SIDE EVENT 67 SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS September 26, 2012
Dear friends, dear representatives and delegates to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Since we started the Government of the Citizen Revolution, many things have changed for the country half the world, our Ecuador.
A country which for many decades was kidnapped by oligarchic power groups that put the state at the service of special interests or corporate neoliberalism groups folded and dismantled public coverage of the State and its authority to conduct economic relations with sovereignty, political and diplomatic relations with the rest of the world.
In January 2007 began the process of political transformation in Ecuador increased in recent times. A crucial decision taken by President Rafael Correa, the day of his inauguration, was to call elections to form a Constituent Assembly, with the aim of laying the foundations of a new development model, a model of inclusive and participatory state. A development model in which humans and nature are located on the same level of respect and interdependence.
The work of the Constituent Assembly were tough, not only because of the complexity of drafting a constitution, but by the high degree of citizen participation that accompanied this process. A process that opened the path we walk today, and that leads to the encounter with fundamental values overlooked by the neoliberal model, such as the dignity, equality, and solidarity, as the foundations of democratic coexistence.
Ecuador has proposed to recover the prestige of their institutions, not prestige but must be based on the performance of the services they offer in fields as diverse as education and public health, the development of strategic sectors, and above all, create the conditions necessary for human rights are the foundation on which inspire public policy. Before, they were the market, the banking interests, the impositions of the IMF, World Bank and others. That is why the administration of President Correa and our government, after nearly six years of democratic governance, has maintained a positive rating of over 70%. Recent international surveys confirm the Comrade President Rafael Correa Delgado as one of the most widely accepted popular presidents in the Americas.
While foreign policy of neoliberal governments are characterized by a functional ideological submission to the will of the power centers of some Western powers, and also the dutiful observance of international economic policies, which dictated measures under ultra-liberal philosophy "structural adjustments", the old diplomacy had no qualms about misleading protocol added to international relations complacent with these global powers.
The new process could not continue with such appeasement. And in the pages of the 2008 Constitution established the way of our new foreign policy. The Constitution condemns all forms of imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, and recognizes the right of peoples to resistance and liberation from all forms of oppression. Recognizes international law as a rule of conduct, and demand the democratization of multilateral and equitable participation of States within them.
The Constitution provides for a wide range of human rights, which are those that guide the decisions of government, and say one of the unique axis of our foreign policy. Call to promote the formation of a multipolar global order with the active participation of regional economic and political blocs, and strengthening of horizontal for building a just, democratic, supportive, diverse and intercultural.
Summoned urgently to ensure the political, cultural and economic life of the Andean region of South America and Latin America. Thus, the 2008 Constitution has made it possible to come back to recognize the best of ourselves, in the South.
Sovereign act means not following the dictates of a power beyond our reality and our own interests. It is now a state committed to migrants, especially those who are forced to leave their country to safeguard their rights and freedoms under our Republic. That is why the Ecuador receives every year thousands of Colombians, our brothers fleeing violence in their country, and are in a safe place Ecuador to continue their lives in peace and work. Thus, the figure of the shelter has made it possible to provide protection to more than 56,000 people, and provide assistance and solidarity.
It is a sad phenomenon that reminds us that states have an obligation not only to respect human rights but to combat the factors that undermine its core principles, and eliminate the causes that lead to their destruction. In this regard, we appreciate and applaud the efforts of Colombia to work for peace and national reconciliation of all Colombians, which involves solving the serious problem of a humanitarian. Our country, loyal as they come to these premises, works tirelessly to ensure that human rights prevail over all things. Last May, we present our second Universal Periodic Review before the Human Rights Council.
Our Government showed on this important forum achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights. The international community has recognized the progress of Ecuador in access to education and health, the dignity of work, the strengthening of the social security system, the integration of Afro-Ecuadorian populations, indigenous and Montubio to the political and economic life of the country , the fight against discrimination and social exclusion and ethnic, the rights of migrants, working on behalf of refugees, the focus on people with disabilities, combating human trafficking and violence gender, eradication of child labor in garbage dumps, and prison reform. We were recognized with positive comments by 56 of the 74 countries they occupied that forum.
We believe this recognition comes not only by the central character we assign to human rights, but because we strengthen them through the institutions of protection to its effective implementation.
That is why Ecuador, convinced of their responsibilities to human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and in the exercise of its sovereignty, decided to grant diplomatic asylum to an Australian citizen Julian Assange.
This award highlights the convergence that exists in the various modes of asylum, which constitute a single institution for the protection of human rights, defined by the same principles, the same causes, and pursue the same aim, which is to safeguard fundamental rights of the human person, when hovering over them despotic power that threatens to violate principles and provisions.
I tell you that from the moment that Mr. Assange sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London on June 19, 2012, the Foreign Ministry made an exhaustive classification of the well-founded fear of the appellant and the relevant consultations with the governments of United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Sweden, consulted with experts in international law and used the knowledge and experience of their own diplomats, without neglecting any aspect of Assange Order, which led us to the decision referred to above.
