Category International

The Secret Service was established on the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated

By Rahimu Jabendo via the UAH forum
Most of us are aware of the existence of the Secret Service, the government agency best known for providing security details for the presidents of the United States of America. In movies, they wear sunglasses with dark lenses and have earpieces. In reality, there are decade’s worth of secrets hidden amongst its history.

The Secret Service was established on the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln approved the idea of establishing the Secret Service on April 14, 1865. Later that night, the president went to the theatre where he was shot in the head.

On today’s history files, we will try to lift the veil of secrecy and learn a bit more about the mysterious organization.

1. The current president isn’t only protected by the Secret Service. Protection covers the family of the president, former presidents and their families and foreign presidents visiting the United States of America.

2. The Secret Service agents protecting the president travel with bags of the president’s blood. They are always ready to use their medical skills to perform a blood transfusion on the president if needed.

3. They make sure the president is never alone, even in the bathroom. The president can’t stay alone with a doctor without an agent as an escort no matter what the president’s problem is. And if they suspect any kind of foul play, they shoot the doctor immediately!

4. They participate in the president’s hobby. Because the president is never alone, agents have to participate in everything in his life so they are often forced to learn new hobbies. Bill Clinton was a well-conditioned jogger which forced his agents to be in great shape in order to be able to keep up. 😀

5. Secret Service uses code names for presidents, it’s not a Hollywood fantasy. For example, Obama was “Renegade,” George Bush was “Tumbler,” Bill Clinton was “Eagle” and Richard Nixon was “Searchlight”

6. The quickest way to annoy a Secret Service agent is asking him to carry your luggage. They won’t agree to carry bags even at the command of the president because their hands are always on their waist. That enables them to be ready to react quickly and raise their weapons.

7. It might interest you to know that there’s an underground bunker that is used by the Secret Service to hide one government representative during an event where all other state officials gather. So if terrorists decide to slaughter the top tier of the government, they will probably fail.

8. The Secret Service headquarters is located in Washington in a building without any identification sign. There is not even a trash can nearby so there’s no place to install bomb.

9. The food of the president is under constant surveillance. Every bite of food presented to the president is prepared under the watchful eyes of the Secret Service, who stare down White House chefs to make sure no one is flavouring with arsenic or rat poison.

10. Surprisingly, Secret Service agents don’t swear to die for their president. It’s understood that something like that could happen but they take every possible step to avoid it. If an agent sacrifices their life for the president, they do it voluntarily. Only one Secret Service agent has died protecting his president since the organization was formed.


By Rahimu Jabendo via the UAH forum
In 1801, Joseph Samuel, a British citizen was sent to a penal colony of Australia for engaging in robbery. In Australia, Samuel succeeded in escaping and with a gang, he robbed the home of a wealthy woman and in the process, a policeman named Joseph Luker, who was guarding her home, was murdered. In 1803 the authorities captured Samuel. During the trial, the woman identified Joseph Samuel as on of the culprits. Joseph admitted to the robbery but claimed he had not participated in the murder. The other members of the gang, including the leader of the gang, were released due to lack of evidence but because the woman identified Samuel, he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. On 26th of September 1803, Samuel and another criminal sentenced to death for another crime, were taken to Parramatta, where many people had gathered to watch the execution.
The common method of hanging then which caused death by slow strangulation was to fasten nooses around the neck of criminals, then drive the cart away after they had been allowed to pray with a priest. The ropes used were made of five cords of hemp, which enabled one to hold 1,000 lb (450 kg), for up to five minutes without breaking, more than sufficient for human executions.

When the rope was placed around their neck and the cart taken away, the other criminal ultimately died by strangulation but Samuel’s rope broke and he dropped to his feet, sustaining an injury in his ankle. The executioner hastily readied a new rope, also five-hemp, and placed it around Samuel’s neck, forced him onto the same cart, and drove the cart away again but this time the rope became loose and Samuel’s leg was able to touch the ground. The other criminal was still kicking weakly at this point. The executioner was sure to have fastened the noose securely around his neck, and as he stood Samuel up to try again, the crowd had become boisterous, calling for Samuel to be freed.

For the third time, the executioner very quickly readied another five-hemp rope, ordered the cart driven back, forced Samuel onto it, fastened the noose around his neck, secured it very carefully and tightly, and then ordered the cart driven away. The rope broke again, and Samuel dropped to the ground and stumbled over, trying to avoid landing on his sprained ankle.

Now the crowd watching the execution stood around in an uproar, and another policeman, watching on horseback, ordered the execution delayed momentarily, while he rode away to find the governor. The governor was summoned to the scene and upon inspection of the ropes, which showed no evidence of having been cut, and the other criminal, who was successfully executed with an identical rope, the governor and the entire crowd agreed that it was a sign from God that Joseph Samuel had not committed any crime deserving of execution and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment instead. Parramatta’s town doctor tended to his sprained ankle.

Greece is considered the first democracy in the world

By Rahimu Jabendo via the UAH forum
You probably know a lot about Greek gods and the likes, but what else do you know about Greece in general? Let’s put through a few.

1) Greece is considered the first democracy in the world. Long before people even figured out that voting makes sense, the Greeks used to vote for who would lead them, although it was restricted to just men, adult males, it was still pretty cool.

2) With an area of 50,949 square miles (131,958 square kilometers), Greece is a decently large country with a population of over 10million people.

3) During Summer, tourists who visit Greece outnumber the local indigenes, and the total population more than doubles. That is why Greece has the largest number of airports.

4) The saying ‘taking the bull by the horns’ actually originated from Greece, when Hercules saved Crete from a raging bill by dragging it’s horns. We don’t know if it truly happened, but it is still an awesome saying.

5) An Island in Greece, called Ikaria is one of the blue zones in the world, that is people live longer in those places. So if you want a longer life, you may want to go to Greece.

6) in Greece, waving at someone with an open palm is a great insult, so don’t wave, just shake.

7) The ancient Greek alphabets is actually the oldest ever form of writing even before the Romans invented their Roman numerals. So when next you encounter an alpha or beta sign, show it some respect.

8) The Greece believe that man was created by Prometheus while animals were created by his brother. They also believe that all the punishments sent to man came through Pandora in a box.

9) Greece is the world’s third largest producer of Olive as well as marbles.

10) The Greeks invented the Olympic games to honor Zeus. A cook actually won the first sprint race in the Olympics long before history knew about it.

Foreigners can be helpful in removing a dictatorship!

By George Okello via UAH forum

che guevarra

There are so many foreigners participating in just struggles not in their own countries,and I think history is replete with many examples.It was Field Marshall John Okello, from Dokolo, who liberated Zanzibar from Arab occupation or colonial slavery. general Lagu was a leader of the Anyanya movement in South Sudan, I believe he is still alive. I met him once in London. Sajab (Sajjabbi) a Pakistan, too helped Uganda Federal Movement to improve on their technical military capabilities

Think about the Spanish Civil War for eg where hundreds of European internationalists, and even Africans, took up arms to fight against the fascists. The more recent example is that of Che Guevarra, an Argentinian, who, together with Fidel Castro, became the leader of the Cuban revolution.

