by Mike Tolochko
Each year, a new President of the United Nations' General Assembly takes office. Last year, Miguel d'Escoto lead to General Assembly in a direction it had never seen. He led the General Assembly's countries, the G-192, to challenge the world powerful nations, the G-8 and G-20, to include the rest of the world in the solution to the world capitalist financial and economic crisis. Next week's G-20 meetings in Pittsburgh, Pa, will be the first test of the General Assembly expert panel's inclusion in their deliberations.
Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki will be the next president of the UN's General Assembly. It will be General Assembly's 64th session.
Dr. Treki has been a leading international diplomat from the country of Libya. He is currently Libya's secretary [Minister] of African Union Affairs, a post he has held since 2004.
Speaking in Arabic to the General Assembly in accepting this Presidency, Dr. Treki thanked the African Group, in the General Assembly, for nominating him for that position. Generally speaking the yearly presidency of the General Assembly is shifted between the world's continents.
"The world has gone through many cruel and bitter stages, including a phase of colonialism and slavery, which embodies oppression in its cruelest forms. The peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America were the victims. Successive wars were fought, chief among which were the First and Second World Wars. The peoples of the small and large countries alike paid the highest price for those wars I terms of destruction, material losses and hundreds of thousands of human lives lost."
Dr. Treki then cited that Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the beacon of hope following WWII.
But, Dr. Treki said that the establishment of the Security Council introduced a major defect. "The countries that emerged victorious fro the Second World War had the lion's share in leading the establishment of the Untied Nations. The Charter was drafted to give the victorious countries rights not accorded to other States. This represented a major defect, especially with respect to the Security Council…….It is no longer for the United Nations, with a membership of 192 countries, to remain the Organization it was when it had only 50 members. The need to reform the United Nations system has emerged, especially vis-à-vis the role of the General Assembly and the need to grant it full authority to shoulder its responsibilities in the arch of human progress."
Dr. Treki than cited the arms race a major problem. "Military expenditures has increased, and military budgets have risen into the trillions dollars. The small countries have felt obliged to increase their military capabilities at the expense of their development and welfare of their peoples. Weapons of mass destruction have proliferated and the entire world has felt threatened. Although the major Powers, which possess nuclear weapons, have called for disarmament, they have not set a good example for other countries by taking the initiative to dismantle their own weapons of mass destruction."
He then cited the human crisis that is taking place.
"The exorbitant amounts spent on arms could have been spent to reduce poverty, fight diseases and assist poor peoples' in the field of development. Hundreds of millions of people suffer fro hunger; hundreds of millions of people are deprived of their right to education and suffer from disease, with no access to medicine…..the world can enjoy no peace, being divided between poor and rich, with the gap between the two widening. Furthermore, peace cannot prevail in the world while some peoples live under foreign occupation and suffer the consequences of racism. Peace can prevail only within a framework of justice and respect for human rights regardless of one's religion, race, colour or nationality."
MDGs and World Financial Crisis
Dr. Treki committed himself to attacking the world financial crisis and moving to solving the Millennium development Goals in his term in office.
It will be interesting to see if Dr. Treki will be able to summon the General Assembly's G-192 behind him the way Miguel d"Escoto was able to do.
Dr. Treki's full speech is available from the UN's Department of Public Information.