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Cablegate: Un General Debate Continues: Food Crisis,

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0871/01 2731444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291444Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5005

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000871

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON UNGA HO EN MI CY CO LG NR
ES, NS, GT, PL, CT, CV, AL, CS, MG
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL DEBATE CONTINUES: FOOD CRISIS,
TERRORISM, CLIMATE CHANGE KEY THEMES IN EIGHTH PLENARY
MEETING

1. SUMMARY: During the afternoon meeting of the 63rd UN
General Assembly on September 24, the General Debate focused
on the food crisis, climate change and the increasing price
of energy, with many noting a need for a more modern,
efficient United Nations. The leaders of developing
countries called for donor countries to meet Millennium
Development Goal commitments. Several speakers raised
concerns over terrorism and organized crime. Eastern
European leaders discussed energy security, territorial
integrity, and state sovereignty, with an eye on Russia's
recent actions in Georgia. The Latin American countries
expressed strong concern over the financial crisis, and
called for more control over private companies and financial
institutions. The leaders of several countries touched upon
immigration, with the Latin American leaders focusing on
immigrants' rights, and African and Pacific Rim leaders
pleading for developed countries to open their borders. END
SUMMARY.

2. The following participated: Honduran President Rosales;
Mozambican President Guebuza; Estonian President Ilves;
Malawian President Mutharika; Cypriot President Christofias;
Colombian President Uribe; Latvian President Zatlers; Nauruan
President Stephen; Salvadoran President Gonzalez; Surinamese
President Venetiaan; Guatemalan President Caballeros; Polish
President Kaczynski; Central African President Bozize; Cape
Verdean President Pires; Albanian President Topi; Costa Rican
President Sanchez; and Mongolian Prime Minister Bayar. All
statements are available at www.un.org/ga/63/generaldebate.

ENERGY SECURITY, TERRITORIAL ISSUES CRITICAL TO EASTERN EUROPE
--------------------------------------------- -----------------

3. Estonian President Ilves stressed the gravity of the
Russian-Georgian conflict, stating that Russia's actions had
seriously violated the principles governing relations between
states and had proven that it is possible for even a Security
Council Permanent Five member to get away with disregarding
international treaties and law. Latvian President Zatlers
called for adherence to and implementation of the cease-fire
agreement by Russia, the removal of all foreign troops from
Georgian territory, and the establishment of a European Union
(EU) monitoring mission in Georgia. After witnessing the
"illegal military aggression and division" of Georgia, Polish
President Kaczynski said that "certain states" use energy
resources to manipulate political outcomes in neighboring
countries, underscoring the urgency for Europe to diversify
its energy supplies and expand its energy transport
infrastructure. Albanian President Topi rejected out of hand
any linkage between Georgia and Kosovo, calling the latter a
sui generis case. Kosovar independence enables the Balkans
to escape from "historical injustices," he added, and urged
the United Nations to admit Kosovo as a member.

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, FOOD CRISIS
--------------------------------------------- -----------------

4. Mozambique, Malawi, El Salvador, Suriname, the Central
African Republic, Cape Verde, Mongolia and Nauru related the
difficult situations their countries and regions faced as a
result of climate change, the food crisis and rising energy
prices. Several leaders underscored the devastating impact
of natural disasters on their countries, with Nauru President
Stephen calling for the Security Council to discuss climate
change, as he said it presents a threat to international
peace and security. The Presidents of Mozambique, Honduras
and Suriname called for the elimination of developed
countries' "unfair" and protectionist agricultural policies.
Malawi requested that the international community consider
granting agricultural subsidies to developing countries,
specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. Central African Republic
President Bozize added that African farmers need assistance
in improving agricultural production, calling hunger "one of
the worst weapons of mass destruction." In contrast to the
call from many developing countries for developed countries
to fulfill their Millennium Development Goal commitments,
Estonian President Ilves stated that "every nation is itself
primarily responsible for its own development."

A PLEA FOR IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS, OPEN BORDERS
-------------------------------------------

5. Honduran President Rosales stated that immigration was a
human right rather than a crime, and appealed to the United
States and Europe to consider immigrants' rights and promote
the reunification of split families. Salvadoran President
Gonzalez called for the United States to consider the rights
of its nearly 12 million undocumented migrants, and noted the
importance of international coordination on migration
policies to prevent transnational crimes like trafficking in
persons. Guatemalan President Caballeros argued for

acceptance of the globalization and free flow of labor and
migration, just as the world has accepted the free flow of
material and information. He proposed the Secretary-General
convene a panel to examine the nature and consequences of
global migration. Nauruan President Stephen appealed to the
developed countries to open their labor markets to workers
from developing countries, to reduce trade barriers, and to
promote labor mobility. He specifically requested the United
States to grant preferential access for Nauruan workers to
economic opportunities created by the U.S. military presence
in Guam.

LATIN AMERICA FOCUSED ON FINANCIAL CRISIS, FIGHTING TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------- ----------------

6. Honduran President Rosales criticized multinational
companies for their role in the financial crisis, which he
said has triggered "rapid and devastating spikes" in food and
energy prices. The "wild and savage" capitalist system with
its "demonic" market laws was now "paradoxically devouring
its very creators," he said. Rosales said that aid to
developing countries should be given without imposed
conditions. Guatemalan President Caballeros blamed
manipulation and speculation for exacerbating the global
financial crisis. Salvadoran President Gonzalez called for
those countries involved in the financial crisis to meet to
discuss possible solutions before losing ground on advances
made in fighting poverty in recent years.

7. Colombian President Uribe highlighted the progress
Colombia has made in fighting terrorism and reducing crime,
resulting in lower homicide rates, the dismantling of
paramilitary groups, and the release of many hostages. He
explained that Columbia is giving special protection to union
leaders, teachers, and journalists in an effort to eliminate
impunity. Democracy is key to the ongoing fight against
terrorism and organized crime, he added. Costa Rican
President Sanchez argued in an eloquently delivered discourse
on disarmament that all nations should divert "excessive"
military spending to address poverty and hunger, claiming
that, "every tank is a symbol of postponed attention to the
needs of our people." Moving beyond the region, Sanchez
called for those responsible for crimes in Darfur to be
brought before the International Criminal Court, lest the
history of Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and Cambodia repeat itself.
Khalilzad

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