Ethnic tensions threaten the integrity of Bosnia

The latest news on the United Nations General Assembly:

The president of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina called on the United Nations to respect its commitment to human rights, citing ethnic inequality within his own country.

Željko Komšić is the Croatian member of the presidency of the Western Balkan country, which is shared between Croats, Muslims from Bozniak and Serbs.

KomÅ¡ić on Wednesday praised bilateral and regional cooperation during the pandemic, saying neighbors provided aid before multilateral institutions. But later in his speech, he spoke of neighbors’ intentions to annex parts of his country by fomenting ethnic tensions inside.

Bosnia was the scene of a bloody civil war in the 1990s that ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement. KomÅ¡ić says the international agreement has created complex institutions that make it difficult for the country to reach a political consensus that would allow it to move towards “a functioning state”.

He lambasted the conditions that created political, electoral and social inequalities within his own country on ethnic and religious grounds. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, the Croatian president also called for electoral reform in Bosnia, saying his Croats were marginalized.

Komšić lamented the population exoduses, saying that a significant segment of the population, including those of working age and with young families, left Bosnia for better business and human rights opportunities. At the same time, Bosnia has welcomed economic migrants from elsewhere. He says this combination created additional social problems.


The presidents of Argentina and Colombia have warned the UN General Assembly that increasingly constrained emerging markets could default on their foreign debts, and called on multilateral lenders to push for easing changes conditions.

Argentinian Alberto Fernández said in a video message that there was clearly “a risk of widespread foreign debt debacle for developing countries”, and said there should be a “reconfiguration of the financial architecture world “.

Hours earlier, his Colombian counterpart Iván Duque told diplomats meeting in New York that governments had increased their debt and budget deficits to deal with COVID-19, but rating agencies are still assessing them with “pre-eminent eyes.” -pandemic ”. He called on multilateral lenders to create a new consensus on minimum acceptable risk criteria that reflect the post-pandemic restart period.

“Otherwise, in the short term, in the face of demand for debt and the widespread increase in the cost of capital, it could precipitate a debt crisis,” Duque said.

He also proposed to exclude all spending and investments devoted to climate change from the assessment of budget deficits.

Standard & Poor’s rating agency downgraded Colombia’s sovereign bond rating to junk in May, and Fitch Ratings did the same in July. Duque did not explicitly refer to his country’s downgrades.

Fernández, for his part, called Argentina’s debt to the International Monetary Fund “toxic and irresponsible”. His predecessor, Mauricio Macri, arranged a $ 57 billion loan that Fernández had previously declared non-repayable. His country received $ 45 billion of the total, and the president refused to accept the rest.


NEW YORK – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed “the mood very different in Washington” about the urgency to tackle climate change since President Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump.

Johnson, who is due to meet Biden at the White House on Tuesday, said the US government was “passionately committed to tackling climate change.”

Johnson is due to host a UN climate conference in Glasgow in November and took advantage of a visit to the UN General Assembly in New York this week to urge countries to do more to help poor countries cope to the crisis.

Britain welcomed Biden’s announcement on Tuesday that the United States would double its contribution.

Johnson downplayed the likelihood that a US-UK trade deal would soon be concluded, saying this week that Biden had “a lot of fish to fry.”

Johnson, a longtime Brexit supporter, has often cited the possibility of a deal with the United States as one of the main benefits of leaving the European Union. But talks have stalled and the US has warned there will be no trade deal unless Britain resolves post-Brexit tensions with the EU over Ireland of the North, fearing that some will undermine the peace process in that country.

“I have many reasons to be optimistic about (a trade deal),” Johnson said in talks in New York on Tuesday with UK broadcasters. “But the Americans are negotiating very hard.”


NEW YORK – President Joe Biden meets with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison days after unveiling a new partnership that would see Australia acquire at least 8 US nuclear submarines, which led to a diplomatic split with France.

The new agreement which also included the United Kingdom led Australia to cancel previous acquisitions of submarines from France, which then recalled its American ambassador. The deal was widely seen as an effort by the United States, Britain and Australia to counter an increasingly assertive China.

The two men meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Morrison did not directly address the issue of submarines, but thanked Biden for his leadership in the region. Biden says their goal is a “free and open” Pacific region and points out that the United States has “no closer or more reliable ally” than Australia.

Biden says their conversation will continue on Friday in a meeting with Japan and India, the other two members of a separate partnership known as the quad.


UNITED NATIONS – Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih called hope “a highly desirable commodity in these difficult times” in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Solih’s Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid chairs the UN General Assembly. Addressing him, Solih said on Tuesday it was appropriate that his term be called “the presidency of hope.” But he warned that hope without action is ineffective.

The Maldives depend heavily on tourism for their economy and have therefore been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. As its borders reopened, Solih said the virus remains a threat until it is defeated everywhere. He touted the vaccines, claiming that 85% of all Maldivians are vaccinated.

Climate change threatens to wipe out the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, and Solih has brought with him written appeals from young children to protect their home. He said that 56 years after the Maldives “rushed” to apply for UN membership, he still believes the world body is humanity’s best hope.


UNITED NATIONS – President Joe Biden calls on delegates to the United Nations General Assembly to act on climate change. He says the situation is at a “code red for humanity”.

Biden said the world is “quickly approaching a point of no return” on extreme weather events that claim lives and cost billions of dollars in damage. He says every nation must “bring their highest possible ambitions” to an upcoming global climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which he plans to attend.

Biden says he’s working with the US Congress on climate investments and has encouraged other leaders to work with their governments as well, saying it would help create well-paying jobs for their citizens.

The address is Biden’s first at the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden said the United States was eager to have recently turned the page on 20 years of war in Afghanistan.


UNITED NATIONS – President Joe Biden delivers his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden opened by addressing the challenge and loss the world faces from COVID-19 and called on delegates to tackle climate change.

Biden delivers the speech at a difficult time in his new presidency after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a new deal with Australia and the UK that angered France, one of the oldest European allies of the United States.

Biden told delegates he would explain how the United States intends to work with partners and allies to help lead the world to a more prosperous future for all.

“To be of service to our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world. ” he said.


UNITED NATIONS – The head of the United Nations warns world leaders that the world has never been so threatened and divided and “we are facing the greatest cascade of crises of our lives”.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded the alarm in his annual State of the World address at the opening Tuesday of the United Nations General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting for the leaders of its 193 member countries .

“We’re on the brink – and we’re headed in the wrong direction,” he said.

Guterres pointed to the “oversized glaring inequalities” triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate alarm bells “ringing at its worst”, upheavals from Afghanistan to Ethiopia and Yemen thwarting world peace, a wave of mistrust and disinformation “polarizing people and paralyzing societies” and human rights under fire from criticism.

The secretary general said that the solidarity of nations to face these and other crises “is lacking in action, just when we need it most”.

And he lamented that “instead of humility in the face of these epic challenges, we see pride.”

Guterres said people can lose faith not only in their governments and institutions, but also in core values ​​when they see their rights curtailed, corruption, the reality of their hard lives, no future for their children – and ” when they see billionaires traveling through space while millions go hungry on earth.

Despite all these crises and challenges, the UN chief said he had hope.

Guterres urged world leaders to bridge the gaps to promote peace, restore confidence between the richer north and the developing south in the fight against global warming, reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, promote the gender equality, ensure that half of humanity without internet access is connected by 2030, and tackle the generational divide by giving young people a place at the table.

Last year, no leader showed up in person because of COVID-19, but this year, despite the still raging pandemic, more than 100 heads of state and government and several dozen ministers are expected to attend. ‘voice from the podium of the General Assembly at the high-level meeting which ends on September 27.

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