Sunday, 17 January 2021

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One may be 2014 times bigger than the other but they all get 15 minutes

The President of Comoros, Ikililou DhoinineThree very different countries were among those represented when world leaders continued to discuss international affairs during the third day of the General Debate of the 67th General Assembly of the UN 27 September.


Indeed, on the surface there are very few things that the People´s Republic of China, the Greek Republic and the Archipelago Comoros have in common. 

China´s population is 2014 times bigger than the Comoros Islands and 125 times bigger than Greece´s which in turn is 16 times bigger in terms of population than the Comoros.

China is in Asia, Greece in Europe and the Comoros are islands in the Indian Ocean off the south-east coast of Africa.

However what they do have in common is that they are sovereign Member States of the United Nations and regardless of GDP, population size or permanent membership or not of the Security Council they are all equal in front of the General Assembly.

Their political leaders are all allocated fifteen minutes to address the issues closest to their hearts in front of their peers from all of the 193 UN Member States in the yearly General Debate.

Here is what they emphasized during their 15 minutes of “fame”:

ChinaCHINA: NON-INTERFERENCE.  China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed the need to ensure that international relations are based strictly on the principle of non-interference in each other’s affairs.

“Mutual respect and equality are basic norms governing international relations. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community,” Mr. Yang said

“Respect for each other's sovereignty, core interests and choice of social system and development path is a fundamental principle guiding state-to-state relations.

greeceGREECE: THE NAME ISSUE. Greece’s Foreign Minister, Dimitris Avramapoulos, said that his country will become the “staunchest ally and friend” of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia once the ‘name’ issue between them is finally resolved. “The issue of the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is, beyond its semantic dimension, an important piece in the puzzle of putting to rest irredentist notions and attempts to rewrite history in our region,” the Foreign Minister said. “Greece believes that the solution lies in a fair settlement: a name with a geographical qualifier, since Macedonia is a geographical region that overlaps the territories of three countries, the largest part in Greece and then Bulgaria and (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia),” he added.

COMOROS: CLIMATE CHANGE: The President of Comoros, Ikililou Dhoinine, appealed for international help to help small countries like his confront the potentially devastating impact of climate change.

“The time has come to re-launch with greater resolve several international projects that have been suspended, notably those that favour mitigation and adaptation measure in the face of climate change,” President Dhoinine said.

“We must react effectively to this phenomenon that affects the whole planet, but especially small island states like Comoros,” he said, noting that two weeks of unusually torrential rains in April had delivered a disastrous blow to his country’s economy.

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