General Assembly will hold low-level meeting to hear secretary-general and U.N. ambassadors
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Originally, the United Nations was to be filled Monday with world leaders and foreign ministers. But that was before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Instead, the General Assembly will listen to Secretary-General Kofi Annan outline the role he believes the world body should play following the strikes on New York and Washington.
Last week, the General Assembly postponed its annual gathering of global leaders because of security concerns following the attacks. Nonetheless, the 189 nations in the world body are going ahead with their work program at a lower level.
U.N. officials said Sunday that the secretary-general would address the issues facing the international community and the role the United Nations should play in the fight against terrorism in Monday’s speech, rather than outlining his priorities for the coming years.
Nearly 60 nations are scheduled to address the General Assembly after Annan speaks. All countries will be represented by their U.N. ambassadors except Russia, who will be represented by its foreign minister, Igor Ivanov.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, who presented his credentials to Annan last Wednesday, is scheduled to make his maiden speech after Ivanov’s address.
The General Assembly has also scheduled a plenary meeting on Oct. 1 to discuss international terrorism.
Last week, Annan appealed to all nations to join a long-term campaign to defeat terrorism in which he said he expected the United Nations to play a leading role.
He said U.N. member states must stop providing shelter and logistical support for terrorists, halt the laundering of money used to finance terrorist acts, and share information on terrorists and their organizations.
”That is the only way we are going to defeat terrorism,” he said.
In trying to build an international coalition against terrorism, the secretary-general has been speaking at churches, mosques and synagogues and talking to world leaders. Last week, French President Jacques Chirac and the foreign ministers of Germany, Kuwait and Russia came to the U.N. headquarters to see him.
On Monday afternoon, he is scheduled to hold talks here with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
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