🇬🇹 Guatemala - President Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

there's some the assembly will hear an

address by His Excellency Jimmy Morales

President of the Republic of Guatemala I

request protocol to recruit his


on behalf of General Assembly I have the

honor to welcome to United Nations his


Jimmy Morales president of the Republic

of Guatemala and to invite him to

address the assembly mr. president

Seneca once said no one loves their

native land because of its greatness but

rather because it is theirs mr.

president of the General Assembly heads

of state and government ministers of

Foreign Affairs delegates friends

everyone good afternoon I'd like to

thank Madame Maria Fernandez be no cigar

says for having successfully presided

over the 73rd session of the General

Assembly of the United Nations at the

same time I would like to congratulate

the president of this session mr. t Hani

Mohammed Pandey who is already promoting

an extremely constructive global debate

mr. president

Guatemala is a firm defender of the rule

of law and of democratic ideals and by

virtue of this this year we are holding

a free elections in line with the

international standards for democratic

elections it's important also to stress

that for the first time in the political

history Guatemala we have implemented

vote the vote broad bytes Patriots this

is a precedent to ensure the voting

rights for outside of our borders as

well now Guatemala has stronger

institutions with technological

capabilities to fulfill their role in

education we increased the average

number of days in classes going from 163

days in 2015 298 effective days per year

in 2019 this is an unprecedented

achievement in the recent history of

Guatemala we also increased school

enrolment to 3 million 122 thousand

students and I can state with with pride

that we have x for our investment in

school lunches on this we are

basing ourselves and organizations of

parents in each school who guarantee

transparency of this program putting

focusing on education and the health of

our children for the first time we have

equipped thousand schools with the most

modern technology and we fully completed

the delivery of teaching materials and

textbooks in the Maya and Spanish

language also financial resources were

disbursed in a timely fashion for all

educational programs and we guaranteed

free access to education to every

citizen of Guatemala furthermore we

implemented the program called helped me

grow up which seeks to develop early

childhood that is children from age up

to the age of four who in the past were

not included in our public education

system also for those individuals who

are not able to study in formal schools

we created a system to certify skills

which makes it possible to acknowledge

and certify knowledge and skills of

individuals who are doing jobs that they

learned in the course of their lives

both in Guatemala as well as those

Guatemala citizens who are residing in

the United States another focus of

development has been to an international

mechanism of open government 2016 2018

the outcome of this has been a national

policy of transparency and combat

against corruption the government of my

administration has focused on

strengthening the culture of

transparency and good governance we set

up a Presidential Commission for public

open public administration and

transparency that goes hand-in-hand with

the fourth the national plan of action

open of open government in 2018 2020 in

the area of security we have taken firm

steps and have achieved very positive

indicators we've reduced the rate of

homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and we

have maintained the most favorable

downward trend in this over the past 20

years and this we managed to achieve

thanks to the reforming

professionalizing and enhancing the

performance of our law-enforcement

bodies the National Police managed to

dismount dismantle dangerous criminal

who were involved in an extortion

kidnapping vehicle theft and crime

against cultural heritage the number of

police officers were increased from

31,000 in 2015 to 42,000 in 2019 and now

they can work in more modern police

precincts better equipment and better

work conditions in the area of

infrastructure we inherited a collapsing

road network 60% of our motorways were

in bad or terrible state however after

resolving the budgetary administrative

and legal issues and Oh which involved

most of the previous contracts today we

can say that 72% of our roads are paved

and they can be qualified good or

optimal akule according to an assessment

carried out by national programme of

comp competitiveness and we hope to

achieve at the end of this year a rate

of 85% of roads and optimal conditions

and hoping that the next government not

only will reach a hundred percent but in

fact build new roads more roads that our

country is lacking in the area of the

environment we increased we enhanced a

protection of our forests which are the

lungs of the entire world for by 2030 to

2032 we are projecting reforestation of

1.2 million hectares of trees and we

even invested some two hundred million

dollars per year in programs of

reforesting incentives I'd like to take

this opportunity to express our dismay

with regard to the recent forest fires

