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Cablegate: U.N. General Debate Continues (September 24, Pm):

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 USUN NEW YORK 000997

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO UNGA VE SI GY CS PA TZ LG
MI, IZ, GA, MV, GT, HA, SG, FI, ZA, HR, RM, MT, GG
SUBJECT: U.N. GENERAL DEBATE CONTINUES (SEPTEMBER 24, PM):
CHAVEZ CRITICIZES THE UNITED STATES; GEORGIA CONDEMNS
RUSSIAN WAR-MONGERING

1. (U) SUMMARY: The afternoon session of the 2nd day of the
UNGA General Debate on September 24 opened with Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez criticizing the United States,
dissecting the intentions of President Obama, and extolling
the merits of socialism. Latin American leaders from
Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Paraguay condemned the coup in
Honduras. Many leaders called for reforming the United
Nations and increasing the size and permanent membership of
the Security Council. Many leaders focused on the urgent need
to address climate change, the Maldives claiming the issue as
a matter of survival. Slovenia and Guyana called on the
United Nations to organize a new Bretton Woods conference.
The session closed with the President of Georgia delivering
an impassioned condemnation of Russia for its role in
provoking the conflict between the two countries, and
thanking the United States for its support.

2. (U) Speakers included heads of state and foreign ministers
from Venezuela, Slovenia, Guyana, Costa Rica, Paraguay,
Tanzania, Latvia, Malawi, Iraq, Gambia, Maldives, Guatemala,
Haiti, Senegal, Finland, Zambia, Croatia, Marshall Islands,
Malta, and Georgia. 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

3. (U) VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez began by promoting a
new film by Oliver Stone, "South of the Border." Chavez
encouraged everyone to see the film "if the capitalist
theater monopolies do not keep it from being shown." Chavez
extolled the unique virtues of Bolivarian Socialism and at
one point complimented President Obama and said he prayed God
would protect him. After receiving a large round of applause
for this comment, Chavez added that the dais no longer
smelled like sulfur, but now smelled like hope. However,
Chavez asked several times, "How many 'Obamas' are there?"
He explained that there are, in fact, two "Obamas" - the one
who spoke at the United Nations and called for international
cooperation - and another who built bases in Colombia and
maintained an embargo on Cuba. He asked the Obama who spoke
at the United Nations to "come over to the socialist side"
and "join the axis of evil." Chavez condemned the coup in
Honduras and claimed that it was initiated by the Pentagon,
which he said operates independently around the world outside
the control of the U.S. Government. Chavez concluded by
saying that capitalism caused climate change and that the
world needs an entirely new economic system.

4. (U) SLOVENIA: President Danilo Turk stated that the world
needs a comprehensive strategy to address climate change and
that steps must be taken in unison, but differentiated for
each state. He called on the United Nations and the G-20 to
lead the way to financial stability and insisted the Bretton
Woods organizations be adjusted. Turk also described four
issues facing the United Nations: 1) structural change
(especially Security Council reform), 2) a strengthened U.N.
role in peacekeeping operations, 3)
disarmament/non-proliferation, and, 4) the United Nations,
continued role as a forum for international consultations. He
described the situation in Afghanistan as an example of a
crisis where the United Nations can play a vital role.

5. (U) GUYANA: President Bharat Jagdeo said the global
financial crisis hit small Caribbean nations harder than most
because of their dependence on commodities. He called for a
global commission to restructure debt and for the United
Nations to hold a new Bretton Woods conference. Jagdeo also
warned that the world must stop deforestation now, as opposed
to waiting until 2030.

USUN NEW Y 00000997 002 OF 005

6. (U) COSTA RICA: President Oscar Arias Sanchez addressed
the evils of defense spending and the international arms
trade. He said that money and human resources currently spent
on defense should be refocused on global problems, such as
climate change. He claimed that national militaries serve no
purpose other than to suppress their own people. Sanchez said
that developing countries in Latin America face three
national challenges: strengthening their democracies, arms
reduction, and creating a new international order to combat
climate change. Arias said that Latin America's civil
structure is hollow and needs to build democratic
institutions.

7. (U) PARAGUAY: President Fernando Mendez of Paraguay
claimed that war and defense spending enrich developed
nations but harm developing nations. Mendez described the
need for a new economic world order that would strengthen
small economies, develop democratic institutions, end
criminal aggression against the environment, find peaceful
solutions to conflicts, and eliminate gender discrimination.
He also called for the end of the United States' Cuba embargo
condemned the coup in Honduras. Mendez concluded by
expressing his fears of an arms race in Latin America.

