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Deiss calls for “new thinking” by world leaders

World leaders need to move to new ways of thinking to make “true breakthroughs”, the Swiss president of the United Nations General Assembly said on Wednesday.

Joseph Deiss was wrapping up the annual session of the assembly which opened on September 14 with a debate on the Millennium Goals to halve poverty by 2015.

Deiss said he had been struck by the “generosity and determination” shown by so many.

But he called on those present to “put aside electoral cycles and purely national interests” and move beyond their rhetoric, and asked whether the leaders had “really taken the time to speak to one another” in searching for solutions and reconciliation.

Deiss, a former Swiss foreign minister, formally took over the annually rotating presidency of the General Assembly at the start of the session.

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