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U.N. Millennium Summit Begins With Mixed Messages From Various CountriesAired September 6, 2000 - 2:32 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS: The Millennium Summit is under way at the United Nations in New York. Billed as the largest gathering ever of world leaders, the summit aims to improve international cooperation and fight problems like poverty, war and AIDS.
CNN's Brian Palmer sets the scene for us from the opening day's events.
BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Warm welcomes and air kisses as presidents, ministers, kings and spouses arrived for the United Nations Millennium Summit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a beautiful day today.
PALMER: After a minute of silence for three U.N. aid workers killed in West Timor on Wednesday, the leaders got down to business: but mostly their own business, advocating their own policy agendas in the name of global peace.
President Clinton forcefully laid out his administration's priorities for its last months. Chief among them, Middle East peace.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For those who have supported the right of Israel to live in security and peace, for those who have championed the Palestinian cause these many years, let me say to all of you they need your support now more than ever to take the hard risks for peace.
PALMER: Russian President Vladimir Putin indirectly addressed Moscow's concerns about the U.S. Missile Defense Program.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Particularly alarming are plans for the militarization of outer space. In the spring of 2001, we shall be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first flight of man to outer space. That man was our compatriot, and we are suggesting the organization, on that date, under the aegis of the United Nations of an international conference on the prevention of the militarization of outer space.
PALMER: Mohammad Khatami, Iran's president, seemed to be speaking as much to his hard-line critics at home as to the leaders assembled at the U.N.
MOHAMMAD KHATAMI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Let us strive so that the exigencies of a few power holders do not supersede the interest of humanity through familiar practices of the endorsement of undemocratic governments not responsive to the will and needs of their people.
PALMER: Within the format, a light moment from the president of the Maldives, an island country in the Indian Ocean.
MAUMOON ABDUL GAYOOM, PRESIDENT OF THE MALDIVES: Now I have only 30 seconds.
PALMER: Leaders of 63 nations, from Antigua to Yemen, address the assembly today, with scores more speaking throughout the week.
Brian Palmer, CNN, New York.
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