in the Amazon forests as you know

Guatemala has a very rich water

resources and for this reason we have

initiated a process to preserve and

clean up our rivers lakes and seas today

we are a role model in the world with

the creation employee implementation of

the Biot barda's with these are barriers

to capture plastics but which stopped

floating garbage to date we have

installed 196 such billboards throughout

the country now you're probably asking

what they are I'll explain to you

basically they are handmade barriers

made of recycled plastic and they serve

to contain debt reduce and garbage that

float in waterways this invention has

functioned very effectively and now

countries from the American continent

and other continents are extremely

interested in this kind of technology

which watch Amala can share with them

now I have no doubt that we will be

ready to support them because we are

committed to the preservation of our

natural resources and also because this

tool is a legacy that Guatemala wants to

bequeath to humanity

speaking of legacies I want to share

with you that recently we were able to

deliver to the people of Guatemala the

outcome of the 12th national census of

population and housing stock after 17

years of waiting we have lived up to our

pledges to the people of Guatemala and

now have reliable statistics to design

our model of development the 12th census

is one of the first in the region that

is conducted is in the framework of the

2030 agenda and it was conducted on the

basis of international standards of the

population fund of the United Nations

mr. president now in our foreign policy

Guatemala and Belize have concluded a

peaceful process to submit the

territorial island related and maritime

claims have got to Mollet to the

International Court of Justice this is a

milestone for Guatemala for Central

America and for the world which has led

to a peaceful and definitive solution to

this long-standing dispute for Guatemala

and Belize the people of Guatemala and

the people of Belize held their

referendum in peace and the results were

positive and expressed there was a wish

to resolve once and for all this dispute

in the International Court of Justice

currently bilateral relations between

Guatemala and Belize are the best

they've ever been and we are decided to


strengthening this relationship I would

like to express my deep and sincere

gratitude to the group of friends of

Guatemalan beliefs who have supported

this process where the focus is on

dialogue because dialogue is a basis of

true democracy now also I'm happy to

share with you that in November of 2018

in the city of Antigua Guatemala the

26th I / American summit was held it was

one of the highest in attendance and

made it possible to define policies of

cooperation under the motto a prosperous

inclusive and sustainable ibera America

at the international level

Guatemala considers that all countries

in particular those who embrace

democracy and the principles that gave

way to the United Nations have the right

to belong to this great organization we

believe that the experience and the

capabilities of the Republic of China

Taiwan could contribute to strengthening

multilateralism in this organization and

the specialized agencies mr. president

the government of Guatemala would like

to reiterate its commitment to the

migratory policies that put human beings

at the center of development and

prosperity we are ready to cooperate

with a holistic migratory governance

that respects the human rights of

migrants at all times we firmly share

the ideals of a safe orderly and regular

migration for this reason we are

coordinating our efforts with various

countries in order to tackle the root

causes of this migration but to mitigate

irregular migration it is necessary to

take on shared responsibilities because

all countries have a role to play on in

dealing with this problem and only by

working together will we take firm steps

to ensure the well-being of our nations

our presidential agenda has been based

on strategic planning

acted up to the Year 2032 and along this

roadmap we have aligned to our general

government policy 2016 to 2020 with the

2030 agenda of the United Nations and

each action of public policy that we

have implemented implicitly means

complying with the 17 sustainable

development goals mr. president for the

state of Guatemala it is essential to

maintain peace security sovereignty and

respect for the rule of law consequently

a culture of respect for the sovereign

decisions of States must prevail this

applies to the Secretariat of the United

Nations which infringed upon our Prinze

democratic principles of

self-determination the very raison

d'etre of the United Nations is to

maintain international peace global

harmony and to strengthen member states

however the secretariat of this

authoritative multilateral body in fact

polar polarized watermelon society

through the International Commission

Against impunity in Guatemala that

Commission infringed upon the principles

of national sovereignty it did not

respect the laws of our country it

weakened the autonomy of our

institutions it put at risk social peace

and it undermined the governance of our

country however what's the most saddest

and worrying is that it did this with

