Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Syria is the biggest peace, security and humanitarian challenge we face" says Ban before UN General Assembly Opening

UN's 68th General Assembly Opens With Syria Twist

The Syrian crisis crowded the agenda at the U.N. General Assembly's opening Tuesday, as the U.N. chief briefed delegates from more than 190 nations on how rockets filled with nerve gas killed Syrian civilians in a Damascus suburb last month.
Just hours after the General Assembly's president, John Ashe of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, told reporters this year's sessions would stress broad themes of social development concerning women, youth, human rights and development, the delegates were briefed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Syrian chemical weapons report that he unveiled at the Security Council a day earlier.
It is the Security Council that deals with issues of war and peace. But this year's General Assembly speeches will also often focus on the Syrian war.
"Syria is the biggest peace, security and humanitarian challenge we face," Ban told reporters before the General Assembly opened.
"Let us be clear: the use of chemical weapons in Syria is only the tip of the iceberg. The suffering in Syria must end.  Next week, as world leaders gather here, I will make a strong appeal to member states for action now," Ban said.
"Only in the Syrian situation, we also must look at broader issues, not only chemical weapons. There is ongoing fighting, refugee issues, humanitarian issues, human rights issues - we have to address all these issues," Ban said.
Ban then added, "Many other issues on our agenda also merit urgent attention - not only other conflicts but also important questions of sustainable development, health, hunger and climate change.
Ashe, who was unanimously elected General Assembly president in June, previewed a General Assembly session featuring a high-level meeting next Monday on bringing the 15 percent of the population with disabilities into the development process.
Next Tuesday, the annual two-week round of speeches will begin, as is traditional, with Brazil. President Barack Obama will also speak Tuesday morning, and a highlight of the afternoon will be a speech by Iran's new President Hasan Rouhani.
Ashe called attention to a General Assembly high-level meeting Sept. 26 on nuclear disarmament, and an Oct. 3-4 session on international migration.
He said that his focus will be helping to set the U.N.'s development agenda after 2015. That's when the Millennium Development Goals, which world leaders agreed to at a summit in 2000 to combat poverty, promote education and tackle AIDS, are expected to be met. The General Assembly will have a full day of debate on the subject Monday.
Ban also stressed the assembly's traditional areas of responsibility, saying that "In my speech to the General Assembly, I will call on world leaders to uphold their political and moral responsibilities to serve, to listen, to invest, to respond to the rising and justifiable demands of people across the world for lives of freedom and prosperity."

Russia Against Use of Force in SyriaResolution

  1. Tue, 17 Sep 2013
    UN's 68th General Assembly opens; Syria crisis to crowd usual themes of development, health
  2. Obama, Netanyahu to Hold White House Meeting
    Tue, 17 Sep 2013
    Obama, Netanyahu to hold White House meeting on Sept. 30
  3. UN Chief: New Syria Resolution Must Be Enforceable
    Tue, 17 Sep 2013
    UN chief: New resolution on eliminating Syria'schemical weapons must be enforceable

  4. Russia Against Use of Force in SyriaResolution

    Tue, 17 Sep 2013
    Russia against use of force in Syria resolution;Syrian rebels demand response after UN report

Israel is reckoned to possess bigger chemical weapons stockpiles than Syria and is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention

The haste with which the US, Britain and France have jumped to damning accusations against the Assad government over the UN chemical weapons report released this week is disturbingly consistent with their threat of military force. Shamelessly, these powers appear to be using the decommissioning of Syrian chemical weapons as a cover for legitimizing this aggression. read more:

