UN Sideshows


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As heads-of-state and top government leaders from most of the 193 member states gather for the United Nations General Assembly opening session this week, the UN hosted a series of side events Monday and Tuesday, including, most importantly, a High-Level Meeting on Libya and a High-Level Counter-Terrorism Symposium. Other side events included meetings on health, the environmental and sustainable development, and gender equality.

The most constructive side event to date was the High-Level Meeting on Libya, chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and attended by more than 50 heads of state or government. After the new flag of Libya was ceremoniously brought into the conference meeting room, the secretary general made his introductory remarks congratulating the Libyan people for “fighting courageously for your fundamental rights and freedoms” and pledging continued full UN support “in every way we can.”

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the provisional Libyan government, president of the National Transition Council (“NTC”), then addressed the gathering. He said how the raising of the new Libyan flag at the United Nations was a “happy moment” that represented “the will of the Libyan freedom fighters and the first martyrs, who, as they were dying, urged their friends and colleagues to continue and not to surrender.” Mr. Abdel-Jalil emphasized that the NTC was focused on bringing about favorable conditions for democracy, economic development, justice, security and reconciliation, for which the Libyan people would be looking to the UN for assistance. He later told reporters that he expected a new government to be announced within a week to ten days.

The unfurling of the new Libyan flag and the appearance of the head of Libya’s new transitional government marked a fitting capstone to the heartfelt plea last February by the defecting Libyan UN ambassador, Abdurrahman Shalgam, to the United Nations Security Council to “save Libya” from dictator Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s murderous regime.

President Barack Obama led the heads of state and government leaders in congratulating the Libyan rebels for their victory and commending the international effort that made the victory possible. In an obvious attempt to shore up his foreign policy credentials while facing severe backlash over his failed economic policies at home, Obama unabashedly credited his own leadership in forging the international consensus behind multilateral intervention against Col. Qaddafi’s regime. Of course, the truth is that President Obama “led from behind,” as his own advisors put it. France, the United Kingdom and the Arab League were the principal drivers for international action, and Obama only decided grudgingly to join the effort when a potential massacre of 10,000 civilians in the city of Benghazi was imminent.

By contrast, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who deserves much of the credit for truly taking a leadership role, delivered a concise speech that did not seek to take credit for the outcome.

“We know our history and we remembered its lessons,” said President Sarkozy. He continued:

Today it is a free Libya that the whole world is addressing. It is up to the Libyans and no one else to decide what Libya’s future will be. We have said this as have our American and English friends, and all our coalition partners. We will stay to do the job as long as the Libyan revolutionaries need us.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was also one of the government leaders participating in the High-level Meeting on Libya, where he announced that Canada stands ready to support the new Libyan government through the UN-coordinated effort moving forward.

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  • Linda Rivera

    Gaza has acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from rebel-controlled Libya. Every Muslim terrorist organization on earth
    must be REJOICING over the US/FRANCE/NATO/Libyan rebel victory.

    As US/NATO won the war for the rebels, US/NATO is now responsible for removing these rockets from Gaza – rockets that will be fired on Israel’s civilians.

  • Linda Rivera

    STOP THE GENOCIDE!

    The Obama-supported rebels left in charge are now conducting a “large
    scale cleaning in the areas under their control with the extermination
    of all blacks in the capital”, according to The Independent.

    Ruthless genocide of blacks in Libya by US/France/NATO backed Al-Qaeda linked rebels has been going on for months. US/NATO who waged war for months for the Al-Qaeda linked rebels-who murder our troops in Iraq-are RESPONSIBLE for stopping the genocide.

    US/NATO are also responsible for
    rescuing the many terrified blacks kidnapped by the rebels, including the
    kidnapped black children who have been horrendously abused by the
    black-hater Muslim rebels.

    Blacks must have human rights!

    STOP THE GENOCIDE!

  • Linda Rivera

    If you are in New York City, today, Thursday, September 22nd, there will be a demonstration against Durban 3 from noon to two p.m. 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

    Iranians will be protesting at 10 a.m. today, same location: 'No to Ahmadinejad'

  • StephenD

    Next they'll have PETA speak about the virtues of pig farming. Why not?!? To have members of the OIC define terrorism or having Iran on the Human Rights commission is like having the thief guard the treasure! The entire UN has become a joke.