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Cablegate: Un General Debate: Venezuela, Eritrea and Others

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0890 2742206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 302206Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5034

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000890

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON AORC UNGA EI ET BH NI SF ER
CA, CB, VE, NZ, BO, SZ, MP, MR, MV, CG, SW, TH, VT
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL DEBATE: VENEZUELA, ERITREA AND OTHERS

REF: USUN 831

1. SUMMARY: In the final plenary session of the 63rd UNGA
General Debate on September 29, speakers included: Ireland,
Ethiopia, Belize, Nigeria, South Africa, Eritrea, Thailand,
Canada, Cambodia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Belarus,
Switzerland, Mauritius, Maldives, Mauritania, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Sweden, Ethiopia and the Holy See.
Ethiopia and Eritrea gave rights of reply. The President of
the General Assembly gave remarks at the end of the debate
urging the end of "business as usual" in the UNGA. Countries
continued to address the themes of poverty; the global
financial, food, oil and environmental crises; UN reform; and
calls to reinvigorate commitments to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). The afternoon was interposed with
speeches disparaging U.S. policies - notably Eritrea accusing
the U.S. of "meddling" in the Horn of Africa and beyond and
Venezuela blaming U.S. hegemony and its misguided "magic
remedies" of unregulated capitalism for today's global
economic woes. Video and texts are available at
www.un.org/ga/63/generaldebate. END SUMMARY.

VENEZUELA: "RELIGION OF NEOLIBERALISM" HAS FAILED
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. Blaming the global financial crisis on greed, "magic
remedies" imposed by international financial institutions,
and the imposition of neoliberal policies by a "global
dictatorship" of ruling elites, Venezuela argued for a more
regulated and "socially just" form of capitalism.
Venezuela's representative sympathized with the "millions of
brothers and sisters in the United States who have been
swindled by the ruling class." Despite freer, more
transparent elections throughout Latin America today, U.S.
"fundamentalists" on the right (whom Venezuela suggested do
not love democracy as much as they claim) refuse to accept
the results unless the winner also subscribes to their
neoliberal ideology, the speaker said. Those on the right
use media outlets like Fox News to smear leftist democracies
in countries like Venezuela and Bolivia, which the speaker
welcomed into the "axis of evil" following its recent
elections. Venezuela charged that "bellicose taunting" of
Moscow by war-like countries and alliances since the break-up
of the Soviet Union instigated the Georgia conflict. He
proclaimed, "The Russian Bear has stopped hibernating."

ERITREA: U.S. POLICIES TO BLAME FOR GLOBAL ILLS
--------------------------------------------- --

3. Eritrea catalogued ongoing conflicts throughout the world,
including Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East,
claiming, "Many of them have been exacerbated, if not
instigated, by the misguided and domineering policies of the
U.S. Government." He accused the United States of
deliberately fomenting conflicts and allowing them to fester
as a means to exert its control. Eritrea cited Somalia, the
Sudan and support for Ethiopia's "aggression" as examples of
U.S. "meddling" in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea pointed to
Ethiopia regarding problems with the Eritrea-Ethiopia
Boundary Commission, and unrest in Somalia. Ethiopia gave a
right of reply, refuting Eritrea's territorial claim and
saying that problems with the Boundary Commission can be
traced to Eritrea's "ruthless regime." Ethiopia also argued
that its forces were in Somalia as the invited peacekeepers
of the Transitional Federal Government. Eritrea then
followed with a right of reply to say that it had cooperated
with the Boundary Commission and to reiterate its claim to
the territories that Ethiopia occupied.

D'ESCOTO'S CLOSING REMARKS
--------------------------

4. The President of the General Assembly gave closing remarks
that were moderate compared to his first address to the
General Assembly (Reftel). He urged no more "business as
usual" at the United Nations in order to introduce the
changes that will reflect the UN Charter statement "We the
peoples." D'Escoto lauded the many statements made in
support of actions to overcome the current global crises and
particularly praised the interventions that called for
specific actions to counter food security. Finally, he asked
that Member States set aside "petty" differences and join
forces in the months ahead.
Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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