News

UN Summit Hears Reform Calls; Anti-Terrorism Measure Approved

Multimedia

Audio

President Bush and Secretary-General Kofi Annan have opened a U.N. anniversary summit with appeals for reform of the world body. From U.N. headquarters, A summit-level Security Council meeting issued a call for a global ban on incitement to terrorism.

With the leaders of the United States, Britain, Russia, China among dignitaries sitting around the horseshoe-shaped table, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging all countries to make it a crime to incite terrorist acts.

The measure was sponsored by Britain, a recent victim of terrorism which has taken action against preachers of hate. As the incitement resolution was approved, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that counterterrorism efforts were doomed to fail unless they attack the root cause, which he identified as a doctrine of fanaticism.

"It won't be defeated until we unite, not just in condemning terrorism, which we all do, but in fighting the poisonous propaganda that the root cause of terrorism somehow lies with us around this table, and not with them," the prime minister said."They want us to believe that somehow, it is our fault, that their extremism is our responsibility.

Earlier, addressing a gathering of 150 kings, presidents and prime ministers in the General Assembly hall, President Bush challenged other countries to abolish trade tariffs and subsidies. He said the elimination of trade barriers could lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the next 15 years.

"The United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to the free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same," he said. "This is key to overcoming poverty in the world's poorest nations."

In his address, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to world leaders to restore confidence in the United Nations. He urged collective action to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

But with the world body reeling from revelations of widespread corruption and mismanagement, he admitted that months of diplomatic negotiations had failed to produce the package of reforms he had hoped to present them.

"But let us be frank with each other and the peoples of the United Nations," he said. "We have not yet achieved the sweeping and fundamental reform that I, and many others, believe is required. Sharp differences, some of them substantive and legitimate, have played their part in preventing that."

Mr. Annan lamented that members had failed to include any mention of disarmament and non-proliferation in the declaration to be approved at the close of the summit. He called the omission "inexcusable".

President Bush pledged the United States would take a lead role in pushing for reform of the world body. He pointed to the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission, which has included countries such as Sudan, Cuba and Libya as members, as an example of the urgent need for reform. He chided member states for failing to take strong action to replace the commission with a more robust body.

"The process of reform begins with members taking our responsibilities seriously," the president said. "When this great institution's member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, they discredit a noble effort, and undermine the credibility of the whole organization."

The summit, billed as the largest gathering of world leaders in history, has offered countless opportunities for bilateral talks and contact between countries with long histories of rivalries. The prime ministers of India and Pakistan are discussing their dispute over Kashmir. And Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon shook hands with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at a reception, weeks after their government held their first public talks.

The meeting is also providing a forum for signing a global treaty aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. The accord - the first of its kind since September 11, 2001 - makes it a crime to possess radioactive material or weapons for the purpose of committing a terrorist act or attacking a nuclear facility.

President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin were first to sign the treaty, and 50 other heads of state and government were to add their signatures by the end of the day.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs