17 March 2009 The President of the General Assembly has just returned to New York from a three-week trip during which he spoke with some 20 world leaders about the upcoming high-level United Nations meeting on the global financial crisis and its impact on development.
Miguel D’Escoto said he briefed the leaders on the preparations for the meeting, to be held in early June, and stressed to them the importance of participating at the highest level.
The Assembly President has been tasked with organizing the conference, which was called for by participants at a financing for development meeting held in Qatar in November 2008.
He has said previously that he believes the current global economic situation is the result of a “deep systematic crisis, and of a deeper moral and ethical failure,” and stressed that the overriding priority must be to solve the problem by mobilizing the financial resources needed to avert a “human catastrophe.”
Mr. D’Escoto’s trip took him to Syria, Finland, China, Bahrain, Switzerland and Iran. During his stop in Tehran, the President also attended the Tenth Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization.
“All in all, it was a very positive meeting,” he told a news conference today at UN Headquarters. He said he was particularly struck by the “great respect” that the country’s neighbours had for Iran, and the recognition of Iran’s efforts to help alleviate the plight of Afghan refugees.
He noted that this was contrary to the image of the Iranian President in the United States. “Ahmadinejad has been demonized. The United States has been in the business of the demonization of people… and the canonization of the worst of dictators,” said Mr. D’Escoto.
During his wide-ranging news conference, the Assembly President also called the recent decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur as “unfortunate,” adding that it does a disservice to the public’s perception of international justice.
“It helps to deepen a perception that international justice is racist because this is the third time that you have something from the ICC and for the third time it has to do with Africa,” he stated.
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