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UN Radio: GA President Calls for Action-Session

UN Radio: GA President Calls for Action-Oriented Session

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  • UN Radio Special Report: United States Vetoes Resolution against Israel's Threatened Expulsion of Arafat
  • GA President Calls for Action-Oriented Session The new President of the General Assembly, Foreign Minister Julian Hunte of St. Lucia, has called on delegates to act quickly, decisively and with cooperation to tackle problems requiring urgent solutions. In a statement opening the new session of the assembly, Foreign Minister Hunte cited global problems such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the situation in Iraq and ongoing unrest in the Middle East. At the same time, he said he has high hopes that the General Assembly is ready to break new ground and record significant accomplishments during this 58th session.

    "To do so, however, requires us to choose principle over expediency, precision over ambiguity, objectivity over bias, and creative thinking over inflexibility. Above all, we need action over inaction."

    The Assembly President appealed to members to work together to ensure that the session is remembered as one in which the Assembly firmly re-established itself as the premier policy-setting body of the United Nations.

    Palestinian Observer Concerned about US Veto of Draft Resolution

    There's been reaction to the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution demanding that Israel not deport or threaten the safety of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The council was unable to act as a result of the negative vote of the United States. The Palestinian representative Mr. Nasser al-Kidwa says the vote could encourage the Israeli government to "make things more dangerous".

    "There is a real danger that they might misinterpret this veto. Thus there is a danger of creating a really catastrophic situation. Now I am not sure who to blame more - the party who did exercise the veto or the party who might misinterpret the veto. You might want to blame them both."

    Israel Says Draft Resolution Was "Lop-Sided"

    However, Israel's representative Ambassador Dan Gillerman says the debate should never have taken place, nor should a resolution been submitted.

    "This was a very lop-sided resolution, very biased resolution and I wish to commend those countries which did not support it. This was a resolution which in a very macabre way criticised the victims of terror rather than the perpetrators of terror."

    For its part, the United States defended its decision saying the draft resolution failed to include a robust condemnation of acts of terrorism, or call for the dismantling of the infrastructure that supported terrorist operations.

    Special Envoy Welcomes Nigeria's Decision to Clamp Down on Taylor

    The UN's top envoy to Liberia said he's delighted by the announcement by the Nigerian government that it was clamping down on former Liberian President Charles Taylor's activities while in exile. Special envoy Jacques Klein expressed his concern over reports that Mr. Taylor was exerting influence over government members who were still in Monrovia. Klein told UN Radio it was important that the Nigerian government made a strong statement.

    "But they also told him: 'you must behave yourself. And you must stay out of politics.' But now I think he has betrayed their trust and I think the Nigerian government is saying now that enough is enough."

    WFP Resumes Food Distribution in Rebel-Held Liberian City

    The UN food agency (WFP), says it has sent food to people in the rebel-held Liberian city of Buchanan for the first time since heavy fighting erupted between government forces and rebels in the capital Monrovia earlier this year. WFP said that despite the precarious situation, it has gone ahead with plans to start a general distribution of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to more than 30-thousand people in Buchanan. The agency said a convoy of food trucks arrived on Tuesday night following the deployment of West African peacekeepers just outside the town.

    Humanitarian Access Agreed to in Darfur Region of Sudan

    The Government of Sudan has signed an agreement that would allow free and unimpeded humanitarian access to the Darfur region, which covers some 20 per cent of the country's territory. The agreement was signed with the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the humanitarian situation in Darfur has deteriorated over the past six months due, in part, to fighting and banditry resulting in the displacement of large numbers of civilians.

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