Sunday, October 4, 2015

Eritrea declares ‘remarkable progress’ on rights, despite critical UN report › Medicine Hat News

The latest developments from the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, where world leaders are grappling with a multitude of global crises, including the fight against terrorism – the Islamic State in particular – and easing the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa (all times local):
11 a.m.
Eritrea has declared it is making “remarkable progress” in respecting human rights, even after a U.N. commission of inquiry said the east African country keeps its people in a state of fear through a “pervasive control system.”
Foreign Minister Osman Saleh on Saturday addressed the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders, a chance for countries to present their view of events at home and abroad.
The authoritarian country is a major origin of refugees who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The commission of inquiry in June said Eritreans are fleeing a “seemingly hopeless situation they feel powerless to change” and that Eritrean refugees need international protection.
But Saleh said his country is “stabilizing illegal migration.”
He also condemned “illegitimate” international sanctions against his country.
10:40 a.m.
The foreign minister of Oman says the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers is a model to solve controversial and complicated issues between countries on the basis of dialogue and negotiations.
Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah expressed hope in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting Saturday that the historic agreement would promote regional and international peace and security and pave the way for a new era of relations based on co-operation, respect and mutual trust.
He also called on all parties fighting in Syria and its neighbours to support U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura’s latest effort to revive negotiations and restore peace to the country. And he urged the international community “to exert more efforts” to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
10:30 a.m.
The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group says its leader has met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and urged him to speak out against Russian airstrikes.
A coalition statement says Khaled Khoja met with Ban on Friday. “The statement from the Secretary-General must be stronger and must condemn the over 50 innocent civilian casualties of the Russian airstrikes,” it says.
The U.N. did not issue a meeting summary, as it does for Ban’s meetings. A spokesman on Saturday said one was not coming.
The coalition statement says Friday’s discussion was “constructive and frank,” and Khoja warned Ban that Syrians “were losing faith in the U.N., and needed the U.N. to stand beside them.”
The U.N. chief has spoken repeatedly of his “shame” that Syria’s grinding conflict has not been resolved.

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