On behalf of the Grenada delegation and
also on my own behalf I
extend to you our heartfelt congratulations on your unanimous election
Presidency of this Second Special Session of the United Nations General
Assembly devoted to disarmament.
The convening of this Special Session on
disarmament is as much a
testament to our undying faith in the principles enshrined in the
the United Nations as it is an historic and eloquent expression of our
collective desire to live in peace.
This Special Session offers a great
opportunity to focus on the
social, political and economic evils of the arms race with a view to
establishing a framework for the reduction in armaments and for
Therefore it is a signal honour for me to
address this Special
Session in the name of the People’s Revolutionary Government and in the
the people of Grenada.
Mr. President, the current world situation
is characterised by
wars, confrontations, threats of confrontations, heightening tensions,
to the cold war, economic crises, dissatisfaction with the present
Economic Order and an enormous build up of armaments.
In many respects, these conditions are
reminiscent of the period
of the 1930s.
In fact the current world situation
differs significantly from
even that which obtained at the time of the first Special Session
devoted to disarmament
merely four years ago.
Just four years ago the statements
enunciated from this platform
engendered great hope and optimism.
However, today, as we reflect on those
speeches, we cannot help
but feel that our most cherished dreams have turned into nightmares.
Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
like so many peace-loving
people the world over, the Government and people of Grenada are deeply
disturbed by the quantitative and qualitative increase of weapons of
As I address this distinguished Assembly
modern civilisation is
at the very brink of an abyss, and man, the conqueror of inhospitable
the domesticator of savage beasts; the creator of dazzling and
civilisations is threatened with self-extinction.
Nuclear holocaust is no longer in the
realms of the unthinkable.
It is today a real evil spectre that is
Is it beyond the capacity of man, to use
his talents and
ingenuity to chart a course that will ensure the survival and security
Mr. President, apart from the acceleration
of the arms race and
the growth in size, sophistication and destructiveness of nuclear
have also witnessed the revival of gun-boat diplomacy and cold war
With the assumption to office of the
war-mongering has once more become fashionable in Washington.
Senior officials of the Reagan
Administration have openly
proclaimed that there are several things more important than peace.
They are talking about pre-emptive strikes
and about limited and winnable
We have even been told that we will
definitely survive a nuclear
blast if we have an adequate supply of shovels.
Mr. President, paranoia has reached such
dangerous levels in
Washington that a country with the potential to destroy the world
over is ludicrously suggesting that the first, and only, International
now nearing completion in little Grenada constitutes a threat to its
On the contrary, objective observers
reject his distorted
For example, commenting on Grenada’s
International Airport in the
May issue of the prestigious Nation magazine
Christopher Hitchens says: (and I quote)
it is very difficult to separate truth from fiction in
allegations of this kind.
in the Grenadian case, life is made easy for the enquiring
spent some time on the island recently and can say
confidently that there is no shred of truth in what the State
This Second Special Session on disarmament
silhouetted against a background of escalating tensions in many regions.
As we meet here the prospects for peace
with justice in Southern
Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean are rapidly
We meet to recommence the noble search for
peace at a time when
the clouds of conflict are gathering: at a time when the ugly shadows
death and destruction loom menacingly on the horizons of international
relations; at a time when the Zionist military juggernaut is crushing
martyred people of Lebanon.
Mr. President, this is a critical hour for
peace because hope and
optimism have given way to a measure of despair and disillusionment.
In our own region of Latin America and the
oppressed peoples who have endured centuries of colonialist and
domination are waging heroic struggles against blood-thirsty
gorge themselves on the wealth of the masses.
Of course, the quest for peace cannot be
separated from the quest
Where there are unjust archaic, and
oppressive social structures
there can obviously be no peace.
Peace and Justice are indivisible.
In this context, we reaffirm our support
for the just and
legitimate struggles of the people of El Salvador.
We reject any theory which suggests that
revolutionary processes unfolding in our region are hatched in test
tubes in some
parts of the region and then transplanted in others.
