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 Truckers’ Protest Snags Brazil Highways, Economy

    Truckers’ Protest Snags Brazil Highways, Economy

    Truck drivers in Brazil continued blocking roads across much of the country on Wednesday, and the government offer aimed at halting the protests did not immediately receive a reply, Reuters reported. Drivers in at least 10 states are protesting a tax on diesel fuel put in place by the government of President Dilma Rousseff, amid a larger effort to close a wide budget deficit. The widespread blockades, which have resulted in shortages of food and fuel and hampered Brazil’s exports, […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Outrage Across Venezuela as 14-Year-Old Killed During Protest

    Outrage Across Venezuela as 14-Year-Old Killed During Protest

    Top Story — Venezuelan police fatally shot a student during demonstrations on Tuesday in the city of San Cristóbal, sparking intensified protests in the city and calls for a new anti-government rally, The Associated Press reported. The shooting, which members of the ruling socialist government including President Nicolás Maduro quickly painted as an unfortunate accident, comes amid a time of increased tension in Venezuela, as a major opposition figure was stripped of his seat on the same day in connection […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America More Than 100 Cuban Dissidents Arrested Ahead of Second Round of Talks

    More Than 100 Cuban Dissidents Arrested Ahead of Second Round of Talks

    Top Story — The assistant secretary of state and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, expressed concern over the silencing of dissident voices in Cuba, following reports that over 100 anti-government protesters were arrested over the weekend. Fifty-three members of the prominent dissident group Ladies in White were arrested on Sunday — according to the group’s leader Berta Soler — along with 36 other activists. The leader of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, Elizardo […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Peru Today in Latin America Espionage Allegations Threaten Relations Between Peru and Chile

    Espionage Allegations Threaten Relations Between Peru and Chile

    Top Story — The diplomatic crisis between Peru and Chile over a suspected spying plot intensified over the weekend as Peruvian President Ollanta Humala sent a strongly worded letter to Chilean officials and announced that he would withdraw the country’s ambassador from Chile. Ollanta’s letter and statement follow revelations last week that three Peruvian naval officials are suspected of spying for Chile. Two of the three officers are currently standing trial for treason in a Peruvian military court, while the […]

    Read more →
  • North America Today in Latin America Great Reads — February 22, 2015

    Great Reads — February 22, 2015

    Killing in Washington State Offers ‘Ferguson’ Moment for Hispanics Julie Turkewitz and Richard A. Oppel Jr. The New York Times. February 16, 2015. On the afternoon of Feb. 10, Antonio Zambrano-Montes — a 35-year-old Hispanic resident of the agricultural town of Pasco, Washington — reportedly threw rocks at cars and police officers. Zambrano-Montes then ran away, with three officers right behind him. A graphic video shot by an onlooker captured what happened next: Zambrano-Montes turned around and put his hands […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Caracas Mayor Arrested Over Alleged U.S.-Backed Conspiracy

    Caracas Mayor Arrested Over Alleged U.S.-Backed Conspiracy

    Top Story — Venezuelan intelligence agents arrested Caracas mayor and opposition figure Antonio Ledezma on Thursday, after officials accused him of plotting a coup against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Ledezma’s arrest follows declarations made in recent days by Maduro that a group of air force officers were colluding with the local opposition and with the United States to overthrow the socialist government, which has been beset by difficulties including economic woes connected to the steep fall in global […]

    Read more →
  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America Thousands March in Argentina One Month After Prosecutor’s Death

    Thousands March in Argentina One Month After Prosecutor’s Death

    Buenos Aires was the scene of a major protest on Wednesday as thousands held a rally to express their dissatisfaction with President Cristina Fernández’s handling of the investigation into the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, The Associated Press reported. While estimates on attendance were not immediately available, the march was one of the largest since Nisman was found dead one month ago in his apartment of a single gunshot wound to the head. Fernández made veiled references to the […]

    Read more →
  • North America Today in Latin America United States Obama Reluctantly Complies With Judge’s Injunction on Immigration Order

    Obama Reluctantly Complies With Judge’s Injunction on Immigration Order

    Top Story — President Barack Obama was forced to suspend on Tuesday the first phase of his executive order on immigration, which would have gone into effect Wednesday, after a Texas federal judge filed an injunction late on Monday that, for the time being, blocks it from taking effect. Judge Andrew S. Hanen’s ruling will bar up to 270,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from applying for protection from deportation, challenging Obama’s November executive order […]

    Read more →
  • News Briefs North America Transcript: Obama’s Statement to the Press Over Immigration Ruling

    Transcript: Obama’s Statement to the Press Over Immigration Ruling

    On Tuesday, President Barack Obama was forced to suspend the first phase of his executive order on immigration, which would have gone into effect Wednesday, after a Texas federal judge filed an injunction that, for the time being, blocks it from taking effect. The following are Obama’s remarks to the press in reaction to the decision by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas. “I disagree with the Texas judge’s ruling, and the Justice Department will appeal. […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti News Briefs At Least 16 Dead, 60 Injured in Haiti Carnival Accident (Update)

    At Least 16 Dead, 60 Injured in Haiti Carnival Accident (Update)

    UPDATE: The Haitian government has cancelled the last day of Carnival celebrations, and declared three days of mourning following Tuesday’s accident. UPDATE 2: The number of reported dead following the accident on Tuesday has been lowered to 16 from the originally reported 18. At least 18 Carnival revelers were killed early Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after a low-hanging electricity cable struck a man atop a crowded float during street celebrations. Seven people were electrocuted on the float, following the violent […]

    Read more →