Thursday, September 22, 2011

At the UN: Arms, the Falklands, and the debate over Palestinian recognition

Several Latin American spoke at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. What did some of them have to say? Here is a brief summary:
  • Mexican president Felipe Calderon spoke out against the global arms trade that he believes is “feeding the arsenals” of criminals and narcotraffickers worldwide. Criminal organizations including Mexican drug gangs “are murdering more people...than all the current dictatorial regimes” according to Calderon. (His speech came a day after 35 bodies were found dumped on the side of a Veracruz highway supposedly at the hands of a new group “making a violent challenge to the dominant Zetas Cartel.”)
  • “I implore that (Israeli and Palestinian diplomats) return to the negotiating table as soon as possible because…that is the only path to arrive at what we all want: peace and security for both states.” Believe it or not those words did not come from US President Barack Obama during his UN speech but from his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos.
  • Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner renewed claims over the sovereignty of the British-controlled Falkland Islands. She urged Britain to negotiate over the future of the archipelago and warned that not doing so could lead to the banning of all stops from Chilean flights heading to Malvinas.
  • Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo called for financial reforms at the UN and also criticized the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. He also addressed the need for countries to unite and find ways to reduce social inequality.
Tomorrow we’ll look at yesterday’s remarks by Brazil’s president as well as speeches on the agenda today. (The leaders of Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic are expected to address the UN on Thursday).

Video Source – CNN Mexico via YouTube

Online Sources- Too many to list!

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