World leaders debate Int'l security challenges

World leaders debate Int’l security challenges


Focusing on international peace and security, world leaders stressed the need to curb terrorist attacks, end ongoing conflict, resolve the refugee crisis and reform the Security Council, as the General Assembly continued its annual debate today.Referring to the “undeclared war against Afghanistan”, Sarwar Danesh, Vice-President of that country, said more than 10 terrorist groups, sent to obstruct democracy and State-building, were fighting against his country. “Recent attacks in Kabul by the Taliban and Da’esh had been organized from inside Pakistan, while the Taliban sought more control of Kunduz and Helmand Provinces,” he said.He also questioned where previous leaders of Al-Qaida and the Taliban were hiding, as well as how and where terrorists were being trained, equipped and financed. Although Pakistan had been requested to destroy safe havens, the situation remained unchanged. Welcoming the efforts of any Islamic country to promote peace in Afghanistan, he said “Those individuals and groups [who]resort to violence, terrorism and killing are not acquainted with this religion” and only used Islam to attain their evil goals.Addressing that issue, Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the Afghan war had presented momentous economic and security challenges to his country, which was hosting 3 million Afghan refugees. The only path to lasting peace, and for those refugees to return home, was a dialogue between the Government in Kabul and the Afghan Taliban.President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana noted that extremist forces in many parts of the world had hijacked dialogue. With available technology being used to spread anxieties and arouse base emotions, hate speech was becoming common and xenophobia had taken over rational thinking.“In the vote on ‘Brexit’, the spectre of a flood of refugees had been used to help propel an exit from the European Union,” he observed. Now, nearly 30 years after President Ronald Reagan called for the Berlin Wall to be torn down, new walls were springing up everywhere.Donald Tusk, President of the European Council of the European Union, said building a global strategy to fight terrorism was key to both preventing attacks and undermining terrorist financing. He urged the international community to make better use of the United Nations to fight the scourge together.He noted that no challenge highlighted the power of fear and conflict more clearly than refugee protection and massive displacement across borders, as had occurred in the European Union. Stressing that the Union’s efforts to tackle that crisis had been driven by empathy and a readiness to help those in need, he said its commitment to assist would remain a top priority.The need for Security Council reform in tackling global insecurity was also called to the fore of the all-day debate, with President Hage G. Geingob of Namibia urging that such reform make the world body more democratic and transparent. His country was committed to the African common position that the Council should reflect the United Nations diversity, a stance echoed by several speakers, including Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.However, examples of progress and successful resolutions of conflict were proffered as well. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, told the Assembly that “now, once again, it is a time of determined hope” for her country. “The only path that will lead us to our goals is the path of peace, the path that we must follow with hope and determination.”For a country that had experienced over six decades of internal armed conflict, nothing was more important than achieving a lasting peace and national reconciliation, she said. In that respect, the core principles of human rights and respecting diversity could not be ignored. “Our planet is a place to be shared by all.”President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia, referring to the long-term conflict his country had experienced, announced that the Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict would be officially signed in Cartagena on 26 September and approved by the plebiscite on 2 October.The accord marked the first time that a Government and an illegal armed group had agreed to a resolution through a system of transitional justice and not through external imposition, he noted. It also meant that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP) would become a political movement in the country, with greater guarantees to the opposition. With that Agreement in place, the oldest armed conflict in the Western hemisphere would come to an end.Also speaking were Heads of State and Government or other senior officials of Finland, Zimbabwe, Chile, China, Ukraine, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Montenegro, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Federated States of Micronesia, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guinea-Bissau, Czech Republic, Bolivia, Mozambique, Estonia, Nauru, Honduras, Gambia, Ethiopia, Romania, Bangladesh, Georgia, Australia, Thailand and Austria.Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of India and Pakistan.The General Assembly will reconvene at 9 a.m. on Thursday, 22 September, to continue its general debate.


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