Text of speech delivered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland, on 4-20-2009.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful… All praise is due to Allah, the Almighty, who is just, kind, and compassionate. May He bestow upon His prophets blessings and grace from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and His last Prophet, Mohammed. Peace be upon them all who are the harbingers of monotheism, fraternity, love … [Applause] … human dignity and justice.
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Secretary General of the United Nations. Madam High Commissioner. Ladies and Gentleman.
We have gathered here in the follow up to the Durban conference against racism and racial discrimination to work out practical mechanisms for our holy and humanitarian mission. Over the last centuries, humanity has gone through tremendous suffering and pain. In the Middle Ages, thinkers and scientists were sentenced to death. It was followed by a period of slavery and slave trade, when innocent people in millions were taken captive and separated from their families and loved ones, to be taken to Europe and America under terrible conditions; the dark period that also experienced occupations, lootings, and massacres of innocent people.
Many years passed by before nations rose up and fought for their liberty and freedom, paying a heavy price. They lost millions of lives in the struggle to expel the occupiers and gain independence. However, it was not long before the coercive powers imposed two wars in Europe that also plagued parts of Asia and Africa. Those horrific wars claimed about 100 million lives and left behind massive devastation. Had lessons been learned from the occupations, horrors, and crimes of those wars, there would have been a ray of hope for the future. The victorious powers called themselves the conquerors of the world while ignoring or trampling on the rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international treaties.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us look at the UN Security Council, which is one of the legacies of World War II and World War I. What was the logic behind their granting themselves the right of veto? How can such logic comply with humanitarian or spiritual values? Is it in conformity with the recognized principles of justice, equality before law, love, and human dignity? [Applause] Or rather, it is based on discrimination, injustice, violation of human rights, and humiliation of the majority of nations and countries?
The Security Council is the highest decision-making world body for safeguarding international peace and security. How can we expect the realization of justice and peace when discrimination is legalized and the origin of law is dominated by coercion and force rather than by justice and right?
Coercion and arrogance are the roots of oppression and wars. Although today many proponents of racism condemn racial discrimination in words and in slogans, a number of powerful countries have been authorized to decide for other nations based on their own interests and at their own discretion. And they can easily ridicule and violate all laws and humanitarian values, as they have repeatedly done.
Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless on the pretext of Jewish suffering. And they sent migrants from Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine. And in fact in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive, racist regime in Palestine. [Applause]
The Security Council helped stabilize this occupation regime and has supported it for the past 60 years, giving them a free hand to continue their crimes. It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defend those racist perpetrators of genocide whilst the awakened conscience and free minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and bombardment of civilians in Gaza. They have always been supportive or silent against their crimes. And before that, they have always been silent with regard to their own crimes.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen: What are the root causes of US attacks against Iraq or invasion of Afghanistan? Was the motive behind the invasion of Iraq anything other than the arrogance of the then US administration and the mounting pressures on the part of the wealthy and powerful to expand their sphere of influence, seeking the interests of major arms manufacturing companies, trampling on a noble culture with thousands of years of history, eliminating potential and practical traits of Muslim countries against the Zionist regime, or to control and plunder the energy resources of the Iraqi people? Indeed, almost a million people were killed and injured and several million others were displaced and became homeless. The Iraqi people have suffered enormous losses amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. And why were hundreds of billions of dollars imposed on the American people and its allies as a result of these military actions? Wasn’t the military action against Iraq planned by the Zionists and their allies in the previous US administration in complicity with arms manufacturing companies and major financial institutions?
The invasion of Afghanistan was said to restore peace, security, and economic well being in that country. The US and its allies have not only failed to contain the insurgency in Afghanistan, but the illicit cultivation of narcotics multiplied in the course of their occupation. The basic question is: What was the responsibility of the previous USadministration and its allies? Do they represent the world? Have they been mandated by them? Have they been authorized on behalf of the people of the world to interfere in all parts of the globe? And of course primarily in our region, are these measures not a clear example of egocentrism, racism, discrimination, and infringement upon the dignity and independence of nations?
Ladies and gentlemen: Who is responsible for the current global economic crisis? Where did the crisis begin: in Africa, Asia or it first started in the US and then spread to Europe and their allies? For a long time they have imposed inequitable economic regulations. By their political power on the international economy they imposed a financial and monetary system without a proper international oversight mechanism on nations and governments that played no role in the repressive trends or policies. They have not even allowed their people to oversee or monitor their financial policies. They introduce these laws and regulations in defiance to all moral values only to protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful. They further presented a definition of the market economy and competition that denied many economic opportunities that could be available to other countries of the world. They even transferred their problems to others whilst the wave of crisis lashed back, plaguing their economies with thousands of billions of dollars in budget deficits. And today, they are injecting hundreds of billions of cash from the pockets of their own people into the failing banks, companies and financial institutions making the situation more and more complicated for the economy and their people. They are simply thinking about maintaining power and wealth. They couldn’t care less about the people of the world and even about their own people.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: racism is rooted in the lack of knowledge concerning the truth of human existence as the select creatures of God. It is also the product of this deviation from the true path of human life and the obligations of mankind in the world of creation. Failing to consciously worship God, not being able to think about the philosophy of life or the path to perfection that are the main ingredients of divine and humanitarian values, have restricted the horizons of human outlook, making transient and limited interests a yardstick for his actions.
