Tags: 'No-Shows' | Mark | U.N. | Summit

'No-Shows' Mark U.N. Summit

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 12:00 AM

United Nations -- The United Nations began celebrating its 60th anniversary with a high level summit that looked as disorganized as the organization itself.

Cracks in the summit began showing Monday evening when the U.S. delegation threatened to torpedo a summit document that refused to define "terrorism." The result: no real reference to the problem and Kofi Annan criticizing the delegates for a lack of action on the subject.

Then, Tuesday night, the White House announced that President George W. Bush would cut his visit short by two days and return to Washington Wednesday evening so he could travel to hurricane ravaged New Orleans on Thursday.

The change in U.S. plans left some world leaders literally standing at the door.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, who only intended to spend a day and a half in the U.S., extended his stay by two days so he could travel to Washington and see Bush at the White House.

Other leaders decided not to show at all.

French President Jacques Chirac bailed out, officially because of an eye infection.

Syrian president Bashar al Assad was also a no-show.

U.N. sources tell NewsMax that the Syrians were "concerned" about the Lebanese delegation raising the issue of continued Syrian influences remaining inside their country, despite a Security Council resolution demanding that Damascus vacate all its personnel from the country.

Other no-shows:

After the first day of the three day summit, many at the U.N. were trying to figure out just what was accomplished.

British prime minister Tony Blair, slated to speak late Wednesday night, saw the cavernous General Assembly hall less than half full.

President Bush left to return to D.C. for a synagogue re-dedication.

Chinese president Hu Jintao hosted a private dinner in mid-town Manhattan.

And Russian president Vladimir Putin had a reception at the Guggenheim Museum.

So, it seemed that Tony Blair had himself and an overly tired UK diplomatic delegation to talk to.

Mexican president Vincente Fox had a hard time even keeping the Mexican press awake at the late hour he spoke.

In fact, the only "sparks" came early in the afternoon during the address by the new Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

As the Iranian leader spoke, several members of the U.S. delegation left their seats and walked out of the General Assembly. The U.S./U.N. mission denied there was a walkout.

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United Nations -- The United Nations began celebrating its 60th anniversary with a high level summit that looked as disorganized as the organization itself. Cracks in the summit began showing Monday evening when the U.S. delegation threatened to torpedo a summit...
'No-Shows',Mark,U.N.,Summit
391
2005-00-14
Wednesday, 14 September 2005 12:00 AM
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