Here is a selection of comments made during the plenary discussions. Please note the speeches available for download in PDF from some of these participants:
Farooq Sattar MNA (MP) : Pakistan, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis
There is deep mistrust between the two peoples of South Asia. The cherished goals of peace, security and development will remain elusive till we learn to trust each other. Pakistan’s founder, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, called for plurality and diversity. For plurality to survive and diversity to prosper we need a global covenant. We have gathered here to forge a coalition of conscience. <Download his speech>
Riek Machar : Sudan, Vice-President of the Government of Southern Sudan, who led a delegation of nine senior officials
We have come as a Government delegation. It is often difficult to get governments to take part in forums like this, because they are sometimes the abusers in the issues under discussion. Next year Sudan is going for elections. Will this compound our human insecurity? In 2011 Sudan will face another difficult time when the South exercises its right to decide if Sudan will remain as one country or split into two. These are the concerns which bring us here.
Humayun Khan : Pakistan, former Foreign Secretary
We need to look at the relationship between good governance and democracy. Under the label of elections leaders flaunt their democratic credentials, ignoring the substance of democracy. And the international community often endorses this kind of leadership. The global community needs to develop a consensus on the indispensable ingredients of democracy that will ensure good governance.
Osman Jama Ali : Somalia, former Deputy Prime Minister, Transitional Government of Somalia
We inherited our governance procedures from a colonial regime, and made little change. As a minister for more than a decade under Mohamed Siad Barre, I was a dictator in all my decisions. That regime became arrogant, corrupt and came to rule without popular consent. These factors led to the collapse of the government and 18 years of conflict and lawlessness. For my part in this I have publicly asked for forgiveness from my fellow countrymen. The key to good governance is the trust of the people. I am now working for acceptance of a system that I believe would ensure greater political stability in Somalia.
Karl von Wogau MEP : Germany, former Chair, Security and Defence Committee, European Parliament
I am ashamed that we Europeans failed to prevent the tragic events in the Balkans, particularly the massacre in Srebrenitsa. These events make clear that we cannot depend on military means alone. But there are situations where military intervention helps to establish peace. We sent armed forces to the Democratic Republic of Congo, at their request, to help with their elections. In discussing how to advance human security, we need to include the role of the military.
Charles Robb : USA, Professor of Law, former US Senator from Virginia
Extraordinary challenges face the world today. Thought and reason are going to be far more productive than carrying a big stick. The US cannot continue to have the swagger that leaves us few friends and allies around the world. We have a lot of work to do. We have a President who is committed to do that. I look forward to the results of this conference, for the work that is being done here to bring together diplomacy and the human element that it too often lacks.
Paul van Tongeren : Netherlands, Secretary General, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
We are organizing a conference, together with UNDP, on creating national infrastructures for peacebuilding within countries. With climate migration and the struggle for resources we can expect more conflict. But we have no appropriate international structures to deal with this – not even, in most countries, at national level. We can learn from countries like Ghana, which has established a national peace council, district peace councils and local peace councils, and they are working effectively. <Download his speech>
Annan Cassam : Tanzania, former UNESCO officer
Democracy as a system doesn’t arrive with independence. The miracle of South Africa’s transition to universal democracy was not only Mandela. It was also the ANC, the democratic liberation movement which transformed itself into a democratic political party, because a hundred years ago it understood democracy as a system, as values and as habits.