|Africa News Digest
Mbeki at UN: Poverty, Underdevelopment Biggest Threats
South African President Thabo Mbeki, in his speech Sept. 19 to the UN General Assembly, said that poverty and underdevelopment remain the biggest threats to progress. He further "wished that the wishes of the poorest people of the world could be turned into reality, this would be a century free of wars, free of hunger and free of preventable diseases, and that it would be a century with great hopes for A better, peaceful, and humane world. "
He commented "that the global partnership for development is impossible in the absence of a pact of mutual responsibility between giver and the recipient. It is impossible when the rich countries demand the right unilaterally to set the agenda and conditions for the implementation of commonly agreed programs."
Other African Leaders spoke out on the same issues of underdevelopment. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said that "despite numerous international agreements on what needs to be done to help the world's poor, there remains a wide gap between rhetoric and concrete action on the ground."
Ahmadinejad: Africa Should Have Permanent Seat on UNSC
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the UN could no longer function to guarantee justice and peace, if leading Permanent Members of the Security Councilnaming the United States and United Kingdomcommit aggression, occupation, and violation of international law. He called for three new permanent members to be named to the Security Council, one each from the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African continent. For further excerpts from Ahmadinejad's UN speech, see this week's Southwest Asia Digest.
Mubarak Calls on Egypt To Develop Nuclear Energy
Speaking before a conference of the Egyptian National Democracy Party, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called on Egypt to develop nuclear energy, Ynet reported Sept. 22.
"We must take advantage of new and renewable energy sources, including the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and I call for a serious dialogue which takes into account the clean and cheap sources of energy available through nuclear technologies," Mubarak said. "We do not start from a vacuum, and we possess a knowledge of these techniques which enables us to proceed."
Mubarak also spoke of the blocking of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process saying, "The failure and stopping of the peace process is the essence of the Middle East problem, and the time has come for the international powers to recognize this fact and to deal with it through a serious and sensible endeavor. Any talk about the 'New' or 'Greater Middle East' ignores this fact. Any talk about the war on terror must be accompanied with similar talk about its roots and causes, and an urgent move to reach just solutions to pending problems."
Wall Street Reacts to Mubarak Nuclear Energy Plan
The Wall Street Journal, in an hysterical editorial Sept. 22, claimed that the President Mubarak's call for Egyptian nuclear energy is a plan for a "Sunni bomb" to answer the Iranian "Shia bomb." The Journal blames Bush Administration weakness in confronting Iran for the fact that we will soon see Egypt, then the Saudis and Turkey, developing nuclear weapons.