The 64th Session of the UN General Assembly and G-20 Summit

September 25, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Welcome to the forum on the important global gathering of nations to discuss the issues confronting the international community at large.

A humble request to all visitors to the website to take a moment and view the featured videos that speaks volume of the serious humanitarian crisis in hand. As we all know that pictures are worth thousand words and a confirmation of the reality.

Again, the visuals may not be appropriate for all, given the graphic content. The dire situations in these parts of the world beckon the worldwide condemnation and put an end to these atrocities against humanity and bring the perpetrators irrespective of stature to justice as an evidence there is still hope for goodness to prevail in the ever deteriorating immoral world.

Please remember silence is the worst act of crime.

The general debate by the United Nations began early this week with President Barack Obama addressing the General Assembly for the first time since elected to the office of Presidency. The debate continued then onwards with the address by the undemocratically nominated authorities like the Islamic Republic of Iran and The Great Socialist People’s Libya…

The UN Security Council Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was the highlight of the UN session. The objective of this particular conference was aimed at bringing the States that have not yet agreed to or ratified the treaty for the Non-Proliferation Treaty to come into effect.

Another attention worthy factor is “the Conference effort to bring together representatives of ratifying States, States Signatories, and States that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty. They will examine how hold-out States can be brought in to sign and ratify the Treaty for it to come into effect.”

What’s also missing in the effort is to have the covert states like the State of Israel, Iran and North Korea to declare their nuclear capability and quantity to determine the dangers of unaccounted nuclear stockpiles by these nations.

Source: – Thank you.

• Soviet Union: 715 tests (involving 969 devices) by official count,[3] most at Semipalatinsk Test Site and Novaya Zemlya, and a few more at various sites in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.

• France: 210 tests by official count (50 atmospheric, 160 underground[4]), 4 atomic atmospheric tests at C.E.S.M. near Reggane, 13 atomic underground tests at C.E.M.O. near In Ekker in the then-French Algerian Sahara, and nuclear atmospheric tests at Fangataufa and nuclear undersea tests Moruroa in French Polynesia. Additional atomic and chemical warfare tests took place in the secret base B2-Namous, near Ben Wenif, other tests involving rockets and missiles at C.I.E.E.S, near Hammaguir, both in the Sahara.

• United Kingdom: 45 tests (21 in Australian territory, including 9 in mainland South Australia at Maralinga and Emu Field, some at Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean, plus many others in the U.S. as part of joint test series)[5]

In 1963, all nuclear and many non-nuclear states signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, pledging to refrain from testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater, or in outer space. The treaty permitted underground nuclear testing. France continued atmospheric testing until 1974, while China continued up until 1980.

The last underground test by the United States was in 1992, the Soviet Union in 1990, the United Kingdom in 1991, and both France and China continued testing until 1996. After adopting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996, all of these states have pledged to discontinue all nuclear testing. Non-signatories India and Pakistan last tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

The most recent nuclear test was announced by North Korea on May 25, 2009.

There have been many attempts to limit the number and size of nuclear tests; the most far-reaching was the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996, which was not ratified by the United States.

Nuclear testing has since become a controversial issue in the United States, with a number of politicians saying that future testing might be necessary to maintain the aging warheads from the Cold War. Because nuclear testing is seen as furthering nuclear arms development, many are also opposed to future testing as an acceleration of the arms race.”


True Perspective: By Padmini Arhant

In light of the real scenario, it is incumbent on the nuclear powers to follow through what they are prescribing for others in the most contentious issue of WMD that is by far the significant threat to global security in the twenty first century.

The irony behind such ambition is the key members enforcing the ban have not either ratified the treaty solemnly or themselves violated the pledge on numerous occasions with the continual nuclear testing by some not necessarily in their own backyard. Further, the meeting agenda was to move towards a nuclear free world, a phenomenal shift from the past that considered such notion to be naïve and a far-fetched principle in the prolific nuclear and conventional arms race era.

It is also important for the states in possession of nuclear arsenal but not admittedly so like the State of Israel to become the signatory and the rattling sabers like Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear status.

