By RACHAEL BOOTHROYD – VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM
Caracas, September 11th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez stated that the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) must act to “put the brakes on imperialism” this Saturday, as ALBA countries announced that they would lobby the United Nations (UN) to undertake a series of measures, including the official recognition of the Palestinian state.
Amongst the agreements reached during the ALBA’s 6th Political Council meeting in Caracas, member countries confirmed that they would petition the UN to create a committee to “investigate and monitor” the use of Libya’s financial reserves, which were frozen at the beginning of the NATO intervention and are currently expected to be transferred to Libya’s National Transitional Council (TNC).
The U.S. government began the release of US$ 1.5 billion of the frozen reserves to Libya’s TNC last week, after the UN Security Council approved the transfer under “conditions of humanitarian exemption”.
According to a UN Security Council report, the U.S. request was presented to the Council in a move to bypass the Libyan Sanctions Committee, where it was initially vetoed by the African Union (AU) due to concerns over affording legitimacy to the TNC government. The governments of Great Britain and France have also been authorised to release US$ 1.6 billion and US$ 2.2 billion to the TNC respectively, reports the New York Times.
As such, ALBA confirmed that it will act as a bloc within the UN and “solicit the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the total transparency and strict financial accountability of member states with respect to Libya and Syria”, as well as promote a debate within the UN General Assembly regarding the “dangerous precedents” set by the intervention in Libya.
Several other agreements featured in the document also related to the current situation in Libya. As well as rejecting the possibility that Libya’s seat within the United Nations “should become occupied by a transitory and illegitimate authority, imposed by foreign intervention,” the organisation also called on the international community to investigate the “crimes committed by NATO against the people of Libya”, including civilian deaths and damages to the country’s infrastructure.
ALBA and International Support for Libya’s TNC
Although the TNC government has received considerable support from major sectors of the international community, ALBA has maintained its critical stance and has so far refused to recognise the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. The organisation denounced the U.S. government and its allies for having consistently “ignored” calls from the African Union for a negotiated settlement to the Libyan conflict and thus preventing the possibility of a peaceful solution. The AU has also stated that it will not recognise the Libyan interim government, despite significant pressure from the UN to do so.
In a press conference on Saturday, Ecuadorean Vice-chancellor, Kintto Lucas, confirmed that the ALBA organisation had solicited UN member countries to oppose the TNC, given that a sustained conflict could still emerge from the current situation in Libya.
“Lies and Manipulation” from Corporate Media
During the meeting, ALBA countries also condemned mainstream media coverage of events in Libya and stated that they had been “complicit” in creating the argumentation and justification for intervention in the North African country.
As well as organising a “Summit for Alternative Communication Networks” to counteract the corporate media, ALBA stated that it would put together a collection of the “lies and manipulation” that the mainstream press employed throughout the Libyan conflict and publish it through regional press agencies such as TeleSur.
“The initiatives today will allow us to open up a clear space, because what we are proposing is a definite plan of action in defence of the truth,” said Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister, Nicolas Maduro.
The teleSUR news agency was praised by Venezuelan president Chávez last week for being one of the only news sources to have consistently reported “the truth” on events on Libya.
ALBA Recognises Palestinian State
In a “special communication” published by the organisation, ALBA also officially recognised the Palestinian state according to its pre-1967 borders and with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital. The communication stated that ALBA ministers offered their “full support” for the Palestinian state and its right to a seat at the UN.
“Ministers also supported the right of the Palestinian state to act as a full member of the United Nations, at the same time as deploring the fact that such an aspiration might be hampered by the use of the anachronistic veto privilege by a member of the Security Council.”
Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Relations Minister, commented that “Israel’s impunity with respect to the massacre of the Palestinian people, the blockade of Gaza, would not have been possible without the constant veto of the Security Council…(which is) hypocrisy and falsity when the Security Council talks of protection for civilians and innocents in its resolutions.”
