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Ms. Sushma Swaraj

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Chairman International Politico attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs India.

Statement Summary:

SUSHMA SWARAJ, Minister for External Affairs of India, described two ways to work towards the eradication of poverty — the traditional method of incremental aid and “hand-holding”, and the more radical route of economic empowerment adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All of India’s economic programmes centred around the goal of empowering the poor, she said, citing the Jan Dhan plan — the world’s largest financial inclusion scheme — as one example. Demonetization was another courageous decision taken to challenge the “black money” resulting from corruption. While rising nations such as India were generating change, developed countries must become active partners in assisting those still mired in poverty to attain the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. While India was fighting poverty, she said, its neighbour Pakistan “seems only engaged in fighting us”. This week at the Assembly, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accused India of State-sponsored terrorism and violating human rights. Those listening had had one observation: “Look who’s talking,” she said. “A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.” Pakistan had forgotten that under the Shimala Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, the two countries had agreed to settle all outstanding issues bilaterally and decided in 2015 to enter into a comprehensive bilateral dialogue. Pakistan now must answer why that proposal had withered, as it was responsible for aborting the peace process. India had risen, despite being the principle destination for Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism. “What has Pakistan offered to the world, and indeed its own people, apart from terrorism?” she asked. Condemning such activities, she warned that making pious declarations to combat terrorism had become a ritual for some in the Assembly. “The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, the self-interest of some leads them to duplicity.” While India had proposed the creation of a convention against international terrorism as early as 1996, the United Nations still had not been able to agree on a common definition of terrorism. She pressed the Assembly to stop seeing that evil “with self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance,” adding that “evil is evil” and cautioning against differentiating between “good terrorists” and “bad terrorists”. On climate change, she stressed that just before the start of the Assembly, nature had sent a warning in the form of hurricanes and earthquakes. “The developed world must listen more carefully than others, because it has more capacity than others,” she said, voicing support for the Paris Agreement and requesting assistance for developing countries through technology transfer and green climate financing.

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Mr. Walid Al-Moualem

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Chairman Nassau County Human Rights Commission attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Walid Al-Moualem, Deputy Prime Minister Syrian Arab Republic.

Statement Summary:

WALID AL-MOUALEM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Syria, warned that the world faced a standoff between two sets of forces — those seeking to dominate nations and their riches by re-establishing a unipolar global order, fuelling war and violating international law — and those working tirelessly to create a more balanced, secure and just world that respected the principles of sovereignty and self-determination. Countries embracing the former view falsely believed they could use terrorism to satisfy their greed and advance ill-conceived agendas. “No people has suffered at the hands of terrorism more than the Syrian people,” he said, who, for six years, had fought against terrorists pouring in from all over the world. Expressing Syria’s commitment to eradicate that threat, he said the Government had followed two main tracks since the start of the war: combating terrorism and working towards a political solution to end the bloodshed. On the counter-terrorism front, he said that while the Syrian Arab Army and its allies were uprooting terrorists, that threat persisted. “Terrorism and the underlying Takfirist extremist ideology will continue to spread like a tumour throughout the world” unless all parties confronted it together. Any such endeavour must respect the sovereignty of States and give up the illusion that terrorism could be used as a tool for political gains. On the political front, President Bashar al-Assad’s amnesty decrees had facilitated local reconciliation efforts, allowing tens of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees to return to improved living conditions. Expressing support and optimism about the Astana process and its resulting de-escalation zones, he recalled pledges by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al-Nusrah to join that process, which would be the true test of how committed they and their Turkish sponsors were. “Turkey under [President] Erdoğan has persisted in its aggressive policies towards the Syrian people and has continued to labour under the illusion that terrorism will help serve its subversive agenda,” he said, underscoring the stark contrast between that position and the constructive role played by the Russian Federation and Iran. Syria reserved the right to respond to any violation by any party, stressing that the de-escalation zones were a temporary arrangement that must not violate its territorial integrity. Reaffirming Syria’s commitment to the Geneva process — which had yet to bear fruit in the absence of a national opposition that could be a partner in Syria’s future — he said countries with influence, including permanent Security Council members, had blocked meaningful progress. For decades, Israel had occupied Arab territories in Palestine and the Syrian Golan, committing crimes against innocent civilians. It had provided support to Takfirist terrorist gangs, bombed Syrian Army positions and offered unlimited support to terrorists in Syria. His country would never forget its inalienable right to recover the occupied Syrian Golan along 4 June 1967 lines. For more than six years, States and parties behind the war in Syria had falsely accused the Syrian Government of using chemical weapons, he said, yet the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had confirmed that Syria had fully eliminated its chemical programme. Describing those claims as excuses for continued aggression against Syria, he said the “so-called” international coalition led by the United States, created to allegedly fight ISIL, had, in fact, killed many more Syrian women and children and destroyed vital infrastructure. It also had used phosphorous bombs and other internationally prohibited weapons. Any presence of foreign troops in Syria without the Government’s consent was a form of occupation and violated international law, he said, adding similarly, that unilateral coercive measures were a clear sign of hypocrisy on the part of those countries employing them.

