11 October, 2009 — Real News Network
Outgoing General Assembly prez tells niece, after UN inaction on Gaza, “I feel like I’m in a cesspool”
“The question of Palestine remains the most serious political and human rights problem on the agenda of the United Nations since its creation,” says outgoing General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto. D’Escoto points to the UN’s failure to lift the two-year-old blockade on Gaza being maintained by Israel and Egypt as a clear example of the organization’s decadence. This despite the fact that all the organs of the UN have passed resolutions demanding the blockade be lifted, but none of the members with influence have done anything to force compliance, and according to d’Escoto, they are quite comfortable with this.
Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann recently finished his term as president of the United Nations General Assembly. His term was notable for numerous attempts to assert the authority of the General Assembly and numerous pronouncements on current events, such as the financial crisis and the Israeli siege and war on Gaza. This was a considerable departure from the highly conservative role that the General Assembly, and in particular the president, had played over recent years.
D’Escoto is an ordained Roman Catholic priest for the Maryknoll congregation, serving in 1970 as an official with the World Council of Churches. As an adherent of liberation theology, he secretly joined Nicaragua’s revolutionary Sandinista independence movement. In 1979, he was appointed foreign minister of the new revolutionary government following the Sandinistas’ overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship. He served as foreign minister under President Daniel Ortega from 1979 until their electoral defeat in 1990. He was one of a group of Latin American priests who were denounced and eventually suspended during the 1980s by the Vatican of Pope John Paul II, after their dedication to liberation theology compelled them to become involved in revolutionary politics.
In 2008, he was selected by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to as their choice to fill the presidency of the General Assembly.