WPC at the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Socorro Gomes' speech at the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement
18th of September, 2016 | Margarita, Venezuela

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Please receive, in the name of the World Peace Council, the warmest greetings and our message of peace and solidarity, in this occasion when, in the heroic country of the Liberator Simón Bolívar and the unforgettable Commander Hugo Chávez, the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement is held. This is the world's second biggest forum, with 120 member States representing almost two-thirds of the United Nations' members and 55% of the world population.

We salute President Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan people for the designation of their country as the President of the Non-Aligned Movement, an important mark in the regional diplomacy, which is at the same time a blow against the attempts of the conservative, pro-imperialist forces, enemies of peace, who try to isolate the Bolivarian Republic. This Presidency is the third mandate which Venezuela takes upon itself, besides MERCOSUR and UNASUR. As Brazilian, I cannot neglect to manifest my unconformity with the attitude of my country's government, which resulted from an institutional coup d'État, when, allied to Argentine and Paraguay, it has violated MERCOSUR's norms to prevent Venezuela from taking on, as it was its right, the temporary Presidency of the regional organism.

Since the historical Bandung Conference, in 1955, and the First Conference of Non-Aligned Heads of State or Government, in 1961, the world has gone through great transformation. In this historical period, this Movement's importance was great, and it continues to be an actor of great relevance, currently, defending the UN principles against wars of aggression and foreign interventions, for the peoples' and nations' self-determination, national independences, economic development with social justice and environmental balance. And, above all, in the struggle for world peace, nuclear disarmament, international security, the peoples' rights, democratization and equality in the international relations.

The social movements and those defending peace all over the world admire the Non-Aligned Movement as a collectivity of national States that is broad and representative, committed to the principles mentioned and which has never faltered in its duties towards solidarity with the peoples and nations struggling for their rights.

We value this Summit of Heads of State and Government as a great political event.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a political organization whose platform has always been the struggle against colonialism and imperialism, for a new economic and political international order. The voices of its member states echo firmly when they speak about issues that are on the international politics' agenda, which puts in evidence its current relevance as an international articulation.

We, in the World Peace Council, believe that we live a moment of aggravated threats of war and interventionist actions by the imperialist and hegemonist powers. Foreign military bases in the territories of sovereign countries are multiplying, militarism is ever greater, nuclear weapons and other artifacts of mass destruction are being boosted and perfected. NATO takes on the role of an international gendarme. Of particular concern to us are the attempts of militarization of Africa, through AFRICOM, and of Latin America, with the extension of the military bases and the US Fourth Fleet; the US military strategy for Asia and the persistence of conflicts in the Middle East, the terrorist war on Syria and the massacre of the Palestinian people. In such a framework, the Non-Aligned Movement can play an important role in favor of the countries' and peoples' resistance and struggle for their sovereignty, countering the dangers bred by the great powers' aggressive action.

Holding the Summit of the Non-Aligned Countries in Latin-American territory grants it a special significance, once the region is targeted by the brutal offensive of the US imperialism and the local oligarchies, who attempt to revert the great achievements of Latin-America and the Caribbean in terms of a deeper democracy, the strengthening of sovereignty, an integration based on solidarity and the enactment of social policies that have greatly contributed to eradicate extreme poverty.

The most expressive examples of this offensive are the coup d'État that was consolidated in Brazil against the democratic government of President Dilma Rousseff, who was elected with over 54 million votes, and the attempts of coup and intervention against Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. The Bolivarian Republic, especially, is targeted by the economic war waged by the oligarchies and permanently threatened with a coup and a foreign intervention, a situation that is aggravated since the moment in which the US issued a decree considering the country a threat to its national security.

In the Latin-American and Caribbean context, we salute the signature of a peace agreement in Colombia between the national government and the insurgency. This agreement is a result of the heroic struggle of the Colombian people for democracy, sovereignty, progress and social justice.

We also salute the Republic of Cuba's people and government for the successes of their diplomacy and heroic resistance in defense of their self-determination. The reestablishment of relations with the United States is a historical victory for its resistance, an important step in the struggle against the wrongful economic blockade. This Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement can also be a relief and a show of solidarity, leading to victory the efforts for the end of the blockade and for the return of Guantanamo's territory, which is usurped by the US, to the Cuban people's sovereignty.

Likewise, this meeting can contribute with a stimulus to the struggle against the reminiscences of colonialism, especially for the independence of Puerto Rico, for the devolution of the Malvinas Islands to the Argentinean people's sovereignty and for the independence of Western Sahara.

Ladies and gentlemen, this summit's success will show that the forces of war, foreign interventions, violation of rights, imperialist domination and hegemony are isolated in the international scenario. The sovereign peoples and countries will benefit from what is achieved here. And, with that, the efforts that all of us must make for peace will be strengthened.

Thank you very much,

Socorro Gomes,
President of the World Peace Council,
Margarita Island, Venezuela, 18th of September 2016.