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Speeches

J. Alberto Alfaro Jimenez: Address to World Summit 2017

Address to World Summit 2017, Seoul, Korea, February 1 to 5, 2017

 

I feel honored to be here with you today. I am not only representing my country, Costa Rica; I also feel I am representing Latin America. I wish to express the warmest appreciation and respect from our region.

The theme addressed in this event is very complex, since it is basically about the vicious circle made by a group of major social, economic and political issues that feed on each other and that, unfortunately, are sustained by the main element of the circle: poverty.

Poverty causes violence, delinquency, insecurity, environmental degradation, and human trafficking. It has even caused the large movements of migrants that have affected Europe and the American continent since 2014.

Thus, it is almost ironic that, despite our capacity to create technological advances that have enabled us to respond to daily needs and that can help cure illnesses, we still have not found the final solution to end poverty around the world.

What is the use of having great technologies and talking about globalization and its implications if we still have starving men, women and children who have no access to education and who suffer from all kinds of violence? The fact is that we will never talk about world peace as long as there is poverty.

Even though we understand that the government’s fundamental role is to ensure the survival, subsistence and dignity of its population, it is clear that some nations have more problems ensuring the basic needs of their people.

Thus, there is a need to hold and celebrate meetings like this, of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, where topics are addressed from a global perspective. The exchange of ideas are important, since each parliamentarian speaks about the experiences in their nation, and solutions are proposed with a peaceful vision that includes everyone, without any distinction.

These forums should serve to stimulate discussions on aspects of the global system, such as peace, security and human development, in order to improve governance in every country.

We live in an interdependent world, and the good or bad outcomes of one nation may impact other countries. Examples of this are extreme poverty, conflict, terrorism, and climate change. When one of these particular conditions happen in a region, it ends up affecting all of us. This is a good reason for us to work together, as one body, for the sake of global welfare.

As parliamentarians, we are not only responsible for our own nations, but we are also responsible for the whole world.

We must work from here to improve and build consensus among people in order to reach important agreements on themes such as climate change, food security and how we can strengthen agriculture to supply food in the future without risking environmental goals.

Although it is true today that more people have access to education, and we have more welfare and less war, socio-economic inequality creates a gap between one class and another. At the present time, the gap is widening and the friction it may cause will be a challenge for us politicians.

In every democratic nation, the parliament is the house of the people. It is the main speaker of the citizens’ voice in front of the executive power, from where laws are created that govern the condition we live in.

A long time ago, we stopped being separate nations and we became a universal community, for global issues need global solutions.

Today I take this opportunity to repeat my commitment to the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace and for its efforts to improve the general welfare.

I deeply thank you for letting me give this brief message, and I invite you to reflect upon this quote by the former first lady of the Unites States of America, Eleanor Roosevelt: “It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."

 


Hon. Alberto Alfaro Jimenez, President, National Assembly, Costa Rica

The Hon. Alberto Alfaro Jimenez is president of the National Assembly of Costa Rica. He is a member and secretary of the Committee of Legal affairs, Committee of Safety and Drug Trafficking Affairs and Committee of Tourism. The Congressman completed his degree in law from the Universidad Autónoma de Centro América (UACA) of Costa Rica, postgraduate degree from the Universidad de Costa Rica and a degree in Politics and Governmental Management from the Panamerican University of Mexico.


To go to the 2017 World Summit Conference Schedule, click here.