Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro held a 48 minute address to the UN's 73rd General Assembly recently held in New York, bringing together about 130 heads of state and government. The length of the speech was far from the record 1960 speech by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, which lasted 4 hours and 29 minutes, or that held by the leader of India in 1957, which lasted 8 hours.
Cooperation between states is more and more difficult, and divisions in the midst of the Security Council are very serious, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, deploring what he called a world that is getting more and more chaotic.
The US president, in the most eagerly awaited speech, provided stern warnings to Iran, which he deemed the greatest sponsor of terrorism, feeding conflicts in the region and beyond. He said that the slaughter committed by the Syrian regime is supported by Russia and Iran, that the Iranian regime exports violence, terror and chaos, illegally procuring materials for advancing its ballistic missile program, proliferating them all over the Middle East. He said that the US sanctions aimed at Iran's nuclear program will be applied in full by early November. After that, the president said, the US will impose even tougher sanctions in order to counteract Iran's hostile attitude. Donald Trump compared his country's relations with Iran with those with North Korea, which he said had improved, and he praised Kim Jong Un for suspending ballistic and nuclear tests. The US leader, however, did call for strict compliance with the international sanctions against North Korea until full denuclearization. Trump used this year's speech to call for international trade reform, in order to allow OPEC to stop raising the price of crude oil, to criticize China for its trade practices, and to warn European states against dependence on Russian energy sources.
At the same time, Russia criticized the US for its unilateral pullout from the Iranian nuclear deal, saying that it increases tensions in the Middle East, creating risks for the non-proliferation regime, and that it is counterproductive in terms of the efforts being made to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. One other major topic for discussion was Syria.
Radio Romania's correspondent Alexandru Beleavschi has more: “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned western countries against new military strikes against Syria, under a new staged pretext. The warning comes shortly after Russia's decision to provide the Syrian regime with S-300 surface to air missiles, and other military measures taken by Moscow in Syria, which impose a de facto air interdiction area in the Mediterranean Sea, in Syria's vicinity. Israel said that this decision increases regional risks, and the US said it was a mistake. The head of Russian diplomacy stated in the Security Council that the terrorists in Syria have chemical weapons, which they learned to produce in newly built labs, which was confirmed by US intelligence. At the same time, according to Sergey Lavrov, Syria has disposed of all its chemical arsenal, in line with the 2013 agreement between Russia and the United States.”
In another move, the Iranian crisis cannot possibly be limited to a policy of sanctions, said French president Emmanuel Macron, who stood for drafting a long-term strategy to deal with the file. “The same objective shall be maintained around this table: that of preventing Iran from developing the nuclear weapon”, Emmanuel Macron emphasized, at same time hailing the US President Donald Trump’s efforts to determine the North-Korean regime give up its nuclear weapons. However, the French president has also said “the Security Council should never overlook the following thing: North Korea continues to pose a nuclear and ballistic threat to the region and the world.”
Before the UN General Assembly, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis gave an address on Romania’s stance on the current international context, as well as on the solutions Romania comes up with. The Romanian president emphasized that among the serious threats to global security, terrorism must be given a concerted answer at global level, while the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their methods of delivery still pose existential threats to global security.
Climate change has become one of the most serious challenges at global level, Klaus Iohannis went on to say, highlighting the role of the United Nations and recalling that next year, when Romania is holding the presidency of the EU Council, our country will host a conference themed “Building resilience to natural disasters”, In April 2019. (Translated by C. Cotoiu and E. Nasta)