Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe took to the podium at the UN to discuss the international arms race and Colombia’s progress as a nation.
Speaking before the General Assembly of the Organization of the United Nations in New York, President Alvaro Uribe reiterated his position to seek a greater commitment from the international community in combating terrorism and, in an allusion to the current trend in South America, questioned the arms race in some countries.
Uribe said that Colombia’s objective was to recover domestic security and to never participate in an arms race “for the bloody game of international warfare. Our tradition is to respect the global community.”
“We are concerned that instead of moving towards greater cooperation on security, peace and tranquility of the citizens of each country, an arms race is being accelerated by some who need to modernize their military equipment, while others confess their desire for war,” he said.
Uribe said that multilateral agencies, led by the United Nations, must strengthen their efforts in making governments comply with their duty to protect their citizens, and with the obligation not to attack the international community.
He was alluding to Venezuela’s recent purchases of arms from Russia and Iran, among others.
The president also used his speech as a platform to defend his government’s progress on security, investor confidence and social cohesion.
“We continue to progress in safety but we also have other pending challenges… we have recovered two monopolies that we never should have lost: the monopoly of institutional forces to fight crime, and the monopoly of justice that terrorists would dismantle, has also dismantled the paramilitaries.”
However, he acknowledged that the problem of mass displacement of Colombians has not yet been overcome, and said that the Government increased the number of posts of care for the vulnerable community.
“We are promoting trust between the security forces and communities, so that operations against drug trafficking are not frustrated by the movement [of people] promoted by the drug traffickers.”
President Uribe also said that the government had demobilized 51,783 members of terrorist groups, whose numbers have diminished from 60,000 to less than 8,000; that the Justice and Peace Law has allowed for the declaration of 29,555 acts of crime; has elicited confessions from 12,104; has found 2,043 pits containing the remains of 2,492 victims; and has identified 708 bodies and delivered 581 to their family members.