Other topics discussed at the ALBA meeting were climate change and the creation of a “Social Movements Committee” within the organisation. The organisation also rejected what it termed as the latest “U.S. attack on Venezuela”, in relation to the recent announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department that it would sanction four members of Venezuela’s political and military establishment.
Full text of the official declaration:
SPECIAL DECLARATION OF THE MINISTERS
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ALBA-TCP
ON THE SITUATION OF LIBYA AND SYRIA
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America, gathered in Caracas, Venezuela on September 9, 2011, considering the Special Declaration of the Political Council of March 4, 2011, and the Special Declaration of Social Ministerial Council of March 19, 2011, condemned the NATO intervention in Libya, and the illegal military aggression carried out under a Security Council resolution by the UN; opportunistically taking advantage of the internal political conflict in that country.
They claim that NATO has conducted a military operation in Libya of regime change under the doctrine of preventive war, manipulating the UN according to its geopolitical and economic interests, violating Security Council resolution 1973.
They demand the immediate and unconditional cessation of bombing and military intervention of NATO in Libyan territory.
They deplore the fact that NATO has disregarded the insistent efforts of the African Union in seeking a solution for dialogue and peace to the internal conflict in Libya.
They also deplore the role of accomplice of several major international media outlets, which have joined the interests of aggression and have been provided to distort information about what is happening in Libya.
They express their most urgent warning on threats to repeat the same procedure against Syria, taking advantage of the political difficulties that Arab nation lives.
They reiterate their firm commitment to the right to self-determination of peoples of Libya and Syria.
They strongly reject any attempt by NATO or the Security Council of the UN to turn Libya into a protectorate.
In order to contribute to supporting the peace efforts that most of the world’s peoples claim, the Ministers agreed to direct the following actions:
• Promote the discussion at the UN General Assembly on the dangerous precedents that have been created around Libya and on the protection of the sovereign rights of the Arab nation in Africa and Libya, aimed at ensuring that Libya does not become a protectorate of NATO and Security Council of the UN.
• Promote the establishment of a Working Group of the General Assembly to investigate and monitor the use of the frozen funds of the financial reserves of Libya, so as it reports on its findings and conclusions to the Assembly.
• To call upon the international community to promote an investigation initiative conducted on crimes perpetrated by NATO in Libya, to the detriment of the Libyan people, the destruction of its infrastructure and deaths caused. To compile media manipulation and lies promoted by the Empire to justify the aggression against the Libyan people.
• Request the Secretary General of the United Nations full transparency and strict accountability to Member States with regard to their actions on the issue of Libya and Syria, and reaffirm that their role should respond to mandates agreed by the General Assembly, before taking further actions to intervene in Libya. Likewise, request the Secretary General a meeting with the ALBA-TCP to discuss the situation in Libya.
• Supporting a central role for the African Union’s efforts for peace in Libya
• Express their rejection to the fact that the seat corresponding to Libya in the UN be occupied by one faction or transitional authority illegitimately imposed by foreign intervention, and thus promote a substantive discussion on the United Nation’s General Assembly Credentials Committee aimed at preventing that the seat Libya be occupied until a government that is free and sovereign expression of the will of the Libyan people is constituted legitimately and without foreign intervention.
• Propose to the Syrian government in Damascus to send a mission of top representatives or foreign ministers of the ALBA-TCP and, if accepted, report on this situation to the Latin American and Caribbean countries through UNASUR, CARICOM, SICA and the Rio Group-CALC Unified Forum and invite those who wish to join this initiative.
• Promote a debate on the NAM Coordinating Bureau on the dangers looming over Syria.
• Support, together with the Non-Aligned members of the Security Council the draft resolution sponsored by Russia and China with regard to Syria.
• Sending the UN Secretary General this declaration and request that it be distributed among Member States of the United Nations as an official document of the General Assembly.
ALBA-TCP / Friday, September 09, 2011