20 de enero de 2020
Hispanic World

UN General Assembly session ends after hectic week

By Mario Villar

 US President Donald Trump (C) sits after addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, on 24 September 2019, the day that the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives launched impeachment proceedings against him. EFE-EPA/Justin Lane

US President Donald Trump (C) sits after addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, on 24 September 2019, the day that the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives launched impeachment proceedings against him. EFE-EPA/Justin Lane

By Mario Villar

United Nations, Sep 30 (efe-epa).- Climate change, tensions with Iran and the crisis in Venezuela were some of the topics discussed during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this past week, although the proceedings were marked from the very start by the opening of impeachment proceedings against the host country's president, Donald Trump.

The UN on Monday concluded a week of top-level meetings that brought a significant number of world leaders to New York over the past week to discuss and defend their particular views of the world scene.

Despite that, attention ended up focusing to a great degree on the impeachment proceedings launched by the US House of Representatives against Trump over a telephone call he had with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

On the day that the General Assembly got under way - Sept. 24 - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the head of the majority Democratic caucus in the lower chamber of Congress, announced her intention to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump after it became known that he had asked Zelensky for a "favor" - namely, to investigate his main political rival for the 2020 election, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump speaks at UN, preoccupied by impeachment

With Trump in New York to speak before the UN, the scandal over the Ukrainian phone call immediately overshadowed many of the big issues being discussed at the conclave and seemed to continually weigh on the US leader.

In a listless speech before the General Assembly, the New York real estate mogul reiterated his nationalist thesis without offering much that was new and without achieving the impact that his speeches to the international body had had in earlier years.

Trump's standard attacks on "globalism," Iran and Venezuela took up a good part of his speech, as well as at other associated events in which he took part, but the shadow of impeachment clearly had him on the back foot and seemed to keep him publicly on the defensive.

His most combative responses came, of course, on Twitter, where he denounced what he called the "witch hunt" against him and accused the Democrats of ruining the day on which he gave his UN address.

Trump ended his trip to New York with a huge press conference in which he denied pressuring Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was working in Ukraine, and promising "transparency."

No photo op with Iran, farther apart than ever

The US president had come to the annual UN assembly hoping to get a historic and headline-grabbing photo op with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani similar to the one he had achieved in the past with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

However, the drone attacks earlier in the month on Saudi oil refineries, for which Washington and its allies blame Iran, had completely squelched any possibility of that, thus seemingly making Trump's desire to manufacture something positive - or at least some smiles and handshakes - with the Iranians a forlorn hope.

In the end, Rouhani and Trump in New York were apparently farther apart than ever, with the US president calling on the world to increase pressure on Tehran and Rouhani rejecting any talks with Washington as long as the US maintains its onerous sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Angry words on climate change

The problem of climate change was, with a few notable exceptions, the issue that most unified world leaders at the UN gathering, and they promised to take new measures to combat it, although very little in the way of concrete action was proposed.

The Climate Summit with which the UN opened the past week was more a type of alarm to accelerate the decision-making vis-a-vis what many view as an existential threat to the planet and, of course, to humankind.

Personifying the anger and frustration of much of the world - including uncounted millions of young people - at the general or relative lack of action by governments around the world on climate change was 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who dressed down the assembled heads of state and government in a speech to the world body that, probably, will be the most-remembered moment from this year's General Assembly.

Histórico de noticias
Animals at Medellin zoo get ice cream to help them deal with the heat

Medellin, Colombia, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Ice cream, copious amounts of water and refreshing baths are all part of the "Wild Coolness" initiative being...

Migrant caravan delays entry into Mexico, expected to double in size

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Former UN chief Javier Perez de Cuellar celebrates 100th birthday in Lima

Lima, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Peru's Javier Perez de Cuellar, the first Ibero-American to serve as secretary-general of the United Nations, is celebrating his...

#SuperCoralPlay social network campaign seeks to save coral reefs

By Alberto Domingo Carreiro

Pinochet victims join Chilean protesters 3 mo. into crisis

Santiago, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Groups of relatives of the victims of the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, along with associations of those injured and...

Koala toys invade NY in fundraising campaign for fire-ravaged Australia

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Plush koala toys perched on lampposts, traffic signals, trees and scaffolding at different spots around New York City these...

Model Gigi Hadid ruled out as Weinstein juror

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- The selection of the jury that will decide in a New York court whether Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is guilty of sexual...

Mural art exhibit to highlight the untold bridge between Mexico and the US

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

Guaido: Paramilitary takeover of parliament reveals Maduro's dictatorship

Caracas, Jan 15 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called the actions under way on Wednesday outside the National Assembly (AN) building a...

Artificial intelligence posing new challenges for cybersecurity in 2020

By Marc Arcas

House Democrats deliver Trump impeachment articles to Senate

Washington, Jan 15 (EFE).- Articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were transmitted to the US Senate on Wednesday nearly a month after the...

HRW denounces China's massive attack on human rights at home and abroad

By Mario Villar

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon in 2019 was 85 percent greater than in 2018

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region last year was 85 percent greater than that reported in 2018, according to...

Boeing ends 2019 with more cancellations than commercial plane orders

New York, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- Aerospace giant Boeing said Tuesday it delivered a total of 380 commercial airplanes in 2019, or less than half the number it...

US gov't, Apple at odds again over terrorist's iPhone

San Francisco, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- The US government and Apple on Tuesday publicly put on display their ongoing dispute over the alleged refusal of the tech...

Soldiers, scientists and Efe reporters head off on Antarctica mission

Montevideo, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- A group of 30 people, including military personnel, scientists and two Agencia Efe reporters, headed off Tuesday on a mission...

House to vote Wednesday on sending impeachment articles to Senate

Washington, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- The US House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday to select the lawmakers who will act as the "managers" of President...

US ends designation of China as currency manipulator

Washington, Jan 13 (efe-epa).- The US Treasury on Monday dropped its designation of China as a "currency manipulator," a gesture to Beijing just two days...

Argentine gov't launches program to combat hunger

Buenos Aires, Jan 13 (efe-epa).- President Alberto Fernandez's administration rolled out a new program on Monday to fight hunger in Argentina.

Food, supplies, fuel being sent to Antarctica on Uruguayan ship

Montevideo, Jan 13 (efe-epa).- Loaded with 35 tons of cargo including food, spare parts and some 160,000 liters (42,270 gallons) of fuel to resupply the...

Rio kicks off its 50-day Carnival celebration

By Janaona Quinet

Trump calls for Senate trial to be halted, says Supreme Court can stop it

Washington, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Sunday that his impeachment trial in the US Senate should not be allowed to go forward and that...

Haiti remembers victims on 10th anniversary of killer earthquake

Port-au-Prince, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- President Jovenel Moise and high-level government officials participated Sunday in ceremonies to remember the victims of...

Young Mexican woman joins NASA, fulfilling her longstanding dream

By Mariana Gonzalez