This is the text of the statement made today by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the fifth summit conference of Ibero-American Heads of State and Government at San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina:


The United Nations values highly the association of nations of shared cultural and linguistic heritage -- the Commonwealth, the Francophone countries, the Lusophone countries, the Ibero-American family of nations gathered here today. Such associations are a critical component of international cooperation.

It is especially welcome to see this process at work here, in Ibero- America, inspired by the great democratic revolutions of Latin America.

The heritage of democracy also contributes to the objective of education for development. The best way to cultivate a citizen's readiness to participate in development is to arouse that person's energy, creativity and commitment through democratization and human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights not only recognizes education as a fundamental human right. It proclaims that, "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups."

Here in Ibero-America all the elements for progress are present. Here is the heritage. Here is the inspiration. Here is the talent. Here is the spirit and the vision. Thank you for permitting me to be here today. The future of this great continent is truly unlimited. Here, at this Summit, you can set the course for tomorrow.

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*Reissued to reflect text as delivered.

For information media. Not an official record.