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Cablegate: Un General Debate: Russia, North Korea, and Others

VZCZCXYZ0017
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0883 2741619
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301619Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5026
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000883

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AORC UNGA RS SW TS HU ZA LT ID
MN, GR, UZ, ER, TD, NG, UY, KN, EZ, MY, SF
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL DEBATE: RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA, AND OTHERS
SPEAK

1. SUMMARY: Speakers at the UN General Debate the afternoon
of September 27 continued discussing the food, energy and
financial crises; United Nations democratization; terrorism;
and regional conflict resolution. Russia defended its
actions in Georgia with a criticism of the anti-terrorism
coalition. North Korea called the United States "the worst
human rights violator" and accused it of violating the
Six-Party October 2007 agreement and September 2005 joint
statement. Malaysia criticized the United States for
conducting "Guantanamo detention without trial." On rights
of reply, Iran and the United Arab Emirates debated
sovereignty of the Abu Musa islands, and North Korea and
Japan debated redress of crimes committed during WWII. The
following countries spoke: Russia, Tunisia, Hungary, Zambia,
Lesotho, Indonesia, Monaco, Uzbekistan, Greece, Uruguay,
Czech Republic, Malaysia, and North Korea. Video and texts
are available at www.un.org/ga/63/generaldebate. END SUMMARY.

RUSSIA: CRITICAL OF THE ANTI-TERROR COALITION
---------------------------------------------

2. At the beginning of its speech, Russia called the war in
Iraq a violation of international law under the "false
pretext" of the fight on terror. Continuing, the speaker
asked if the casualties in Afghanistan were an "acceptable
price" to pay in countering terrorism. Russia argued that
the coalition's operating method has created a "unipolar,"
rather than cooperative, international security framework,
leading to the aggression in South Ossetia that Russia helped
repel. In addition to defending its recent actions in
Georgia, Russia commented that the international community
should not "artificially undermine" its relationships with
partner countries that have "a common history and geography."
However, the Czech Republic criticized Russia for its actions
against Georgia and called on the international community to
assist in alleviating the suffering of those displaced.

NORTH KOREA: DERIDES U.S. FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
--------------------------------------------- --------

3. North Korea called the United States "the worst human
rights violator, evidenced by its armed invasion of sovereign
countries and unhesitatingly massacring of innocent
civilians." The speaker deemed the U.S.-South Korean August
2008 joint military exercise "war drills mounting a
preemptive nuclear strike on the DPRK." He also accused the
United States of hindering implementation of the Six-Party
October 2007 agreement and September 2005 joint statement,
prompting North Korea to take "relevant countermeasures."
Regarding Japan, he opposed its request for a Security
Council seat due to its "history of aggression and massacre"
against Korea during World War II (which Japan addressed in a
right of reply).

GENERAL THEMES
--------------

4. Speakers continued to address progress toward the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) in light of the food,
energy and financial crises, calling for developed countries
to fulfill their commitments. In contrast to most speakers,
Hungary insisted that the current crises should not be an
excuse for giving up on the MDG's. Many speakers
specifically addressed the need for increased action to
reduce greenhouse gases to ameliorate the damaging effects of
climate change. On the democratization of the United
Nations, most countries included references to the reform or
expansion of the Security Council. Concerning security
issues, other speakers reiterated their support for the fight
against terrorism as well as called on the international
community to bolster efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and to
resolve the Iraeli-Palestinian conflict.
Khalilzad

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