Your Excellency, Mr. John William Ashe, President of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,Your Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,Your Majesties,Excellencies, Distinguished Heads of State and Government,Ladies and Gentlemen,We praise the Almighty Allah for making possible yet again a gathering of world leaders. I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to preside over the 68th United Nations General Assembly. Your experience in Session of the impeccable credentials and extensive multilateralism will undoubtedly enrich the debates and proceedings of this session. You have the full support of my delegation.
In the same vein, I also wish to pay tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Vuk Jeremic for his sterling leadership during the 67th Session.Our special thanks go to H.E Ban Ki Moon the UN Secretary-General for his stewardship, and the commitment he has manifested to the welfare of humanity, particularly of the third world.Mr. President,As we gather for the 68th summit of our Organization, we must pause and take stock of our collective record in responding to the many different global challenges that mankind has had to grapple with. Our global body, the United Nations, has indeed adopted countless resolutions, which, if implemented to the letter would have made the world a much better place for the whole of mankind and indeed for all other creatures of our planet.
Unfortunately, as some member states continue to disregard resolutions necessary for the maintenance of world peace and even question or disregard resolutions passed by this august body with impunity, the United Nations continues to be incapacitated. This certainly calls for an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses, with a view to rendering it more effective.Civil strife and terrorism caused by the negative behaviour of some world powers are undermining human security and even the viability of states.
Poverty, hunger and diseases still decimate countless communities, while our capacity to respond to these manmade humanitarian crises remains discriminatory and inadequate.This is demonstrated yet again in the case of Syria. We believe the creation of this organization, in the first place, is to find those lasting solutions for peace and the protection of human life. Informed and honest decisions should be made instead of those driven by the interest of a few self-appointed gods thereby causing irreparable damage to the social fabric and economies of these countries in conflict.
My government supports the view that the regional organizations in the Middle East should be closely involved in such negotiations for a resolution of the crisis in Syria. The tragedy unfolding in Syria has become a scar on our conscience as a civilised people and this war must be stopped by all means necessary. All that we hear is the talk about chemical weapons and the need to ensure that they are not used by anyone. This does not make any sense as long as this barbaric war has not been to an end immediately.
Whether chemical weapons are used or not thousands of people would continue to die, in the most horrific manner, it is the same horrific and senseless death and our duty is not to choose what form of death is acceptable and what not. Our duty is to stop the senseless and barbaric killings in Syria. We as the UN must end this war immediately otherwise the people of Syria would continue to perish at the hands of these satanic barbaric forces. The UN Security Council and all the powers behind the war in Syria must not only prevent the use of chemical weapons but must also bring this brutal war to an immediate end without preconditions.
The Syria war must be stopped and stopped now!Mr. President,The 2013 MDGs Report on Africa's performance reveals mixed results. Africa's substantial progress towards many goals, targets and indicators is beyond doubt but serious challenges still remain, especially in translating economic growth into decent job opportunities, improving service delivery and minimizing income, gender and spatial inequalities.
Violent conflicts and economic shocks in some countries, as well as unprecedented natural disasters over the decade, induced by climate change, have caused setbacks to the achievements of the MDGs in many countries.Despite these challenges, some African countries, and The Gambia in particular, are making impressive gains on some of the set goals. My government is on track to achieve the education MDG target for net enrolment in primary education and literacy rate among the population aged 15-24 years.
My government has made serious and informed policy reviews to prioritize basic/primary education, while expanding access to secondary, higher and tertiary education with emphasis on improving quality in all areas. We are set to work diligently to ensure we close the gap in gender enrolment disparity and provide free education and an equitable chance for all to be literate.
Mr. President,We must ensure that the Post 2015 Development Agenda builds on the important progress of the MDGs and is expanded to cover broader sustainable development issues as agreed in Rio.Therefore, your choice of the theme for this session "The Post 2015 Development Agenda"- Setting the Stage," is indeed apt, timely and thought-provoking. Clear, time-bound, targeted and measurable global benchmarks are crucial if we are to realize our desired objective.Protecting African livelihoods requires international, regional and country approaches that recognize and act on the overlap of conflicts orchestrated by the foreign powers and severe weather hazards.
