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Cablegate: Un General Debate Begins: Over 100 Heads of State

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DE RUCNDT #0907/01 2862319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 132319Z OCT 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7341
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 2027
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 0071
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 1182
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000907

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNGA ECON PGOV PREL AORC KPKO US LY UG QA
TX, CI, UA, AG, KN, FR, BR
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL DEBATE BEGINS: OVER 100 HEADS OF STATE
AND GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATE

1. SUMMARY: Over 100 heads of state and government
participated in this year's United Nations General Debate,
which opened on September 23, including President Obama for
his first Assembly appearance. Most interventions addressed
the economic impact of the financial crisis, nuclear
disarmament and climate change. UN reform was another common
theme with many expressing support for enlarging the Security
Council. Latin American countries supported Honduran
President Zeleya's return to office. The following spoke: UN
Secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, President of the General
Assembly Dr. Treki (Libyan), Brazil, United States, Libya,
Uganda, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Chile, Algeria,
Republic of Korea and France. Full text of statements
available on at www.un.org/ga/64/generaldebate; video
archives are at www.un.org/webcast/2009.html. END SUMMARY

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2. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon preceded the General Debate
to present his "Report on the work of the
Organization"(A/64/1) calling for greater global engagement,
confronting climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and
combating the effects of the global economic crisis.
President of the General Assembly Ali Treki (Libya) took the
liberty to echo Bon's remarks during a 30 minute statement.
He also addressed UN reform, climate change, development in
Africa, human rights and the question of Palestine.

3. Brazilian President Lula de Silva addressed the economic
crisis, "the lack of a stable, representative world
governance", and climate change. He called for more
regulation of the global economy and reforms of the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank. He advocated a
reformed Security Council that was "open to new permanent
members." He spoke of Brazil's work in bio-fuels and its
commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. He called for
ousted President Zeleya's return to Honduras.

4. President Obama's address emphasized United States
reengagement with multilateral institutions to confront the
world's problems. He stated that for too long, opposition to
United States policies was reason for inaction. He challenged
member states to take action and not blame the United States
for inaction. He addressed nuclear non-proliferation and
climate change, and announced a re-launching of negotiations
to settle Israel-Palestine issues. Full text of statement
available at www.un.org/ga/64/generaldebate/pdf/US en.pdf

5. In a rambling one hour and thirty-six minute speech Libyan
President Qadhafi, spoke about his desire to change all
aspects of the United Nations. The common charge was the
oppression of the many by those in the Security Council with
veto powers. He railed against the power of the Security
Council (calling it the "Terrorist Council"), advocating
early in the speech for its dissolution, yet later pushed for
more permanent seats (with veto) for multiple countries and
regional bodies. He also urged the General Assembly no
longer recognize Security Council resolutions. He touched on
reparations for African countries, the International Criminal
Court, the International Atomic Energy Agency, investigations
of wars and assassinations, and advocated moving the United
Nations out of New York. His speech was chaotic, including
ripping up the United Nations Charter and throwing documents
off of the podium in awkward theatrics to prove his point.

6. France: President Sarkozy spoke at length on the economic
crisis, saying that people cannot continue to live without
hope and arguing that the International Monetary Fund and
World Bank should be reformed. He insisted that a
multi-polar world should not operate with a single (reserve)
currency, that technology should be shared internationally
(if necessary, funded by taxing excess profits and
speculation) and that tax havens should be shut down. He
advocated for a world environment organization, stating that
"free trade should not impose its will." He warned Iran that
it should not count on "passive reaction" from the
international community regarding its nuclear ambitions. On
Security Council reform, he advocated the increase in
permanent and non-permanent seats, noting it was
"unacceptable" that Africa, Brazil, India, Japan and Germany
were excluded.

7. Ugandan President Museveni echoed Libyan calls for an

USUN NEW Y 00000907 002 OF 002


African seat on the Security Council and spoke about economic
issues affecting his country. Qatar's Amir Sheik Khalifa
Al-Thani called on the UN to work towards peace - especially
in Israel and Palestine - and supported climate change goals.
Turkmenistan President Berdimuhamedov supported reform of
the UN and spoke about issues effecting
Central Asia. Chile and Uruguay both addressed the political
issues in Honduras, Chilean President Bachelet supporting the
San Jose Agreement and Uruguayan President Vazquez calling
for a return of the "constitutional order." Vazquez also
emphasized Uruguayan opposition to the Cuban embargo.
Algerian President Bouteflika addressed the economic crisis
and also perceived a "double standard" in issues of
non-proliferation and human rights. Korean President
Myung-bak stated his desire for a nuclear free Korean
peninsula and more dialogue, within the six-party talks, with
the DPRK.

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