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President makes last UN New York speech

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has called for more global social justice in her last speech to the United Nations in New York.

Calmy-Rey, who holds the rotating post of Swiss president this year, announced earlier this month that she was stepping down from the government in December after nine years.

“Democracy is the twin sister of sustainable development,” the minister told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

A lack of political freedom, social justice and economic success leads to popular movements calling for change, as has been shown in the Arab world this year, she added.

Calmy-Rey said that she regretted that the optimism of the Arab Spring had not given impetus to a peace process in the Middle East and she reiterated her support for the Geneva Initiative peace plan for the region, launched in 2003.

She also spoke about reform of the UN Security Council, pointing to the fact that Switzerland and four other countries had come up with practical suggestions as to how the UN’s most powerful body could work more transparently and include contributions from non-members.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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