The Gambia firmly believes that mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and putting an immediate end to the massive looting of African natural resources by Western multinational companies calls for timely and decisive global response, it is a challenge that should unite us, not divide us.The Gambia is of the firm opinion that Africa should play an active role in shaping the goals based on its own development priorities and common interests.Mr. President,The biggest threats to human existence are basically three and are a consequence of human behaviour which are ungodly attributes. These are:
Excessive greed, and therefore addiction to gather material wealth by any means necessary mostly through violent or immoral schemes;
Obsession with world domination by any means including the resolve to use nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to achieve this fanciful dream;
Homosexuality in all its forms and manifestations which though very evil, antihuman as well as anti-Allah; is being promoted as a human right by some powers.
All these three have nothing to do with climate change and are more deadly than all natural disasters put together.The first one led to not only colonization and the plundering of African and Asian human and material resources but also led to two devastating wars among the western powers-that-be and, unfortunately were wrongly termed World Wars.Colonialism was maintained by subjugation and massive looting of resources in the colonies leading to the impoverishment and destitution of hundreds of millions of colonial| subjects. From the 13th Century up to the middle part of the 20th Century the notion of HUMAN RIGHTS, GOOD GOVERNANCE and DEMOCRACY were philosophies that were forbidden to Africans.
Any African who advocated for these ended up either at the gallows, in a mass grave or rotted incolonialist built dungeons called prisons. This was during the colonial era when the African continent was treated like an abandoned game park; and Africans were treated worse than animals. Today, after fighting for our freedom and liberatingour continent, we are being prescribed a religion - DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS and GOOD GOVERNANCE by descendants of the same colonial powers.
Present day Africans cannot be hoodwinked anymore and we are determined to defend our independence and dignity, and take control of our own natural resources at any cost and by any means necessary.Coming to the second threat - obsession with world domination; we have seen the unprecedented development of deadly nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as well as other weapons of mass murder by the same western powers.We all agree that all forms of human tragedy and catastrophe emanate from the same West. They spend more money on killer technologies than on medical and agricultural technology up to this day.
If they unleash a third world war, that would put an end to human existence on planet earth including this UN itself,For the third one; we know for a fact that all living things need to reproduce for posterity. They become extinct when they can no longer reproduce.
Therefore, you will all agree with me that any person promoting the end of human reproduction must bepromoting human extinction. Could this be called promoting human rights when you advocate for a definitive end to human reproduction and procreation? Those who promote homosexuality want to put an end to human existence, it isbecoming an epidemic and we Muslims and Africans will fightto end this behaviour. We want a brighter future for humanity and the continuous existence of humanity on this planet, therefore we will never tolerate any agenda that clearly calls for human extinction.
Mr. President,Peace and security are inextricably linked to development. The Gambia continues to abide by and live on this principle which has warranted my Government's relentless commitment to peace initiatives under the aegis of the African Union and ECOWAS which successfully culminated in a democratically elected Government in Mall a few weeks ago.
I seize this opportunity therefore to congratulate the brotherly people of Mali for giving peace a chance by electing a Government through democratic means.With more concerted efforts through consultations and dialogue, we shall also soon witness a lasting solution to the political impasse in Guinea Bissau. ! am also equally happy at the work currently being undertaken by the African Union High Level Panel on Egypt aimed at achieving inclusive and peacefultransition through dialogue, compromise, reconciliation and tolerance.
My Government will continue to use its membership of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to propose measures which will facilitate enhanced engagements with a view to acquiring the desired results in our common quest for lasting stability in the continent.
However, the present trends across the world cast serious doubts about the effectiveness of conflict prevention and management mechanisms adopted by regional organizations and most importantly, the United Nations. Instead of acting as an effective mechanism for conflict prevention, and resolution, as well as advancing global security, the Security Council has become a barrier to progress, peace and security in some instances where lopsided decisions can only be classified as racist and misguided and therefore unacceptable.
Africa's legitimate quest for full representation on the Security Council continues to be a strong warning that needs to be urgently heeded. International peace and security are the business of all and Africa, a continent whose resources ranging from material to human helped to bail the west out of poverty to affluence from the 13th Century, up till today; cannot be expected to continue to play second fiddle at the UN Security Council or in any international organization as from today.
The Gambia remains resolute in her stance that the permanent and non-permanent membership categories of the Security Council should be equitably distributed regionally and expanded to conform to current geopolitical realities. The Gambia stands by Africa's demand for two permanent seats as well as two non-permanent seats, as clearly articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.