That is why the cells of the Devil’s power took shape and expanded its realm of power by depriving others from enjoying equitable and just opportunities for development. The result has been the making of an unbridled racism that is posing the most serious threat against international peace and has hindered the way for building peaceful coexistence in the entire world. Undoubtedly, racism is the symbol of ignorance which has deep roots in history. And it is indeed a sign of frustration in the development of human society. It is therefore crucially important to trace the manifestations of racism in situations or in societies where ignorance or lack of knowledge prevails. This increasing general awareness and understanding towards the philosophy of human existence is the principal struggle against such manifestations which is the key to understanding the truth that humankind centers on the creation of the universe, and the key to a return to the spiritual and moral values, and finally the inclination to worship God Almighty. The international community must initiate collective moves to raise awareness in the afflicted societies where ignorance of racism still prevails so as to bring to a halt the spread of these malicious manifestations.
Dear friends: today humanity is facing a kind of racism which has tarnished its image at the beginning of the third millennium. Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religion and abuse religious sentiments to hide its hatred and ugly face. However, it is of great importance to bring into focus the political goals of some of the world powers and those who control huge economic resources and interests in the world. They mobilize all their resources, including economic and political influence and world media to support the Zionist regime, maliciously attempting to protect this regime from indignity and disgrace. This is not simply a question of ignorance, and one cannot conquer this ugly phenomenon through cultural campaigns. Efforts must be made to put an end to the abuse by Zionists and their supporters by political and international means and restore respect for the will and aspirations of nations. Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fight aimed at eradicating this barbaric racism [applause] and to move towards reforming … [applause] … the current international mechanisms.
No doubt you are all aware of the conspiracies of some powers and Zionist circles against the goals and objectives of this conference. Unfortunately, there has been literature and statements in support of Zionism and their crimes, and it is the responsibility of honourable representatives of nations to disclose these campaigns which run counter to humanitarian values and principles. It should be recognized that boycotting such a session as an outstanding international effort is a true indication of supporting blatant racism.
In defending human rights it is primarily important to defend the rights of all nations to participate equally in all important international decision making processes without the influence of certain world powers. And secondly it is necessary to restructure the existing international organizations and their respective arrangements. Therefore this conference is a testing ground and the world public opinion today and tomorrow will judge our decisions and our actions [applause].
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: The world is going through fundamental changes, radical fundamental changes. Power relations have become weak and fragile. The sound of cracks in the pillars of world oppression can now be heard. Major political and economic structures are at the brink of collapse. Political and security crises are on the rise. The worsening crises in the world economy for which no bright prospect can be seen on the horizon, amply demonstrate the rising tide of far reaching global changes. I have repeatedly emphasized the need to change the wrong direction in which the world has been managed. And I have also warned of the dire consequences of any delay in this crucial responsibility.
Now, at this valuable event, I would like to announce here to all leaders, thinkers, and to all nations of the world present in this meeting and those who have a hunger for peace and economic well being, that the management, the inequitable and unjust management of the world, is now at the end of the road. This deadlock was inevitable since the logic of this imposed management was oppressive.
The logic of collective management of world affairs is based on noble aspirations which centers on human beings and the supremacy of Almighty God. Therefore it defies any policy or plan which goes against the interest of nations. Victory of the right over the wrong and establishment of a just world system have been promised by the Almighty and His messengers and it has been a shared goal of all human beings from different societies and generations in the course of history. Realization of such a future depends upon the knowledge of the creation and the belief in the hearts of all the faithful [applause]. The making of a global society is in fact the accomplishment of a noble end in the establishment of a common global system that will be run with the participation of all nations of the world in all major and basic decision making processes and the definite route to this sublime goal. Scientific and technical capabilities as well as communication technologies have created a common and widespread understanding of the world society and have provided the necessary ground for a common system.
Now it is incumbent upon all intellectuals, thinkers, and policy makers in the world to carry out their historical responsibility with firm belief to this definite route. I also want to emphasise the fact that western liberalism and capitalism, like communism, has reached its end since it has failed to perceive the truth of the world and humankind as it is. It has imposed its own goals and directions on human beings with no regard for human and divine values, justice, freedom, love, or brotherhood. It has based living on intense competition securing only individual and collective material interests.
Now we must learn from the past by initiating collective efforts to deal with present challenges, and in this connection and in closing my remarks I wish to draw your kind attention to two important points. One: It is absolutely impossible to improve the existing situation in the world. However, it must be noted that it could only be achieved through the cooperation of all countries in order to get the best out of existing capacities and resources in the world. My participation in this conference is because of my conviction of these important issues, as well as to our common responsibility to defend the rights of nations vis-a-vis the sinister phenomenon of racism, and being with you, the thinkers of the world. [Applause]
Two: Mindful of the inefficacy of the current international political, economic, and security systems on the world scene, it is necessary to focus on the divine and humanitarian values and by referring to the true definition of human beings, and based upon justice and respect for the rights of all people in all parts of the world, and by acknowledging the past wrongdoings in the past dominant management of the world undertake collective measures to reform the existing structures. In this respect, it is crucially important to reform the structure of the Security Council, including the elimination of the discriminatory veto right … [applause] … and change the current world and financial monetary systems. It is evident that lack of understanding on the urgency for change is equivalent to the much heavier costs of delay.
Dear friends, I would caution that to move in the direction of justice and human dignity is like a rapid flow in the current of a river. Let us not forget the essence of love and affection; the promised bright future of human beings is a great asset that will serve our common purpose in keeping us together to build a new world and to make the world a better place full of love, fraternity and blessings; a world devoid of poverty and hatred, the increasing blessings of God Almighty and the righteous management of the perfect human being. Let us all join hands in amity to play our roll in fulfillment of such a decent new world.
I thank you Mr. President, Secretary General, and all the distinguished participants for giving me a patient hearing. Thank you very much.