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Mr. Taban Deng Gai

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Board of Directors NUMC attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President South Sudan.

Statement Summary:

TABAN DENG GAI, First Vice-President of South Sudan, commended the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the African Union and international partners to shun and isolate political actors that sought power through violence. “Nonetheless, we do not wish to delude ourselves that peace, unity and development can be achieved overnight,” he said, adding that “the realization of peace takes time”. Attaining peace in South Sudan required collective efforts, he said, adding that its Transitional Government of National Unity had embraced the full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan as the only instrument pivotal to achieving those ends. The Government had stood by its commitment to the unilateral ceasefire announced by President Salva Kiir in May, he said, calling on estranged opposition groups to reciprocate. Noting that it was also working to implement key transitional security arrangements, such as security sector reform and cantonment of forces, he said several grass-roots intercommunal peace processes were also under way with a focus on women and youth. Outlining similar initiatives being carried out by the Government, religious leaders, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners, he said South Sudan was optimistic about the return of peace. Refugees and internally displaced persons were beginning to return to their villages. In that context, he continued, the National Dialogue Initiative was making strong and steady progress on the release of prisoners and journalists, expansion of the steering committee to include all relevant stakeholders, outreach to opposition figures and the declaration of the unilateral cessation of hostilities. South Sudan enjoyed cordial relations with its neighbours including Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, with those countries hosting South Sudanese refugees, providing corridors for humanitarian access and supporting South Sudan’s development. On Abyei, he reaffirmed the Government’s willingness and readiness to implement the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel’s 2012 proposal, and hoped both South Sudan and Sudan would soon resume cooperation on its implementation. The Government was also cooperating with the Regional Protection Force associated with UNMISS, and would work towards its smooth operationalization. Describing South Sudan’s efforts to ensure unhindered humanitarian access, as well as to reverse the famine situation in parts of the country, he stressed that saving livelihoods — not just lives — was also important. “The old paradigm of humanitarian intervention first and development later is not a viable policy option in the case of South Sudan,” he said, calling for efforts to incentivize peace and stability through a balanced approach to development and embracing a new way of working. “It is our expectation that a smart combination of development and humanitarian support is needed” to maintain positive momentum. Expressing support for efforts that would lead to free, fair and credible elections in his country, he called for adequate preparation and the allocation of necessary resources. Such work could be sustained if, and only if, all political actors continued to respect and reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire. Finally, he urged the international community to make progress on such critical issues as Security Council reform, tackling climate change and ensuring that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea complied fully with all Council resolutions on denuclearization.

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Mr. Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Chairman Nassau County Human Rights Commission attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr., President Palau.

Statement Summary:

TOMMY REMENGESAU, President of Palau, expressing his sympathies to everyone affected by the recent record-breaking hurricanes, warned that there were many more such storms or “ticking time bombs” to come that could wipe out years of progress in the span of a few hours. Cooperation among nations must be expanded based on fairness, and the only body that could do that was the United Nations. Turning to sustainable development, he said that oceans were the lifeline to humanity, and yet, other issues of security and peace often took over the international conversation. ISIL and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continued to threaten peace and security. Those issues must be dealt with by strong multinational institutions and a strengthened United Nations, he stressed, emphasizing that a decent life for all and a sustainable planet must be the focus of global work. He expressed support for all efforts and United Nations resolutions to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table, expressing concern over threats made at Guam. Pacific small island developing States faced unique security and development challenges, he continued, urging the Secretary‑General to recall the main guiding principle of the 2030 Agenda. “Leave no country behind,” he stressed. It was critical to ban nuclear weapons, he continued, calling on leaders to unite to ban their use, test and storage, as Palau’s leaders had done long ago. On climate change, he said it was essential to achieve the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. Although small, Palau was proud to commit itself to help protect the oceans, he said, emphasizing its commitment to protecting biodiversity and working towards designating 30 per cent of national waters as marine protected sites by 2030. Palau was also addressing marine pollution in all forms, he said, adding that such commitments required a broad alliance of partnerships. He welcomed the continued support of the United States to Palau in its movement towards economic independence. In such difficult times, Palau supported United States efforts to combat terrorism and reduce the nuclear threat emanating from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It also had a great “friendship” with Japan and expressed support for that country’s permanent membership on the Security Council. Ultimately, success would depend on the development of genuine and durable partnerships at every level, he stressed. Challenges and threats were becoming bigger and more complex. “At no time in the history of the world was the unity of people more important,” he emphasized, adding that the United Nations had the potential to resolve global issues “only and if only” its members were committed.

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MR. TUPOU VI TONGA

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Board of Directors NUMC attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.M. Mr. Tupou VI, King Tonga.

Statement Summary:

TUPOU VI, King of Tonga, expressing his solidarity and sympathy to the people of Mexico and the Caribbean, reiterated his call for the appointment of a Special Representative on climate and security. It was imperative for the United Nations to develop the appropriate tools to respond to climate change. International organizations like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank had made strides to better finance disaster relief in small island nations, he said. Still, a broader definition of “fragility” was needed to ensure preparedness against natural and economic shocks. Tonga had established a national monitoring mechanism to oversee progress related to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Close ties between Tonga and the United Nations were ensuring progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Tonga was working closely with other small island States to achieve Goal 3 on good health and well-being, Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 14 on the ocean and its resources. Ocean degradation was particularly alarming, he said, as all small island nations were in fact “large ocean States”. Achieving Goal 14 was critical to creating pathways towards sustainable development. Issues from food security to economic growth required a whole-of-government approach, he said. Durable partnerships, he assured, were the way towards development that left no one behind. A key aspect of those partnerships was gender parity. Tonga expressed its full support for the inclusion of women at all levels of the United Nations and welcomed the appointment of the first woman from his nation and the Pacific island region as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Meeting current and future challenges required accessibility to sustainable energy, he said. Mitigation efforts had to be targeted at overcoming the current dependence of imported fossil fuels. A centre for renewable energy and energy efficiency was established in Tonga to assist Pacific island countries and territories towards achieving sustainable energy, he said. Sustainable development was only possible in an environment of peace and security, he continued, calling on all Member States to reflect on how their power and legitimacy could benefit their people and the world. Current tensions were derailing those goals, he said, appealing for a speedy resolution to the security crisis in the Korean Peninsula that was affecting global peace and security.

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Mr. Henry Van Thio

Dr. Bobby K. KaloteeChairman Friends for Good Healthv attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Henry Van Thio, Vice-President Myanmar.

Statement Summary:

U HENRY VAN THIO, Vice-President of Myanmar, cited a briefing given to diplomats yesterday by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, saying the situation in Rakhine was a top priority for the Government, which had been striving to ensure development, peace, stability and societal cohesion in that state. That was no easy task, given decades of deep mistrust that needed to be slowly chiselled away. He said that, following the 24 August release of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, chaired by Kofi Annan, he had hoped to tell the world today about progress made in implementation of its recommendations. It was therefore with deep regret that he would address the Assembly on the current state of affairs following attacks last month by the terrorist group known as ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army). He went on to recall that, within hours of the release of the Advisory Commission’s report, a series of coordinated attacks had been carried out against 30 police stations in northern Rakhine, for which ARSA had claimed responsibility. Those attacks had ignited fresh violence in the region as well as significant loss of life, widespread suffering and mass displacement. Many had been forced to abandon their homes, including not only Muslims and Rakhine, but also Daingnet, Mro, Thet, Mramagyi and Hindu people. “Let me be clear,” he emphasized, “the Government of Myanmar is deeply concerned about the present situation in Rakhine.” There was no denying the significant magnitude of the problem, although the situation had improved, with no armed clashes reported since 5 September, he said. Myanmar was concerned about reports that large numbers of Muslims continued to cross into Bangladesh unabated, he said. The reason for that exodus must be determined, he said. However, the decision by a “great majority” of Muslims to remain in their villages was not well-known. He nevertheless acknowledged the need for humanitarian assistance and for the Government to respond to the challenges in Rakhine State. “The situation in Rakhine is complex,” he said. “The challenges we face are significant.” He went on to announce the launch of a committee chaired by the Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement to oversee implementation of the Advisory Commission’s recommendations. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, the committee would issue a progress report every four months, he said, adding that an advisory board comprising eminent persons from Myanmar and abroad would also be established. At present, humanitarian assistance was the first priority, he said, emphasizing the Government’s commitment to ensuring that aid would be delivered without discrimination to all those in need. Significant national funds and other resources had already been dedicated to humanitarian relief operations, he added, expressing gratitude to those countries that had made generous offers of support. Myanmar was working hard to enhance relations with Bangladesh, he said, adding that it would welcome that country’s Home Minister at any time to discuss cooperation on border security. With regard to the repatriation of those who had fled northern Rakhine for Bangladesh, he quoted the State Counsellor as having said that Myanmar was ready to start the verification process at any time, based on the experience of 1993. Myanmar stood with the rest of the world in condemning terrorism, but would not allow terrorism to distract it from pursuing a long-term strategy to address the complex challenges in Rakhine, he said. Recent events there were a painful reminder of the difficult challenges the country faced on its long journey towards peace, prosperity and democracy. With Myanmar at a critical juncture in its history, it asked for the international community to continue its support, he said.

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MR. UMARO SISSOCO EMBALÓ

Dr. Bobby K. Chairman International Politico attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, Prime Minister Guinea-Bissau.

Statement Summary:

UMARO SISSOCO EMBALÓ, Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, said his Government was committed to working with the United Nations and other international partners to achieve peace and stability in the country. While his country faced significant political and institutional challenges, it had made strides in areas such as protecting public safety and ensuring that State, civil society and financial institutions functioned. Nonetheless, he remained confident that those challenges could be met with the support of the United Nations, ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and the African Union. Addressing the issue of security, he said that terrorist activities in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria had threatened the stability of the West African subregion. Countries in the subregion had to count on the United Nations and its international partners for help. “Only if we worked together will we be able to transform our subregion into a bastion of peace and internal security and, by extension, a bastion in the service of international security,” he said. Turning to sustainable development, he said that that item remained a challenge for his State. Guinea-Bissau had made a grave economic mistake in the past by importing large volumes of rice, and had become dependent on those imports. On the social front, diseases such as AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases remained pressing issues. He acknowledged that his country would not be able to overcome those challenges alone and required the support of the United Nations. On environmental sustainability, he said his State had improved awareness on environmental issues, especially among the young. Of the country’s territory, 12 per cent was made up of ecologically protected areas. “We have a long road ahead of us. Much effort had to be made in order to ensure environmental sustainability as we economically exploit our natural resources,” he added. Concluding, he said that Guinea-Bissau had worked to achieve gender equality; however, it was far from achieving its goal of protecting the rights of women. “I hope that all the political, economic and social actors in my country will continue to converge on legitimate advocacy for women’s rights and in general for the promotion of human rights in Guinea-Bissau.”

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MS. MARTA GABRIELA MICHETTI ILLIA

Dr. Bobby K. Chairman Nassau County Human Rights Commission attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Ms. Marta Gabriela Michetti Illia, Vice-President Argentina.

Statement Summary:

MARTA GABRIELA MICHETTI ILLIA, Vice-President of Argentina, voiced solidarity with the people of Mexico following its recent earthquake, stressing: “The environment and the forces of nature are speaking to us.” Her country was moving towards zero poverty and had just presented its first voluntary national review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Noting that Argentina would host the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in November, she said the country also placed an emphasis on education and the creation of decent jobs. The promotion and protection of human rights was another important State policy. Argentina had worked hand-in-hand with its regional neighbours to pursue that goal and it had presented its candidacy for Human Rights Council membership for the period 2019‑2021. Argentina was also implementing its first national action plan against gender discrimination aimed at the protection of women’s rights, she said. As well, an agency focused on developing policy for persons with disabilities had just been created, with an aim to change the “still-distorted view” that persisted for that population. Her country’s fight against drug trafficking was another part of its national agenda, she said, voicing support for the establishment of an international court to address organized crime. Expressing regret over the situation being faced by the people of Venezuela, she recalled that Latin American Heads of State had recently joined together to condemn that country’s break with democracy. “It is with pain that I have to say these words about a kindred country,” she said, calling for credible, good-faith negotiations to peacefully re-establish democracy in Venezuela. Condemning terrorism in all its forms, she reiterated her country’s commitment to bringing to justice all those who had participated in the financing, preparation or carrying out of such attacks. She also called on the international community to support Argentina’s request for Iran’s cooperation on the ongoing investigation into the 1994 attack against the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina. Noting that her country would host the next World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting and that it would take up the presidency of the “Group of 20” in 2018, she expressed faith in the multilateral trading system, urging that it be implemented in such a way that reached everyone. Argentina was expanding its profile as a party for investment, initiating a “focused regionalism” with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized enterprises, she said, also outlining the country’s enhanced links with the European Union, Japan, New Zealand and other nations. She also pledged Argentina’s continued support for United Nations peacekeeping operations and emphasized its prioritization of environmental concerns, affirming Argentina’s strong support for the Paris Agreement and urging further progress in the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In addition, she emphasized her country’s sovereignty over the Malvinas*, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime spaces, expressing hope that the “new phase” in Argentina’s relationship with the United Kingdom would help convince the latter to enter into negotiations and resolve that protracted dispute.

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MR. TANETI MAAMAU

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Chairman Friends for Good Health attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Mr. Taneti Maamau, President Kiribati.

Statement Summary:

TANETI MAAMAU, President of Kiribati, said the Assembly’s theme was central to ensuring that human lives and dignity prevailed “over the value of a dollar”. “As leaders of our sovereign nations, we are responsible to our people who are at the heart of the sustainable development agenda,” he stressed. As the international community addressed the loss of lives and devastation in the Caribbean, Mexico and the United States due to the onslaught of hurricanes and earthquakes — and typhoons and monsoons in Asia — he urged it not to forget the plights of countries such as Kiribati. The country, along with other small island developing States including Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and Maldives, suffered daily from the onset of climate disaster. “This may not capture the attention of the global community due to its slow impact and limited media attention, but it is causing pain and suffering in our communities,” he said. Calling for simplified and streamlined international processes that enabled the participation of such nations, he said easier access to the Green Climate Fund was also needed. Kiribati had embarked on an ambitious “20‑year Vision” strategy towards a wealthy, healthy and secure nation based on accelerated growth and strategic investment in human, natural and cultural capital. That plan aimed to empower people at the household and community levels, he said, also outlining national policies to ensure good governance and transparency. Noting that the United Nations could not speak about a focus on people if its own family remained incomplete, he said its pledges of consolidation and concerted action continued to ignore the 23 million people in Taiwan, depriving them of the right to participate in its work. Calling for reforms that would see Taiwan included in the global community and its drive to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, he went on to note that unsustainable production and consumption patterns “will push our planet’s life support system to the brink of collapse”, and urged collective action to reverse them. Efforts were also needed to conserve the ocean. He welcomed the inclusion on the Assembly’s agenda of action to formulate a legally binding instrument for the management and sustainable use of biological marine diversity areas beyond national jurisdiction, noting that a single management failure in those important areas could have devastating consequences on fisheries and the ocean itself. For its part, he said, Kiribati had declared 11 per cent of its exclusive economic zone as a marine protected area, a non-commercial zone and a world heritage entity under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with the aim to foster a restocking of its fisheries. “If a small, resource-constrained nation like mine is willing to make a profound sacrifice […] this global family has a far greater capacity to do more” to ensure that future generations could build a decent life in a sustainable environment. Calling for support to help countries mitigate and alleviate the effects of climate change, he announced his Government’s decision to leverage its sovereign wealth fund as collateral for concessional debt financing. That non-traditional move demonstrated Kiribati’s willingness to drive its own aspirations rather than wait for financial assistance “that may come at a moment far too late,” he said. Cautioning against diverting the United Nations focus away from people to countries’ individual quests for power, dominance and greed, he said compassion could transform global challenges by focusing on the most vulnerable members of societies. “We come to this gathering to listen and converse,” he said, adding: “Let us do so with greater compassion, understanding, love, respect and kindness.” It was never too late to begin.

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THERESA MAY

Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee Chairman International Politico attended the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 25 to Sept 29. Bobby had the honor to meet and greet so many world leaders. Here he is seen with H.E. Ms. Theresa May, Prime Minister Great Britain.

Statement Summary:

THERESA MAY, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said today’s meeting was taking place while the world faced challenges “that test who we are”. Many of those — such as the terrorist threat that had struck her country five times this year — did not recognize international boundaries. Climate change was degrading and depleting the planet, and millions were fleeing their homes in search of a better life. There were massive inequalities around the world and weaknesses in the global trading system, both of which were pushing some countries towards protectionism. As the global system struggled to adapt, some countries were deliberately flouting international rules, she said, citing the unforgivable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, and the proliferation and threat of nuclear weapons use by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Calling on countries to defend the international order and the values of fairness, justice and human rights underpinning the multilateral system — including through agreements such as the Paris Accord and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — she said the international system with the United Nations at its heart was the “amplifying force” for those values. Indeed, “we have to strive harder” to defend and reform the United Nations, she said, and those who flouted the rules and spirit of the Organization must be held to account. Noting that the United Kingdom had long supported the United Nations, she nevertheless said the Organization suffered from a gap between its purposes and their delivery. Member States must embark on the Secretary‑General’s reform agenda, she said, calling for better cooperation, improved gender equality and reduced competition on the ground. As an outward-looking, “global Britain” — and the world’s second largest donor — the United Kingdom would continue to support the Organization. However, it would now set aside 30 per cent of its funding, to be paid only to those parts of the United Nations that achieved required results. In the year ahead, the Organization must ensure that global agreements were applied in practice, she said. On migration, the proposed Global Compact must provide for safe, orderly, well-managed and legal migration, or risk pushing people into modern-day slavery. Stakeholders must work harder to address the drivers of that phenomenon, she said, noting that the same was true of terrorism. When such attacks struck London and Manchester this year, the United Kingdom had carried on. “The terrorists did not win, for we will never let anyone destroy our way of life,” she stressed. But, defiance alone was not enough. Noting that, for the first time, Governments and industry had come together to “reclaim the Internet from those who would do us harm”, she said the ideologies underpinning terrorism must also be addressed. In that regard, she asked the Secretary-General to make the fight against terrorism a core part of his agenda by proclaiming it the theme of next year’s General Assembly session. Meanwhile, States must strike a balance between protecting their people and protecting their freedom. In northern “Burma”, she called on authorities to end the violence there and implement the recommendations of the advisory commission headed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. States bore critical responsibilities that the United Nations could not take on alone. Instability and conflict were often driven by States acting through proxies, she said, citing the examples of countries supporting Hizbullah and “so-called separatists” in Ukraine, or providing tacit support to criminal groups that launched cyberattacks. The United Kingdom would remain steadfast to ensure the safety and security of its allies, she said. Turning to Syria, she said that, while all nations must stand together in the face of confirmed cases of chemical weapons use, the United Kingdom took seriously its responsibility as a permanent Security Council member. Recalling that it had not used its veto in a generation, she said one other permanent member had repeatedly employed it to prevent action against a despicable regime. Today, a more immediate global danger had emerged in the actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, whose contempt for its neighbours and the rules of international peace and security were clear. Pyongyang had continued its violations despite the Council’s unity on the matter and adoption last week of a resolution creating the largest sanctions package in history. Indeed, it would continue to do so unless Council members were prepared to take all necessary measures to tackle that threat. She called on all States to exert pressure on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and to demonstrate that their resolve to uphold international law was stronger than Pyongyang’s resolve to violate it.

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