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First, by obliterating the distinction between civilian and military targets. After the early battles of resulted in a bloody stalemate, the conditions of civilian life behind the lines of occupying armies deteriorated. The Great War created internment camps all over Europe and beyond, to house enemy aliens in the wrong country at the wrong time.

Still worse was the treatment of ethnic minorities suspected of disloyalty. After a series of defeats in , the Russian army sent hundreds of thousands of Jews in Galicia from the battlefront to the interior, in case they might welcome German invaders. The bombardment of cities by artillery and aircraft also brought the war to civilians.

The German naval warfare against civilian shipping ultimately drew the United States into the war. The Allied blockade of European ports, which continued after the armistice in , was a clear violation of international law. And consider the changes in mood the war wrought in the United States. The loyalties of German Americans, in particular, were thrown into question.

The intolerance of wartime continued and grew more vitriolic once a prosperous peace returned. Nine months after the war broke out, the fighting turned even uglier.


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In April , modern chemical warfare was born on the battlefields of Belgium, and soon became a tolerated although never legalized form of weaponry used by all combatants on a frightening scale. In , one of every four shells fired on the western front contained poison gas.

The clouds of chlorine, then phosgene, then mustard gas did not bring any tactical or strategic breakthrough. When it rained, as it did frequently in Flanders, the gas never rose above ankle level, meaning a soldier could survive if he stayed on his feet. But gas warfare changed the rules of engagement. Later, poison gas was used outside Europe—allegedly in Iraq as early as the s, then in Manchuria and Ethiopia in the s.

24. World War II

Might gas warfare have come into widespread use without the Great War? Perhaps, but the huge investment in weapons of mass destruction in —18 left a precedent that could not be eradicated. The use of poison gas is with us still, notably in Syria. Not quite. Self-determination was the property of the former nations, such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Serbia—all predominantly Caucasian—embedded in the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman Turkish, and Russian empires.

When would that be? They had not been stopped from participating in three epic elections, from laying the groundwork for a unique democratic experience in the country and in the region. Iraq now had a Constitution that had been voted upon, a Prime Minister who had been elected, and a National Unity Government that had been established. The Iraqi people had tasted freedom after years of oppression and would continue on the road to reinforcing the rule of law and respecting human rights.

It was also stronger than the weapons of terrorism and transcended past hatred and fears.

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Among other things, national reconciliation had resulted in regaining security in villages and cities, including the province of Al-Anbaar, which had been liberated from Al-Qaida terrorists. The average number of sectarian killings was decreasing and security and stability had been restored in many hot spots, helping thousands of displaced families return to their homes.

At the same time, those forces needed to be developed further, so that they could more quickly take over from the multinational force. Further, he was hopeful that the United Nations would mobilize its activities in Iraq. That would contribute to encourage the international community to intensify its roles, in turn, in the areas of construction, development, supporting national reconciliation and the democratic experience. Action on global warming must be taken, and developed countries had the moral duty to spearhead that effort.

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The repeated use of pretexts, such as the alleged war on terror, was today one of the most serious threats to peace and security in the world. Under the false tirade of freedom and democracy, attempts were being made to allow the pillaging of natural resources and control of geo-strategically important areas.

No prudence was shown in the imposition of unilateral blockades. If a small country upheld its right to independence, it was accused of being a rogue State; a fighter against foreign aggression was a terrorist. Rather than move toward a complete disarmament including nuclear disarmament, an ongoing demand of the Movement, the world had borne witness to promotion of the arms race, he said. An attempt was being made to prevent implementation of the principle that nations were entitled to the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He said no progress had been made toward fulfilling the Millennium Goals. Poverty had not decreased and inequality was on the rise; drinking water was inaccessible to 1. The hypocritical assertion that no financial resources were available was a lie, he stated. He called for fulfilling the commitment to set aside 0. The right to development should be recognized, and the right to access markets, patents and technologies guaranteed. The Non-Aligned countries wanted a more democratic and transparent United Nations in which the General Assembly could implement its powers, he continued.

He called for a reformed Security Council that acted in line with its mandate and had an expanded membership that reflected the composition of the Organization, where underdeveloped countries constituted a majority. Working methods needed a radical modification, he said, stressing also the need for a Human Rights Council that would avoid the serious mistakes made by the former Commission on Human Rights. It was an embarrassing show. The President had no right to pass judgement on any sovereign nation.

Possessing nuclear weapons did not confer a right to tread upon the rights of the other countries represented in the Assembly. He said the President talked about democracy, but had come into office through fraud and deceit. Further, the President had talked about terrorism, but he had ensured complete impunity for hateful terrorist groups that, from Miami, had perpetrated heinous crimes against the Cuban people.

Pointing out that the United States could not become a member of the Human Rights Council during his term in office because elections were by secret ballot, he said Cuba, in turn, had been elected a founding member with more than a two-thirds majority. There were boundaries to arrogance, and Cuba rejected each of the devious words used by the President yesterday. Cuba appreciated the solidarity received from the Assembly, and thanked those who had raised their voices in favour of the release of five Cuban anti-terrorism fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Cuba would fight, along with the Non-Aligned Movement, to achieve a more just and democratic international order. In that way, they would be able to implement the rules equitably and effectively. It had programmes in place to deal with the situation, but it was unable to meet its targets because of limited resources. He said that Swaziland was faced with persistent drought, which set the country back in its development. That situation had been worsened by recent wildfires, which had destroyed property, crops, livestock and the forest industry. Everything possible was being done to help those affected, and he thanked the countries and organizations that had helped the country and appealed to others for still needed support.

The high-level event on climate change on Monday had been very important, and he commended the Secretary-General for convening it. Swaziland had developed some policies that were climate change-friendly, such as a pro-green energy policy, a water resources policy, and an environmental and waste management policy. However, there was a need to enhance education, training and public awareness on adaptation and the promotion of individual and institutional capacity-building to manage appropriate technology development and transfer.

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He further commended the efforts of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa for its continuation of the operation of the small arms and light weapons register for Africa. Applauding the United Nations role in promoting its Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, he noted that Taiwan was one country that was not benefiting from it.

Taiwan exercised a well-founded right in international law to apply for membership to the United Nations. Regrettably, its application had been rejected. Swaziland continued to support the cause of the 23 million people of Taiwan. Citing the United Nations first Report on Srebrenica, in which failure there was admitted, he noted that the International Court of Justice had found that genocide had been committed against Bosnian Muslims in and around Srebrenica, and that that was not an isolated incident. Regrettably, momentum had been lost for Security Council reform, but he nevertheless hoped that Eastern Europe would gain an additional seat on an expanded Council.

He noted that the country was involved in numerous regional issues, among them disaster preparedness, arms control, the fight against organized crime, and prevention of the transport across and proliferation of radioactive materials on its territory. In support of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States, he said that the solution for Kosovo should be reached through dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The country had become President last spring of The Hague Code of Conduct on missiles, and he urged non-signature States to sign the instrument and to support the relevant resolution proposed by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal.

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His country would also continue to support global anti-terrorism measures and joint efforts to strengthen human rights. It also planed to co-sponsor, with Italy, a moratorium on the death penalty for discussion during the General Assembly. With Jordan, his country had been promoting the United Nations Better World Campaign to improve humanitarian disaster response. He said his country continued to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and was creating a legal framework to start processing war crime cases.

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That was a condition for establishing mutual trust and reconciliation within the country. He called on the International Court not to shut down until the most notorious war criminals, especially Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, among others, had been brought to justice. Also of concern was the non-payment of dues for the Court.