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14 Sep, 2010 21:18

UN General Assembly annual session begins

The UN General Assembly annual session began September 14 in New York City. The gathering is set to address peace and security, humanitarian aid, human rights, economics and the future of the Security Council.

RT contributor Webster Tarpley argued that the main topic on the agenda will be the Millennium Development Goals, goals he referred to as modest and meager.

Back in 1990 they figured out that they wanted to reduce extreme poverty in the world by one half. And by extreme poverty they mean people that live on less than a dollar and 25 cents a day. So, in 2000, sorry, in 1990 there were 1.8 billion people living on less than a dollar and a quarter a day. In 2005 they said it was 1.4 billion and the target is by 2015, five years from now, to have only 920 million people living on less than a dollar and a quarter a day,” said Tarpley.

He said the estimates may be too optimistic, especially considering the recent economic crisis which has sent more people into poverty around the world and the data does not consider those living in moderate poverty (living on less than two dollars a day).

“When you add this up, you’re gunna get three billion people, give or take, who are in either extreme or moderate poverty after one-quarter century of globalization and I think that’s a verdict that history would say globalization is a failure,” said Tarpley.

Tarpley further argued that the UN General Assembly counts for virtually nothing and that some smaller US groups insignificant, even though they may have good ideas, because they are crushed by the goals of the IMF and World Bank.

Poverty reduction in world actually owes its thanks to China, argued Tarpley. The government’s programs designed to reduce poverty in China have alleviated global poverty by cutting down on the number of poor in China.

One of the key issues before the UN is Security Council reform.

The Security Council obviously needs to be reformed,” said Tarpley. “Who is excluded, right? There’s nobody from Africa among the permanent members. There’s no Muslim country, there’s no Latin American county.

You’ve got this sort of Eurocentric thing going on,” he added.

Tarpley further argued that the US is far too dominant on the Security Council, citing their successes on the Iraq War and recent Iran sanctions.

On the whole, the UN Security Council doesn’t really work very well,” said Tarpley.