Peace is essential for progress-President Ramotar – at 2nd CELAC Summit -Latin America and Caribbean declared zone of peace

Georgetown, GINA, January 29, 2014

 

Members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on the final day of the 2nd Summit in Havana, Cuba, unanimously adopted a proclamation declaring the area a zone of peace.

The proclamation reaffirms the commitment of member countries with the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations charter and International Law, and aware of the fact that prosperity and stability in the region contribute to international peace and security.

The declaration is mindful that peace is a supreme asset and a legitimate aspiration of all peoples and that preserving peace is a substantial element of Latin America and Caribbean integration, and a principle and common value of CELAC. The declaration also reaffirms that integration consolidates the vision of a fair international order based on the right to peace and a culture of peace, which excludes the use of force and non-legitimate means of defence, such as weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons in particular.

President Donald Ramotar, who led Guyana’s delegation to the Summit, said he was very happy with the declaration and noted that while the idea is nothing new, it was always a big effort by the Region to declare itself as a zone of peace. He emphasised that differences must be settled through discussions.

“It’s in all of the Region’s interest; moreover it is building on solidarity if we all commit ourselves to peaceful development. Without peace, you cannot have economic and social development. It is necessary and for Latin America and the Caribbean to progress. Peace is essential,” he asserted.

President Donald Ramotar and Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett at the 2nd Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Havana

In his address to the gathering of Heads on January 29, President Ramotar urged that CELAC, following the declaration, must not allow itself to lapse in calling for complete nuclear disarmament in the world. He stressed that the example set by the declaration must be used to push for the promotion of world peace.

The declaration also recalled the decision of UNASUR Heads of State, consolidating South America as a zone of peace and cooperation; the establishment in 1986 of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic and the commitment agreed in the declaration of the Summit of Unity of Latin America and the Caribbean on February 23, 2010 to promote the implementation of the region’s own mechanisms for peaceful conflict resolution. Further, the declaration reiterated the commitment to consolidate Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace in which differences between nations are peacefully settled through dialogue and negotiations or other means, fully consistent with International Law.

At the CELAC 2nd Summit, the thirty-three member States declared the following:-

    Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace based on respect for the principles and rules of International Law, including international instruments to which member States are party to
    Permanent commitment to solve disputes through peaceful means with the aim of uprooting forever threat or use of force in the region
    The commitment of the States of the Region with their strict obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State and observe the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and self-determination of people
    The commitment of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean to foster cooperation and friendly relations among themselves and with other nations irrespective of differences in their political, economic, and social systems or development levels; to practice tolerance and live together  in peace with one another as good neighbours
    The commitment of the Latin America  and Caribbean States to fully respect inalienable  right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system, as essential conditions to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations
    The promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, inter alia, on the principles of the United Nations declaration on a Culture of Peace
    The commitment of the States in the Region to guide themselves by this declaration in their international behaviour
    The commitment of the States of the Region to continue promoting nuclear disarmament as a priority objective and to contribute with general and complete disarmament to foster the strengthening of confidence among nations.

It urges the international community to fully respect the declaration in their relations with CELAC.

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