Talented Mr Kerry Backslides on Russian Deal over Syrian Chemicals

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 18.09.2013 | 07:01

Observers of John F Kerry’s more than 40-year career as a successful politician on Capitol Hill note a consummate chameleonic quality in his wheeling and dealing. This dubious quality has helped him ascend from a callow anti-Vietnam war spokesman in the early 1970s to become America’s most senior diplomat who has distinguished himself in recent weeks as one of the most strident voices calling for military attacks on Syria.
According to critics, Kerry’s shameless careerism saw him marry into “old money” in order to promote his political ambitions in the US senate to his present pinnacle of American Secretary of State. A former Democratic presidential candidate, it is a fair bet that the talented Mr Kerry still has an eye on occupying the White House sometime in the future. This oleaginous operator proved his talents within hours of shaking hands with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, when the pair appeared to come up with a ground-breaking formula to avert a military clash over Syria.
Last weekend – after three days of intense negotiations – Lavrov and Kerry emerged to announce that they had brokered a deal to eliminate chemical weapons held by the Syrian government. To the relief of many around the world, the apparent accord staved off what only days before that were threats of an imminent military strike on Syria by US naval and air forces. With at least five US warships off Syria toting more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles, US President Barack Obama sounded more than a little unhinged when he declared menacingly: “The United States of America doesn’t do pinpricks”.
Kerry had been one of the most vociferous figures in Washington calling for such an intervention, even though such action was in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law – amounting to aggression, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a guest editorial column in the New York Times last week. Kerry’s war rally during Congressional hearings was also in sharp contrast to American public opinion, implacably opposed to what is seen as yet another reckless overseas military adventure. The popular anti-war sentiment among the American public resonated with international opinion, which views the official US push for military action in Syria as a potentially catastrophic collision in a powder-keg Middle East.
Given the high stakes and the complexity of issues, the Lavrov-Kerry deal in Geneva came as a purported triumph in international diplomacy. Russia, in particular, derived global kudos for having initiated the proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles under international control. That move seemed to placate Washington’s demand for bellicose sanctions on the Syrian government, whom the US had been vehemently accusing of using such munitions in a deadly attack near the capital, Damascus, on 21 August.
Standing together and sharing smiles with his Russian “friend” at the conclusion of talks in Geneva last Sunday, Kerry said: “The United States and Russia are committed to remove chemical weapons from Syria.” Kerry also added that “there was no military solution” to the crisis. What a turnaround that seemed by Kerry-the-peacenik-turned-warrior.
While the American diplomat did reiterate calls for tough consequences in the event of the Syrian authorities not delivering on decommissioning of chemical weapons, it was noticeable that in the concluding press conference in Geneva Kerry did not repeat earlier threats of military force. It was also notable that Kerry backed off assertions that it was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces which had committed the atrocity on 21 August.
For his part, Russia’s Lavrov said that any future consequences for the Syrian government non-compliance would have to be worked out through negotiations among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, China and Russia. Lavrov clearly said that the deal was predicated on a peaceful resolution of the impasse. And, for his part, Kerry did not contradict that stated aim.
It was therefore disconcerting that immediately after the ostensible mutual accord thrashed out in Geneva that the American Secretary of State embarked on a global victory lap as if had secured a political advantage for the US against Syria’s Assad. The first stop for Kerry was to greet the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. The Israeli leader could not conceal his glee on receiving Kerry and declared that “Syria should be stripped of all its chemical weapons… to make our entire region a lot safer.”
Given that Israel illegally occupies Syrian territory – the Golan Heights – for the past 40 years, and has launched three unprovoked airstrikes on its northern neighbor in this year alone; and given that Israel is reckoned to possess bigger chemical weapons stockpiles than Syria and is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, as well as holding hundreds of illicit nuclear missiles, Kerry’s indulging in jingoistic felicitations in Jerusalem could be construed
as diplomatic bad faith, if not crass showmanship.
Next stop for the mercurial Kerry was Paris where on Monday he was flanked by the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and Britain’s William Hague. The press conference was like an all boys session, with each politician trying to outdo each other on who could sound the most muscular towards Syria. All three politicians were vowing that military force was an option if Syria did not comply with handing over its chemical weapons forthwith.
Kerry appeared to relish at sounding like the top dog in the pack. “We all agree – and that includes Russia – that there will be consequences… with military force an option on the table.”

Significantly, the American also brazenly told media that the chemical weapons deal worked out in Geneva was not a reprieve from Washington’s aim of regime change in Russia’s longtime ally Syria.

“Nothing of what we’ve done is meant to offer any notion to Assad that there is some legitimacy to his process, that he has some extended period as a leader,” Kerry said. When word got to Russia, Sergei Lavrov could not conceal his dismay at the sudden renewed belligerence emanating from the Western powers and from Kerry in particular. With magnanimity, Lavrov calmly and discreetly said: “This shows a lack of understanding about what John Kerry and I had agreed.”
So what can we conclude? The obvious point is that US Secretary of State John Kerry is not a man whose word can be trusted. As with much of his political career, he seems adept at tailoring his words expediently to whatever audience he desires to ingratiate.
More importantly, the rapid change of political gear by Kerry and his Western allies shows that the primary ineluctable objective is regime change in Syria. The US and its allies have conducted a covert criminal war for the past 30 months to get rid of the Assad governmentfor a variety of geopolitical reasons, including accommodating their regional proxies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and undermining Syria’s allies Iran, Russia and China in the vital oil and gas-rich Middle East.
With recent setbacks to the Western-backed mercenaries inflicted by Assad’s armed forces, the US is preparing for an overt military intervention to implement its illegal agenda. The red line of chemical weapons use in Syria set forth by US President Obama last year has always been a convenient trigger for such intervention under the guise of responding out of “humanitarian concern”. The rush to blame the Assad government for committing attacks with chemical weapons is part and parcel of fabricating a provocation and pretext for Washington’s military attack – an attack that would otherwise rightly be viewed as an outrageous aggression.

In recent weeks, Washington and its allies have judged that the political climate around the world and in their own countries is not conducive to an all-out military strike on Syria. Or, at least, not yet.
In that way, it would appear that the deal hatched with Russia to decommission Syria’s chemical weapons is being used by Washington as an added lever for its criminal agenda of regime change, not as a genuine attempt to avert conflict in that country and the region more widely.

The haste with which the US, Britain and France have jumped to damning accusations against the Assad government over the UN chemical weapons report released this week is disturbingly consistent with their threat of military force. Shamelessly, these powers appear to be using the decommissioning of Syrian chemical weapons as a cover for legitimizing this aggression.
Quelle: Strategic-Culture Foundation

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Many of his recent articles appear on the renowned Canadian-based news website Globalresearch

He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He specializes in Middle East and East Africa issues and has also given several American radio interviews as well as TV interviews on Press TV and Russia Today. 

His interests include capitalism, imperialism and war, socialism, justice and peace, agriculture and trade policy, ecological impact, science and technology, and human rights. He is also a musician and songwriter. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the political upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. 

The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted many human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. 

For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream media, including ,The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.

"Russia: UN chem attack report doesn’t show whodunit."Strategic Cultural Foundation:

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Russia warns against hasty conclusions in regards of UN report on chemical attack in Syria. While the Israeli regime has confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on September 30 in order to discuss the developments and plans in and around Syria, such a meeting between Barack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will sure become very interesting – especially in regards of the US-Russian agreement in terms of Syria’s chemical weapons and the readiness of the Syrian government to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under an international control. Read More »