Un General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
The President of the UN General Assembly is a good and courageous man. To paraphrase a US diplomat, he’s a crazy man who wants an end to war & poverty.
The President of the General Assembly holds the position only for one year. The current President has approximately six months to go. He has very limited power. But as the head of the only forum where all the nations on earth meet and debate, he carries moral authority. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a 65-year old diplomat and Roman Catholic priest from Nicaragua, is using it with aplomb.
President d’Escoto’s inauguration last June was not quite the media spectacular getting underway in Washington as I type. But he did give a press conference that created a few waves at the time. According to CBS, this is part of what he said last June:
“They elected a priest. And I hope no one is offended if I say that love is what is most needed in this world. And that selfishness is what has gotten us into the terrible quagmire in which the world is sinking, almost irreversibly, unless something big happens,” d’Escoto said during a news conference. “This may sound like a sermon. Well, OK.”
The reports continued:
In his acceptance speech, d’Escoto spoke out against what he called “acts of aggression” in Iraq and Afghanistan – without mentioning the U.S. by name.
“The behavior of some member states has caused the United Nations to lose credibility as an organization capable of putting an end to war and eradicating extreme poverty from our planet,” he said.
Richard Grenell, US diplomat who considers peace 'crazy'
“The president of the General Assembly is supposed to be a uniter,” said Richard Grenell, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission. “We have made it clear that these crazy comments are not acceptable, and we hope he refrains from this talk and gets to work on General Assembly business.”
And what work might that be, one wonders? If peace and eradicating poverty are off the global agenda, what would the Bush Admininstration in its dying moments like the UN to talk about? Baseball?
Undeterred, President d’Escoto has been weighing in on Palestine and the Gaza massacre, to such an extent that the Zionist controllers at Wikipedia have accumulated quite a file on him.
Some extracts from today’s Wikipedia entry for d’Escoto are reproduced at the base of this article. Judge for yourself why d’Escoto is not Mr Popular in Tel Aviv and the probable source of death threats he reportedly received last month.
AAP reported that the U.N. General Assembly president opened a two-day emergency meeting of the 192-nation world body on Israeli actions in Gaza on Thursday 15th January 2009 by angrily blocking Israel’s attempt to halt what it called a “hateful” session:
Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann argued that the assembly, as “the most representative and most democratic component of the United Nations,” had a duty to make its voice heard because the Security Council’s urgent call for a cease-fire a week ago had been “totally ignored” by Israel and Hamas. More than 60 nations signed up to speak.
D’Escoto, openly leftist and pro-Palestinian, has been repeatedly critical of the United States and of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
Ilan Fluss: said UN General Assembly is 'superfluous'
D’Escoto countered that the Security Council resolution, approved by a 14-0 vote with the U.S. abstaining, called for the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Instead, Gaza “has been turned into a real burning hell,” he said, and Israel has been “so disdainful” of the resolution.
Fluss dropped the Israeli challenge.
But D’Escoto, raising his voice, also brought up an incident last month in which his office said he had received online death threats over his comments that the international community should consider a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel similar to those used against South Africa decades earlier.
“I was accused of trying to silence Israel. That was an absolute and total lie. Now it is ironic Israel is trying to silence the General Assembly,” he said.
Gaza Wrecked: Israel wanted UN General Assembly to shut up
A vote on the draft resolution would come Friday at the end of the two-day session.
Israel and the United States, its main ally and a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, have long complained that the assembly is biased against Israel.
Hours later, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev went on the offense, calling the meeting “deceitful,” “hateful” and “cynical.”
D’Escoto rejected Shalev’s characterizations.
President d’Escoto’s speech to the General Assembly is well worth reading in full. In the end, the Assembly voted on a rather watered-down resolution from Egypt. It was adopted by a very large majority (142-4, with 8 countries abstaining – including Australia after a pathetic speech by Robert Hill).
Reliefweb reports that:
…in closing the special session, President D’Escoto said he would be less than frank if he did not say he was very disappointed. The Assembly was in far worse shape than he had thought. “We will never make it if we don’t act in a more decisive and affirmative manner.”
Bravo, President D’Escoto!
I’m glad you speak for the world. You certainly speak for me!
Extract from the Wikipedia entry on Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann – 20th January 2009
Reform of the United Nations
D’Escoto has criticised the veto power wielded by the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States): “I hope my presidency will address what has become a universal clamor all over the world for the democratization of the United Nations. I promise to give full support to the working group on the revitalization of the General Assembly.”
Outside of a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on the seventh day of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict which failed to produce an official statement or a resolution, he said: “Once again, the world is watching in dismay the disfunctionality of the Security Council.”
Relations with the United States
Described by Reuters as “a fierce critic of [U.S. policy in Latin America]“, he referred to Ronald Reagan in 2004 as “the butcher of my people”, and added: “Because of Reagan and his spiritual heir George W. Bush, the world today is far less safe and secure than it has ever been.”
