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Excerpts From St Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at NAM

Gonsalves made these remarks at the closing ceremony of the XIX Non-Aligned Movement Summit:

In the foundation of the NAM Kwame Nkrumah said that we look neither East nor West but we look forward, we look to the future. We have arrived at a new inflection point in the evolution of human history. We are at the point where the complexities and challenges and global turmoil are such a nature that the old order can no longer hold yet the new is yet to begin. And the NAM, the G77, the developing world, the South, we have a special role to play.

We have been told by those who have dominated the world for quite a while that the central contradiction in the world today revolves around the question of “democracy” versus “autocracy.” Well, from the trenches of the Caribbean, that has never been the central contradiction and it is not today. The central contradiction is about who gets what, when, where, and how; who owns and controls the resources, and who determines the distribution of those resources. That is how it has been and that is how it is today. And the restless South, justifiably, is demanding a better share of what the world has to offer. The poor, the marginalized, the disadvantaged, we are in quest for sustainable development, for peace.

It is more difficult now for those who have been wedded to imperialism and hegemony to co-opt, contain, or control those whom they consider “the restless ones in the South.” But there is a time and season for everything. And what we have to do, and we know it and we heard it in all the speeches: We have to work together in solidarity with one another and not allow us to be divided as hitherto. And it is this solidarity around specific objectives that will bring about the upliftment of ourselves and all humanity.

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