We must however distinguish between internationalists and mercenaries and their involvement in foreign conflicts. Internationalists, especially Marxists and socialists, have always fought in support of foreign national liberation forces because all socialists believe in international solidarity. They however do not substitute their own contribution to the overall effort of the people because the responsibility to overthrow an oppressive political and social order rests in the hands of its victims and not foreigners. Mercenaries on the other hand do not believe in any cause- they are just in it for material benefit- they are guns for hire. A national liberation movement will therefore have nothing to do with mercenaries.

Uganda has a bad history of merceneries actively participating in our political conflicts. We first saw this in 1971 when Iddi Amin recruited the remnants of the Anyanya forces from South Sudan to effect a military coup in Uganda and he later on relied heavily on these Anyanya forces to keep himself in power for 9 years. Later on, merceneries grouped inside the NRA and led by Yopweri Museveni invaded the villages of Luwero in Uganda, emabrking on a brtutakl campaign of murder and terror. They eventually managed to subdue the national army of Uganda, conquered the country and then militarily occuppied it. Most of the NRA mereceneries were recruited from Rwanda and in their mudreroius activities and continuing blood-letting they have been supported by a few quislings and hired thugs from Buganda and other tribes.

Human Trafficking is a serious business in Uganda!

By Hon.Beti Nambooze

The Air Dubai plane that touched down at Entebbe airport yesterday evening brought into Uganda more misery than the anticipated happiness. Dozens of girls who were trafficked to the Arab world as slaves were being returned to meet their relatives after a protracted battle which we started about two Weeks ago.

Parents wept on seeing their girls as some had to be wheeled off the plane in wheelchairs. The girls have broken limbs,bruised faces,scars …they are so skinny and sick. Yet these are the lucky ones as some of their colleagues are dead and or cant be traced.

Doreen Magezi one of the victims is the one who put through a distress call to me as her area MP. She was promised work by Marpie International company of Kigowa Ntinda. Marphie advertises its self as a labour agency. Its owned by One Karungi wife to commissioner of Police Henry Tukahirwa.

Hon.Beti Nambooze

On reaching Jordan, Doreen was placed on a stall and sold to the highest bidder at $ 3000 and later handed over to a family that has been treating her as a sub- human. I raised this matter in Parliament and through this effort,Karungi was forced to return the girl,sick and shattered. My involvement saved some other girls who were in Jordan under the same arrangement. Interestingly these slave traders had attempted to force the family to pay back the $3000 before returning the girl…I told the family to leave the matter in my hands.

To display the highest level of impunity Karungi most probably through her husband ordered the airport Police to arrest Doreen on arrival and indeed they arrested her. On gun point a Police lady at entebbe Airport made this girl to record a statement stating why she contacted me! It took my team up to after midnight to get the girl released and taken to hospital since she is in a bad state. These girls have been placed in various health centers amidst fear that they can be harmed by the traffickers since they don’t want them to live and tell the story.
By this post am calling on us all to fight slave trade….we cant be so evil a Country,a country that in this 21st century sell off its energetic,educated young people into slavery.

Britain’s New African Empire

Britain’s New African Empire

by Mark Curtis

Companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control over $1trillion worth of Africa’s resources in just five commodities – oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. My research for the NGO, War on Want, which has just been published, reveals that 101 companies, most of them British, control $305billion worth of platinum, $276billion worth of oil and $216billion worth of coal at current market prices. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ is proceeding apace, with the result that African governments have largely handed over their treasure.

Tanzania’s gold, Zambia’s copper, South Africa’s platinum and coal and Botswana’s diamonds are all dominated by London-listed companies. They have mines or mineral licences in 37 African countries and control vast swathes of Africa’s land: their concessions cover a staggering 1.03million square kilometres on the continent. This is over four times the size of the UK and nearly one-twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area. China’s resources grabs have been widely vilified but the major foreign takeover of Africa’s natural riches springs from a lot closer to home.

Many African governments depend on mineral resources for revenues, yet the extent of foreign ownership means that most wealth is being extracted along with the minerals. In only a minority of mining operations do African governments have a shareholding? Company tax payments are minimal due to low tax rates while governments often provide companies with generous incentives such as corporation tax holidays.

Companies are also able to avoid paying taxes by their use of tax havens. Of the 101 London-listed companies, 25 are actually incorporated in tax havens, principally the British Virgin Islands. It is estimated that Africa loses around $35billion a year in illicit financial flows out of the continent and a further $46billion a year in multinational company profits taken from operations in Africa.

UK companies’ increasingly dominant role in Africa, which is akin to a new colonialism, is being facilitated by British governments, Conservative and Labour alike. Four policies stand out. First, Whitehall has long been a fierce advocate of liberalized trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies. It is largely opposed to African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to such investment, the sorts of policies where have often been used by successful developers in East Asia. Second, Britain has been a world leader in advocating low corporate taxes in Africa, including in the extractives sector.

Third, British policy has done nothing to challenge multinational companies using tax havens; indeed the global infrastructure of tax havens is largely a British creation. Fourth, British governments have constantly espoused only voluntary mechanisms for companies to monitor their human rights impacts; they are opposed to enhancing international legally binding mechanisms to curb abuses.

The result is that Africa, the world’s poorest continent, is being further impoverished. Recent research calculated, for the first time, all the financial inflows and outflows to and from sub-Saharan Africa to gauge whether Africa is being helped or exploited by the rest of the world. It found that $134billion flows into the continent each year, mainly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid. However, $192billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies and tax dodging. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58billion a year. British mining companies and their government backers are contributing to this drainage of wealth.

We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK’s large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.

Mark Curtis

Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations

Muslims are to blame for rapes in Sweden—George Okello!

Sweden now has the second highest number of rapes in the world


Sweden Seems To Be falling Apart So Quickly and before our very eyes. It is really shocking. It is the soft polices that they have taken on muslim immigration that is bringing Sweden down to its knees. It is shocking that a major European nation cannot protect its children from Muslim rapists. It is unbelievable. No wonder buffoons like Trump will begin to appear again and again. The right wing fascists, and Hitler’s heirs,will emerge again in Europe, if the Swedish approach of neglecting its own citizens continues.

Sweden is the second in the world rape league!!!! Only South Africa beats Sweden in the number of reported rapes!! The USA is far behind Sweden, and the UK, Germany etc are far, far behind Sweden. the only other country with a high reported rape is France, and that is because France has a very big muslim population- almost 3 million.

