At UN Assembly, Chad's envoy seeks support for Sudanese refugees from Darfur

29 September 2004

Addressing national leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York today, the Foreign Minister of Chad issued an appeal for international support to his country, which is hosting hundreds of thousands of Sudanese who fled fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Nagoum Yamassoum said that while Chad has welcomed and is caring for the beleaguered refugees, international support in the long-term must be oriented towards fostering their return to Sudan. He also reaffirmed that Chad would never allow its territory to be used by subversive elements. Video

H.E. Mr. Charles-Hervé WÉNÉZOUI, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Francophony

Charles-Hervé Wénézoui, the Foreign Minster of the Central African Republic, which borders Chad and Sudan, echoed concern over the situation in Darfur. He encouraged the Sudanese Government and the parties to engage in a constructive dialogue, and to spare their people the unnecessary additional suffering of sanctions now threatened by the Security Council. Video

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Vall OULD BELLAL, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

The Foreign Minister of Mauritania, Mohamed Vall Ould Bellal, spoke about the situation in Western Sahara, expressing support for efforts by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN peacekeeping mission there to find a long-term solution to the dispute. Video

H.E. Mr. Ali Said ABDELLA, Minister for Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Ali Said Abdella of Eritrea said that, while he recognized the vital contributions of the international community, including the United Nations, to the promotion of peace between his country and Ethiopia, he had to express his dismay with the lack of resolute action by the same international community, at a time when the entire process was on the verge of collapse. Had the international community respected its obligations and seen the process through with requisite seriousness, the border would have been demarcated long ago, and today would have been a moment to celebrate the resounding success of a United Nations peacekeeping effort. Video

H.E. Dr. José RAMOS-HORTA, Minister for Foreign Affairs and CooperationSpeaking for the UN's newest member nation, José Ramos-Horta, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste, analyzed past international responses to atrocities. The Security Council, he said, “never even discussed the Khmer Rouge genocide” in Cambodia, nor did it debate or act in regards to the situation in Uganda under Idi Amin. While the UN, and particularly its Secretary-General, have been criticized for their alleged failure to act on Rwanda “it is too convenient to lay the blame on the UN when, in most past cases of alleged inaction by the UN, the real blame lies at the door of the powers that be,” he said. Video

H.E. The Honourable Sebastian ANEFAL, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Foreign Minister of the Federated States of Micronesia, Sebastian Anefal, voiced concern over the practice of deep sea trawling. “The region of the Pacific contains literally thousands of seamounts, which scientists are finding to be extremely rich in biodiversity, holding great potential value to future generations,” he declared. “Yet, short-sightedly, too many are dragging trawl nets over these deep-ocean areas, unknowing and uncaring of the damage they cause to the seabed below.” He called for more research on the ocean environment so that it can be properly managed. Video

H.E. Mr. Abdurrahman Mohamed SHALGHEM, Secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation

Speaking for Libya, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalghem, the Secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, argued that his country “deserves to have a permanent seat on the Security Council.” He cited his country's “central location, a place of conflicts and a haven for tourism.” In addition, he argued that Libya gave birth to the “Third Universal Theory,” which he described as “the middle ground between capitalism and communism.” Video

Also taking part in the general debate was Vinci Niel Clodumar, Chairman of the Delegation from Nauru. Video

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