Alfred-Maurice de Zayas Quotes
In a world where millions of human beings live in extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack medical care, where pandemics continue to kill, it is imperative to pursue good faith disarmament negotiations and to shift budgets away from weapons production, war-mongering, surveillance of private persons and devote available resources to address global challenges including humanitarian relief, environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of pandemics, and the development of a green economy.
World peace is threatened not only by weapons of mass destruction but also by conventional weapons which have led to countless violations of human rights, including the rights to life and to physical integrity. A strong treaty can contribute greatly to international and regional peace, security and stability.
With the growth of the world population, the global climate change and the need for a greater healthy environment, access to water resources has become a crucial condition for the realization of an equitable international order, where the needs of the peoples are effectively addressed. In this regard, the need for international cooperation, including in joint effort with relevant non-state actors, is paramount to ensure water is made available to all without discrimination. Water is a human right, an enabling right, not a mere commodity.
The mandate entails a generous synthesis of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The title requires the expert to be truly independent, keep an open mind, conduct his/her research objectively and without ideological prejudices, listen to all sides of an argument and seek the opinion of all stakeholders. The essence of an independent expert is not merely his/her expertise – which must be considered a given – but the faculty of thinking outside the box, while rigorously respecting the terms of reference laid down in the resolution establishing the mandate, and observing the code of conduct of rapporteurs.
The war industries in many countries and the enormous trade in weapons of all kinds generate corruption and fuel conflict throughout the world. The existence of an immensely powerful military-industrial complex constitutes a danger to democracy, both internationally and domestically, because it follows its own logic and operates independently of popular participation.
Representative democracy frequently manifests a disconnect between parliamentarians and the people, so that parliamentarians have agendas that do not correspond with the wishes of the electorate. This has led in many countries to apathy, cynicism and large-scale absenteeism in elections. What is needed is not only parliaments, but parliamentarians who genuinely represent the wishes of the electorate.
Democracy entails a correlation between the public interest as expressed by a majority of the population and the governmental policies that affect them. The term encompasses various manifestations, including direct, participatory and representative democracy, but Governments must be responsive to people and not to special interests such as the military-industrial complex, financial bankers and transnational corporations. Democracy is inclusive and does not privilege an anthropological aristocracy.