Calls at UN for anti-Cuba blockade to be lifted  

• Leaders speak in favor of reforming the organization

NEW YORK, September 23.— Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated that without a political will, obsolete measures such as the U.S. blockade of Cuba will continue to exist. The dignitary was the first speaker at the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly, which took place today.

For his part, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, stated that as Americans, "we feel the ethical duty and political responsibility of likewise reiterating in this international forum that we will persevere in our efforts toward American integration without exclusions, exceptions, or blockades like the one affecting Cuba."

Likewise, Bolivian leader Evo Morales stated that in order to change the world, "we will first have to change the UN and end the blockade of Cuba."

Meanwhile, during yesterday’s session, U.S. President Barack Obama called for a "new era of commitment" to the world and promised to work alongside other nations while defending his own country’s interests.

"The time has come for the world to move in a new direction. We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect," said Obama during his speech before the Assembly.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed reaching an agreement on a provisional reform of the Security Council before the end of the year. "The crisis is forcing us to demonstrate imagination and boldness," he said, stating that, "in politics, the economy and environmental policy, the need for global government is imperative," EFE reports.

Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi also called for a reform of the UN, by transforming the General Assembly into its central apparatus and transferring the prerogatives of the Security Council to that authority.

He also commented that, according to the UN Charter, all countries are equal, irrespective of their size, but the vast majority of them are not represented on the Council.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Libyan diplomat Ali Treki, General Assembly president for the next period, both called for a reinforcement of multilateralism.

For the former, this is the time to act with a spirit of renewed multilateralism, to create "a United Nations of genuine collective action".

Among the most important issues facing the international organization, Ban mentioned nuclear disarmament and the battle against poverty and climate change.

Meanwhile, Treki alerted delegates to current challenges related to peace and international security. He identified the challenges of conflicts among states, civil wars, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, organized crime, the deterioration of the environment, extreme poverty and the spread of infectious diseases.

The Libyan diplomat called on members to work for the revitalization of the General Assembly and "a more representative and reformed Security Council." He also reaffirmed a commitment to the environment and a non-selective approach to the issue of human rights.

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