The problem Sweden has is that its figures are doctored. As you can see in the video, the police are not allowed to say it is Muslims who are committing a majority of the rapes. So the published figures are often meaningless- all you get are statistics without the names, religion or ethnicity of the perpetrators.

Iam sure you have also read of the shocking case in Sweden as well where an Afghan muslim boy raped a Swedish girl in his school. He was tried and convicted of rape, but instead of being sent to prison, the courts decided that he would be put on a course of “rehabiiltation”. The court said it was lenient after taking into account the fact that the boy was a refugee, his parents were killed in Afganistan, he had been tortured and that sending himto prison would not serve a purpose. The boy was then allowed to return to the same school, with a court appointed “counsellor” to help him in his “rehabiiltation”

In the meantime, the Swedish state did absolutely nothing for the girl victim.HEAR ME OUT HERE. THE SWEDISH STATE OFFERED NO COUNSELLING TO THE GIRL. SHE WAS LEFT COMPLETELY ON HER OWN!!!

Sweden rape, Europe rape, a slowly dying culture

Completely outraged, her parents removed their daughter from the school. They said their daughter could not even just set her eyes on the boy. Why a rapist was allowed by Sweden to walk openly in a school, and to mock and laugh at his victim is what you have to explain to me..Sitting here in London, I can not see any justice or logic in what Sweden did to this young girl. It is as if Muslim lives matter more than Swedish lives.

I certainly would not follow the Swedish policy of appeasing rapists and killers. In my book, all rapists must know there is only one end- and that is the DEATH PENALTY.

Complete List of people named in the Panama Papers


Heads of state

  • Argentina Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina
  • Saudi Arabia Salman, King of Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi
  • Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine

Former heads of state

  • Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former Emir of Qatar
  • Sudan Ahmed al-Mirghani, former President of Sudan
  • Heads of government
  • Iceland Sigmundur DavĂ­Ă° Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland (resigned April 5, 2016)

Former heads of government

  • Georgia (country) Bidzina Ivanishvili, former Prime Minister of Georgia
  • Iraq Ayad Allawi, former Acting Prime Minister of Iraq
  • Jordan Ali Abu al-Ragheb, former Prime Minister of Jordan
  • Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, former Prime Minister of Qatar
  • Ukraine Pavlo Lazarenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine
  • Moldova Ion Sturza, former Prime Minister of Moldova

Other government officials

  • Algeria -Abdeslam Bouchouareb, Minister of Industry and Mines
  • Andorra -Jordi Cinca, Minister of Finance
  • Angola -JosĂ© Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Minister of Petroleum
  • Argentina – NĂ©stor Grindetti, Mayor of LanĂșs
  • Botswana- Ian Kirby, President of the Botswana Court of Appeal and former Attorney General
  • Brazil – Joaquim Barbosa, former President of the Supreme Federal Court,Eduardo Cunha, President of the Chamber of Deputies,Edison LobĂŁo, Member of the Senate and former Minister of Mines and Energy,JoĂŁo Lyra, Member of the Chamber of Deputies
  • Cambodia – Ang Vong Vathana, Minister of Justice
  • Chile -Alfredo Ovalle RodrĂ­guez, intelligence agency associate
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo,,Jaynet Kabila, Member of the National Assembly
  • Republic of the Congo – Bruno Itoua, Minister of Scientific Research and Technical Innovation and former Chairman of the SNPC
  • Ecuador – Galo Chiriboga, current Attorney General,Pedro Delgado, cousin of President of Ecuador Rafael Correa, and former Governor of the Central Bank
  • France – Patrick Balkany, Member of the National Assembly and Mayor of Levallois-Perret,JĂ©rĂŽme Cahuzac, former Minister of the Budget,Jean-Marie Le Pen, former president of the National Front and father of current party leader Marine Le Pen
  • Greece – Stavros Papastavrou, advisor of former Prime Ministers Kostas Karamanlis and Antonis Samaras
  • Hungary – Zsolt HorvĂĄth, former Member of the National Assembly
  • Iceland -Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance,JĂșlĂ­us VĂ­fill Ingvarsson, Member of ReykjavĂ­k City Council (resigned April 5, 2016),Ólöf Nordal, Minister of the Interior
  • India -Anurag Kejriwal, former President of the Lok Satta Party Delhi Branch, Anil Vasudeva Salgaocar, A Goa-based mining baron and former MLA
  • Kenya -Kalpana Rawal, Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Malta -Konrad Mizzi, Minister of Energy and Health
  • Nigeria -James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State
  • North Korea -Kim Chol Sam, Daedong Credit Bank representative based in Dalian and presumed high official
  • Palestine -Mohammad Mustafa, former Minister of National Economy
  • Panama – Riccardo Francolini, former chairman of the state-owned Savings Bank
  • Peru -CĂ©sar Almeyda, Director of the National Intelligence Service
  • Poland -PaweƂ Piskorski, former Mayor of Warsaw
  • Rwanda -Emmanuel Ndahiro, brigadier general and former chief of the intelligence agency
  • Saudi Arabia -Muhammad bin Nayef, Crown Prince and Minister of the Interior of Saudi Arabia
  • Sweden -Frank Belfrage, former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
  • United Kingdom -Michael Ashcroft, retired member of the House of Lords,Tony Baldry, former Conservative MP for Banbury,Michael Mates, former Conservative MP for East Hampshire,Pamela Sharples, Member of the House of Lords
  • Venezuela -Victor Cruz Weffer, former commander-in-chief of the army,JesĂșs Villanueva, former Director of PDVSA
  • Zambia -Atan Shansonga, former Ambassador to the United States

