On behalf of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, and the Bolivarian People’s Government of Venezuela, I am pleased to convey a warm greeting to all the delegations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are with us today at this Preparatory Meeting of Ministers for the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of our Movement.
The central theme proposed by the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan for this meeting, “Defending the Bandung Principles to Ensure Concerted Responses and Accords to the Challenges of the Contemporary World”, is not only of great relevance in the current international situation, but also points to the right direction and, having held the Presidency of our Movement for a little over three years, we can say, without fear of error, that today more than ever it is necessary to renew our commitment to those founding principles and to the original spirit of Bandung.
We must reaffirm the validity of the principles of sovereign equality, non-intervention in internal affairs, territorial integrity of States, respect for all cultures, religions, civilizations and ethnicities, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights to peace and development. For Venezuela, full observance and unrestricted respect for these principles and values is essential to guarantee peace, justice and sustainable development, in the face of attempts to impose a single and homogeneous vision of the world, to the detriment of diversity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among peoples and nations
Peace is more than the right of humanity to live in peace because of irresponsible actions promoted by the centers of power. It is the real right of each of our peoples to decide their future without fear of external destabilizing actions that threaten their national sovereignty. Hence, in our opinion, it will be difficult to achieve a more peaceful and prosperous world if, first, we do not jointly and effectively defend respect for International Law.
We live in a world that faces, multiple complex and emerging threats and challenges to international peace and security, which we believe must be addressed together as responsible members of the international community, through multilateralism, within the framework of International Law and the postulates of the Charter of the United Nations. Multilateralism, together with International Law and diplomacy, is therefore the only shield that we, the countries of the South, have to protect ourselves from any act of aggression.
Unfortunately, today we are witnessing the complex crisis faced by multilateralism and the multilateral system as a whole, as a result of the continuing violations by a group of Western countries, with growing tendencies towards unilateralism, to the detriment of the sacred purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, as well as the rules of International Law.
It is therefore a systemic phenomenon that affects a significant number of countries, particularly in the developing world, including the very way in which international relations are conducted today, and that manifests itself in multiple forms: military interventions, imposition of policies of regime change, coups d’état, disinformation media campaigns, covert operations, clandestine actions and intrusions aimed at the political, economic and financial destabilization of the Member States of the Movement, among many others. Their motivations range from the interests of geopolitical domination to the spoliation of natural resources and the imposition of political, economic, social and cultural models, in contravention of the most elementary principles of international relations.
We must remember, in that order, that Venezuela is today a victim of that phenomenon, which has been marked by acts of aggression, perpetrated in a criminal and unpunished way by a regime that disregards not only multilateralism but all rules of International Law, and that today seek to take us back to the times of unipolarity. Our country continues to be a victim of the onslaught of interventionism on the part of external power factors, which have not given up their destabilizing plans against the peace and tranquility of our nation, and who in their eagerness to attempt a change of government and establish a regime servile to their interests, have even made threats regarding the use of force and the so-called “military option”, disregarding the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace since 2014.
In addition, for more than four years, a plan of economic and financial destruction has been implemented through the illegal promulgation and implementation of unilateral coercive measures, which seeks not only to suffocate Venezuela economically, financially and commercially, but also to cause maximum social suffering, to erode our nation’s capacity to sustain itself and, in the end, to cause an implosion that allows foreign military intervention. It is therefore a wave of massive extortion and calculated cruelty that seeks to inflict collective punishment on our people in order to break their sovereign will, despite its negative impact on the well-being of the Venezuelan people and their human rights, as well as their right to development. Without a doubt, this is a crime against humanity, against 30 million Venezuelans.
This is a gigantic and inhumane experiment in unconventional warfare that is accompanied by the theft and plundering of the Republic’s goods and assets, which is why we cannot miss this occasion to demand, from this rostrum, the lifting of all unilateral coercive measures against our country; the return of money stolen from Venezuela; the end of the commercial and financial blockade of our people; the end of the sabotage of our infrastructure with clandestine operations; the end of the threats of military intervention; and the end of the threats to Venezuelans who want to dialogue and settle their differences peacefully.
In the face of these manifest aggressions against Venezuela, all in violation of International Law, we cannot but thank, on behalf of our people and our government, the permanent and unwavering solidarity of our Movement in defense of respect for sovereignty, political independence and the inalienable right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination, who as all nations aspire to live in peace and to seek their own path to achieve inclusive economic and social development. Being indifferent to foreign intervention in the affairs of a country and to the threats or use of force does nothing more than stimulate the application of this imperialist and illegal practice against other States. That is why we reiterate that double standards must cease: there is no good interventionism and bad interventionism.
Within the framework of our historic Bolivarian Peace Diplomacy, Venezuela conceives non-alignment within positive neutrality as a bridge towards dialogue, tolerance and understanding so that the Movement can continue to be a factor of balance in international relations. From this perspective, we deem it necessary to combine efforts to contribute to the strengthening, among others, of South-South cooperation and political consultation and coordination, so that the decisions adopted and pronouncements issued by our leaders have a real impact and a positive impact on the world stage, especially in intergovernmental negotiation processes.
For our part, from the moment we assumed the Presidency of NAM, we set three (03) very concrete goals: to strengthen the cohesion of our membership, based on the premise of “unity in diversity”; to strengthen solidarity among the Member States of the Movement, in the best spirit of non-alignment; and to advance in the process of revitalizing NAM, in order to reaffirm its full validity in the current international situation. Only in this way will it be possible for our Movement to play a leading role in the establishment of a peaceful and prosperous world, and in the construction of a more just and equitable New International Order.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and its historical causes, however, continue to be fully valid in international relations today. That is why, in the face of these imperial, neo-colonial and neo-liberal policies, we must be able to adopt, in a joint, organized and coherent manner, within the framework of international law and with strict adherence to the principles governing friendly relations and cooperation among States, effective responses to deal with such serious and massive violations. We are certain that, under the leadership of Azerbaijan, our Movement will know how to move in that direction, for which Venezuela reiterates its full support, Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.
On a different note, I cannot miss this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the Peoples and Governments of our Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM) for the vote of confidence and the valuable support they extended almost a week ago to Venezuela’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council, aware of the importance of this election for our country. This is just another concrete example of the solidarity that characterizes our Movement.
In conclusion, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela renews its irrevocable political and moral commitment to uphold the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international law, as well as to respect, preserve and act at all times in our international relations in accordance with the Bandung Principles, while renewing our commitment to efforts for the full revitalization of our Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), so that it maintains its validity, relevance and plays the central and historical role it deserves in the current international situation. It is time to do more to overcome divisions; it is time to support multilateralism and diplomacy to make a peaceful and prosperous world a reality for all humanity.
Thank you so much.
Republic of azerbajian, baku, october 23TH, 2019