I thought it would be fun to give a brief account of a blogger's perspective of the proceedings at the UN General Assembly:
1) If you have a phobia of thorough body searches, dogs (especially the bomb-sniffing kind), machine guns and loud cell phone conversations, I strongly suggest to bring along prescription pills because you will be subject to all of those (and more) more than once.
2) Meetings between 2 delegations do not happen behind close doors. Small cubicles at a the periphery of the assembly will do just fine apparently. Those live interprets working through the commotion and noise are seriously underpaid.
3) I was invited by the Malagasy permanent mission at the UN ( 1000 thanks to the gracious team over there ) to listen to the President Ravalomanana' s address to the assembly.
First of all, the speech was given in English. Senegal and other Francophone nations gave theirs in French. Deliberate statement by the Malagasy president ? Who knows....
Here is the video of the speech
Here are a few excerpts from the speech:
"I am very concerned about the lack of seriousness [of the UN resolve]. A lot ofThe entire transcript of the speech is available here and in French here. There was much more interesting bits that was said in his speech but I'd let you decide for yourself. I will just comment that the forcefulness he showed in front of the assembly surprised me, in a good way. He came out swinging. I cannot disagree with his claim that climate change and poverty require a sense of urgency from the global community. How we should go about it, that is a different story; but the important part was that he called out every leaders ( hopefully himself included) to do more.
promises are made, but not a lot of promises are kept."
"There is a strong link between the quality of the environment and
poverty. Many bushfires are the result of poverty. And the
destruction of the natural resources increases poverty."
(Hey, this could get quite interesting WRT to this....)
"Increased international help will limit the exploitation of natural resources by
(ooops, there is that "aid" word again...I would have loved for him to use the word "investment" instead but maybe it is a question of semantics.)
Now let's play the game of "who are those guys who draw so many cameras?"
Ok this one was easy, the guy just loves the attention. The fallout from the Columbia University speech and the president's bizarre intro are still generating a buzz in the city.
( I have no clue whatsoever who he might be but the press apparently did).