Relatives and associates of government officials

  • Argentina – Daniel Muñoz, aide to former presidents Cristina FernĂĄndez de Kirchner and NĂ©stor Kirchner
  • Azerbaijan – Mehriban Aliyeva, Leyla Aliyeva, Arzu Aliyeva, Heydar Aliyev and Sevil Aliyeva, family of President Ilham Aliyev
  • Brazil -IdalĂ©cio de Castro Rodrigues de Oliveira, potential briber of the Brazilian President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha and a Portuguese entrepeneur
  • China -Patrick Henri Devillers, French business associate of Gu Kailai, convicted murderer and wife of former Minister of Commerce and Member of the Politburo Bo Xilai,Deng Jiagui, brother-in-law of President Xi Jinping,Jasmine Li, granddaughter of former Member of the Politburo Jia Qinglin,Li Xiaolin, daughter of former Premier Li Peng
  • Ecuador -Javier Molina Bonilla, former advisor to Director of the National Intelligence Secretariat Rommy Vallejo
  • Egypt -Alaa Mubarak, son of former President Hosni Mubarak
  • France -FrĂ©dĂ©ric Chatillon, business associate of Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front,Arnaud Claude, former law partner of former President Nicolas Sarkozy,Nicolas Crochet, accounting associate of Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front
  • Ghana – John Addo Kufuor, son of former President John Kufuor
  • Guinea- Mamadie TourĂ©, widow of former President Lansana ContĂ©
  • Honduras -CĂ©sar Rosenthal, son of former Vice President Jaime Rosenthal
  • Ireland -Frank Flannery, political consultant and Fine Gael’s former Director of Organisations and Strategy
  • Italy -Giuseppe Donaldo Nicosia, convicted of bribery alongside former Senator Marcello Dell’Utri
  • India -Jehangir Soli Sorabjee, son of former attorney general Soli Sorabjee and a honorary consultant physician at Bombay Hospital,Harish Salve, India’s leading lawyers and son of N. K. P. Salve, member of the Indian National Congress party,Rajendra Patil, son-in-law of veteran Congressman and Karnataka Horticulture Minister Shamanuru Shivashankarappa and a businessman
  • Ivory Coast -Jean-Claude N’Da Ametchi, associate of former President Laurent Gbagbo
  • Kazakhstan -Nurali Aliyev, grandson of President Nursultan Nazarbayev
  • Malaysia -Mohd Nazifuddin Najib, son of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his cousin
  • Mexico -Juan Armando Hinojosa, “favourite contractor” of President Enrique Peña Nieto
  • Morocco -Mounir Majidi, personal secretary of King Mohammed VI
  • Pakistan -Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz Sharif and Hussain Nawaz Sharif, children of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
  • Russia -Sergei Roldugin, Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg, friends of President Vladimir Putin
  • Senegal -Mamadou Pouye, friend of Karim Wade, himself the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade
  • South Africa – Khulubuse Zuma, nephew of President Jacob Zuma
  • South Korea -Ro Jae-Hun, son of former President Roh Tae-woo
  • Spain -Pilar de BorbĂłn, sister of former King Juan Carlos I,Micaela Domecq SolĂ­s-Beaumont, wife of Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and former Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment,Oleguer Pujol, son of Jordi Pujol i Soley, former President of Catalonia
  • Syria- Rami and Hafez Makhlouf, cousins of President Bashar al-Assad
  • United Kingdom -Ian Cameron, father of Prime Minister David Cameron
  • United Nations -Kojo Annan, son of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Sports personalities

  • Juan Pedro Damiani, Uruguayan member of the FIFA Ethics Committee
  • Eugenio Figueredo, Uruguayan American former president of CONMEBOL and vice president and member of the ethics committee of FIFA
  • Gianni Infantino, Swiss-Italian president of FIFA
  • Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, Argentine businessmen also implicated in the 2015 FIFA corruption case
  • Michel Platini, French former president of UEFA
  • JĂ©rĂŽme Valcke, French former secretary general of FIFA
  • Mattias Asper, Valeri Karpin, Nihat Kahveci, Tayfun Korkut, Darko Kovačević, Gabriel SchĂŒrrer and Sander Westerveld had accounts created by Real Sociedad and its president(s) principally Iñaki Otegui, under the leadership of JosĂ© Luis AstiazarĂĄn, Miguel Fuentes, MarĂ­a de la Peña, Juan LarzĂĄbal and Iñaki Badiola
  • Gabriel Heinze, Argentine former footballer, account (with his mother) during Manchester United years
  • Lionel Messi, footballer for Barcelona and the Argentine national team
  • Brian Steen Nielsen, Danish former footballer and sports director of Aarhus Gymnastikforening
  • Marc Rieper, Danish retired footballer
  • Clarence Seedorf, Dutch former footballer
  • Leonardo Ulloa, Argentine footballer
  • IvĂĄn Zamorano, Chilean retired footballer, account during Real Madrid years
  • Àlex CrivillĂ©, Spanish former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer
  • Nico Rosberg, German Formula 1 driver at Mercedes AMG Petronas
  • Jarno Trulli, Italian former Formula 1 driver
  • Tomas Berdych, Czech professional tennis player on the ATP World Tour, currently ranked world number seven
  • Nick Faldo, English professional golfer on the PGA European Tour, now mainly an on-air golf analyst

Entertainment personalities

  • AgustĂ­n AlmodĂłvar, Spanish film producer and younger brother of filmmaker Pedro AlmodĂłvar
  • Pedro AlmodĂłvar, Spanish film director, screenwriter, producer and former actor
  • Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Indian actress and former Miss World.
  • Jackie Chan, Hong Kong actor
  • Franco Dragone, Italian Belgian theatre director, known for his work for Cirque du Soleil
  • David Geffen, Hollywood mogul, co-founder of DreamWorks
  • Vinod Adani, Indian businessman, elder brother of Gautam Adani, Adani Group
  • Bank Leumi’s representatives and board members.
  • Hollman Carranza, son of Colombian emerald mogul VĂ­ctor Carranza
  • Rattan Chadha, Indian-born Dutch businessman, founder of Mexx clothing
  • Jacob Engel, Israeli businessman active in the African mining industry.
  • Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Italian businessman and politician
  • Anthony Gumbiner, British businessman, chairman of Hallman Group
  • Solomon Humes, Bahamian bishop of a small denomination
  • Soulieman Marouf, British Syrian businessman Nakash family members
  • Idan Ofer, London-based Israeli business magnate and philanthropist, founder of Tanker Pacific.
  • Igor Olenicoff, American billionaire
  • Marianna Olszewski, American financial author and life coach.
  • K P Singh, Indian businessman
  • Frank Timiș, Romanian-born Australian businessman
  • Dov Weissglass, Israeli lawyer and business man who has been closely linked with the Middle East peace process, particularly under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
  • Teddy Sagi, a London-based Israeli billionaire businessman founder of Playtech and the majority shareholder of Market Tech Holdings, which owns London’s Camden Market, and of two AIM-listed technology companies.
  • Jacob Weinroth, an Israeli attorney, founder partner of Dr. J. Weinroth & Co. Law Office and owner and director of Sapir Holdings.
  • Benjamin Wey, Chinese American financier and president of New York Global Group Main shareholders of Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Mallika Srinivasan,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited and Indira Sivasailam (died in December 2008)
  • Abdul Rashid Mir, founder and CEO of Cottage Industries Exposition Limited (CIE) & Tabasum Mir
  • Zavaray Poonawalla, Brother of billionaire Cyrus S. Poonawalla and heads the managing committee of Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC)
  • Mohan Lal Lohia, Father of Sri Prakash Lohia, founder and chairman of Indorama Corporation
  • Onkar Kanwar, Chairman & MD of Apollo Tyres
  • Garware family, family of Abasaheb Garware, was a pioneering industrialist from Maharashtra state in India
  • Shishir K Bajoria, promoter of SK Bajoria Group, which has steel refractory units
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature


  • Marllory ChacĂłn Rossell, Guatemalan drug trafficker.
  • Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, Colombian drug trafficker, head of the Cifuentes-Villa Drug Trafficking Organization and partner of JoaquĂ­n “Chapo” GuzmĂĄn.
  • Rafael Caro Quintero, Mexican drug trafficker and one of the founders of the now-disintegrated Guadalajara Cartel.
  • Iqbal Mirchi[73] (died 14 August 2013), right-hand man of India’s most wanted criminal, Dawood Ibrahim
  • Gonzalo Delaveu, head of global corruption watchdog Transparency International’s Chile branch (resigned 4 April 2016)


Under President Obama, the US commitment to democracy and human rights [with the exception of gay rights] in Africa has taken a back-burner. President Obama and his government only seem to talk about democracy and human rights as an afterthought. President Obama has become a huge disappointment. We see him freely consorting, laughing, dancing, and breaking bread with leaders whose hands are dripping with blood of innocent fellow citizens, and whose pockets are bulging with stolen public resources.