Such measure is necessary to ensure the credibility of the authorities exclusively focused on cornering the overt nuclear states unwilling to ratify the NPT on these moral grounds. There are clearly double standards by the twentieth century imperial powers in their dealings on most issues not to mention their reluctance to embrace the new world development and requirements.

Naturally, the dominant nuclear powers’ isolated targeting of the confirmed nuclear states to ratify the NPT is perceived by the respective populations as hypocritical to say the least.

Moving on to other matter pertinent to the UN General Assembly meeting is –

The absolute necessity for the expansion of the present Security Council, conspicuously discarded by the members with the exception of France willing to acknowledge the new memberships with a veto power that were listed earlier on such as Brazil, Japan, India, Germany, South Africa and UAE (The United Arab Emirates).

The existing Security Council performance thus far in most global issues have been a dismal failure due to discord among the member nations and mistrust by the international community, especially with the P5 inadequately measuring up to the global decision making essential to resolve complex international issues.

Unless and until a legitimate resolution to expand the Security Council is carried out in this session, any other proposals regardless of its magnitude are irrelevant, as it would signify the P5 resilience to conform to the rapidly changing global environment besides posing a major impediment for any international progress on all issues.

There are many urgent international crisis deserving the assembled world leaders attention and action.

They range from political, economic, energy, education, humanitarian issues related to women, children and exploited labor, global pandemic and epidemic problems, environment to international security.

Although, the heads of the government from different parts of the world command the center stage with speeches that resonates the sentiments of the regions they represent, the nexus of the meeting relies on the earnest commitment towards international peace, progress and prosperity.

Unfortunately, the nations fail to recognize the individual liabilities accumulated on their part towards their own population in denying them democracy, free and fair elections, equal rights to women, trustworthy regional and global trade partnerships, cross border relationships extending to the other international area and last but not the least respect for the humanitarian laws.

The UN General Assembly in the twenty first century should no longer be the diplomatic congregation dedicated to rhetoric and abstinent in concrete actions. The unique opportunity must be utilized to the full potential by all nations to consolidate ideas and strategies in promoting regional and world peace possible upon addressing the few of the many burgeoning crisis.

The first and foremost – Freedom and Democracy in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran and other parts of the Middle East, Tibet, Mainland and ethnic provinces in China, Burma, North Korea,

Emancipation of ethnic Tamils from the brutal genocide in Sri Lanka, Civil liberties in war ravaged Africa,

Restoration of democratic rule in Honduras and other parts of Latin America and,

Law and order in nuclear Pakistan to list a few as the priorities among the world political crisis.

The G-20 Summit: BY Padmini Arhant

With respect to the G-20 summit, the selective nations view should encompass the rest of the world dependent on the elitists’ economic policies and environmental decisions interrelated to eliminate poverty in the impoverished regions of Africa, Latin America, Asia, notwithstanding the unemployment plight among the middle and lower income groups in the Western world.

Whether or not the summit involves the global economic challenges including the environmental issues, the consensus should be to provide pragmatic solutions to the entire world through reform and restructuring of the different economic and world agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, WTO, ILO (International Labor Organization) and review of the G-20 role in the economic recovery plan.

In this aspect, the anomalies in the trade surpluses and deficits between economic powers must be effectively resolved for global benefits rather than the personal gains of the premier membership committee.

There is enormous work required to combat the global economic woes having a ripple effect as seen in the finance sector, housing market, international trade, manufacturing demanding desperate regulations to avert catastrophes in the future.

In the environmental front, the universal green revolution is paramount for lasting life sustenance on the planet. The United States energy and environmental policy in leading the G-20 nations is vital to achieve the targeted environmental goals.

Various economic treaties between nations due for a thorough review and evaluation at the summit to improve the labor laws, ethics and industrial obligations essential to expedite the sluggish global economy and contain the environmental degradation.

Finally, the UN General Assembly and the G-20 summit are worthwhile with the global community engaged in harmony rather than acrimony to confront the humanitarian crises at all levels for the universal cause.

On that note, every United Nations and G-20 member visit as well as the non-member nations’ participation is appreciated not barring their interest and contribution to the myriad of international achievements thus far.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

P.S. The featured videos contain graphic content that may not be suitable for all.


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