Address by the President of the Republic Of Panama
Laurentino Cortizo Cohen
to the 74th United Nations General Assembly
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary General,
Today, our region and the entire world face great challenges; some regional, some global, and we will not find solutions if we act, individually and not collectively.
Only by joining forces will we make progress!
United Nations … and nations of the world: truly united, nations, we will achieve a more just, safe, and human dignity world.
Together we can build the future, if we summon the nations, without impositions, and in freedom. If nations, small and large we live with equality and respect.
The world will be more fraternal, if we have the purpose of making peace enduring, shared … and universal.
I come for the first time to the United Nations and I come from Panama.
We live in the pass where two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, meet in 35 minutes.
We are a country where we serve, with vocation, humanity.
That is our destiny, historical and geographical.
The Panama book contains many pages, written and to know; That book is much more than a Canal.
They are the Afro-Antillean hands that built it, they are all the migrations that with their efforts, their blood, united the oceans.
The Panama book contains … the first transismic railroad that linked two oceans, and facilitated world trade.
We are Geisha coffee, cultivated by our Ngäbe-Buglé Indians, the best quality coffee in the world.
In that book are the pages of the efforts for peace, dialogue … negotiations and consensus.
A page of that book contains the dream of Simón Bolívar when he wrote ” If the world were to choose its capital, the Isthmus of Panama would be designated, for that august destination.”
In those pages there is also the struggle of generations of Panamanians, and the support of the world, which culminated in the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
I refer to Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States and Omar Torrijos, Head of Government of Panama, who led the negotiations between two nations, one large and one small, and they agreed and a historical repair was achieved, the recovery of our Canal and our territorial integrity.
Also in that book there is a page written in January of this year by Pope Francis at the end of World Youth Day, where it reads: “Panama is a country of noble people.”
Those are the pages of Panama.
. . .
Citizens of the World and People of Panama:
It is a privilege to be here proudly representing my homeland.
Global problems require multilateral solutions.
As we have done in the past, Panama offers to contribute to conflict resolution, particularly regional ones.
Now our nation, our home is heading towards the next conquest, the fight against poverty and inequality. It is a great challenge, but we Panamanians have decided that together we will do it.
Poverty and inequality harm human beings mistreat families, close the future to youth, not only from Panama, but from the entire planet.
For every word I speak here, thousands die in an unfair war, without doctors or medicines …
In it, few earn millions, and millions survive with little.
Letting people die in misery is inhuman and there is no room for that indifference …
Let’s go from words to deeds, Let’s join forces!
The fight against poverty and inequality and the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals go through confronting corruption with an effective administration of justice.
. . .
The most important task is to transform education, we have children who go to school and do not learn.
We need educational systems so that students learn to think about working as a team, solving problems, being creative, caring for the environment, and being sensitive to art, culture, science and technology.
Education frees from poverty. Education confers individual power to achieve a dignified life.
Education is social peace. Education levels opportunities makes us more equal in diversity. Education is human dignity.
Sharing knowledge is a universal goal of sustained development from early childhood to the best university in the world.
Share knowledge with generosity, without selfishness and without monopolizing it.
. . .
Leaders of the world:
We have heard loud and clear and share the concerns and warnings that were given at the Climate Action Summit.
The greens of our tropical forests are the most beautiful in the world.
In Panama there are more than 10,000 varieties of plants and a thousand species of birds. The biodiversity of the planet is in our hands. United, we must change to avoid the danger of becoming extinct.
There are millions of endangered species!
Multilateral initiatives to strengthen the response to climate change must be deepened, and that which is signed must be carried out.
It is a change of culture, it is a crossroads, it is a redefinition of our own existence. We have to redouble efforts!
Members of the United Nations:
We invite the world to Panama.
Panama proposes greater spaces for dialogue and regional and global understandings. I do not speak of eternal dialogues, I mean the dialogues that unite and resolve.
We are facilitators of good investments, we have the best connectivity — air, sea, port and telecommunications — in the region.
We are the Hub of The Americas.
Panama is a territory for innovation, science and technology. A place for universal knowledge to meet.
There is a place in the world called Panama.
On the pages of our history book it is written, that we never let ourselves be overcome by adversity.
We know that better times are coming. That is what we want and aspire for, for Panamanians and for the entire humanity.
I want to reiterate, Panama is a country of noble and good people.
These are the pages of our book that we will continue to write.
Leaders of the world:
Today we face great challenges, but only by joining forces will we be able to move forward.
The moment is now!