The People’s Revolutionary Government of
endorsed the French-Mexican initiatives for a negotiated settlement in
The government of Grenada has also
announced its support of the
framework for peace which was unveiled in Managua on February 21, 1982
President of Mexico.
Recent events continue to demonstrate the
bankruptcy of the
policies so far pursued and emphasise the necessity for a new approach
the suggested French-Mexican lines.
We therefore condemn all attempts to
frustrate the legitimate aspirations
of the Salvadoran people.
We also firmly denounce all attempts to
destabilise the revolutionary governments of Cuba and Nicaragua.
We fully respect and support the right of
both these countries to
take proper and adequate measures to defend their sovereignty in the
the clear and present danger posed by imperialist aggression.
Mr. President, the people of Central
America and the Caribbean
are in dire need of peace.
We fully recognise that peace is an
for independence and development.
We who have for centuries been pawns on
the diplomatic chess
boards of insensitive colonialists make this legitimate demand: that we
given a chance to develop our societies in the interest of our peoples
from all forms of outside interference and dictation.
Our people do not possess the means to
glorify and romanticize war,
nor would we wish to do so.
Contrary to the views being expressed in
certain circles, to us,
war is not the logical extension of politics; nor is it inevitable.
War spells death, suffering and
As we continue the tortuous pilgrimage for
peace, the Israeli
military machine if pulverizing Lebanon.
The Zionist butchers are slaughtering
thousands of men, women and
children with the connivance and support of their imperialist sponsors.
Today, we are once again forced to ask
aloud: How many more Arab
and Palestinian villages must be razed to the ground before Zionist
How many more innocent children must
perish before Israel is
punished for its mindless savagery?
How many more cultures must be bulldozed
before we act in defence
of the persecuted?
Mr. President, the Grenada delegation
believes that we must act
History warms us that the appetite of
fascists, expansionists and
annexationists cannot be sated.
Only resolute and decisive action can curb
their voracious appetites.
In the face of Zionist imperialist
aggression, we reaffirm our
total and unconditional support for the heroic Palestinian people, and
their sole authentic representatives, the Palestine Liberation
The latest Zionist imperialist onslaught
against the Palestinian
and Lebanese people is further proof that there will be no just and
peace in the Middle East until there is restoration of the inalienable
of the Palestinian people over their national territory.
Mr. President, the odious system of
apartheid which is a creature
of imperialism constitutes a serious menace to international peace and
The murderous Pretoria clique is
intensifying its repression of
our black brothers and sisters in South Africa and Namibia as a result
increased political, diplomatic and military assistance it is receiving
imperialism and Zionism.
We reiterate our firmest support for SWAPO
and the ANC.
We reaffirm our total solidarity with the
Frontline States and
particularly with the fraternal governments and people of Mozambique
Angola, the most frequent victims of South Africa’s racist violence.
Mr. President, as we look at these areas
of crises, and wars,
what do we find in common?
What is the common thread?
Whether it is in Central America, Southern
Africa or the Middle
East, we see U.S. imperialism arming, propping up and buttressing some
most violent regimes ever known to mankind.
Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates, my
firm in its belief that détente and lasting peace are attainable.
Naturally, détente and lasting peace must
be premised on the
unconditional acceptance of ideological pluralism and respect for
independence and territorial integrity of all States.
We resent the attitude of the
self-appointed guardians of
democracy who while piously proclaiming their acceptance of ideological
pluralism at the same time attempt to isolate and destabilise those
Mr. President, the inequitable
international economic order and
the distressing conditions of the poorest third world countries pose a
threat to international peace.
Efforts towards international equity in
trade and in the
international financial system have all but ceased in certain quarters.
For two decades the third world countries
have pursued the goal
of a New International Economic Order.
Various North-South Conferences including
CANCUN have achieved
little beyond the recitation of platitudes.
In his message to the world given before
Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1979, the
the Movement of Non-Aligned countries advised that the fraternity of 95
countries which he represented was unanimous in its condemnation of
persistent channeling of human and material resources into
an arms race which is unproductive, wasteful and dangerous to mankind.
