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UN General Assembly condemns coup in Honduras

UN General Assembly condemns coup in Honduras

The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday unanimously condemned the military coup in Honduras and demanded President Manuel Zelaya's immediate return to power, a decision the ousted Honduran leader called "historic."
The world body adopted a resolution by acclamation, calling on all 192 U.N. member states not to recognize any government in Honduras other than Zelaya's.
Zelaya, who was forced into exile in Costa Rica after soldiers stormed his palace early Sunday morning, was in the assembly chamber for the vote, which was greeted by sustained applause from diplomats in the hall.
General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, who has used many occasions to needle the U.S. and other Western powers, gaveled approval of the resolution and then led applause in noting that the U.S., Canada and other countries had signed on as co-sponsors.
After the vote, Zelaya stood, smiling broadly and waving. Then, he walked to the assembly podium to thank the world body.
"The resolution that the United Nations has just adopted unanimously ... expresses the indignation of the people of Honduras and of people worldwide," Zelaya began.
"This resolution is historic. It is significant. And it will empower every last citizen of this world to continue with these great conquests of humankind," he said.
Zelaya described the military actions as "a brutal coup d'etat" and the work of "a small group of usurpers" that carried out "an act of aggression attacking the democratic will of the people."
Bolstered by international support, Zelaya said Monday he will return home this week to try to regain control of the government. But Roberto Micheletti, named by Honduras' congress as the country's new president, said Zelaya could be met with an arrest warrant.
The resolution condemns the coup "that has interrupted the democratic and constitutional order and the legitimate exercise of power in Honduras, and resulted in the removal of the democratically elected president."
It demanded "the immediate and unconditional restoration" of Zelaya's government and "decides to recognize no government other than that of the constitutional president."
The resolution backs regional efforts to resolve the crisis.
It also expresses deep concern at "the acts of violence against diplomatic personnel" in Honduras and grave concern at security problems that endanger citizens and foreigners alike.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they do reflect the views of the international community.
D'Escoto, a leftist Nicaraguan priest and former foreign minister, called a special session of the world body on Monday to consider ways "to ensure the peaceful restoration of the legitimate government of president Zelaya in the hours and days ahead."
He invited Zelaya to address the world body, and the ousted president flew to New York.
It is rare for the General Assembly to hold a special session on a military coup in a member state. But D'Escoto has used the yearlong post to address political issues more often the preserve of the U.N. Security Council. His presidency ends in September.
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Associated Press Writer John Heilprin contributed to this report from the United Nations.


Updated : 2021-07-26 06:55 GMT+08:00