Following is the speech delivered by Cuban president Fidel Castro on October 22, 1995, to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The translation was provided by the Cuban Mission to the United Nations.
Mr. Secretary General,
Half a century ago, the United Nations Organization was born after the conclusion of a monstrous war where an average of 10 million lives were lost at its peak moments. Presently, 20 million men, women, and children are dying every year of hunger and curable diseases. In some wealthy nations the life expectancy is 80 years while in others it is barely 40, so there are billions whose lives are cut off. How long shall we wait for this carnage to end?
The cold war is over but the arms race goes on and nuclear and military hegemonism perpetuate themselves. How long shall we wait for the total removal of all weapons of mass extermination, for universal disarmament and for the elimination of the use of force, arrogance and pressure in international relations?
The obsolete veto privilege and the mis-use of the Security Council by the powerful are exalting a new colonialism within the very United Nations.
Latin America and Africa do not have one single permanent member in the Security Council. In Asia, India has an almost one billion population but it does not enjoy that responsibility.
How long shall we wait for the democratization of the United Nations and for the independence and sovereign equality of states to become a reality? How long before non- intervention in the internal affairs of states and true international cooperation take their rightful places?
The breakthroughs in science and technology are daily increasing by the number but their benefits do not reach the majority of humanity and they essentially continue to be at the service of a reckless consumerism which is wasting limited resources and seriously threatening life on earth. How long shall we have to wait before rationality, equity, and justice prevail in the world?
The forests are decreasing, the air is being poisoned, the rivers are being contaminated. Countless species of plants and animals are perishing. The soils are impoverished. Old and new epidemics are expanding while the population grows and the legions of the dispossessed continue to multiply.
Will the next generations reach the promised land pledged half a century ago? How many hundreds of millions have died without ever seeing it? How many have fallen victims of oppression, plundering, poverty, hunger, and unhealthy conditions? How many more will still die?
We lay claim to a world without hegemonism, without nuclear weapons, without interventionism, without racism, without national or religious hatred, without outrageous acts against the sovereignty of the peoples, without universal models that totally disregard the traditions and culture of all the elements of humanity.
We lay claim to a world without ruthless blockades that cause the death of men, women and children, youths and elders, like noiseless atom bombs.
We lay claim to a world of peace, justice and dignity where everyone, without exception, has the right to well- being and life. Thank you very much.
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home