The latest from the UN General Assembly:
UNITED NATIONS – With Kenya taking over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council next month, the country’s president outlined its priorities.
Uhuru Kenyatta said in a taped address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that he believes multilateral systems must be fair, inclusive and effective.
He plans to host several signature events during the Kenyan presidency. These topics include making diversity a core goal of state building, examining the effects of illegal small arms and light weapons on global peacekeeping operations, and providing better support to women peacekeepers.
Kenyatta also declared Kenya ready to become a leading green industry economy. He said a rapidly growing Africa could “give the whole world the benefit of its youth demographic dividend” and investment opportunities. He also promoted Kenya’s participation in ocean conferences and spoke of the associated blue economy.
On security issues, he said states are ill-equipped to deal with fragility that leads to crises and terrorism. It is important to strengthen the competence of states to deal with social and political diversity.
UNITED NATIONS – In his speech to the United Nations, Jordan’s monarch recalled the 11-day Gaza War last summer and said Tuesday’s final round of conflict was a reminder that the status quo was unsustainable.
The May war was the fourth in Gaza since the militant Hamas came to power in 2007, sparking a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Palestinian territory.
More than 250 people were killed in Gaza, most of them civilians, including dozens of children and women, according to the UN. There were 13 deaths in Israel. More than 4,000 houses in Gaza were destroyed or badly damaged.
“But how many more houses will be lost? How many children will die before the world wakes up? ”Said King Abdullah, who remotely broadcast his taped remarks to the UN General Assembly despite around 100 heads of state and government attending in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Real security for both sides – yes for the whole world – can only be achieved through the two-state solution.”
He reiterated that such a solution must lead to an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side in peace with Israel.
King Abdullah called for continued support from UNRWA, the UN agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees, including the majority of Gaza’s 2 million residents.
The Jordanian king is a close ally of the United States and his nation has the guardianship of the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews who designate it as the Temple Mount. The area was the scene of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian believers during the final days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.
According to the United Nations, more than 4,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflicts since 2008. While many were fighters for Hamas or other militant groups, more than half were civilians. On the Israeli side, the death toll in the four wars is 106, officials say.
UNITED NATIONS – The President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina urged the United Nations to maintain its commitment to human rights, highlighting the ethnic inequality within his own country.
Željko Komšić is the Croatian member of the Presidency of the Western Balkans, shared by the country’s Croatians, Bozniak Muslims and Serbs.
Komšić on Wednesday welcomed bilateral and regional cooperation during the pandemic, saying the neighbors had provided assistance in front of the multilateral institutions. But later in his speech he spoke of the neighbors’ intentions to annex parts of his country by stirring up ethnic tensions.
Bosnia was the scene of a bloody civil war in the 1990s that ended with the Dayton Peace Accords. Komšić says the international agreement created complex institutions that make it difficult for the country to reach a political consensus that will enable it to move towards a “functioning state”.
He criticized the conditions that have led to political, electoral and social inequality on an ethnic and religious level in his own country. In an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Croatia’s president also called for electoral reform in Bosnia and said his Croats were marginalized.
Lamented the brain drain, Komšić said a significant segment of the population, including those of working age and with young families, had left Bosnia for better business and human rights opportunities. At the same time, Bosnia has accepted economic migrants from other countries. He says this combination created additional social problems.
UNITED NATIONS – After two decades in Afghanistan, the United States should do more to help the country’s refugees, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement broadcast on Wednesday.
Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world – around 4 million, mostly Syrians – and has warned it cannot accept any further arrivals from Afghanistan.
“At the moment the US is not meeting its obligations. We have more than 300,000 Afghan refugees and we will no longer be able to afford to take in any more Afghan refugees in Turkey, ”Erdogan said in a preview of a CBS interview to be broadcast on Sunday.
“Of course the US should do a lot and invest a lot because the US has been there for 20 years, but why, why? These questions should first be answered by the USA. “
Afghan refugees have been fleeing their country since last month when the Taliban came back to power when US forces tried to withdraw from the country in late August.
The day before, Erdogan had warned in his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York of a possible wave of refugees due to climate change. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict a decade ago, Turkey has experienced growing dissatisfaction with the extent of migration.
The government is in the process of strengthening security on its eastern border with Iran, including a wall, for fear that Taliban rule could drive refugees, many of whom are trying to reach Europe, to the Turkish border.