Speechs in the year
Oleh/By : DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD Tempat/Venue : HARARE, ZIMBABWE Tarikh/Date : 01/09/86 Tajuk/Title : THE 8TH. CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT IN HARARE, ZIMBABWE Mr. Chairman, At the outset, allow me to offer my warm and sincere congratulations on your unanimous election as Chairman of the Eighth Conference of the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement. As I have the highest regard for your personal qualities and statesmanship, may I also associate myself, and the Malaysian delegation, with the confidence so eloquently expressed by distinguished leaders who have spoken before me that under your distinguished Chairmanship this Summit will be successful in its deliberations. 2. My delegation shares in the happiness all of us here feel for our host, Zimbabwe, a country of great courage which exemplifies the resilience of the human spirit in the struggle for its independence and its determination to challenge that instrument of perverse power, South Africa. Your leadership and the epic history of your country makes you eminently suitable to chart the course of true, genuine and constructive non-alignment for the coming years. May I also express my delegation's deep appreciation for the kind and warm hospitality that Zimbabwe has extended to us. 3. I would also like to place on record Malaysia's sincere appreciation of the Honourable Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, for the very able and exemplary way with which he has conducted and steered the Non-Aligned Movement during his Chairmanship. Since the Seventh Summit in New Delhi, the Non-Aligned Movement has re-established its commitment to genuine non-alignment. May I commend the Honourable Rajiv Gandhi, and the Indian people, for strengthening for us the historic role of the Movement. 4. The fact that today more than a hundred countries have chosen the path of non-alignment illustrates the increasing desire of nations and peoples to be free from interference and domination by the power blocs of East and West. It is gratifying to note that despite the never-ending threats and pressures our Movement has managed to consolidate itself. Our work is clearly cut out before us. That we have remained a factor for peace, rational order and economic equilibrium is beyond dispute. But it is a moot point whether we are the moving force, that essential determinant, to redress the inequalities in international economic relations or the festering international political issues. 5. Twenty five years after the Movement's inception is a good time for stocktaking. Are we still at the level of enunciating principles or is the Movement truly cutting a clear path between the forces of bloc politics? I suspect the answer will be a sobering one. Twenty five years ago many of to-day's countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia were colonial territories of various European powers. The traffic was one way, with the wealth of the colonies flowing north to enrich the imperial coffers. 6. That period of humiliation has ended of course. All of us now claim to be masters of our own fate and fortune. If eloquence is the yardstick, our voices ring out loud and clear that we are free. But let us not delude ourselves. While we are legally free, the process of economic and political emasculation has rendered that freedom less than real. We cannot act freely because we have been so progressively emasculated that we will collapse if deprived of the crutches of economic, military and political aids from our former imperial masters. We have no control over our source of income and sometimes even over our relationship with neighbours and distant lands. Sometimes we are made proxies in other peoples wars, pawns in the international games and battle grounds for live testing of weaponry. 7. We came together to concieve the New International Economic Order (NIEO). Now, fourteen years after the enunciation of the concept of NIEO we are still overwhelmed by unbearable external debts, straight-jacketted by protectionism and beggared by volatile interest and exchange rates. How free are we? How unaligned are we? 8. Freedom clearly needs to be quantified as much as it has to be nurtured. It has to be managed like an institution. On our own, singly, barring a few giants among us, we are quite helpless. Our strength and our ability to act lies in our collective will and voice. In concert and on well-prepared grounds, the voice of this Movement spanning Latin America, Africa and Asia and a part of Europe will resound strong and powerful. It will then take on the quality of a moral force tied to principles that we committed ourselves to twenty five years ago. 9. But how often have we spoken with one voice? Surely we must realise that many of us have become partisan and biased in our views. We condemn a breach of international behaviour because of a certain principle but when the same breach is perpetrated by those we are inclined to be friendly with, we lower our voices or become totally mute. The principle we uphold seems flexible. That others do it too, the powers in the north, is no excuse. They have brute strength. We depend on moral suasion. 10. Some condemn International Agreements for some commodities and refuse to cooperate to stabilise prices while with other commodities that they produce and export they form cartels alongside developed countries even. In disarray, our moral authority and our voices become muted and in effective. Mr. Chairman, 11. Malaysia condemns all foreign military intervention. We condemn all attempts to install puppet regimes as an instrument of hegemony. We condemn them in Asia, in Africa, in Europe or in Central America. Naturally we are more concerned when these things happen close to our shores. Naturally too, we are more concerned when it can escalate into a direct threat towards us. But we condemn all attempts to use a military solution in overcoming international problems or problems with neighbours. 