Following his election to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, he offered a statement interpreted as renewed criticism aimed at the United States: “The behavior of some member states has caused the United Nations to lose credibility as an organization capable of putting an end to war and eradicating extreme poverty from our planet.” He denounced what he called “acts of aggression, such as those occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan.” At the same time, he expressed his “love” for “the United States as a country”, and added: “I do not want to turn this [General Assembly] presidency into a place to take it out on the United States.” Reacting to those comments, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad responded: “We have been assured that a page has been turned and that he understands his new responsibilities… We will wait and see.” Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. permanent mission to the United Nations, added: “The president of the General Assembly is supposed to be a uniter. We have made it clear that these crazy comments are not acceptable, and we hope he refrains from this talk and gets to work on General Assembly business.”
Relations with Israel
D’Escoto has for years been a harsh critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the relationship between Israel’s representatives and D’Escoto has been difficult.
Ahmadinejad embrace and dinner
On September 17, 2008, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. to refer to d’Escoto as an “Israel-Hater” because D’Escoto embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after Ahmedinedjad’s speech to the UN assembly. Ambassador Shalev is quoted saying that d’Escoto: “dedicated a whole paragraph to Israel, saying that the UN’s great failure is the fact that a Palestinian State was not established in 1947, as part of the partition plan. The man is known for his dislike for Israel, to put it mildly, and those who heard the speech could think that Israel is the most important country in the world, as if there are no other problems or hotbeds of terrorism in the world. [...] I heard that the Iranian president’s address was followed by loud applause, and that d’Escoto warmly embraced him. He was also expected to join a dinner with Arab leaders to mark the end of Ramadan, with Ahmadinejad also in attendance.”
D’Escoto responded saying that he didn’t “want anyone to be wiped off the map – not even any individual, much less a state.” D’Escoto’s spokeman also responded: “He will join the dinner because he believes in dial0gue, an issue which he had highlighted, and thinks that he should deal with all member states.”
Main article: Israel and the apartheid analogy
D’Escoto, reported the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, “likened Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of blacks under apartheid. … Brockmann stressed that it was important for the United Nations to use the heavily-charged term since it was the institution itself that had passed the International Convention against the crime of apartheid.”
On November 24, 2008 D’Escoto called for the world to support the international campaign of “boycott, sanctions and divestment” which aims to pressure Israel to change its current treatment of the Palestinians.
D’Escoto also accused Israel of “crucifying our Palestinian brothers and sisters.” 
D’Escoto mention of crucifiction promoted a number of reactions:
Abraham H. Foxman, the national directory of the Anti-Defamation League, condemned D’Escoto for his remarks, stating that: “It is outrageous that the president of the General Assembly could accuse Israel of ‘crucifying’ Palestinians, knowing full well that this is a term loaded with symbolism and history. For centuries, the charge that the Jewish people were responsible for crucifying Jesus was used as an excuse for pogroms and other violence against Jews. It is irresponsible, indeed unconscionable for a world leader to stand up and to charge Israel with, in essence, ‘doing it again.’”
The Argentine branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center released a statement calling for D’Escoto’s dismissal, stating that “D’Escoto Brockmann’s statements, promoting anti-Semitism and the destruction of a Member-State of the United Nations, are an abuse of the honorable position that he holds.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) also assailed Brockmann’s comments, with WJC President Ronald Lauder said the accusations were “false and without basis.”
Gaza 2008-2009 clash
During the 2008-2009 Israeli invasion of Gaza, D’Escoto stated, “The number of victims in Gaza is increasing by the day… The situation is untenable. It’s genocide.“
(14) “UN Elects Ex-Sandinista as Assembly President”, Voice of America, June 4, 2008
(15) “Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the media” (3 January 2009).
(16) “FACTBOX-Facts on new UN assembly head D’Escoto”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(17) “Nicaraguan U.S. critic made U.N. assembly president”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(18) “Nicaraguan U.S. critic made U.N. assembly president”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(19) ”Former Nicaraguan Official Wins U.N. Assembly Presidency”, New York Times, June 5, 2008
(20) ^ “Nicaraguan U.S. critic made U.N. assembly president”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(21) “Nicaraguan U.S. critic made U.N. assembly president”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(22) “Priest elected UN General Assembly president”, Associated Press, June 5, 2008
(24) “FACTBOX-Facts on new UN assembly head D’Escoto”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(25) UN General Assembly Opens With a Denunciation of US Policies by Walter Wisniewski, VOA.com, September 17, 2008.
(26) “Nicaraguan U.S. critic made U.N. assembly president”, Reuters, June 4, 2008
(27) Top UN official: Israel’s policies are like apartheid of bygone era
(28) Top UN official: Israel’s policies are like apartheid
(29) “UN official calls Israel ‘Apartheid’ – President of UN General Assembly urges Israel to be recognized as an Apartheid state (Video)”, The Real News (2008-12-13). Retrieved on 14 December 2008.
(30) U.N. Assembly President Should be Sacked for Slamming Israel, Critics Say
(31) ADL Derides ‘Anti-Israel Spectacle’ At UN; Calls On Ban Ki-Moon To Speak Out
(32) a b Group seeks U.N. official’s ouster, Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), November 26, 2008.
(33) Israel accused of Gaza ‘genocide’