation.
Reaffirming Paraguay’s commitment to the United Nations core values and objectives, he said it is ready to lead by example to a more sustainable, equitable world. Paraguay aspires to become a regional logistics centre through the South American Bioceanic Road Corridor, which will strengthen integration with neighboring countries and Pacific markets and renew and empower the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Pacific Alliance, promoting greater rapprochement between the two blocks. In addition, the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway, a multimodal network, will become the most competitive mechanism to transport products to different Pacific ports. One of the country’s primary strategic aims is to keep improving regional integration while managing its waterways, aquifers, the bioceanic corridor, hydroelectric plants and river navigation. This requires a delicate balance between integration and sovereignty. Latin America has great development potential but it can only be developed through mutual respect and working together in harmony.
Turning to governance, he pointed to Paraguay’s transparent electoral process this year and more than 35 uninterrupted years of democracy. There is “no other acceptable system than the non-negotiable validity of human rights and freedom”, he said. He noted the fundamental role Paraguayan women have played in rebuilding the country, which continues to strengthen its institutions and its economy after decades of being the poorest country in South America. Today it is an upper-middle-income nation, with strong credibility in international financial markets; high production norms certified by international standards; and macroeconomic stability based on fiscal and monetary discipline as well as a permanent effort to improve governance.
Read the full statement, in PDF format.
Access the statements from previous sessions.