Apart from giving high-sounding but empty lectures about leaders ignoring constitutional term limits, President Obama’s government has done nothing concrete to punish leaders who ignore or trample on human rights and democracy. Today, one of the oldest and longest-serving presidents in Africa comes from East Africa—with no end in sight to his regime. Two leaders seeking to change their countries’ constitution to prolong their stay in power are from East Africa. One of the most brutal thugs who has managed to kill his way to power while using a sophisticated PR regime to sanitize his regime in the eyes of the international community is from East Africa. And there are civil wars in South Sudan and Somalia. All these are happening without serious, thoughtful, and meaningful engagement from President Obama.

As an aside. During his recent trip to Kenya, President took a moment to meet with his Kenyan relatives. There are reports — I don’t know how accurate the reports are — that President Obama’s Kenyan relatives took him to task over his indifference to their welfare while in office. Now, while I do not necessarily support the President’s relatives’ expectations and demands on him, what I found very telling and very significant was his response to their questions, demands, and expectations. He reportedly told the relatives, “I cannot help you now because there are rules and regulations limiting my ability to help you now while in the White House, but don’t worry, I will help you once I am out of the White House.” Think about that, Africa!



Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to see you on the eve of the General Debate and I thank you for your time.

I am pleased to brief you as we open a new session of the General Assembly this afternoon.

More than 140 heads of state or government will attend. Civil society leaders, CEOs and other influential global figures will also be here.

Together, we will address the horrendous violence in Syria and Iraq, where conflict and governance failures have provided a breeding ground for extremist groups.

I welcome the growing international consensus to act against this serious threat to global and regional peace and security.

Violence continues in Mali, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. We will not let these crises be forgotten – and we will meet next week at the highest level to determine what more we can do.

The situation in and around Ukraine remains volatile.

In Libya, order is breaking down.

In the aftermath of yet another devastating war in Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians seem more polarized than ever.

In Nigeria, the advances of Boko Haram grow more alarming every day. As in Syria and Iraq, we are seeing terrorist organizations not only carrying out attacks but seizing large areas of land beyond the government’s control.

The world is facing multiple crises. Each has its own dynamics, and requires its own approach. But all have featured atrocious attacks on civilians, including children. All have dangerous sectarian, ethnic or tribal dimensions. And many have seen sharp divisions within the international community itself over the response.

In my main speech to the Member States next Wednesday, I will call on world leaders to unite and uphold human dignity, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We will also place a special focus on Ebola Virus Disease, which is a cause of huge concern in West Africa and beyond.

Two days from now, the Security Council will convene an emergency meeting on the outbreak. WHO Director General Margaret Chan and I will outline the international action plan to contain this threat.

Next week, the General Assembly will follow-up with a High-Level Meeting on the needs of the people and countries affected by Ebola.

Generous contributions are being announced each day – but we have a lot of catching up to do to provide the health services, food, water, sanitation and supplies that are needed.

Every day we delay, the cost and the suffering will grow exponentially.

We cannot allow bans on travel or transport to slow us down.

We need isolation of people affected by Ebola – not of nations struggling to cope with it.

This is not just a health crisis; it has grave humanitarian, economic and social consequences that could spread far beyond the affected countries. The United Nations is determined to meet this test of international cooperation and solidarity. But we will need to be as bold and courageous as those who are already fighting on the frontline of the disease.

That is why we are mobilizing – and why the United Nations will be the centre for action in responding to the outbreak.

Ebola is an exponential crisis that demands an exceptional global response.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The new session of the General Assembly will be a pivotal period for our efforts to defeat poverty and adopt a new generation of sustainable development goals.

Action on climate change is urgent. The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.

The Climate Summit that I am convening one week from today has two goals: to mobilize political will for a universal and meaningful climate agreement next year in Paris; and second to generate ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience.

We are anticipating an impressive turnout of leaders from government, business, finance and civil society.

Most important, we are expecting significant commitments and progress.

Today, I am delighted to announce that a new voice will be joining our climate advocacy efforts. Leonardo DiCaprio is not just one of the world’s leading actors; he has also a long-standing commitment to environmental causes, including through his foundation.

Today, I am appointing him as our newest United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on climate change issues. His global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge. His first act as a Messenger of Peace will be to address the opening of the Climate Summit on 23 September.

Finally, the week will open and close with two remarkable public gatherings on the streets of our host city, New York – the People’s Climate March on Sunday the 21st , and the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday the 27th of September.

I will link arms with those marching for climate action. We stand with them on the right side of this key issue for our common future.

I will also take part in the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park to thank thousands of young people for helping us to fight hunger, protect the planet and promote the rights of women and girls.

At this time of turmoil, the next two weeks will highlight again the indispensable role of the United Nations in tackling global threats and seizing opportunities for common progress.

Your coverage of these issues and events will, as ever, make an important contribution.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Questions and Answers

Q: Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General on behalf of the UN Correspondent Association. And it’s a tough time in the world and you have reflected that in your statements. And I’m Pamela Falk from CBS News. There you go. (Laughter) It was a characterization. My question is about the very difficult question of foreign terrorist fighters and ISIS. In the global fight, and we will see a lot at the Security Council and at the General Assembly about ISIS; is your opinion that the UN Security Council would have to authorize the use of force if there were air strikes or any other intervention in Syria? Thank you.

SG: As everybody has watched what President [Barack] Obama declared the last time, I welcome his decisive and firm commitment as a leader of the United States and world to fight against terrorism which is a common enemy for humanity. This air strike and military operation, which was done at the request of the Government of Iraq, was able to help the United Nations and other actors to, first of all, save a lot of human lives and the United Nations was able to deliver humanitarian assistance to many trapped people in and around Mount Sinjar at that time. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, was able to initiate the massive effort, the largest ever operations, humanitarian operations a couple of weeks ago.

Now, it is clear that ISIS is a threat to international peace and security as has already been declared by the Security Council. I understand that President Obama is going to chair this summit meeting of Security Council on 24 September. And I’m sure that the leaders of the world and the Security Council will very seriously discuss this issue, how to address the foreign fighters and terrorists as a whole.

