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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid