World day of social justice

the launch of the World Day of Social Justice at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York City on February 10, 2009, the President of the 63rd session of the
United Nations General Assembly, H. E. Miguel D’escoto Brockman made the
following statement.

am honored that you have invited me to speak to this Commission on Social
Development and participate in the launch of the first World Day of Social
Justice. I understand that this is the first time the President of the General
Assembly addresses this central body within the Economic and Social Council. I
presume that this is because you know that the advancement of social justice
and the inclusion of the socially marginalized have been a focus of my work for
my entire life and are priorities of my tenure here during the 63rd session of the General Assembly.

are especially trying times for the world and particularly for the hundreds of
millions of marginalized people who too often live in poverty and isolation. In
recent weeks, we have been witness to the unspeakable violence against the most
afflicted members of our world community, the Palestinian people in Gaza. As we know, social
development, integration and social justice cannot be attained in the absence
of peace, security or respect for all human rights. On a global scale, hunger
and poverty are growing before our eyes. Each day, millions of the marginally
poor are tipping into extreme poverty due to the global financial meltdown,
unemployment and even scarcity of food. They already know first hand the
catastrophes that climate change has in store for all of us.

we launch the First World Day for Social Justice. It is an important issue that
demands a prominent place on our international agenda. How can we bring the
poor, the people with disabilities, older persons, disaffected youth and abused
women and other minorities into the mainstream of societies? I believe that
such integration and justice requires that we recast the global financial
architecture in such a way that the marginalized have full access to the
economic and social systems locally and internationally. We need policy making
that recognizes their human rights as full members of society. We need a
financial system that includes those who are being excluded.

decades, if not centuries, the dominant economic system has favored the
wealthy; those who are rich have structured the world for their benefit – in
many cases, their exclusive benefit. Entire regions of the world, scores of
developing countries, have been denied access to fair trade. Poor, developing
countries have been ordered by the Bretton Woods institutions to cut back on
the social and economic programs that ensure a decent standard of living for
their citizens, perpetuating the murderous deprivation of their poorest people.
These institutions have demanded food exports needed by the wealthy countries
at the expense of local production and food security in poorer countries.

you may know, the General Assembly, with the help of a presidential Commission
of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial Systems,
recently began its work to explore new ways to ensure the integration of
developing countries into a more fair and responsive international financial
framework. Our aim is to bring the
United Nations, the G-192, into the discussion about changes needed in the
failed financial architecture. We must help to ensure that the needed new order
reflects a more just and equitable system, one in which the marginalized participate
and benefit. Through the General Assembly and the many important bodies within
ECOSOC, we must press for social justice as well. Only working together with
strong and courageous leadership will we be successful in this endeavor.

work of the Commission and the General Assembly resolution calling for the
World Day of Social Justice provide us with opportunities for Member States,
civil society organizations and individuals around the world to take concrete
steps to promote awareness of social justice. I encourage all Member States to
raise awareness of the principles of equity, democracy, participation,
transparency, accountability and inclusion that provide the underpinnings of
social justice. I congratulate H. E.
Nurbek Jeenbaev, Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan, who has taken the lead
in promoting this special day at the UN and salute his country’s efforts to
imbue the spirit of social justice into the fabric of society. We need
inspiration and leadership in promoting these essential values in our

think our world is in great need of paradigms, of embodiments of the virtues we
will need to rise up to the great challenges confronting us in the XXI century.
I have been inspired by many people, known and less known, over the years.

I see it, the great hero of social justice, the one whose example can greatly
help us all in our non-violent struggle for social justice is Julius Nyerere,
the first Tanzanian president who helped lead all of Africa out of colonialism,
and into a social and economic system that placed human beings rather than
maximization of profit at the center of all economic endeavor.

remain indebted – I think all humanity remains indebted – to Fidel Castro, who
has dedicated his life to the tireless practice and promotion of SOLIDARITY
with oppressed people throughout the world. More than a hero, Fidel is as close
to a saint as we can find in our troubled world. And we see the emergence of
new leaders like President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who against all odds is leading
our indigenous peoples – in Bolivia and throughout the world – to take their
rightful places at the center of our societies as well as courageously
defending the sovereignty and independence of Bolivia, is an unequalled hero of
water and Mother Earth in general.

let us celebrate all of these leaders in the struggle for a better world. More
importantly, let us all become leaders and advocates for a more just world –
one imbued with respect for the inherent dignity due everyone. Thank you”.