I, therefore, urge the international community endorse with the means to act decisively and after sober reflection it is critical to keep at the forefront the protection of our civilians. Again, I expect the Security Council will lead this leadership role, how the United Nations and international community will address all these issues.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Sherwin, South Africa Broadcasting. I wonder, sir, if you could attach some value to the annual gathering here in New York. And you mentioned 140 Heads of Government and Heads of State that will be coming and you didn’t mention the large entourages that accompany them and what really becomes a very expensive and hugely difficult logistical exercise. So is the world better off given what happens here in New York; and, if so, why?

SG: More than, as I said, I think 140 Heads of State and the Government leaders will participate all throughout this session. And when it comes to the climate change summit meeting, in just one day, more than 120 Heads of State and Government will participate. Of course, it requires a lot of mobilization of resources from the international governments, from the Host Government, from the United Nations.

But considering all the problems and crises which we are confronting, we have many people who are being killed needlessly and we have many refugees and displaced people have come. They have to flee their homes. It’s very necessary and important that world leaders show their unity of leadership and show their solidarity to work as world leaders, to make this world more prosperous and safer, safer and secure.

That is number one priority of the United Nations. Without that we cannot promote, we cannot engage in development. We have to protect the human rights and human dignity of all these people. But first to come we have to have protection of all the people. That’s why the world leaders are gathering in the United Nations annually. That, I think, this is most important occasion for the world.

Q: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary-General. I wonder, at this time of many crises whether you view this as certainly one of the greatest periods of turmoil that the world is facing and are you concerned at this time of turmoil that the leaders of three major countries are not coming to the General Assembly? And I’m talking about Russia, China and India; especially China and India for the climate summit.

SG: India, I understand, Indian Prime Minister is coming. Even though he will not be able to participate in climate summit meeting, per se, I really wanted to have him participate in climate change summit meeting. He is going to address the General Assembly. I understand it’s the 27th or so. I do not remember exact date. But he is coming.

China is represented by Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang. He is number three in terms of hierarchy. He is a very senior person. I met President Xi Jinping last month. And also I met Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing in – I think it was in July. So I had already met China’s leadership, top leadership. The big regret, of course, they were not able to participate this time. But Chinese is very much accommodated.

I have not yet been fully informed of who is going to be represented from Russia. But, in any event, we have other means of communications, ways and means of having their leadership demonstrated in the United Nations.

But, as I told you, this is going to be one of the largest, biggest gatherings of world leaders particularly when it comes to climate change. The largest gathering, which I remember was in Copenhagen. At that time we regarded it was the largest, but at that time less than 100 leaders came. I’m now talking about the prime minister and above. Prime minister and above. One hundred, more than 120 leaders are coming in which day. Of course, you know, leaders are coming from first day and until the end of the general debate. But we are counting altogether 140. And so it’s extremely difficult to have at one day at one time at one place 120 Heads of State in Government. That means there is a very strong commitment on the part of leaders on climate change and other crises, which we are now experiencing.

Q: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary-General, again, on Syria, do you think the possible air strike, U.S. air strike against ISIS, within Syria, results in any Syrian authorization, might be violation of the international law? Also your Special Representative in Syria, Mr. [Staffan] de Mistura, met Bashar al-Assad recently, so what could be the position vis-Ă -vis of the Syrian president? Is he your partner?

SG: First of all, I know that this issue is one of the, you know, concerns which have been discussed. But it has not yet happened, but it would be a little bit premature for me to say something about which on a hypothetical or which has not happened. But in general, and generally speaking, I told you that this military operation which was conducted at the request of Iraqi Government, that I supported and I welcomed this kind of a decisive action. And overall, I welcome, I welcome such a decisive and coordinated action to fight international terrorism and extremism. That is what we have to do. But when it comes down to very detailed legal or political implications, I will have an opportunity of addressing this issue later, when really something happens.

But if I, as a Secretary-General, I’m asking the world leaders whenever there is military operations, all these operations should be conducted in strict scrutiny of international humanitarian and human rights laws, protecting civilian population and minimizing the impact on civilian populations.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Talal Al-Haj from Al Arabiya. Today the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, has failed to get the Parliament approval and appointment of the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Defense in Iraq. The last time the Parliament failed to do that, the Iraqi Government stayed without the Minister of Defense, of Interior for four years. Taking consideration that the world is looking to Iraq to take the fight on the ground to ISIS, what is your take on this failure today of the Iraqis elected two important ministers?

SG: When I spoke to Prime Minister al-Abadi after he was sworn in as a prime minister, I strongly encouraged him that he should have an inclusive government. Of course, you know, I welcomed and I congratulated the formation of an inclusive government. But at the same time I strongly urged him to fill the vacant post of important two ministers in an inclusive way.

Of course, you know, I regret that they have not been able to fill these vacancies, but I continue to encourage all Iraqi political actors to put their differences aside and work together in the interest of Iraq to have these important positions filled as soon as possible and in an inclusive way. This is all the more important when it comes to critical posts related to security in view of the threat the country is now facing, particularly by ISIL.

So I continue to discuss this matter with the Iraqi Government and Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov. He is walking very closely with all the actors of Iraqi Government. Thank you.

Q: Thank you. Secretary-General, on Gaza, it’s been three weeks since the ceasefire has been signed. Do you believe now that a Security Council resolution is necessary and do you envision the possibility of any sort of UN protection force for Gaza?

SG: I understand that the Security Council is very actively concerting among the Member States to have a resolution adopted. I know that this is going on smoothly with all this ceasefire agreed. But we should also understand that this ceasefire is not perfect and not a sustainable one. It’s fragile still. Therefore, it would be important that international community, particularly led by the Security Council, to urge the parties to make this ceasefire a more sustainable and more durable one so that we can talk about
 you know, so that it can be led into a Middle East peace process.

At the same time there is a very serious and urgent issue of reconstruction of Gaza, which has been devastated during a 50-day long war. Therefore, I’m in close consultation with the Security Council members, particularly the Presidency of the Security Council, on the issue of this Council’s resolution.

Yesterday I was briefed by Robert Serry and I understand that he had also briefed the Security Council on the need and importance of the Security Council taking action on this. And I’m in always very close consultation with the leaders in the region.

Q: Sure. Thanks a lot. Matthew Lee, Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access. And thanks for taking questions and I hope in the next two weeks we have as much access as possible.

I want to ask about the Golan Heights. There is a lot of controversy about what has taken place there, with apparently an order to surrender and Al-Nusra is now running around with UN trucks and vehicles. And it was said at the stakeout this morning that the equipment was given over and basically that the mission is no longer completing what its mission is, which is to monitor both sides of the ceasefire line.

So I wonder what are you going to do in terms of getting to the bottom of if a surrender was ordered, who ordered the surrender and what can you say to the troop contributing countries who say that this is kind of a disarray and people need to know what the role of peacekeepers is, stand and fight or surrender and run?

