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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid