Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The 62nd Session of the General Assembly Begins

And so it begins. (image via terridanielsbooks)

International heavyweights prowl the streets of New York. Next week Iranian president Mahmoud Amadinejad goes before the General Assembly -- his metier -- to defend his country's nuclear program. Already Iran has given a diplomatic Persian rug to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Ahmadinejad leaves for New York on Sunday despite calls from Washington -- largely political -- that he not be allowed. Iran, which just dismissed French sabre rattling, will use his position as de facto head of the anti-Western forces in the General Assembly (And, sadly, George Bush's unbelievably rash unilateralism has fed the fires of the anti-Western forces). It is an open question as to whether or not Mahmoud Abudinejad will be met with cheers or boos. Even if, however, Ahmadinejad is given a warm reception at Turtle Bay, Arab nations have retained as eerie silence on the Israeli strike against its ally in the region, Syria.

The climate summit is scheduled for Monday. Darfur, too, is high on the agenda. From the International Herald Tribune: "Before next month's peace talks, the U.N. and its allies must persuade Darfur's fragmented rebel groups to sit down with the Sudanese government, a goal that has proved elusive in the past. Abdel Wahid Nur, one of the most influential rebel leaders, has said he will not participate."

"'This will be a most intense period of multilateral diplomacy ever in the United Nations’ history, I believe,' Mr. Ban told reporters in New York." This is how the 62nd session of the General assembly began today. Among the interesting upcoming votes is one -- for the 15th year in a row -- on the continued blockade of Cuba.

And in a demoralizing sign of china's rib-busting ox-strength, Taiwan's bid to become a member was declared "legally impossible." The spectre of China looms large over Taiwan's horizon.

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