News / USA

UN Annual Debate Wraps Up in New York

Nicolas Maduro, Foreign Minister of Venezuela, addresses the General Assembly during the 66th U.N. General Assembly at UN Headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011.
Nicolas Maduro, Foreign Minister of Venezuela, addresses the General Assembly during the 66th U.N. General Assembly at UN Headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011.
Margaret Besheer

On the final day of the U.N. General Assembly’s annual debate, several countries took to the podium. Russia called for the lifting of the No-Fly-Zone in Libya, while Pakistan reiterated its resolve to fight terrorism; and North Korea and Venezuela both had harsh words for the United States.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that this year’s meeting took place against the backdrop of large-scale change in North Africa and the Middle East.

He noted the recent authorization of a U.N. support mission for Libya and said it is time the Security Council-imposed, NATO-operated No-Fly-Zone is lifted. The zone was established in March to protect civilians from attack by the now ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi and was recently renewed by NATO for another 90 days.

Pakistan’s young female foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, said few countries have been as brutally ravaged by terrorism as hers. She said 30,000 Pakistani civilians, police and security forces have been killed since 2002 and the attacks continue.

“Numerous politicians have lost sons and brothers and fathers at the hands of terrorists. Our streets are filled with armed police posts. We cannot enter our parks, or shopping centers or churches or mosques without being search and frisked. Terrorists have attacked our military installations, attacked the gravesites of our spiritual leaders, attacked our minorities and attacked the very idea of Pakistan," he said.

Minister Khar said Pakistan is determined to eliminate terrorism, not just from its soil, but from the region and the world, and she called for enhanced international cooperation to wipe it out.

Her remarks came as a White House spokesman urged the Pakistani government “to take action” to deal with the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-linked group that Washington says conducts attacks in Afghanistan from its base in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region.

Meanwhile, Burma's foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin told the General Assembly that his government’s efforts to improve the lives of its citizens are hampered by economic sanctions and urged their lifting.

Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, held its first elections in two decades last November. The government is supposed to be moving away from a military one to a democratic one, but critics say change is coming too slowly, particularly on the human rights front.

The minister said 20,000 prisoners were released between May and July in an amnesty, and that more would be released in the future, but he did not say if that included any of the 2,000 political prisoners in the country's jails.

Each year at the annual debate there are always countries that rant against the United States and its western allies. This year was no different.

Despite recent talks between the two countries, North Korea’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pak Kil Yon, blamed the tensions on the Korean peninsula on the United States. “As long as the hostility exists between the DPRK and the U.S. as the parties to the armistice agreement leveling guns at each other, the mistrust and confrontation will not dissipate and no denuclearization of the Korean peninsula will be possible," he said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been undergoing cancer treatment, so he did not personally deliver his annual diatribe. He sent an emissary to do it for him.

The envoy accused the United States of conducting an “imperialist war” for the last decade and scolded the United Nations for not stopping it. He was especially angry about the Security Council intervention in Libya, which ended with the ousting of his friend and ally Moammar Gadhafi.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs