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General Assembly
GA/10749

            Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly
Plenary
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR ‘GLOBAL LEADERSHIP’ TO TACKLE WORLD ECONOMIC WOES,

FOOD, ENERGY CRISES, AS SIXTY-THIRD GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEGINS GENERAL DEBATE

Assembly President Decries Undemocratic Institutions;
26 Heads of State, Government Address Session’s First Day


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Statement by General Assembly President

MIGUEL D’ESCOTO BROCKMANN (Nicaragua), acknowledging the large scale and interrelated crises facing the world today, called for Member States to seize the opportunity to work together collectively and cooperatively – not by making speeches and statements of good intentions, but through concrete action based on the “golden rule” that guided humankind’s behaviour.

The United Nations illustrious history clearly reflected its many laudable actions.  However, the fulfillment of its primary purpose – eliminating war, achieving disarmament and ensuring international security –- had clearly failed.  The pressing and man-made problems of climate change, efforts to privatize water, the build-up of arms, terrorism, human trafficking, the situation of Palestine, humanitarian aid, gender inequality, children in especially difficult circumstances such as armed conflict, as well as the fact that half the world are living in hunger and poverty, could be directly linked to the lack of democracy in the United Nations.

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Statements

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GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States, ...

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The United Nations was an active civilian presence in Afghanistan, with experts facilitating humanitarian aid and protecting human rights, he said.  In Iraq, the fight had been difficult, but life had improved dramatically thanks to the determination of Iraqis.  He called on States to “stand united” for people in such areas as Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and Georgia, where the Russian invasion was a violation of the United Nations Charter.

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ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, President of Liberia, ...

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For Africa to accomplish sustained development, the focus on the promotion of trade rather than aid was essential.  New avenues of development received support from the United States’ Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, the Forum for China Africa Cooperation, the European Union, and the Tokyo International Conference for African Development, among others.  However, participation in world affairs beyond Africa’s borders was also an essential element to growth and recovery, and she noted her talks with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

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ABDULLAH GÜL, President of Turkey, ...

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Turning to the region’s political issues, Turkey had launched an initiative to prevent additional conflicts in the recently traumatized South Caucasus by proposing the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, which could provide a framework for building a climate of confidence in the region.  On the Middle East, Turkey supported all efforts to bring a lasting solution to the problem and alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.

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MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, President of Iran, ...

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He then noted that the world was being deceived by hegemonic world and bullying Powers that attacked Iraq under the false pretext of uncovering weapons of mass destruction and overthrowing a dictator.  These Powers had insisted on imposing colonial agreements on Iraq by keeping them under Chapter VII of the Charter.  While this was going on, he said that Palestine had suffered 60 years of carnage and invasion by Zionists, even as United Nations resolutions that have addressed the plight of the Palestinian people had been relegated to the archives, unnoticed.

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MICHEL SLEIMAN, President of Lebanon, ...

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In that regard, Lebanon was committed to achieving peace in the Middle East and to the Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the 2002 Beirut Summit.  He emphasized the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State, with Jerusalem as their capital, and called on the international community to provide the necessary financial resources to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  Lebanon, however, absolutely rejected any resettlement of Palestinian refugees on its territory.

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