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French President urges UN to forge ‘new deal’ based on justice

French President urges UN to forge ‘new deal’ based on justice

President Sarkozy of France
French President Nicolas Sarkozy today urged national leaders attending the annual high-level debate of the United Nations General Assembly to forge a “new deal” that will ensure justice for all.

“What the world needs now is a new state of mind,” President Sarkozy told the Assembly. “We need a genuine, global new deal.”

This must be based on the notion that “the common goods that belong to all of humankind must be the common responsibility of all of us,” he said, appealing to the UN to work to ensure that all people have access to resources, water, energy, food, medicine and knowledge.

“I appeal solemnly to the United Nations to tackle the question of a fairer distribution of profits, of the earnings from commodities and raw materials and the benefits of new technologies,” he said, adding that the UN must also “tackle the issue of introducing more morality into financial capitalism so as to place it more at the service of development.”

The President said justice, globally, requires a State for the Palestinian people, as well as the right of the people of Israel to live in security. “Justice means a return for the Lebanese people to the plentitude of freedom, independence and sovereignty” and for the Iraqi people “reconciliation and democracy.”

Justice, he stressed, “means the same chances of success for each poor child in the world as for each rich one.”

He urged strong action against the proliferation of nuclear arms, referring in particular to Iran. The country, he said, is entitled to nuclear power for civilian purposes. “But,” he added, “if we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would incur unacceptable risk to stability in the region and the world.”

The issue, he said, could only be resolved “by combining firmness with dialogue.”

President Sarkozy called for respect for diversity, national identities, religion, beliefs and cultures. “Attachment to one’s faith, to one’s language and culture, and to one’s way of life, thought and belief – all this is natural, legitimate and profoundly human,” he said. “To deny that is to sow the seeds of humiliation. It stokes the fires of the very nationalism, fanaticism and terrorism we claim to be fighting.”

A “clash of civilizations,” he said, “will not be averted by forcing everyone to think and believe alike; cultural and religious diversity must be accepted everywhere and by all.”

The UN, he said, embodies no one religious belief or ideology. “It embodies what is universal in all ideologies, all religions, all beliefs… which is why it is the only place in the world where all people can speak to one another and understand each other.”