16/01/2012: SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY ENGº JOSÉ EDUARDO DOS SANTOS, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA AT THE PRESENTATION OF NEW YEAR GREETINGS TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY ENGº JOSÉ EDUARDO DOS SANTOS, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA AT THE PRESENTATION OF NEW YEAR GREETINGS TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
Luanda, January 12 January, 2012
Your Excellency the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
Your Excellencies the Ambassadors and Heads of Mission,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps has spoken the right words at the right time, here where we meet at the start of every year to talk about the recent past, the present and the immediate future we want for our lives.
The concerns and worries we all have in our thoughts and hearts are the same. We all want a good and safe world for everyone, but the threats and risks on every continent, particularly in some regions of our world, are great.
Misunderstanding is becoming greater than understanding between nations, because doubt and mistrust come
about where selfishness speaks louder and dialogue is replaced or by the will power of the strongest or stubbornness, or megalomania by the apparently more weak.
Whether it be a matter of religion or politics, economic or military and strategic interests, it is difficult to build shared
values and standards of tolerance enabling different human civilisations to cohabit peacefully in global harmony.
Religious fundamentalism and left or right-wing radicalism are the basic causes of most of the political conflicts and tensions that occur between nations or within States. Center-right or center-left thinking and moderate tendencies in religions, in my view, today contain the prerequisites for moderating and controlling extremist intentions or fancies, especially those of conservatives, by means of constructive national, regional and global initiatives guaranteeing greater security and development for everyone.
However, there is still a long way to go in building global confidence in dialogue among all nations, without any of them fearing that they will be humiliated or subordinated by others.
The strong impose their will on others and, unfortunately, the weak try to become strong and imitate the strong or take their revenge on them. So long as this thinking exists, the world will not be a safe world. How to change the pattern of thinking in relations among nations in order to build confidence and change the world is a matter that warrants profound reflection.
Within this context, external interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States is always likely to undermine relations and cause traumas and suspicions it is often difficult to overcome.
There is a growing need to ensure that dialogue and peaceful understanding take precedence over threats and the use of force in solving all crises.
We are not yet living in the new era that the end of the Cold War led people to forecast, when we all believed that world peace and security were ensured and that relations among all the countries in the world would, as from then, reflect a climate of greater solidarity and cooperation and respect for the principles of International Law.
That would be the ideal spirit in which to struggle together for causes that benefit humanity, like defending the environment, fighting drug trafficking and organised crime, and promoting health and a peaceful end to major conflicts.
However, I believe that good sense will finally prevail and that the leaders of all countries will again assume their
responsibilities as the legitimate elected representatives of their peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We start the year 2012 in the hope that it will be better than the previous ones after the world was plunged into an economic and financial crisis that has not yet been wholly overcome.
Meanwhile, the crisis of the state debts in Europe has taken place and there are signs that unexpected situations could arise as a result of the social policies in the economies of emerging countries and the increased rates of poverty in Africa.
We express the hope that the efforts being made will produce good results and meet the needs of the most vulnerable people. In Angola, which has also been affected by the international crisis, as you know, we have been taking the measures we believe as most suitable to avoid outcomes that affect the working people and to create
conditions in which no national citizen is excluded from the process of change and economic and social transformation.
We have always made negotiation, social dialogue and seeking the broadest consensus the keystone of social development.
We were not afraid to adopt a market economy or, more specifically, capitalism combined with an adequate policy of social justice, when that course became necessary to solve our problems in the historical stage
of social development in Angola.
We analysed the driving force, level and dynamism of economic and social agents and set out a strategy to build an economy to serve the interests of Angola and Angolans in particular. Had we not done this, the vacuum might have been filled by other forces, above all foreign ones, which could have sought other purposes and ends.
The results show that our option was not wrong. The country is advancing and the lives of Angolans are also progressively improving.
The Public Investment Programme (PPI) has tripled in three years, the poverty rate is falling, employment is increasing, the human development rates are improving, and per capita gross domestic product rose
from the equivalent of US$3,800 in 2005 to US$8,300 in 2009.
We must therefore continue, so as to improve the wellbeing of Angolans even more, increasing access to education, health, housing, employment, power and water.
Your Excellencies the Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
cooperation based on respect for the sovereignty of every one of our countries.