Tamil ‘terrorists’ must lay down arms, Sri Lankan leader tells UN debate

Sri Lanka’s President today issued a call during the General Assembly’s annual high-levels segment to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – a group he branded as “terrorists” – to renounce violence and engage in dialogue with the Government.

Ukraine proposes new UN body tasked with ecological protection

A new United Nations entity that has authority for ecological protection around the world should be set up, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko told the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly today.

Portugal and Slovenia call for greater representation on Security Council

The leaders of Portugal and Slovenia today called for the membership of the Security Council to be expanded, saying broader representation is needed to ensure effective multilateralism in dealing with the biggest global challenges.

Clear political will needed to meet development targets, Chilean leader tells UN

The current turbulence in international financial markets demonstrates that the world needs a renewed sense of purpose in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 deadline, the President of Chile told the General Assembly today.

Dominican leader urges Wall Street-style ‘bail-out’ to reach UN poverty goals

President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic today called on the world’s richest countries to provide the same emergency funding to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at slashing global poverty, hunger and other social ills as they have to bailing out failed financial institutions.

Mexico urges rich nations to back proposed UN-run fund to fight climate change

Mexico’s President today appealed to wealthy countries to contribute to the setting up of its proposed Green Fund, which would be managed by the United Nations and aim to help poor nations combat the effects of climate change.

UN hears call for ‘Afghan-ization’ of military, development processes

Afghan ownership of its military, police and development operations are essential to allow the country to counter terrorism and further its reconstruction efforts, the South Asian nation’s President told the General Assembly’s high-level segment today.

Middle East peace talks could be completed within a year, Israel tells UN debate

The current track of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations can still be completed within the next year, leading to two States living side by side in peace, security and mutual respect, Israeli President Shimon Peres told world leaders gathered at the General Assembly today.

African leaders at UN call for agricultural investment to replace food aid

Investments in the agriculture of developing countries should replace food aid as part of the reforms needed to face the challenges of this century, African presidents told the General Assembly on the second day of its annual high-level debate today.

Rich countries abuse power at expense of the poor, Cuba says at UN debate

Poor countries continue to bear the brunt of “the irrationality, wastefulness and speculation” of some wealthy nations that wield unfair economic and technological power and perpetuate deep inequalities, Cuba’s First Vice-President told the General Assembly today.