12. We believe that the affairs within a country are not for foreign nations to direct. We may not like the regime found in a neighbouring country. We may condemn the regime for cruelty or lack of justice or transgression of human rights. But we have no right to send our troops in to install a Government to our liking. 13. Therefore Malaysia condemns such action and reserves the right to support the ousted legitimate Governments politically in their attempts to regain control of their country. We feel that this Movement should have a united stand on this. Whether the aggression is perpetrated by the big powers or by one of us, we should condemn it as a matter of principle. Then and then only can we gain credibility and moral force as a group of non-aligned nations. 14. In South East Asia we wish to establish a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality or ZOPFAN. The continued presence of Vietnamese forces in Kampuchea renders this objective impossible of achievement. We have accordingly tried to persuade the Vietnamese to leave Kampuchea. We have even tried to moderate the demands of the people of Kampuchea, so that Vietnam can respond more easily. 15. Accordingly the Kampuchean leaders in exile have drawn up the Eight Point Proposals recently, which we feel represent an important milestone in the search of a framework for a comprehensive and durable political solution to the problem. We, therefore, strongly urge Vietnam to carefully and seriously reconsider the proposal in the interest of ending peacefully their long drawn-out occupation of Kampuchea. Such a response from Vietnam will surely promote confidence in Southeast Asia, thereby enhancing the prospects for peace and stability in the region while at the same time paving the way for mutually beneficial co-operation between Vietnam and all states of Southeast Asia, particularly the ASEAN countries. We can then create a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality in South East Asia that can benefit us. Mr. Chairman, 16. While this occupation of Kampuchea continues, my delegation is disappointed that once again the delegation of that unfortunate country is unable to take its rightful place at this Summit. My delegation cannot accept the so-called 'consensus' to create a vacant seat for Kampuchea perpetrated at the Havana Summit in 1979. It will be recalled that at the New Delhi Summit in 1983 we agreed to request the Co-ordinating Bureau to examine and make appropriate recommendations to this Summit regarding the seating of Kampuchea, including the criteria and procedures for the suspension or expulsion of members of our Movement. We regret to note that this has not been done and we would urge compliance with the decision and the early return of Kampuchea to its Non-Aligned Movement seat. Mr. Chairman, 17. The situation in West Asia is an outstanding example of our inability to act even marginally to contribute to a solution. The immovable obstacle to peace in this area is Israel's continued rejection of attempts at achieving a comprehensive political settlement which must include the return of Arab territories, the right of Palestinians to self-determination, and the right to return to their homeland. 18. Israel is able to continue its intransigence and complete defiance due to the support of the United States. Israel's penchant for aggression and violence knows no bounds. The whole world was witness to the awesome destruction that it unleashed on Lebanon. Its readiness to display its military might has been demonstrated repeatedly. Witness the impunity and arrogance of its attack on Tunis in October last year, an act which the United States termed 'legitimate self defence', an act which presaged the subsequent U.S. bombing of Libya -- a blatant disregard for international norms of behaviour. 19. The Tel Aviv regime continues to annex Arab lands through violations and a variety of coercive measures. The thrust of Israel's policy is to create a Palestinian diaspora, so that the land of the Palestinians will be permanently annexed by Israel. The expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land 2000 years ago and the Nazi oppression of Jews have taught them nothing. If at all it has transformed the Jews into the very monsters that they condemn so roundly in their propaganda materials. They have been apt pupils of the late Doctor Goebbels. 20. The situation in Lebanon is yet another result of Israeli aggression. We extend our sympathies and solidarity to the brave people of Lebanon, and we appeal to the various factions and communities in Lebanon to reconcile their differences and deny the Tel Aviv regime any pretext for intervention. Mr. Chairman, 21. The conflict between Iran and Iraq is a painful lesson to us. The misery, death and destruction of both the peoples of Iraq and Iran have continued to mount. Yet NAM initiatives and that of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the UN have brought no results. Tragedy shrouds the conflict. In the name of sanity and humanity, Iran and Iraq must quit the battlefields and go to the negotiating table. Mr. Chairman, 22. Developments in Central America should also be of great concern to us. East-West ideological conflict is raising its ugly head in the region. Experiences in other parts of the world have proved beyond any doubt that such imposition upon the genuine freedom of the peoples will only lead to endless suffering and bondage. We believe that only