8. (U) TANZANIA: President Jakaya Kikwete pressed for
agricultural technology assistance for Africa as a means to
address climate change. He extolled the virtues of youth
employment programs in Africa, noting that employed young
people are less inclined to engage in violent acts. He
commended progress (but wanted to see more) on the MDG's and
publicized the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. He expressed
support for a two state solution for Israel and Palestine and
asked that the people of Western Sahara be allowed to decide
their own future. He called for Security Council reform and
asked for assistance with Tanzania,s refugee problem and
support for developing democratic institutions in Africa.

9. (U) LATVIA: President Valdis Zatlers said the world must
focus on the three crisis "E's" (energy, economy, and
environment) and the three crisis "F's" (finance, food, and
fuel). He said that countries must not act strictly in
self-interest and extolled the virtues of the MDG's. Zatlers
stated that each nation should contribute to the fight
against climate change according to its own capabilities. He
called for continued support for peace and stability in
Afghanistan and the Middle East. He reiterated Latvia's
support for Georgia and complained about human rights abuses
in Iran after the elections. Zatlers reaffirmed support for
the Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court.
He reminded the General Assembly of the Human Rights Council
review in 2011 and said it would be a good time to strengthen
the organization. He also called for Security Council reform
and said that the United Nations must prioritize its budget
and make it more transparent and disciplined.

10. (U) MALAWI: President Bingu Mutharika called for
strengthened multilateralism and expressed the need to reform
the United Nations (particularly the Security Council), spur
international action on food security, and bolster
international cooperation in addressing climate change.
Mutharika closed by calling for a global dialogue on
democracy and its institutions.

11. (U) IRAQ: President Jala Talabani spoke about political
and economic progress in Iraq. He requested that nations
currently hosting Iraqi refugees enable and encourage them to
return home where they would be welcomed. He said that the

USUN NEW Y 00000997 003 OF 005


real threat to Iraq is external, and requested a Security
Council investigation into the August 19 Baghdad bombings.
Talabani asked that the current Security Council resolutions
against Iraq be removed and that the United Nations increase
its engagement. Talabani registered support for the struggle
of the Palestinian people and called for the Middle East to
become a nuclear-weapon free zone.

12. (U) GAMBIA: President Yahya Jammeh blamed Africa's
problems on large western multi-national corporations and
debt. He said that the lack of development in Africa is not
Africa's fault and that Africa can do little to help itself.
Jammeh cautioned that there will be consequences if the
situation does not improve. He called for speedy resolution
of the plight of the Palestinians, Taiwan's inclusion in the
United Nations, lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba, support for
Morocco's plan in Western Sahara, and Security Council
reform.

13. (U) MALDIVES: President Mohamed Nasheed focused his
attention on climate change, emphasizing that the matter is
of dire consequence for the Maldives population. Nasheed
called for aggressive measures to be taken at the upcoming
summit in Copenhagen, warning that, "to do otherwise would be
to sign a death warrant for the 300 thousand Maldivians." The
President declared his intention to have the Maldives become
carbon neutral. Nasheed spoke about the importance of freedom
and thanked the international community for its support in
helping the Maldives to become a democracy. Reminding the
audience that he had once been a political prisoner himself,
Nasheed asked that leaders release all political prisoners.
The President promoted efforts to rid the world of terrorism,
while suggesting that such efforts not be done at the expense
of people's democratic freedoms.

14. (U) GUATEMALA: The President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom
Caballeros, focused his speech on the financial crisis and
effects on his already poor country, complaining about the
significant decline in foreign remittances and a surge in
unemployment. He commented that the ongoing drought and the
recent financial crisis have left millions of Guatemalans in
a vulnerable state. Colom mentioned some of the basic efforts
by his country to tackle poverty and malnutrition and noted
the challenges faced by Guatemala in its war against
organized crime and narco-trafficking. He cited a seven-fold
increase in cocaine seizures as evidence of more effective
policing. Raising the matter of the recent murder of the
esteemed lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg (Note: Rosenberg produced a
video found post-mortem suggesting the President and others
would likely murder him), Colom said "there will be justice"
and expressed his determination to find the truth through an
independent investigation. Guatemala offered support for
Honduras and the ousted Zelaya government, and noted that
"President Zelaya needs to return so elections can be
legitimate."

15. (U) HAITI: President Rene Garcia Caballeros addressed
poverty as the central area of concern for Haiti, citing a
shortfall of development aid necessary to create
infrastructure that can withstand natural disaster. The
President shared his belief that the matter of alleviating
poverty through sustainable development will have spillover
effects in the realm of security, declaring that "the real
vector for peace and security is development." Caballeros
noted that the work of MINUSTAH (the United Nations
Stabilization Mission in Haiti) should be expanded in order
to build upon peace and poverty elimination and greater
development. The President expressed condemnation for the

USUN NEW Y 00000997 004 OF 005


coup in Honduras and railed against the U.S. economic embargo
on Cuba.