the consent of the United Nations and it

did it under the facade of combating

corruption and impunity which gave it

the ideal narrative to politicize

justice and to condemn our politics and

we Guatemalans will not allow it we

didn't allow it because we are free

sovereign and independent countries

since 1821 and when we speak of


and sovereignty I would like to inform

this General Assembly that while the

Mandate of the Commission has ended the

consequences of its actions should be

investigated thoroughly because but

under leadership of mr. singer even

Velazquez gomez that Commission on

impunity use the image of the United

Nations for political aims in Guatemala

Ivonne Velasquez converted the criminal

prosecution in to a tool of selective

persecution and assault undermining

universal rights such as the Universal

Declaration of Human Rights the Global

Covenant of Civil and Political Rights

the American convention on human rights

and he also violated the Constitution of

the Republic look at Guatemala by the

same token he disregarded the principle

of the presumption of innocence the

right of legitimate defense and the

judicial guarantee of due process thus

abusing the noble mandate that was

entrusted to him so I would like to ask

this assembly first of all was the

Commission on impunity a an entity of

the United Nations no it wasn't and I

would like to quote the agreements that

get that created this Commission quote

not being a body of the United Nations

but rather eight will function only in

conformity with the terms of this

agreement end of quote so once again I

ask you to whom was this Commission

accountable to the Secretariat of the

United Nations to the donor countries or

to the government of Guatemala curiously

the agreement never mentions who the

Commissioner is accountable to and so to

answer that question we need to think

about the following if the country where

the Commission was operating presented

its concerns regarding abuses committed

by the Commission to the Secretariat

why were these concerns ignored given

that Guatemala is one of the founding

members of this organization several

people in Guatemala have died due to

this commission many others have been

unjustly jailed and others continue to

be in remand detention without having

had their initial declaration recorded

even so I ask you who is responsible for

these violations of human rights in

Guatemala it is worthy to clarify that

the closure of the Commission of

impunity will have no repercussion on

the judicial proceedings in which we

have taken part because all of these

proceedings will continue under the

auspices of the legally competent

authorities in Guatemala I wanted to

make these clarifications because

unfortunately the former head of the

Commission has sought to discredit my

country and he has done it taking

advantage of the International mandate

that he flaunted to promote an agenda

that was adulterated by political and

ideological interests that have nothing

to do the principles of the United

Nations we do a la población what they

might think that it's action divided the

Guatemalan people but especially it

betrayed the trust placed by our country

in the commission to fight criminal

structures which theoretically was its

main job but what it did was to convert

the Commission into a criminal structure

which co-opted Guatemalan justice it is

very regrettable and very alarming that

international civil servants who are in

the service of States would devote their

energies to discrediting discrediting

our countries before the international

community that's called disloyalty

because Guatemala opened the doors to

the United Nations for the United

Nations to support us and fight against

corruption and impunity and yet

low moral or ethical standards and the

low level of professionalism of the

former Commissioner led him to commit a

series of actions which the good

Guatemalan citizens are not prepared to

tolerate nor are we prepared to forget

them his ambition for power made him go

from the judiciary to the political

arena and he referred to the support

that he provided publicly to the former

attorney general Thelma and Donna that

he promoted as a presidential candidate

in our recent elections of course for a

number of different reasons today the

former prosecutor general Donna is a

fugitive from the law and we hope that

very soon she will return to Guatemala

please come home madam I'm Donna it's

not appropriate that no one is taking

advantage of the jobs or doing what

they're supposed to be doing and instead

put in their personal interests ahead

nor even less that representatives of

the United Nations or actors should not

be overseeing independence and

partiality objectivity injustice with

regard to the role played by the press

in my country I will confine my remarks

respectfully to quoting His Holiness

Pope Francisco who recently said and I

quote we need a free press in the

service of truth in the service of good

in the service of justice a press that

would help to construct a culture of

dialogue Guatemala appreciates the

valuable support of the international

community but know this not a single

cent of all the funds donated to the

Commission were administered by the

government of Guatemala with a view to

transparency we believe it would be

