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Cablegate: Un General Debate: Burma, Libya, and Others

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0895/01 2751900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011900Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5042

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000895

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PBTS UNGA LA TX MD LS SN YM JO
BM, BC, CD, CF, IV, KG, LY, EC, DA
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL DEBATE: BURMA, LIBYA, AND OTHERS

REF: STATE 98982

1. SUMMARY: During the morning UN General Assembly General
Debate on September 29, Lao, Turkmenistan, Moldova,
Liechtenstein, Singapore, Yemen, Jordan, Burma, Botswana,
Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Cote D'Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan, Libya,
Ecuador, and Denmark spoke. Speakers continued discussing
the energy, food, and financial crises; climate change;
poverty eradication and implementation of the Millennium
Development Goals; regional security issues, including peace
in the Middle East, the "frozen" conflicts in the Former
Soviet Union, and African conflicts; human rights; and UN
reform. Burma criticized the "unfair, immoral, and
unwarranted" sanctions imposed on Burma, and said that
Burma's cooperation with the international community in the
wake of Cyclone Nargis was a "model" for natural-disaster
response. Libya emphasized that terrorism should not be
confused with the rights of peoples to resist foreign
occupation and to self-determination. Ecuador expressed
strong concern over the violation of the human rights of
suspected terrorists, and stressed that the fight against
terrorism could not be an excuse for states to disregard
international law. All speeches are available at
www.un.org/ga/generaldebate. END SUMMARY

TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY IN AREAS WITH "FROZEN" CONFLICTS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

2. Moldova cautioned that "frozen" conflicts, like those in
Georgia and Transnistria, fostered instability, and that
international recognition of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia
would not stabilize the situation. Moldova, the speaker
said, rejected the use of force in conflict settlement; he
called for the United Nations to take more direct actions to
prevent and manage conflicts, and to address the resulting
humanitarian needs. The speaker emphasized the importance of
respecting Georgia's territorial integrity, and called for
"demilitarization and democratization" of the Transnistrian
region. Denmark noted that the conflict in Georgia
dramatically affected the region, but also had more serious
repercussions, and called for a peaceful solution to the
conflict that respected Georgia's independence, sovereignty,
and territorial integrity. Singapore characterized Russia's
recent recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as
"unsettling" and said that Georgia should not be linked to
Kosovo. Yemen declared its support for Georgian sovereignty.

DARFUR AND SOMALIA
------------------

3. Chad recounted the economic, social, and environmental
impact to the country caused by the crisis in Darfur,
particularly the high IDP/refugee burden in eastern Chad.
The speaker called for the international community to
contribute all available resources to work towards a lasting,
comprehensive solution and to assist with humanitarian needs.
Botswana expressed deep concern over the "ever-worsening"
situation in Darfur, noting that the continuation of armed
hostilities despite UN efforts was "disconcerting." The
speaker called upon all parties to commit to a political
dialogue to work towards lasting peace. He also called for
Somalia to commit to an "all-inclusive" political process to
achieve peace, and stressed the need for international
humanitarian assistance to Somalia. Congo termed the
International Criminal Court's (ICC's) indictment against the
Sudanese President "counterproductive," Yemen also disagreed
with the indictment, and called for outside powers to cease
"meddling" in Somalia. Denmark noted its support for the
ICC's decision, and called for those responsible for the
grave crimes committed in Darfur to be held accountable. The
speaker also underscored that piracy was undermining
stability in Somalia, and called for increased international
efforts to fight piracy.

PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
------------------------

4. Libya, Jordan, and Yemen called for peace and stability in
the region via the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Libya blasted Israel for subjecting Palestinians to "the
fiercest form of occupation and extermination practiced
against civilians," and called for Israel to withdraw from
the Golan Heights and Lebanese territory. Yemen termed the
situation for Palestinians "a source of grave concern," and
called on the international community to establish conditions
that would allow for peace. Jordan criticized Israel for
acting "in defiance" of the International Court of Justice's
decision regarding the construction of a separation wall, and
for intensifying its settlement activities, which Jordan said
threatened the chance for establishment of an independent and
viable Palestinian state. Denmark urged all parties involved


to honor their Road Map commitments, and strongly condemned
the "unacceptable" remarks made by the Iranian President
"calling for wiping Israel off the face of the map." Yemen
and Jordan explicitly welcomed the "remarkable progress" in
Iraq, and Yemen condemned the terrorist attack on the U.S.
Embassy in Sana'a.

SHARP CRITICISM OF OCCUPATION, FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. Libyan Permanent Representative Giadalla Ettalhi
emphasized that terrorism should not be confused with the
legitimate right of peoples to resist foreign occupation "in
order to obtain their freedom and independence," nor with
their right to self-determination. He underscored that
associating the term "terrorism" with specific religions,
nationalities, or cultures would "inflame conflicts," and
said that a system based on that perception was
"incompatible" with relations between governments and
cultures based on respect. Ettalhi declared the practice of
foreign occupation, which he said violated internationally
agreed human rights standards, "one of the worst forms of
terrorism in our modern world." Ecuadorian Permanent
Representative Maria Fernada Espinosa stressed that the fight
against terrorism could not be used as an excuse for "some
states" to disregard international law, particularly the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations, and
non-intervention in their internal affairs. She expressed
strong concern over the "very serious precedent" set by the
violation of the human rights of suspected terrorists, whom
she said "have been tortured, have been incarcerated in
clandestine military prisons, and have been deprived of the
elemental right to defend themselves," practices which she
said "must be condemned" by the international community.

BURMA: DISASTER RESPONSE "A MODEL" FOR COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------- -----

6. Per reftel instructions, all senior USG officials vacated
the U.S. chair during Burmese Foreign Minister U Nyan Win's
intervention, leaving only a notetaker. Win termed the
unilateral sanctions imposed on Burma as "unwarranted,"
"against international law," "unfair," and "immoral." He
emphasized that "political and social progress can only be
achieved through development, never through coercive economic
measures," which he said would "only serve to worsen the
plight of the people." Noting that Cyclone Nargis had caused
"unprecedented death and destruction," Win said that his
nation was united in its response to the emergency. He
thanked international donors for their "overwhelming"
generosity in the wake of the storm, and said that Burma had
demonstrated its "willingness and ability" to work "in
concert" with the international community, a response which
he said was "widely regarded as a model for effective
cooperation in the case of natural disasters." Win concluded
by stating that "the international community can best assist
Myanmar's democratization process by respecting the will of
its people expressed in the recent referendum."
Khalilzad

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