through genuine regional efforts, free from East-West ideological conflict, and in the spirit of the Non-Aligned Movement, will durable peace and stability in the region be achieved. Hence we strongly support the efforts of the Contadora Group as the representative of the region, to build regional cohesion and cooperation as a means for promoting the long-term stability of the region. Mr. Chairman, 23. Another matter of utmost concern to my delegation is the massive competition on the part of the superpowers to manufacture weapons of mass destruction with scant regard for the safety of the rest of the world. The arms race will impoverish everyone. This Movement must resolutely continue with its pressure and exhortation for general and comprehensive disarmament. In this respect, I commend the laudable efforts of India, Pakistan, Argentina, Yugoslavia and Tanzania which have together with a few non-members of the Movement kept the issue from becoming the exclusive domain of the superpowers as well as serving as a voice of human reason. Mr. Chairman, 24. If we are to remain an essential determinant to the challenges of our times, this Movement must respond effectively not only to issues of war and peace or of economic well-being but also ones which until recently were the exclusive turf of the developed countries. I am happy that since I raised the issue of Antarctica in the Delhi Summit, much progress has been made due to the Movement's heightened awareness and commitment. 25. The Movement has approached the issue with reason, moderation and judiciousness. However, despite this attitude, it was not possible at the Fourtieth United Nations General Assembly to arrive at a consensus with the Treaty Parties. With the overwhelming support of Non-Aligned countries, the UN had adopted the three resolutions which merely sought additional information and an updated and expanded study, for information on the Minerals' negotiations and for response from the Consultative Parties for the exclusion of South Africa from participation as a Consultative Party. 26. We seek confrontation with no one. We do not threaten the security interests of the Consultative Parties. We do not desire to destroy the present system. But we insist that the existing treaty system is inadequate, deficient and not in harmony with the development of international relations and needs. 27. The importance of Antarctica to all humanity is beyond debate. Antarctica should indeed be an internationally accepted regime managed in the interest of all Mankind; and we remain committed to working towards this objective with all interested parties, including the Consultative Parties, in the spirit of goodwill and understanding. Mr. Chairman, 28. Another issue which has developed significantly and emerged as a major problem for both the Movement and the UN is Drugs. Malaysia views the drug problem as a major threat to the security and well-being of the country. Drugs have been used in the past to subjugate a country. We do not wish to be colonised once again or to have our security and economy undermined. Accordingly we have promulgated the death penalty against drug traffickers. We make no apology for this punishment. The traffickers are killing our people and causing untold misery. They deserve the death penalty, irrespective of colour. 29. Malaysia therefore welcomes the endorsement of the Non-Aligned Movement for the convening of the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Vienna in June 1987. Such a Conference will heighten international awareness of the need for global action. If concerted global action is to be effective, there must be commitment at the highest political level. 30. Malaysia calls upon all countries, especially the developed and industrialised countries, to do a great deal more towards eradicating the drug menace. The developed and industrialised countries are better endowed with resources to embark upon an all-out war against drugs. After all it is because of their affluence that drug trafficking is so lucrative. We feel that the only way to destroy drug trafficking is to internationalise the work of destroying the source of drugs. Mr. Chairman, 31. We hear frequently that the world is going through an economic recession. This is not true. It is only the developing countries which rely on export of commodities that are having a recession. The developed countries are actually better off now than ever before. Not only are they selling their manufactured goods at higher prices but they have saved in 1985 some 100 billion US dollars because of the fall in prices of all the commodities they bought from poor countries. They are rich because we have been forced to subsidise them. 32. The terms of trade have become much worse with the commodity producers getting less than half the manufactured goods they got in 1960 from the same amount of commodity exported. The worse is yet to come as new technology eliminates the need for numerous raw materials or reduces the quantities required. Glass fibres have rendered copper obsolete, while paper, glass, plastics and alluminium have displaced tin as packaging material. New technology has also brought about a glut of all commodities -- undermining the prices further. 33. On top of all this we have the problem of dealing with wildly fluctuating exchange rates. Thus when Europe and the North American countries decided to push up the Yen in order to balance their trade, Malaysia's debts increased by 50% from Yen revaluation. Fluctuating exchange rates has also stimulated speculations in currencies. Anxious to make a fast multi-million bucks, banks have been known to push the currencies of poor countries down. These countries are then forced to use up all their foreign exchange savings to shore up the value of their currency. 