SG: For that issue I understand that Mr. [HervĂ©] Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, has explained to you in detail what had happened. And, as you know, the security situation was very, very urgent and dangerous at that time. Therefore, you should also appreciate the peacekeepers were and still are working on the very difficult and dangerous situation. That is why, as was briefed by the spokesperson yesterday, we had to relocate this UNDOF [United Nations Disengagement Observer Force] peacekeepers to a safer and more secure place. This is a part of and continuing efforts to make sure that our peacekeepers and UN staff’s security and safety are ensured.

Q: Thank you, StĂ©phane. Mr. Secretary, millions of people around the world only hear about the UN during General Assembly Week. Can you explain to them what has gone wrong, years of appearances at this roster, many General Assembly appearances by all of these leaders, yet the world seems to be in such chaos on a variety of fronts? Speaking from your heart, why have things cascaded the way they have? There doesn’t seem to be — this is not an opinion. Something is off. What happened?

SG: I think there may be many aspects of how you view the General Assembly and United Nations as a whole. We operate and respond to the expectations of international community, all respond to the crises of which the people are experiencing and confronting here and there, all around the crisis. I am always asking that Member States should show their unity. We are living in an era of unprecedented level of crises and troubles.

On top of all this, regional conflicts, which are mostly, I think, all man-made crises, and we have a lot of natural calamities and then diseases like Ebola, which we are experiencing. Therefore, this is really a time when General Assembly and all intergovernmental bodies and the Security Council and they should be united.

Often Member States bring some national perspectives to the Security Council or General Assembly; but the good points of and points of this organization is that when they bring their national perspectives and experience and visions after deliberations, whether this process has been difficult or smooth, they all should come out with a global vision for international peace and security.

So I took note of what you said. But basically we should really always work for unity and the common good of international community. That is what the Charter of the United Nations provides us and demands us. That is what people are demanding us to do.

Q: Question on Ebola, Secretary-General. Today the President of Doctors Without Borders said the world’s response had fallen dangerously behind. Has the global response been too slow? And given this is an epidemic not respecting national borders, should the UN now take the lead?

SG: The United Nations is taking the lead now. This has gone beyond health issues. It has gone to the areas of affecting social and economic situations, even it may affect the political instability, if for this, it’s not properly contained and properly treated.

So the United Nations is, first of all, contained for the spread of this and treat, you know, infected people. And provide the necessary logistics and support, humanitarian support to this and make sure that it does not go to other countries.

In that regard, I have been concerting and very actively discussing with all world leaders, starting from President Obama and the Prime Minister of U.K., President of France and President of European Union, President of Cuba and the Prime Minister of Italy, and Germany and whoever may have a means and ways, and also I really wanted to raise a political will and commitment. And, of course, in the course of this have been very closely working with Dr. Margaret Chan and World Bank President, Dr. [Jim Yong] Kim, and I have been convening UN-system wide consultations several times already.

Now, what we are doing is that, as you know, I have already appointed Dr. [David] Nabarro and Tony Banbury and we are really working closely with key countries who can provide a means.

I have spoken even this weekend to the three leaders of the affected countries. First of all, they should take urgent domestic measures not to allow further spread of this virus to family members. So I have been strongly urging them to establish the community care centers, so that whenever somebody is infected, then he or she should be immediately separated from families to prevent the other family members from being infected; then provide this as a professional and medical support.

Now that the key countries like United States, you know, is going to provide the massive scaled-up support, and even though I have not yet heard that statement, this is what I understand, I really appreciate the countries like who are really taking such great efforts. The United Nations is mobilizing full support and I have been asking all the leaders of the United Nations System, this is not an issue which we require normal time-consuming consultations and forging consensus. It’s a matter of quick action and matter of instruction, so whenever we decide, then this must be implemented. So we are very firm and very much committed to address this issue, just to contain and treat and contain the further spread to other countries.

And I’m asking the international airlines and shipping companies not to suspend their services. The patient can be separated, isolated for professional cure. But the country should not be isolated. It’s kind of some sanction, where and when. This country needs more support and it really hampers and prevents the United Nations and International health workers to visit and to provide humanitarian and medical assistance. So I’m just appealing that they should resume their services.

Q: Thank you. I am going to ask my question in French as I know that the Secretary-General does speak quite good French – if it’s okay. Monsieur le SecrĂ©taire gĂ©nĂ©ral, dans votre Ă©lan d’éradiquer la maladie, vous allez mobiliser les leaders, vous venez de le dire. Est-ce que vous avez dĂ©jĂ  un plan d’action ? Et quel rĂŽle est-ce que les États africains, ouest africains notamment aujourd’hui affectĂ©s par la maladie, peuvent-ils jouer dans ce nouveau combat que vous engagez ? Enfin, pensez-vous aujourd’hui que les donateurs peuvent Ă©couter vos dolĂ©ances du moment oĂč ils sont beaucoup plus prĂ©occupĂ©s par d’autres crises comme la Syrie, l’Ukraine, la Palestine?

SG: Merci beaucoup d’avoir posĂ© une question en français. Je vais essayer de rĂ©pondre en Français autant que je peux. Je suis trĂšs prĂ©occupĂ© par la situation dans les pays touchĂ©s par Ebola, comme le Liberia, le Sierra Leone, et la GuinĂ©e. Je vais convoquer une rĂ©union de haut niveau en marge de l’AssemblĂ©e gĂ©nĂ©rale, le 24 septembre, sur Ebola. Je vais demander aux dirigeants mondiaux leur soutien contre Ebola. Le monde ne peut pas abandonner les pays et les Gouvernements qui sont touchĂ©s par le virus. Nous devons faire plus.Plusieurs pays comme les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la France, Cuba, l’Union europĂ©enne et des organisations internationales comme MĂ©decins sans FrontiĂšres et la Croix Rouge, ont fourni des moyens mĂ©dicaux et financiers essentiels. Mais nous continuons Ă  avoir besoin de plus – plus de personnels, plus de matĂ©riel et plus de fonds. Je continue d’appeler Ă  la communautĂ© internationale Ă  financer la Feuille de route pour la riposte au virus Ebola de l’Organisation Mondiale de la SantĂ©. Merci.

Q: Thank you, Stéphane. Secretary-General, Mr. Secretary-General, a few days ago you have underlined the strategic importance stressed by the United Nations and the international community for a Cyprus settlement. Since this is the first time a UN official uses these terms, strategic importance, what different are you planning in order to do to accomplish it? Thank you.

SG: As you know, this issue has been long, more than longer than 37 years. Now, we are asking the leaders to really agree on the mutually-agreeable solutions. During, even before two, three years ago, we were having very serious consultations. And I convened myself to at least three summit-level meetings, inviting the leaders from two communities. Already this month I appointed a new Special Advisor on Cyprus, Mr. Espen Barth Eide. And as soon as I met him, I asked him to immediately visit the region and he met the leaders of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot [communities]. A fresh momentum has been generated by a joint declaration adopted by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in February. I hope that the leaders show renewed dedication and courage to build on the principles outlined in the joint declaration.

