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

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.