Message from the President of Mexico.
Civlic-Military Parade, 212th Anniversary of the Cry of Independence.
Ceremony led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador from the Plaza de la Constitución, Mexico City.
PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR:
Members of the Armed Forces.
Today, when we proudly celebrate our national Independence, I would like to inform you about the proposal that in the next few days Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, will present, with the necessary respect and protocol, at the United Nations General Assembly.
We are referring to the urgent need to seek an agreement to stop the war in Ukraine and to achieve an at least five-year truce for peace among all nations, in order to dedicate all that time to deal with the great and serious economic and social problems that afflict and torment the peoples of the world.
Politics is the only instrument we have to avoid war. However, interest groups, occupying positions of governmental or economic power, take great pains to steer politics toward armed conflict. And once they have made this mistake, instead of correcting it, they choose to deepen it without caring about the suffering they inflict on humanity or the damage they cause to the stability of nations and the welfare of societies.
This is how they started Russia’s war in Ukraine, the subsequent sanctions that were adopted, and the massive shipment of weapons to the invaded country, actions that brought an additional dose of irrationality to the ongoing confrontation.
We should begin by asking ourselves whether the war could have been avoided and whether the UN and the politicians of the major powers did not fail in their responsibility to promote dialogue between the parties involved to resolve the dispute peacefully. The truth is that nothing or very little has been done in that regard. The UN remains inactive and as if it didn’t exist, prey to a formalism and political ineffectiveness that leaves it in a merely ornamental role.
Even more reprehensible is the behavior of the great powers which, either explicitly or silently, position themselves in the conflict only to serve their own hegemonic interests. Therefore, one cannot avoid the suspicion that, although it may seem perverse and unbelievable, this war, like many others, is being fueled by the interests of the arms industry. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is, unquestionably, reprehensible.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that Mexicans do not accept any foreign intervention because we have been victims of five of these great calamities. One, with several attempts by Spain to reconquer the country; two by France, and two by the United States of America. Those invasions have cost us blood, martyrs, and territory.
But this does not mean that we cannot stop wondering how it was that NATO member states deny Ukraine’s entry into the organization at crucial moments on the one hand, while, on the other, they offer it arms and economic or trade sanctions against Russia, measures that have only served to exacerbate the conflict, produce more suffering of victims, their families and refugees, aggravate the shortage of medicines and energy, and boost global inflation; all phenomena that harm the vast majority of the peoples of the world.
However, it is never too late to correct a mistake, especially if it has turned into an assault on the human, social, and economic rights of the entire world.
That is why the Government of Mexico proposes that, instead of continuing to fuel this painful and absurd war, a Committee for Dialogue and Peace be set up immediately. It would be comprised, if the proposal is accepted and there is a will to participate on the part of the possible mediators, by the heads of state of India and the Vatican, as well as by the Secretary General of the UN. I am referring to Prime Minister Modi of India, Pope Francis, and UN Secretary General António Guterres.
The peacekeeping mission should immediately seek a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and the beginning of direct talks with President Zelensky of Ukraine and President Putin of Russia.
In addition, this committee, in accordance with our proposal, should also reach a multinational agreement for an at least five-year truce, unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, and involving the immediate suspension of military actions and provocations, as well as nuclear and missile tests.
The agreement would establish the commitment of all states to avoid confrontation and not to intervene in internal conflicts.
We believe that, in this way, we can create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that will allow governments to devote all their efforts to addressing the pressing problems of poverty, health, and violence experienced on all continents and to deal with the phenomenon of migration in a humanitarian and fraternal manner.
Without peace there will be neither economic growth nor justice. Governing should not be an exercise of hegemony or domination, but above all, should involve the pursuit of the peoples’ well-being. Power only makes sense and becomes a virtue when it is placed at the service of others.
Hopefully we will succeed with this initiative, but, whatever happens, fighting for peace and justice will never be in vain.
I would like to conclude by acknowledging the presence of Pepe Mujica, a wise man; of Evo Morales, honest and courageous social fighter; of John Simpson and Gabriel, father and brother of Julian Assange, the Quixote of freedom of expression of our time and who remains unjustly imprisoned. And from this public square, the main square of Mexico, we pledge to continue demanding the release of Julian Assange. Thank you for joining us, dearest Aleida Guevara, daughter of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the great revolutionary idealist.
Thanks, also from the bottom of my heart, to the family of César Chávez, daughters and sons who are with us. Let us not forget, César Chávez; the late César Chávez, was the leader and is the defender, still to this day, of Mexican migrant workers and agricultural laborers. And I said ‘still’, because these are men who will never die. They may close their eyes, but they remain vigilant and always fighting for justice.
All our guests symbolize ideals and historic struggles for a just, egalitarian, and fraternal world, and are heirs to women and men of unwavering faith, courage, and dignity.
Also, in this civic-military ceremony, I would like to express my fraternal, sincere gratitude for the loyalty of the Mexican Armed Forces, both the Navy and the Ministry of National Defense with its new branch, the National Guard, the institution responsible for guaranteeing public security in our country with efficiency and respect for human rights.
I would like express to all of you, free women and men, people of conviction, good citizens, my deepest appreciation for putting into practice the principle of love thy neighbor and for your unwavering decision to continue fighting against all odds for a free, just, ever emerging and eternal homeland.
Long live Mexico!
(translated by Pedro Gellert)