ADDRESS BY H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI PRESIDENT AT THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Excellencies Heads of State and Government;

President of the UN General Assembly;

Secretary General of United Nations;

Distinguished delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

FOCUSING ON PEOPLE STRIVING FOR PEACE AND A DECENT LIFE FOR ALL, ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS

I congratulate H.E. Mr Miroslav Lajčák on his election as President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly and assure him of Uganda’s support.  We are confident that he will lead the Assembly effectively and successfully. I would also like to express our gratitude to H.E. Mr Peter Thomson, for his leadership of the 71st Session. I pay tribute to the Secretary-General, H.E. António Guterres, for his personal dedication and commitment to the work of the United Nations.

The theme for this Session, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent life for all on a Sustainable Planet” is very pertinent. 

I am happy this topic is being discussed. I have always wondered why the elites in the different countries of the world do not see this.  Who would lose if all the people on the globe led a decent life of:

(a)   having 2,000-2,500 calories per day for an adult person;

(b)    having immunization for all the immunizable diseases;

(c)    accessing education for literacy, numeracy and skills

as a minimum;

(d)   having a health unit within the radius of 5 kilometers from where one lives;

(e)   having access to clean electricity, away from charcoal, fire-wood and the dirty kerosene;

(f)    having access to a well paying job;

(g)    having a decent 3 bedroom house for each family;

(h)   having access to clean water;

(i)    every person having not to worry about war, terrorism and crime;

(j)    every producer of a service or a good that is needed for use having the right of access to markets?

(k)   all countries had good transport and other elements of infrastructure; and

(l)    all of us insisting on protecting our mother nature so that it can also look after us?

To what extent would this effort at global affluence stimulate business?  How much cement, steel, copper, food, etc., would we need and how would all that impact business?  Why do we have only bad businessmen who do not have efficient spectacles that can see these business opportunities in global affluence?

As a milk and beef producer, only a few months ago, I was cautioning my fellow farmers against excessive greed as far as the price per litre of milk and per kg of beef were concerned.  The more buyers we would have for our products, the more prosperous we would be.  We would, therefore, be both good business persons and good Christians.

Parasitism is the only obstacle to global affluence, prosperity and peace.

On the dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula, where very dangerous instruments of mass extermination are paraded around by the two contending sides, I have one question.  Who would lose if North Korea and South Korea, those kith and kin, were left alone to discuss their re-unification? The Korean nation came into existence ever since 1234 AD.

They were temporarily divided towards the end of the 2nd World War.  Why should this division be allowed to be permanent and a source of dangerous tensions?  A unified Korea would be a very strong nation.  Why do some actors fear strong nations in the world?  Why should the Koreans themselves (North and South) allow external forces to continue to divide them?  We always strive not to allow actors, foreign or local, to divide the African peoples, regardless of the complications involved.  When you hear that Uganda accommodates many African refugees, it is on account of a conscious ideological position ─ not to allow any actors to divide us.  We only fight traitors.  Who has been hurt by a unified Vietnam since 1975 although the method of their unification was not the best one?  Who has been hurt by the re-unification of Germany in 1990? 

On the small issue of enforcing sanctions against North Korea, Uganda is in compliance. We do not have to trade with North Korea.  We are, however, grateful that, in the past, the North Koreans helped us to build our tank forces.

 

I thank you.

 

19th September, 2017             -                            New York

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