Subject: UN Millennium Summit - Day 3
Date: Friday, 8 September 2000 20:35:00 EDT

From: Peter Meisen, GENI President

"Economic projects are a very good basis to resolve political issues"

         -- Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Republic

It is rare that one gets to meet any President, let alone the President of the Russian Republic. Vladimir Putin has received tremendous attention in the past few weeks — some negative and some positive.

In his press conference, attended by 200 world media, this reporter posed the following:

"Mr. President, regarding the Russian Far East and the rapprochement between North and South Korea: The Siberian Energy Institute has 2 Directors, Lev Belyaev and Nikolai Voropai, who have worked for years to integrate the electrical grids of Russia, china, Japan and North and South Korea — very much like the Baltic Ring Loop now being developed. The energy integration would benefit the economies and prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea would seem to have the most to gain, yet remains the biggest hurdle.

Mr. President, Russia leads the world in long distance high-voltage transmission technology, could be a peacemaker here. Do you know of this plan? And can you comment?

While I was not able to write his complete answer, he summarized it best with the quote at the top of this report. It was most encouraging.

It is clear that a few issues are supreme in the minds of most all leaders:

  1. Poverty and underdevelopment — The rich/poor gap damages individual lives and relationships between nations.

  2. Peace and security between, and within nations — The world community must be able to prevent conflict, and not just intervene between warring factions.

  3. The African continent has special needs and requires special attention — As President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa stated, "Africa is not a problem, but a joint responsibility."

As well, many leaders advocate a transformation of the UN system of rules, voting rights and funding responsibilities. The statement that made such clear and insightful sense: "We cannot continue to navigate in the 21st Century with the map of 1945."

And not to forget the smallest and most fragile of nations — the small island countries who are at risk of disappearing as global warming causes sea-levels to rise. The Prime Minister of the Maldives said it so well:

"When the UN meets to usher in yet another century, will the Maldives and other low-lying island nations be represented here? Not only a sobering thought but an alarming one. Now, I have only 30 seconds left, it would be a pity to disperse from this gathering without a final commitment to save the earth. I don’t wish to be cynical, but are we to believe that the world really cares? Are we to believe that all humanity is one? Inaction speaks louder than words. Ladies and Gentlemen, my time at the podium is up. But I pray that that of my country is not."

Submitted by Peter Meisen, Sept. 8, 2000 8:30pm EST

Updated 09/06/1999

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