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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Blasts UN Actions at World Summit

Zimbabwe's controversial president Robert Mugabe told world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations Summit that U.N. members must return to the drawing board to find a workable agenda for peace and security.

Mr. Mugabe has been under fire from the United Nations on issues of human rights and governance, most recently because of Zimbabwe's decision to raze slums. Zimbabwe says the action was taken to clear illegally-built slums that bred criminal activities. But the United Nations says the slum clearance forcibly evicted more than half a million of the nation's poorest people.

In a thinly veiled criticism, Mr. Mugabe said a reformed United Nations should be one that plays a key role in coordinating development issues, not setting strategies.

"The vision that we must present for a future United Nations should not be one filled with vague concepts that provide an opportunity for those states that seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states," Mr. Mugabe said. "Concepts such as "humanitarian intervention" and the "responsibility to protect" need careful scrutiny in order to test the motives of their proponents."

Mr. Mugabe said the United Nations, including the Security Council, must be restructured to so that powerful nations do not dictate the agenda for other nations or violate the integrity of smaller states. On Friday, before leaving Zimbabwe for a visit to Cuba on his way to the U.N. Summit in New York, Mr. Mugabe signed a series of constitutional amendments restricting property and citizenship rights

Meanwhile, Mr. Mugabe said developing nations have not been able to meet the millennium goals set by the United Nations five years ago because of severe weather conditions, the AIDS pandemic, and sanctions imposed by the international community.