In this process, it also presented an opportunity to reaffirm the inviolability of diplomatic missions, the legal equality of states, sovereignty and non-intervention principles were reinforced by statements to that effect made public UNASUR and ALBA OAS.
Such expressions of support were present not only to repudiate the threat against those principles unavoidable, but to make clear that countries support feel toward the institution of diplomatic asylum, institution you are the same legitimacy that others want to find only in their mode of refuge, but it should be stressed that if diplomatic asylum is a Latin American contribution to international law, territorial asylum fact remains, both based on the same principles, and based on shared values nations and peoples from different geographical areas and cultures. These principles and values, in any case, part of the legal heritage of humanity.
As for the institution of asylum, this is a long-standing historical figure who responds to a humanist vision of life of states and men.
The asylum has its origin in ancient and responds to the human need to safeguard his life to the abuses of state power, of any State.
In Greece and Egypt already recorded practice of going to temples or other cities to seek protection from persecution by the authorities. This practice continued in the Middle Ages, when religious temples were the place to seek asylum or refuge - sanctuary. During the French Revolution, was also commonly occur where political persecution took refuge in the legations of other nations. We all know that during World War II and the Cold War were no cases of diplomatic asylum for political reasons.
The same happened in the Spanish Civil War, and for many of the military dictatorships in Africa and Latin America. Even today, there are tens and hundreds of people who are protected here in the United States. From former dictators to common criminals wanted by their countries. Or as the case of several Russian citizens prosecuted in this country who are living in the UK.
I note that in his asylum Mr. Julian Assange argued their fears and listed facts that endangered his life and physical integrity. The long and careful consideration of these facts and the extensive jurisprudence on asylum there took us to grant it on August 16. I would like to list some of the considerations on the figure of asylum Ecuador took into account when analyzing the case:
1) The asylum, in all its forms, is a fundamental human right which creates obligations for all States.
2) Corresponded to Ecuador qualify the causes of asylum as a sovereign decision.
3) No matter which of its forms or forms are present, asylum is always the same cause and the same legal order, ie safeguard life, liberty and personal security of the protected person.
4) The right to asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, ie the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, do not support a contrary agreement, being null treaties and provisions of international law they oppose.
5) Beyond the institution of asylum, to provide the protection sought by Mr. Assange, the Ecuadorian government welcomes him under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom.
Some people feel compelled to arm opposition groups, to intervene militarily in countries where there are democratic regimes considered. This alleged obligation of certain states against the international community, even when exercised resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. We intend to defend the life, physical and emotional integrity of a person who has requested, in accordance with international instruments of human rights protection under the premise that they have preeminence over domestic law of States.
It is noted that during the two months following the request for asylum (until 16 August) we made every effort to make in the talks with the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sweden, hallásemos (finding) a legal and legitimate that Mr. Assange answers, without the risk of subsequent extradition, judicial affairs in Sweden. I must emphasize the fact that Ecuador has been the only country that has proposed solutions to the problem we face three countries with the Assange case: United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Sweden and the democratic government of Ecuador. Two monarchy and a republic faced a human rights debate.
In our discussions with the UK and Sweden requested the granting of guarantees for Mr. Assange, while responding to inquiries from the Swedish justice and not be extradited to a third country. Never had a favorable response.
That request was and is perfectly legal and legitimate, because was backed by the European legislation. In that sense, I want to emphasize that Ecuador has never sought to obstruct the Swedish prosecution.
Our country, rather, has always left open the option for the Swedish authorities questioned Mr. Assange at the local embassy in London. There are precedents that Sweden has done so in similar investigations with other countries, even in this year.
In the asylum granted to Mr. Julian Assange is, to most of the above, the fight for freedom of expression, human rights struggle, the struggle for life, the struggle for a figure such as asylum is respected anywhere in the world.
Tomorrow, here in New York, we will have a meeting with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with the best of spirits and hoping to find a solution to this sensitive issue.
There are several ways to reach an agreement that ensures the integrity and life of the asylum. The granting of asylum has generated a fundamental right in the person of Julian Assange. This is the supervening legal starting point for dialogue. Additionally, beyond the international human rights instruments, Ecuador and the United Kingdom have bilateral obligations that need to be mentioned. The Republic of Ecuador and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Extradition Vernaza-Hamilton, on September 20, 1880. This agreement is in full force. Your Article VIII requires both state not deliver to any person accused or convicted if it is felt that mediate political motivations.
This provision shows that Ecuador and the United Kingdom have agreed for more than 140 years, in which the causes preventing politically motivated extradite a person, which, however, must be protected. It is therefore fitting that the same States that establish a legally binding public document, the right not to be extradited when the subject has a political nature, while questioning the validity of diplomatic asylum, which is exactly the same institution other commissioning stage.
This house, the United Nations, is the space to discuss these global problems. While failures founding of this organization are many, especially for the leading role and, why not say, anti democratic, which was provided to five states decide from global security to the functioning of the bureaucracy, and this organization is our these discussions will evolve to the place at the height of the new times.
Thank you very much.
Ricardo Patiño Aroca
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador
Original Document in Spanish: http://www.mmrree.gob.ec/2011/discurso_onu_0912.asp