Monday, October 25, 2010

Gaddafi Shuns UN General Assembly, Sends Foreign Minister

Libya: Gaddafi Shuns UN General Assembly, Sends Foreign Minister
Abiodun Oluwarotimi
2 October 2010

New York — Libyan president, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi reportedly shunned the just concluded 65th United Nations General Assembly in New York over his agitation for the world body to be reformed.

A member of the Libyan delegation, who spoke to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, said that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was not comfortable with the way at which the United Nations Security Council is being over - possessed by the permanent members of the council.

He continued that the controversial absence of Muammar Gaddafi was not unconnected with his view that the veto-wielding nations of the Security Council were ignoring the views of the full 192 members of the General Assembly and the principles of the UN charter.

"Gaddafi believes that all nations are equal, whether they are small or big, and he is not too happy that the permanent members of the council are undermining other member states," he added.

It would be recalled that Gaddafi, in his statement while addressing last year's General Assembly, had accused the Security Council of not providing his country with security but terror and sanctions.

He further said the council, comprising the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China as permanent members, had failed to prevent or intervene in 65 wars that had taken place since the United Nations was established in 1948.

Although the Libyan president did not attend this year's General Assembly, but his Foreign Affairs minister, Mr. Musa Kousa, who led the country's delegation to the annual event, said that the United Nations was at a crossroads and it should be reformed to become equally united for all states.

"The reform, which we are calling for and aiming to achieve, is to make the General Assembly the real legislator," he told the General Assembly.

To address the current situation where some states have permanent membership of the Security Council while others do not, Mr Kousa suggested granting permanent membership to regional organisations instead of individual countries.

"Thus, we will ensure the representation of all people on earth, and the anti-democratic and frustrating veto power shall not be the exclusive privilege of the few," Mr. Kousa said.

He called for the investigation into the invasion of Iraq, which he said resulted in "mass killings, and the execution of prisoners of war, including the head of state."

Mr. Kousa also urged a review of the international convention prohibiting the production, use and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines, saying it failed to take into account the interest of small states, the victims of the weapons.

"The legislators of this convention should have made the states concerned (countries that produce and use them) committed to compensate those affected by mines planted in their lands and provide legal and political assurances for the protection of small states due to the lack of possession of neither defensive nor offensive weapons," Mr. Kousa said.

He announced that Libya would early next month host an African-Arab summit in a bid to enhance cooperation. Another summit bringing African states together and those belonging to the European Union will follow in November.

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