Address by Dr. Vassos Lyssarides
at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Countries
to the 53rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

September 24, 1998

Age has its privileges. So, today I am in the position to express my deep satisfaction to see my friends, who led the struggle for freedom and human dignity, heading international organizations.

In this sense it seems that the world moves into the right direction.

Long years have taught me that oversophistication sometimes kills the truth.

Then, I would simply state that the revitalization of NAM becomes a most urgent necessity if we are to effectively face the new international situation, dictated by the now unified global economic and monetary circles, which threatens to jeopardize the role of national governments in a one-sided globalization, given that we witness a highly anomalous situation with islands of provoking affluence and continents of hundreds of million people deprived of even the most essential necessities.

Thus, the safety valve role of the national states cannot as yet be overlooked till we reach a more equitable distribution of wealth and technology.

Even when the internationalization of markets dictates a form of technological osmosis, the social services or the national level are often undermined by the terms imposed by the global monetary circles.

True, we are not a homogenous group.

But, against our differences in the stage of development and the structure of regimes, we have a lot in common. We have a strong interest in a new world order based or a more equitable distribution of technology, of another kind of market laws with a social dimension. We have a common interest on progress and peace.

And I am sure we all agree that peace is incompatible with deprivation, oppression, discrimination and of course aggression and occupation.

I wish to express my gratitude for the resolution on Cyprus adopted in Durban, which demands the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops and settlers, the respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, the return of the refugees and accounting for the missing persons.

We stand for the safeguarding of the human rights and the basic freedoms of all the citizens irrespective of their ethnic origin or religion.

NAM played a catalytic role during the anti-colonialism and cold war era.

We are now facing a monopolar system, soon to be replaced by a multipolar. Our duties and priorities must be adapted to the new realities. We must adopt organizational forms based on individual international issues.

We need a restructuring of the UN, so that it will reflect the interest of all the peoples of the world, especially those that today they live under adverse economic and political conditions.

We support a center of sustained development. We must work for a truly new world order based on global and not selective implementation of international law and against punitive measures at the discretion of the powerful and not within the realm of the UN.

We are privileged by the presence of Nelson Mandela, a highly respected international personality, at the head of our movement. We must take advantage of this opportunity.

Finally, in regard to the appeal of the Dominican Republic for help, further to the expression of our moral support, we should urge our governments to help practically.

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