Assistant Secretary Silverberg’s Dispatch #4 from the 62nd UNGA

September 28, 2007

United Nations – What a busy day! I’m exhausted! The Secretary was in Washington opening the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, which brought together countries representing 85 percent of the global economy and 80 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. I stayed in New York.

With the situation in Burma weighing heavily on our minds, I used meetings with my Chinese and Indian counterparts to encourage them to support the aspirations of the Burmese people and condemn the violent acts of the Burmese junta. I also met with the Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to discuss their efforts to create change in Burma, where child labor and forced labor are major problems. President Bush made a strong statement on Burma this morning, and we were also pleased to see a good statement from ASEAN – that’s the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The Burmese Foreign Minister was at the Thursday meeting of ASEAN, so I hope he heard our message and that of Burma’s neighbors loud and clear.

I also met with Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Chan and I talked about ways to strengthen the WHO’s work around the globe. We strongly support WHO initiatives to combat diseases such as HIV/AIDS and to prevent pandemics.

One of my other important missions while in New York is to let people around the world know how the United States works through the United Nations. So today I did media interviews with RTL television from Germany, Kyodo News from Japan, and Al-Jazeera’s English service. If you’re from any of the countries covered by these outlets, I invite you to visit their websites to see what I talked about.

I’ll keep you updated from New York!

Comments

Comments

Robin
|
Romania
September 29, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
I could have sworn that Mr George W. Bush has absolutely no concern about the environment!

It was a charade!

Can't he see that the U.S. becomes isolated when it comes to environment? I feel that the U.S. - India talks on environment are just part of a greater "divide et impera" plan to undermine UN green policy.

Developing and industrialized nations are investing large amounts of money into green economy. The U.S. won't! Mr Bush said that this is not compatible with economy growth. We, in Europe, disagree! If developing nations can afford to invest money into the environment so the U.S. should.

We can clearly see now that Mr Bush is a "war president", not a "peace and cooperation" one. This brings shame to the once proud and moral U.S.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 29, 2007

Eric in New Mexico writes:
@ Robin -- Hi Robin,

Don't believe every thing you think my friend.
"Cowboy diplomacy" is after all, essentially about mending fences and getting the herd to greener pastures.

Oh yeah, and occasionally dealing with a few varmints in the process, and maybe a rustler or two.

Well we have a bit of a situation in which a few really nasty outlaws are trying to drive the entire herd over oblivion's cliff.

How would you suggest we deal with it?

Robin
|
Romania
September 30, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
@ -- Eric in New Mexico

"Don't believe every thing you think my friend." I trust you don't mean that.

I have some ideas: more energy efficient vehicles, industrial facilities that pollute less and much more.

" Well we have a bit of a situation in which a few really nasty outlaws are trying to drive the entire herd over oblivion's cliff." I totally agree, but not as you expressed it. We, the herd, aka Kyoto pact/treaty signers try to drive a few let's just say... "people with other views" into really protecting the environment because it belongs to us all.

It can be done, IF you really want to.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 1, 2007

Eric in New Mexico writes:
@ Robin -- Well Robin, to pass on my father's sound advice to me on things political:

"Son, never believe anything you hear, only half of what you read, but believe what you see and get your eyes checked often."

I make my case plain and simple. Humanity cannot afford to waste human and material resource on conflict when global crisis needs lie unmet. It can hardly afford to waste time building weapons that can't be used and remain civilized, nor allow those that have been built to be used by anyone. Last I checked, we've been able to "stop the car in time" every time, but going crisis to crisis is playing Russian roulette. It's time for mankind to get off that rollercoaster, creates a lot of social malfunction and stress among populations.

And as it concerns the envioronment, global warming is just one of those global crisis, solutions to which are made by consensus among nations, and on occasion, by a coalition of the willing.

Kyoto was not the alfa and omega end all solution to global warming....fact is we arn't going to stop what is a natural event exacerbated by mankind's activities on this planet. We may slow it down, moderate its effects, but the bottom line is that we must adapt to changed global environment, just as we were forced to adapt to new global security situation after 9/11.

The U.S. didn't start either crisis, but we will take steps to resolve them, on many levels, and on many battlefields, diplomatic and otherwise.

Take care,
EJ

Robin
|
Romania
October 2, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
@ Eric -- I have little doubt that the U.S.A. will finally switch to green policies.

Your father's advice is very wise. As a matter of fact, I generally believe only what I see. And I see little to no change when it comes to switching gear towards green policy.

On the other hand, I feel the environment is changing. We only had about 30 days of snow last winter, instead of 180. We had severe drought here. And this is happening worldwide. Floods in about 20 countries in Africa. Extended drought in Australia. Several months ago Europe was hit by a hurricane. And the list can continue.

About politics. I see the same approach in the Middle East that was 20 years ago. Something needs to change. I also agree with you in the second paragraph. We need not spend any more of our limited resources on weaponry.

I see we have different views when it comes to 9/11 and perhaps Iraq. This is just democratic, I suppose. Thus, I must assure you that I respect your point of view on this matters even if I don't share it.

Finally, I wish someone from DoS to explain to me what was done to improve both, the environment policies and the international "stage". Thank you!

.

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