24 September 2008
Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Enrique Yeves, the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President.

Good afternoon to everybody.

Let’s start by providing some numbers.  At the general debate, which continues today, we expect a total of 76 Heads of State and 36 Heads of Government.  Yesterday, 25 Heads of State and one Vice-President took the floor and these are already included in the first numbers that I have just provided to you.

Let me now turn to the activities of the President of the General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, who last night made some remarks at the inauguration of the exhibit on the grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo here at United Nations Headquarters.  President d’Escoto said there are few events in the collective history of Latin America that are as dark as those that inspire the exhibit.  Even in the darkest moments when most were immobilized by fear, the mothers and grandmothers who gathered in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires held up a light, sometimes nothing more than a flickering candle, in protest of the killings, the disappearances, and terror.

These brave women challenged the savage machinery that consumed their children and grandchildren.  Through their persistence, the entire world slowly became aware of the crimes that were being committed in the clandestine prisons of towns and cities across Argentina and Latin America.

By acknowledging this fundamental truth, we can master the confidence and courage to do like las abuelitas -- the grandmothers -- to defend what is right and to protect those who are vulnerable.

And this is what I have for you, unless you have any questions for me today.  No questions?  That’s easy.  Thank you very much.

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For information media • not an official record