The awesome increase in the volume and
value of arms sales has
made that traffic the most fantastically profitable and one with the
annual increment of all trading in the modern world.
This year world military expenditures will
amount to some 600
One major power is expected to spend
between $1500 and $2000
billion dollars on military activities during this so-called third
decade of the United Nations.
Men of reason experience a sense of
outrage in contemplating the
picture of some 400 to 500 million people starving and malnourished
side with this cruel and wanton waste of resources.
Mr. President squandering resources of
such magnitude on such
unproductive and inhuman ends robs man of the necessary tools to
demands of production for living rather than for death; it generates
and accelerates the descent towards a planet polarized still further
extremes of happiness and despair; or plenty and persistent want; of
The money squandered annually on
implements of destruction may
become even more significant in terms of its social cost.
It was estimated that at 1979 production
cost levels, the money
spent on the acquisition of instruments of mass destruction would have
the following –
schools with a capacity for 400 million children; or
million homes for 300 million people; or
hospitals with 18 million beds; or
irrigation system for 150 million hectares of land on
which, with the application of appropriate technology, food could be
to feed more than 1 billion people.
In addition, when we consider the positive
effects which would result from a re-deployment of scientists and
away from the manufacturing of war material to food production and
and other areas where science can be used for man’s benefit; and when
contemplate the human resources which would thereby be released for
development; we can easily see the enormous difference which
peace could make to life in the Third World or even among the poor and
of many western industrialised societies.
Thus, those multinational corporations and
their special interest
groups which profit from the production of armaments and weapons of
destruction are real enemies of mankind.
In our region, as elsewhere in the world
we have heard of the
emergence of the new concept of Rapid Deployment Forces whereby
military personnel will be mobilised within hours for the purpose of
At the same time in these very regions we
know of cases where
entire island states, devastated by hurricanes and other natural
had to wait for months, or even years, for the mobilisation of even
amounts of disaster relief assistance.
Therefore in place of these so-called
Rapid Deployment Forces,
Grenada today calls for a special programme of emergency economic
whereby resources can be rapidly mobilised and channeled to states
the victims of natural and other disasters.
Distinguished Delegates, the People’s
Revolutionary Government of
Grenada is conscious of the responsibility of all countries to assist
creating the necessary conditions for peace and security in Central
the Caribbean area.
To this end, the government of Grenada has
initiated and has consistently
promoted measures to ensure that the Caribbean is declared and
respected as a
Zone of Peace, Independence and Development.
We urge all countries to recognise the
legitimate aspirations of
the peoples of the region for the creation of a Zone in which, among
things, the introduction of nuclear weapons will be prohibited; in
aggressive military manoeuvres will be banned; in which all existing
military and naval bases will be dismantles; and in which machinery
established to deal with all forms of aggression including
propaganda destabilisation, diplomatic and economic sabotage and
Mr. President, we note with deep interest
the peace proposals
made by President Brezhnev at the 26th Congress
in Moscow last year.
We believe that these proposals can
provide a basis for
constructive dialogue and discussion.
We also take note of the Soviet union’s
pledge at this very forum
a few days ago to renounce the first use of nuclear weapons.
We see this as a constructive step.
We are prepared to support any initiative
from any quarter that
is genuinely designed to reduce the levels of armaments in the world
foster peace, justice and security.
In this regard we fully support the
world-wide peace movement
which is gaining momentum on all continents of this globe.
Mr. President, as modern man stumbles
perilously close to the
edge of the ultimate precipice, we believe that it is not enough to
It is our fervent hope that this special
Session will give all of
us the confidence to persevere; the fortitude to foreswear war; and the
to disarm and to work steadfastly towards lasting peace.
It is out fervent hope that this
conference will lay the
foundation for the realisation of specific and concrete formulas in
achieve a balanced and progressive reduction in armaments throughout
Let us continue to work towards the
creation of a safer world
with a brighter future for all mankind.
I thank you.