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June 2017
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Speeches

N.G. Sinclair: Address to World Summit 2014

Excerpts of Address to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

The President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Arthur Ashe, was delighted to receive an invitation to be present at this ceremony here today. He was delighted to receive an invitation, as I am to be here in his place because he could not come, because he recognizes, and I recognize, that what you are doing today is the business of the United Nations.

The United Nations was formed in the shadow of a war, with a determination that war should never be fought again. You may be far from New York, but what you are doing is part of the work of the United Nations, of the General Assembly, of this year’s president, and he wanted you to know this.

When people in developing countries are preoccupied with how to feed their children and walk miles for water, there can be no development and no peace.

I am very happy for the emphasis of this conference. What is striking is not only the wars that are taking place but the abundance of guns. The UN adopted a resolution urging a control of the movement of weapons and small arms. But that treaty has to be more than a piece of paper.

What is clear, from all the efforts of the United Nations to strengthen peace and security, is that peace is not something that just happens. It is not just the absence of war. It has to be worked on. There is a tendency to look externally, but it is important to be aware that the key factors are inside of us. There are acts of commission and acts of omission that reduce the chances of peace, development and security.

Regarding peace, development and security, think of the challenges of governance. It is important to be aware that threats to peace, development and security include global warming and climate change.

What a difference it would make if there was a background of good neighborliness and respect in settling disputes!