appropriate for the secretariat of the

united nations to provide a detailed

report to you about how every single

cent was spent what was spent and what

wasn't spent in establishing the

Commission and from the establishment of

the Commission until it was shut down

and to guarantee transparency perhaps

one of the more prestigious auditing

firms should be contracted to oversee

this process I am convinced that

accountability to the members of the

United Nations would be very positive

and very valued by friends who have

donated funds and who trusted in an

unprecedented effort of the United

Nations which failed completely in

Guatemala mr. president who will give

you an explanation and give an

explanation to the family members of the

victims of the commission in Guatemala

who because there were people who died

people who died in prison due to an

abuse of preventive detention others

were deprived of their liberty for years

and then they were found innocent due to

a lack of evidence this is serious

but there's something even more serious

something that's very sensitive but we

shouldn't forget it the use of false

witnesses and of slander in the media

are despicable acts and punishable and

worse if they come from this

organization that promotes respect of

human rights

all of these are grave violations of

human rights of Guatemalan people that

should not go unpunished and even less

if they were committed by a commission

that was supposed to be fighting

impunity nor can these events go in stay

in the shadows and the backs of the

donor countries who were betrayed their

good faith was betrayed accountability

is not just about applying it to Member

States it needs to also be applied to

the Commission on impunity and any

agency or body

that was under the auspices of the

member states of this assembly

last August Yvonne Velasquez presented a

report which completely lacked in truth

that's why as a country where national

laws and international laws were broken

and human rights were violated and the

rights of my citizens were violated I

demand that this assembly require an

exhaustive report of the actions of the

Commission on impunity in Guatemala

objectively in keeping with the facts

and with the participation of a group of

countries that would guarantee the truth

and accuracy of the report as Jesus of

Nazareth said the truth will set you

free mr. president in the context of

fighting organized crime and drug

trafficking in Guatemala a terrorist act

was Perpetua was perpetrated on the 3rd

of September in my country three members

of the Guatemalan Armed Forces were

killed in a community in the north of

the country due to this event we took

the decision of decreeing a state of

siege in 22 cities in our country in

this context I'd like to express the

government of Guatemala's rejection of

any attempt to drive an investigation an

independent investigation by the office

of the High Commissioner of human rights

in the United Nations we believe that

this action is yet another example of

the abuses of agencies of the United

Nations abuses committed in my country

in that regard of the government of

Guatemala says that it will not allow

the OHCHR or any other agency of the

United Nations to undertake activities

that are not within their mandate I

would appreciate it if the assembly took

note of these abuses committed in

Guatemala investigation and shedding

light on this terrorist act is the

strict purview of the

public ministry of Guatemala through the

corresponding Prosecutor's Office and

with the assistance of security forces

and Guatemalan law now mr. president I

would like to turn to a topic which is

very important and that is the topic of

coffee it's very important for Guatemala

as a product producer of this at this

time we would like to propose the

establishment of mechanisms that are

more favorable for this trade activity

we would advocate for better conditions

prices and access to markets which are

more fair and better for the well-being

of our economies we would urge the

international organization of coffee to

in transparency and with respect for

equity address this issue in a

comprehensive manner mr. president

turning to the regional arena the

alarming crisis that continues in the

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela makes

us think and urges us to support various

efforts to restore democracy in the

South American country as a member of

the Lima group we have resolutely

supported all efforts geared to

establishing dialogue between the

parties to guarantee the rule of law in

Venezuela for me mr. president it was a

great honor to share my thoughts with

this August Assembly and I thank God for

providing me with this opportunity to

strengthen multilateral ties between

Guatemala and the rest of the world I

wish you all the best and as a country

we'll continue to play our historical

role on the world stage

with a view to faithful compliance with

the charter of the United Nations and I

conclude with a quote from Seneca a

person loves their country not because

it is great but because it is one's own

thank you very much may God bless you

on behalf of the assembly I thank the

president of Guatemala for his statement

just made I would add that delegations

stand under their seats while we greet

the president