- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2002

Bush to address U.N.
President Bush confirmed last week that he will address the U.N. General Assembly's opening debate Sept. 12. American presidents have nearly always addressed the opening debate, in part because Manhattan is so convenient to Washington that it would be seen as disrespectful to other world leaders not to attend.
Mr. Bush will be in New York anyway for the September 11 commemorations, after stopping first at the Pentagon and then in Pennsylvania, where passengers forced down a hijacked flight before it hit its target.
While in New York, Mr. Bush and senior State Department officials are expected to take advantage of the concentration of diplomatic and political leaders by holding bilateral meetings and regional confabs on issues that have not yet been announced. India and Pakistan, the Middle East, Iraq, and stability and development for Africa are likely subjects.
The confirmations are starting to pour in from world leaders, according to a preliminary draft of the General Debate schedule. The following nations will be represented by their presidents and prime ministers:
From Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda, Zambia, Mauritius, Comoros, Nigeria, Lesotho.
From Latin America: Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia.
From Asia: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Marshall Islands.
Most of the other nations will be represented by their foreign ministers and, in some cases, their U.N. ambassadors.

Court reprieve
Bowing to intense pressure, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week agreed to reopen negotiations with the Cambodian government to create a war-crimes tribunal for the aging Khmer Rouge leaders.
Mr. Annan booted the matter to the General Assembly and the Security Council, saying that if they directed him to do so, he would resume discussions with Phnom Penh.
"If the council or the assembly specified what conditions they would like to see met, the secretary-general will negotiate with Cambodia according to what the council or assembly specifies," said U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard.
U.N. legal advisers walked away from those discussions in February after five years. They complained that the Cambodian leadership was not sufficiently committed to a transparent trial that meets what they define as international legal standards.
Both sides have accused the other of stalling, while Khmer Rouge leaders, most of whom are in their 70s, die without prosecution.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former rebel leader, is said to have put constraints on the court, a proposed hybrid of Cambodian and foreign judges.
Human rights groups were angered when the United Nations abruptly dropped the court negotiations. The United States was the most outspoken critic of Mr. Annan.
It is assumed that China an early Khmer Rouge supporter will block a mandate in the council. It's not clear whether the 189-member General Assembly will reopen the negotiations, which Cambodia says it wants.
Betsy Pisik can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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