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Sep 27, 2006

Courtenay makes debut on U.N. stage

Story PictureOn the occasion of the sixty-first General Assembly of the United Nations, this week Belize took its traditional turn at the imposing podium to address the world on issues that we think are important. Doing the honours this year was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Eamon Courtenay. In his address Tuesday afternoon Courtenay highlighted the widening gap between the people who have and those who do not.

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
?Our common charge is to right that imbalance. The fight against poverty cannot and will not be won with arms and instruments of war. We need a New International Economic Order where the rights of people to jobs, and fair wages, and of fair prices for commodities takes precedence over rules of trade which are inherently unfair and inequitable. And for small vulnerable economies like ours in the Caribbean we need special and differential treatment.?

?Unless we wage the fight against poverty there will be no peace. In the absence of peace insecurity prevails. In Belize we have started a dialogue on the relevance of small states and the role we must play in the maintenance of international peace and security. I have provoked the idea that in the global war on terrorism we in the Caribbean and Central America are less important because we operate in a culture of peace and respect for life, that because most of us lack the great armies to join coalitions, we are seen as unwilling or even irrelevant.?

?Yet our people feel the same fear as those in large countries; we suffer the economic effects that others suffer and dare I say more so because of out vulnerability due to our size.?

?Let us seize this opportunity and face the challenges boldly, together! For us in Belize: ?Our mind imbues the democratic process. Our hearts beats with social justice and our soul cherishes the treasures of the spirit.?

?Thank you.?

Courtenay’s full address will be repeated on Sunday evening here on Channel Five and is also available in text and streaming video at the United Nations website, www.un.org/english

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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