Subject: UN Millennium Summit - Day 1
Date: Wed, 6 September 2000 23:42:19 EDT

From: Peter Meisen, GENI President

150 World Leaders take on every global issue

The first day of the United Nations Millennium Summit saw world leaders emerge from limousines that whisked by the barricades and gridlock of New York City. Several thousand police and UN security kept demonstrators, like Falon Gong and human rights activists, from the hallowed walls of the General Assembly.

This reporter was sequestered into UN Conference Room #2 where all the 5 minute speeches were projected and translated for the hundreds of world media. Some lucky media got into the "pool" were allowed close access to the Prime Ministers, Presidents and Crown Princes. Bill Clinton spoke of the unique opportunity for peace with so many leaders present, and Russian President Putin spoke against the weaponization of space.

But guess who received the longest applause of the day?

Fidel Castro!!!

After their lunch, a historic photo was taken of the largest gathering of world leaders ever, and they continued the day with 100 bilateral meetings between themselves on every issue imaginable.

The overriding theme is how to manage globalization and strengthen the United Nations? The issues placed on the table are familiar to us all: reducing world hunger, environmental protection, the widening gap between rich and poor, human rights abuses, climate change threatening small island nations, debt forgiveness, weapons reduction of both nuclear and small arms, HIV/AIDS, the digital divide, education for women and children, child labor, poverty reduction, UN funding and peacekeeping operations, population control.

For those of us who saw some kind of new world by 2000, it seems that all the worlds' ills remain for many of the human family.

What's hopeful is that everyone was talking about the issues openly, with real sincere appeals for solutions.

The GENI Initiative got a boost at a couple of press conferences, where we raised the example of the Nordel Grid System of Scandinavia as a possible model for the interconnection between Japan, Russia, China and North South Korea.

Another brief conversation with the Secretary of the Organization for African Unity forwarded the resolution made last December by the African Energy Ministers.

Day two promises more - and we'll give you the inside story from my perspective.

Updated 09/06/1999

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