Tidbits of one day at the General Assembly

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 of
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
poor farmers."
(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.)
The 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.

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.

(tougher call)

( I have no clue whatsoever who he might be but the press apparently did).


  1. Je tente le coup ... le président iranien Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ?

    Sinon, merci pour le reportage, je n'ai pas encore lu le speech de R8 mais je pense que tu as du donner de toi-même pour avoir ces photos ;)

  2. R8 quotes « In 2002, 80% of our population was living in poverty, last year this rate stood at 67% »

    13 % less in 5 years !!! Who's the best you said ?

  3. i don't care much for the pics man...you know why.....BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T GET AJ !!!!!! Hate you....Why in the world would you go there and NOT MEET AJ???? not even a glimpse at her beautiful hair and skin....ok I'm getting seriously silly here...
    you don't know how much it could have motivated me...changed my life...just to know that L. met AJ...

    k well bizzz

    btw great post blalablablabalb

  4. Lova. So you met the guy... Cheers

  5. To,
    yes, correct on #1. I could not tell you who the best is :).
    AJ is harder to get than most presidents :)
    Not exactly. But close enough :).

  6. Didn't see my man Levy M. either I suppose? Ah well I'll soon be going there to say hi personally :)

  7. Mosi,
    I have been "wikiing" Levy M and I was not sure if u were refering to the Eliat survivor...you are stopping by NY ?