For how long, Mr. President, will the international community continue to ignore the legitimate right and aspiration of a continent of fifty-three states, all members of the General Assembly? The calls have been very loud and very clear butsome western powers continue to ignore them. This must end or you will see a very dignified, determined and independent Africa assert her legitimate rights worldwide in her own way. Mr. President,My delegation strongly condemns the application of unilateral and degrading coercive measures as a means of settling disputes. Such measures have an adverse impact on the lives of innocent people who lack any means of defending their legitimate sovereignty in the face of massive military might.
We find the continued application of these measures against the peace-loving people of Cuba to be inhuman, unjust and a blatant violation of the basic human rights tenets of the UN Charter which ironically were promulgated to prevent suchbehaviour in the first place.
It is in this spirit that The Gambia shares the views expressed by the international community in its continued unequivocal opposition to the United States of America's sanctions against Cuba. The embargo against Cuba, Mr. President, contravenes the fundamental principles of international law, internationalhumanitarian law, the United Nations Charter and the norms and principles governing violating the sovereign peaceful relations among States, equality of States and of nonjustification given the fact that it continues to undermine the fundamental basic rights to economic emancipation and to development aspirations of the Cuban people.
As a responsible member of the international community The Gambia therefore joins other Member States in calling for the immediate repeal of such laws, measures or policies that impede the free flow of international trade and navigation.Mr PresidentWe reiterate our call for a serious and decisive re-assessment of our policy towards the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The concerns of the 23 million hard-working and peace-loving people of that great country continue to be ignored. The Republic of China (Taiwan) has a democratically-elected government which is the only legitimate government that defends the interests of the people of Taiwan in the conduct of world affairs and in its many serious interactions with each and every nation of the world.
The Taiwanese people have the same concerns as us all, over global problems. Yet they are not a member to the vital organs of this global body to contribute their share in the search for solutions to these problems.Mr. President,The situation in the Occupied Palestine Territory remains pathetic as a result of decades of collective punishment; consistent with glaring degrading and inhumane treatment of innocent civilians, gross denial of access to humanitarian assistance and basic services, essential medical supplies and construction materials to Palestinians have become the daily rule rather than the exception.
The pattern and frequency of these human rights abuses as well as disproportionate use of force perpetrated by the occupying power continues unabated.The Gambia is of the conviction that the ongoing seizure of Palestinian lands and properties to make way for illegal settlement activity is morally and politically unacceptable.Such uncalled for behaviour on the part of Israel is a blatant disregard for international law, and casts serious doubt over Israel's intention for genuine and lasting peace with its brothers and sisters - the Palestinians.
Mr. President, how can the international community continue to watch in silence such glaring injustice and protracted human rights abuses without feeling an iota of guilt for not taking bold and appropriate steps to put an end to them? How long should we allow such blatant disregard for international law to continue unpunished?While we welcome the resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, it is hoped that this time around, the brokers would be decent and honest enough to ensure both sides would demonstrate genuine commitments to the two State solution that would eventually usher in peace and security in the Middle East and beyond.
In conclusion, Mr. President,We live in a world of new and evolving threats; threats that could not have been anticipated when the UN was founded in t945. Unilateral bullying and criminal invasion of resource endowed sovereign states under the pretext of strengtheningdemocratisation; combined with terrorism, organized crime, poverty and diseases remain serious threats to global peace and security unless appropriate steps are taken to eradicate them.Meeting such challenges today calls for sincerity and honesty to mount well-coordinated and concerted global efforts.
The Gambia firmly believes that socio-economic development and respecting the sovereign rights of countries to control their own natural resources and minerals should be the first collective line of defence for a collective security system that takes the sovereignty of each nation seriously. Combating poverty will not only save millions of lives but also strengthen States' capacity to combat terrorism, organized crime and intra-state conflict. We need partnership and commitments renewed and genuine global that are sustained and are based on respect for the sovereignty of each individual state to choose the way of life that is based on their religious and cultural values as no other administrative system is better than that prescribed by ALLAH the ALMIGHTY.
It is also necessary to increase the credibility and effectiveness of the Security Council by making sure that selective justice is abolished and rejected by all members of the UN family. From all indications, there is absolute need to inject new ideas, impetus and increased membership to the Security Council in conformity with current geopolitical realities. Moreover, respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples as well as promoting and respecting peaceful relations among states should be the overriding consideration for peaceful co-existence between and among Member States.
Thank you for your kind attention.