I also hope that the important principles outlined in the joint declaration should be implemented as soon as possible. They have identified most of the key issues. They are all on the table. As a matter of choice now, there should be some give and take to be able to agree to a final solution. It has been too long of an issue. I sincerely hope the leaders will show their political leadership role. Thank you.

[The Spokesperson later added that the Secretary-General referred to the leaders’ preparations for the next phase in the talks. While there are no preconditions for tonight’s leaders’ dinner in Nicosia with the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor, the purpose is to discuss at leaders’ level how to move the process forward, based on their Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014. The “give and take” phase will be the final phase leading to a settlement.]

Q: Thank you, Secretary-General. I’m Sylviane and my question is on Lebanon. Lebanon is facing now facing challenges in different ways. You have the fear of the expansion of ISIS, the beheading of two Lebanese soldiers with 27 soldiers taken hostage now, and the Presidential vacancy. Is there a risk of fragmentation of Lebanon as a state with — burdened with 1.5 million Syrian refugees? What needs to be done to — by the international community to keep the neutrality of Lebanon? And what kind of message are you conveying to the Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, when you meet him next week at the United Nations?

SG: I really appreciate the very delicate, difficult, political and social situation where Lebanese Government is now facing. First of all, I really appreciate and am grateful for their generous support for Syrian refugees, who are more than one million people. You said 1.5, but according to UN statistics it’s definitely more than one million even though we do not have — I do not have a correct number at this time. That is a huge burden.

At the same time, it is regrettably that the leaders of Lebanon have not been able to overcome their party lines or their ethnic lines. They should overcome their differences of their party lines for the benefit and future of Lebanon.

It’s very regrettably that the Lebanese leaders have not been able to elect a new president after President Salam has left. This vacancy of a very important Head of State post will really hamper the smooth governance of Lebanese and Government on top of many political, social, economic difficulties. And it’s time for them to really unite and show their solidarity for the future of their people and also for peace and security in the region, yes.

Q: Thank you, Stéphane. And thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. How vital is the role of Iran to solve all the crises in the Middle East and Lebanon and Syria and Yemen and Iraq? Is Iran a troublemaker or a peacemaker in the region? Thank you.

SG: As I said many times in the past, Iran is an important actor and important country in the region when it comes to peace and security and harmony in the region. And it’s important that Iranian leaders to address this Iranian nuclear issue with P5 + 1 as soon as possible, and also engage constructively in addressing many, many regional conflict issues. And I’m looking forward to my own meeting with President [Hassan] Rouhani and the Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif during their stay in New York. Again, I’m always ready to discuss and consult the Iranian leadership. I have also asked my special envoy on Syria, Mr. de Mistura, to have a closer consultation Iranian leadership and he may soon visit Iran, too.

Q: Thank you. Thank you, Secretary-General. I have a question on Ukraine. Next week President [Petro] Poroshenko is going to be here at the U.N. and also Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov of Russia is going to be over here and obviously Barack Obama is going to be here also. Do you plan to convene to meet these leaders and maybe to try to talk to them into continuing dialogue for Ukraine? Thank you.

SG: I’m encouraged that this ceasefire based on the Minsk protocol is largely holding, even though from time to time we see all this violence taking place. I have been speaking to President Poroshenko and other leaders that they should continue to have a consultation and dialogue, a very sincere dialogue between Ukraine and Russia. And I think there is a lot of, now, support for the peace and stability and ceasefire from all the actors. But important thing is that the political will and support of the people of Ukraine so that this ceasefire can be more sustainable and a doable one.

The United Nations, from the beginning of this, first of all, we have been trying to provide the humanitarian assistance. We are still maintaining a human rights monitoring team and I have been doing my own good offices role, speaking to both Russia, European Union and the Ukrainian leaders. Even I think last week I have spoken to President Poroshenko.

And we should know that in all the crises, generally, there is no military solution. There should be a political dialogue for political solution. Only then any solution can be a sustainable one, based on firm political dialogue. I’m really urging the leaders in the region to continue such dialogue.

Q: Yes, Joseph Klein of Canada Free Press. And my question is on climate change, Mr. Secretary-General. As you galvanize global support for the binding climate change treaty that you have in mind, what steps have you and your team taken to address a critical report issued last year by the Joint Inspection Unit concerning the UN’s own governance structure in the environmental area, the critique of duplication, over-spending, lack of coordination? Could you just describe some of the steps and reform that you are contemplating? Thank you.

SG: It’s so strange that over the whole shadow of a whole of this big and serious crisis, nobody has asked any question about the climate change at the summit meeting. But you should know that everybody agrees that climate change is an issue and defining issue of our times. Climate change can affect the whole spectrum of our life.

To your question now, the United Nations has been working, you know, very closely among, first of all, among United Nations agency funds and programmes. Even yesterday, I have convened the whole United Nations system-wide meeting. There is no such lack of cooperation or consultation including the World Bank and all specialized agencies and funds and programmes. I have convened a meeting yesterday through a video, including special envoys Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and Mary Robinson, and all participated in the meeting. That was my sort of a last check on the preparations and the outcome of our climate change meeting.

So I can assure you that the United Nations will work as one team, as one team. And I’m encouraged that there is a huge support and response from international community now. We do not have much time to prepare and to make everything ready for global — very meaningful global, legal climate change agreement, which should be adopted by at the end of next year in Paris.

Now, what do I expect from this summit? I’d like to just brief you. Then, first of all, in cutting emissions, I expect that Governments and the wide range of actors in key sectors of the global economy from energy, cities, industry and transport and forestry and agriculture, there should be a firm commitment that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that we will be able to contain the global temperature rise within two degrees centigrade.

And we will also try to mobilize financial support including for the capitalization of Green Climate Fund, the GCF. I expect that many countries’ leaders will announce that their bold and ambitious target with some financial support. We have already confirmed the financial support, but I’m also in the process of speaking and urging world leaders to come with a strong support on this financial support and technology support.

And there is an issue of a pricing carbon and through action by national governments, local governments and companies and investors. And there is a heightened awareness, even on the private companies, that there should be some pricing on carbon. But this is up to the Member States, which they will have to discuss.

As you know, this is not going to be a negotiation. But whatever agreement or understanding will be made here, will be reflected in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) negotiation process. And we really need everybody’s — this is, again, unprecedented and the biggest one, Governments, initially. And we have a huge number of business communities and civil society. And there are a lot of side events through which they can recommit their commitment to address this climate change.

So I’m very much encouraged and I hope you will cover what the leaders of government and business communities and civil societies are going to discuss. And, again, I thank you very much for your questions.

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