16. (U) SENEGAL: President Abdoulaye Wade spoke about the
financial crisis, development issues, poverty and food
security. Wade declared that "we are condemned to prevail,"
despite the challenges facing developing nations including
his own and urged leaders to reform international
institutions to better serve struggling nations. The
President advocated for an eventual expansion of the G8 and
G20, but also called for a "shadow G20" comprised of experts
from around the world. He asserted that food security
requires a new and sustainable approach, and suggested that
the African food fund be entrusted to the World Bank. The
President stressed the importance of young people in raising
awareness and promoting changes, particularly on
environmental issues. Wade praised the goal of creating the
Great Green Wall stretching from Dakar to Djibouti. He
commended President Obama for his support of the two-state
solution in Israel-Palestine, while contending that "Israeli
illegal activity is counter-productive." Wade expressed
support for African Unity and described the importance of his
country's role as OIC chair in connecting with Muslim Ummah
(community).

17. (U) FINLAND: President Tarja Halonen discussed the need
for measures addressing climate change to be fair and
balanced and offered his hope that the Copenhagen Summit will
be a success. She contended that climate change, gender
equality, and food production are most critical to those
living in poverty. She noted that the majority of the
impoverished and hungry in the world are women and expressed
concern that climate change will further reduce global food
production. Halonen urged leaders to take additional steps in
promoting disarmament and non-proliferation.

18. (U) ZAMBIA: President Rupiah Bwezani Banda stated the
financial crisis was taking a huge toll on his country and
recommended that reforms be enacted to prevent future such
events. The President strongly urged leaders to focus on
climate change, pointing out the devastating effects of
desertification and drought, while taking into account the
special needs of developing countries. Banda reiterated the
call of other African leaders in urging that the UN Security
Council be expanded to include additional permanent and
non-permanent members. Banda criticized the ongoing U.S.
economic embargo against Cuba as unfair and unjustified and
said that now is the "time for it to be lifted."

19. (U) CROATIA: President Stjepan Mesic stated that with
respect to the world,s problems today, "the consequences are
always global." He recommended that a new world order be put
in place to tackle the economic situation and that member
states create a shared social and economic model. Mesic
registered support for a dialogue between civilizations and
called for the global community to fight discrimination.
20. (U) MARSHALL ISLANDS: President Tomeing echoed the
sentiment of other island nations, calling on member states
to take urgent steps to assure that global carbon emissions
peak no later than 2015. He stressed the moral obligation for
countries to seize the opportunity presented to them in
Copenhagen and expressed hope that the United States will
increase its participation in the debate. On the issue of
non-proliferation, the President said that he was encouraged
by the session led earlier the same day in the Security
Council by President Obama. Tomeing lamented nuclear weapons
production, citing the testing of dozens of bombs in the
Marshall Islands as a continuing disaster for his country.

USUN NEW Y 00000997 005 OF 005


The Marshall Islands also commented on its special
relationship with the United States and praised its soldiers
that have fought with U.S. forces.

21. (U) MALTA: Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi addressed the
importance of climate change and called for leaders to
embrace a global solution. The PM noted that Malta plays an
intermediary role between Africa and Europe and reflected on
the challenges of the many African refugees and asylum
seekers who show up on their shores. While Malta promises to
"honor our international obligations vis-avis genuine
refugees", the PM asked the U.N. to take greater steps in
dealing with illegal immigration "so as to find solutions to
a humanitarian problem that countries like Malta and other
Mediterranean countries are facing in an unprecedented
manner." He reminded delegates of Malta's long historical
commitment to the two-state solution for Palestine and Israel.

22. (U) GEORGIA: President Mikheil Saakashvili gave an
impassioned speech condemning Russia for its military actions
in Georgia and accusing it of the lion share of wrongdoing
for the hostilities that took place between the two
countries. The President bemoaned the hundreds killed and
wounded and claimed that Russian brutality had gone
unpunished. He pleaded with leaders to recognize that
Russia,s actions are typical and that they "will do it
again, unless they are stopped." He declared that Russia,s
intervention had been against international norms and law.
Saakashvilli offered thanks to the U.S. for its support
during the conflict as well as to Vice-President Biden for
his visit to Georgia this past summer. Saakashvili noted that
he shared President Obama,s assessment, that "new walls
should not divide us." He declared that his country will
prevail and claimed that, "Georgia is winning the peace."
Towards the end of the speech, President Saakashvilli praised
the assassinated human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya,
referring to her as a personal hero.
Rice

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