General Assembly 62nd Session

The 62nd session of the UN General Assembly began yesterday in New York. The agenda is available here. One of the most widely publicised elements of the opening session thus far is the Secretary General’s call for “an internal climate change at the UN” which would result in a more proactive and results-oriented organisation and his particular emphasis on Darfur, Iraq and Burma.

Both President Bush and President Ahmadinejad addressed the Assembly. President Bush called for reform of the Human Rights Council (which UN Watch had also stressed a number of days previously) and a more even-handed organisation in which all repressive regimes were denounced and democracy promoted. President Ahmadinejad called for the promotion of the General Assembly as the primary pillar of the UN and the promotion of tolerance and fraternity among states. In relation to Iran’s development of nuclear capabilities he asserted the country’s complete compliance with international law and urged the depoliticisation of the matter (a theme he also discussed in an earlier address at Columbia University – transcript).

In his first address to the General Assembly, French President Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged universal interdependence and called for the strengthening of the United Nations and the promotion of nuclear non-proliferation, making express reference to the development of Iranian nuclear power saying “if we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would incur an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and the world”.