34. We have been brainwashed until we are convinced of the virtues of free trade. But now that we have learnt to make a little money from free trade, the erstwhile proponents of free trade have resorted to quotas, restrictions, counter-vailing duties, non-tariff barriers, etc. to kill us. Divided as we are and incapable of depending on our meagre domestic market we can do nothing but bemoan our fate. 35. We have tried to have a dialogue with the North with the intention of creating a New International Economic Order but we have failed to make any headway. It is for this reason that Malaysia hosted the South II Conference in May this year. The participants represent no one but themselves. But they are dedicated to the cause of the South and to finding solutions to the ills that plague us. 36. We learnt a lot about the problems of the South, their causes and the possible ways of overcoming them. It was suggested that an Independent Commission of the South should be set up to study and propose solutions to the multifarious economic and financial problems plaguing the countries of the South. It should set out concrete steps for South-South cooperation. It should complement and possibly supplement the cooperative efforts undertaken within and outside the NAM and G-77 framework, which we generally support. Its only distinction is that it will be an independent commission unrelated and not answerable to any national Government, private organisation or international institution. Its members will serve in their personal capacities. 37. For this purpose the Conference set up a Steering Group, which I was invited to chair, to do the necessary groundwork. I have been deeply gratified, Mr. Chairman, by the support that you yourself, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and many others in the front rank of the Non-Aligned Movement, have given to the idea of the Independent Commission. 38. It is my great honour to inform you, Sir, that His Excellency Dr. Julius Nyerere has agreed to be the Chairman of the Independent Commission of the South on Development Issues. I call upon all the countries of the South, so many of whom have expressed their support for the Independent Commission, to give wholehearted support to the efforts of Dr. Nyerere and the Commission he heads. If it is not going to be yet another academic exercise we must translate our support into political commitment and action. We owe this to ourselves. Mr. Chairman, 39. I have taken the liberty of leaving the most important reason for our Summit here in Harare for the last. I refer of course to apartheid, a warped system that grew out of demented minds, brought to Africa by colonisers and perpetuated by the Pretoria regime. To my mind the time to equivocate on the merits and demerits of sanctions is well past. In dealing with the Pretoria regime, we must strip ourselves of all illusions. We can only break that regime's back with relentless economic and political pressure. Sanctions, complete and directed at what will hurt most is the final weapon, to complement the valiant efforts of Africans in South Africa, and in the frontline states. Unfortunately sanctions will only really bite if we can manage to get all the countries that still traffic with South Africa for various questionable gains to join us. Half-hearted, selective and voluntary efforts will not do. We must direct our appeal and our exhortation principally to the United States, Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany and Japan though there are others that have managed to avoid scrutiny. We call on these four and the others to act in the name of humanity to join us in dismantling apartheid and establishing majority rule. For the members of NAM, the only course is to rally behind the frontline states to help in all ways possible to cushion the effects of Pretoria's retaliation. Mr. Chairman, 40. That there will be retaliation, we have no doubt. Pretoria has long sought, with foreign friends, to destabilise the Southern African region in order to perpetuate its primacy. We must expose these attempts and we must help our brother Africans who are the victims. I call on the Movement to determine a programme of action to be undertaken and financed collectively to prepare Black Africans for that eventual goal of a free South Africa with majority rule. Let us help to train the administrators, captains of industry and professionals for that eventual goal. Let us disabuse those critics who think so little of us by committing ourselves to the creation of a multi-racial South Africa with guaranteed political freedom for all, blacks, browns and whites. Let us silence our critics and our enemies who deride us and aver that the alternative to apartheid is chaos. These are smear campaigns by apologists of Pretoria, fighting rearguard actions when they must know that there could be only one ending, victory for the right and the just. Let us commit the Movement to all these and provide clear signals from Harare that apartheid is in its death throes. Mr. Chairman, 41. For the past quarter of a century this Movement has sustained itself. We have evolved from the idealism and fervour of our own successful struggles for independence. The challenges of the future will be as great as the trials of the past. The picture that now confronts us is daunting, the issues complex and multi-faceted. We will be tested, the Non-Aligned Movement will be tested, to the full. We owe it to the pioneers of the Movement twenty five years ago to ensure that we live up to what is expected of us. We owe it to ourselves to maintain fully our credibility and to move forward to new frontiers in this age of unprecedented human progress. Thank you.