UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (NNN-XINHUA) – Timor-Leste’s President, Jose Ramos-Horta, yesterday said, he regretted the double standards in international aid, and apathy towards the poor, both within borders and beyond.
In the aftermath of the 2008 subprime crisis, hundreds of billions of dollars were quickly mobilised to rescue exposed European and American banks. Draconian fiscal austerity measures, in the form of cuts in public expenditure and higher taxes were forced on the workers and middle class, he noted, saying, “but rarely are we able to inspire the rich to show the same level of compassion and wisdom towards the poorer South.”
“I always believe that we are all part of the great human family. Yet some seem to feel that we are not really equal, we are not part of the same human family, since part of the world lives in dazzling citadels, while their billions of distant relatives live in poor global neighbourhoods,” he told the General Debate of the UN General Assembly.
Aid to poorer countries of the South should not be cancelled or reallocated to address the refugee crisis, caused by the conflict in Ukraine, he said.
“They should pause for a moment to reflect on the glaring contrast in their response to the wars elsewhere, where women and children have died by the thousands from wars and starvation. Their responses to our beloved (UN) secretary-general’s cries for help, in these situations have not met with equal compassion,” said the president.– NNN-XINHUA