United Nations: Brazil’s Rousseff Becomes First Woman To Open UNGA Debate

September 21, 2011 11:14 am 0 comments
United Nations: Brazil’s Rousseff Becomes First Woman To Open UNGA Debate

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff spoke at the Pierre Hotel in New York on Tuesday.

UNITED NATIONS — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff opened the 66th United Nations general debate in New York on Wednesday, becoming the first woman in the organization’s history to do so.

Speaking to the General Assembly (UNGA), which included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Rousseff said she was honored to be the first woman to open the debate.

“I share this emotion with more than half the human beings on the planet” she said, referring to the number of woman in the world. “I’m quite certain, ladies and gentleman, that this will be the century of women.”

Global security and financial stability were the hallmarks of Rousseff’s speech, as she touched on issues including the Arab Spring, the recognition of Palestine, the global financial crisis and membership in the U.N. Security Council.

“More than ever before, the fate of the world is in the hands of its rulers and leaders,” Rousseff said of the global financial crisis. “The current crisis is too serious to be managed by juts a few governments.”

While recognizing that Brazil as an emerging economy was affected by the global financial crisis, Rousseff added that a battle against unemployment was a key issue for the entire globe. “Unemployment impacts our families and our children,” she said. “It leaves a trail of violence and pain.”

On the contentious issue of Palestine, Rousseff reiterated her country’s support for recognizing the area and said that it should be represented as a full member of the U.N.

“We believe the time has come for us to have Palestine fully represented as a full member in this fourm,” she said.  “Only a free and sovereign Palestine can live up to the legitimate yearning of Israel for peace.”

Rousseff also criticized the “brutal crackdowns” from governments throughout the Arab world. The Brazilian leaders speech came as at least three people were killed Wednesday in Yeman and Syrian security forces stormed a school, detaining students who demonstrated against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

At the same time, she reaffirmed Brazil’s commitment to diplomacy over intervention. “For the international community, resorting to force should always be the last alternative” she said.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s address to the U.N. also focused on international peace and security.

Obama, who spoke after Rousseff, played both sides of the Israel-Palestine debate, saying that he wanted Palestine recognized as its own state and yet reinforced U.S. support for its longtime ally in Israel.”There is not shortcut to fix a problem that has endured for decades,” Obama said. “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

Obama, however, has said the United States would veto a resolution for Palestine’s full membership in the U.N. if it were presented to the Security Council.

Echoing Rousseff, Obama praised the Arab Spring movement and chastised the leaders of countries including Syria, Yeman and Iran for failing to recognized the right’s of those countries citizens. He also added that sanctions are needed against grievous human rights offenders.

“Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible,” Obama said.

Andrew O’Reilly and Roque Planas contributed reporting from the United Nations.

Photo: Agencia Brasil.

No Comments

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Top Story — A Brazilian man confessed to committing at least 39 murders after police arrested him in the city of Goiânia on Thursday after a 70-day investigation. Thiago Henrique Gomes de Rocha, a 26-year-old security guard, seems to have targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals. De Rocha, who committed the murders over three years, approached his victims on a motorcycle before demanding their belongings and then shooting them. Police noted de Rocha’s “coldness” and extreme rage when recounting his […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Top Story — Analysts are worried about a new phase of economic chaos in Venezuela as falling oil prices continue to take their toll. Insurance rates on the country’s debt shot up Wednesday to a new high, more than three times the size of the rate in late June, after a drop in oil prices raised worries the country may fail to pay off its obligations to foreign bondholders. The spike in Venezuela’s bond insurance rates means it costs investors […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti North America Today in Latin America U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    Top Story — The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be renewed for another year, the U.N. Security Council announced on Tuesday. The council, composed of 15 nations, unanimously decided to renew the MINUSTAH mandate, though the number of military personnel in Haiti will be reduced from 5,000 to 2,370. The number of police personnel will remain unchanged. MINUSTAH was initially created in 2004 after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, leading to violence and […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Top Story — Mexican activist and radio host Atilano Roman Tirado was shot on-air during his weekly program Oct. 11 in the state of Sinaloa. Two gunmen forced their way into the radio studio of Fiesta Mexicana where Tirado hosted his Saturday morning program “Así es mi Tierra.” Listeners of the program could hear a shot fired around 10:40 a.m. followed by a co-worker’s voice saying, “he killed him.” Programming on the station did not resume for another 30 minutes. […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Bolivia Dispatches Bolivians in New York Cast Votes for President, Favoring Opposition

    Bolivians in New York Cast Votes for President, Favoring Opposition

    NEW YORK – When Bolivians in New York City cast their votes in a presidential election Sunday, most of them went against the trend that swept President Evo Morales into his third term. While Morales won around 60 percent of the vote in Bolivia, New York voters gave him just over a quarter of their vote, preferring instead the opposition candidate Samuel Doria Medina. The remote election in New York was held at a public school in the Latino enclave […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexico Arrests Another Drug Cartel Kingpin

    Mexico Arrests Another Drug Cartel Kingpin

    Top Story – Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alleged leader of Mexico’s Juarez cartel, was captured in the Mexican city of Torreon, the Associated Press reports. This is the second arrest in two weeks of a major Mexican cartel leader, following that of Hector Beltrán Leyva, of the Beltran Leyva organization on Oct. 1. Nicknamed “The Viceroy,” or “The General,” Fuentes had a $5 million reward for his arrest in the United States and a $2.2 million reward in Mexico. He took […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Photo Essays United States Leftist Groups in New York Protest Student Killings in Mexico

    Leftist Groups in New York Protest Student Killings in Mexico

    NEW YORK — Dozens of activists congregated outside the Mexican consulate to protest the Sept. 26 attack in Mexico’s Guerrero state that left six dead, 25 injured and at least 43 students missing. Authorities have detained at least 22 police officers suspected of involvement in the attack. Activists in Mexico held similar protests in at least 63 cities. Cities as far away as Buenos Aires and Berlin also saw demonstrations in solidarity with the students. In New York, a handful of leftist and […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Blog Today in Latin America Venezuela Shootout Between Authorities and Militiamen Leaves Five Dead in Caracas

    Shootout Between Authorities and Militiamen Leaves Five Dead in Caracas

    Top Story — A shootout between Venezuelan police and pro-government militia members in downtown Caracas left five dead and four injured. A high-profile militia leader anticipated his own death during the raid when he announced on camera that the minister of the interior should be to blame for any attempts on his life. The hostilities began early on Tuesday, when police raided a high-rise building allegedly occupied by pro-government loyalists. One militiaman died in the initial clash, leading to an […]

    Read more →
  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Chile Supreme Court Orders Halt to Mining Project

    Chile Supreme Court Orders Halt to Mining Project

    Top Story – Chile’s Supreme Court has blocked the development of a gold and copper mine following an appeal by the Diaguita indigenous community. The court’s decision overturned a lower court’s rejection of the indigenous group’s appeal in April. The El Morro mine, owned by Canadian giant Goldcorp, is worth about $3.9 billion. The Diaguita community argues that work on the mine could pollute a nearby river. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday revoked the mine’s environmental permit pending a […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Dispatches North America United States A Day on a New York City “Rocket Docket”

    A Day on a New York City “Rocket Docket”

    The minors and their guardians sit in the fluorescent-lit room and stare at the sketch on the whiteboard. The image represents a map of Mexico and the U.S. separated by a line: the border. Elvis Garcia Callejas, a case manager with Catholic Charities, presides over the information session. “So, you all crossed that line and that’s why you’re sitting here, right?” Callejas asks the group. A few sheepishly smile while others are busy texting on their phones. A native of […]

    Read more →