The Latest: Myanmar pledges long-term solutions in Rakhine

Myanmar's second Vice President Henry Van Thio addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani listens during a news conference, during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Myanmar's second Vice President Henry Van Thio addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani listens during a news conference, during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, prepares to speak during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives to address the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
British Prime Minister Theresa May, left, listens as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a high level Security Council meeting on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrives to address the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence goes over his speech with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley before delivering it during a high level Security Council meeting on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
President Michel Temer of Brazil waits to address the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and British Prime Minister Theresa May vote on a resolution during a high level Security Council meeting on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a high level Security Council meeting on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The Israeli delegation's seats are empty as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

UNITED NATIONS — The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

The European Union says almost $294 million has been pledged to help Iraqis affected by violence, including during the recent military campaign to retake Mosul.

The EU said in a statement late Wednesday that the funds were pledged at a ministerial event on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's meeting co-chaired by the EU, Iraq, the United States, the United Nations humanitarian office, and Germany.

Christos Stylianides, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in a statement that "the end of the Mosul military campaign has marked the beginning of a new phase of international support for Iraq."

He said the need for humanitarian aid and protection continues but this needs to be bolstered by support for early recovery and development programs, which are "crucial to enable Iraqi families to also rebuild their lives."

Stylianides said the additional EU funding will help the most vulnerable, including survivors of violence and children.

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8:45 p.m.

Myanmar says it is committed to long-term solutions to the tensions in Rakhine state from where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have escaped a military crackdown across the border into Bangladesh.

Vice President Henry Van Thio spoke at the U.N. late Wednesday in the absence of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's civilian government who has been criticized for failing to protect the minority group.

The crackdown has been described by the U.N. and others as ethnic cleansing. More than 420,000 Rohingya have fled since an insurgent attack last month that prompted the military response.

Van Thio said "deep mistrust developed over decades has to be slowly chiseled away." He said the government is committed to non-discrimination in aid distribution and implementing recommendations of a commission led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan.

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4:10 p.m.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Iranian people are waiting for an apology from U.S. President Donald Trump for his "extremely offensive" rhetoric and baseless allegations.

Rouhani told a news conference Wednesday that the Trump administration is seeking "an excuse" to pull out of the nuclear agreement that caps Iran's nuclear activities.

If it does, Iran will have many options, but Rouhani stressed that it "never will" build nuclear weapons.

The Iranian said it would be "a waste of time" to meet the American leader.

The 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers has strong support from the five other nations.

Rouhani said "if the United States government exits the agreement undoubtedly it will be condemned by the American people themselves, and before that by the European Union and all countries throughout the world."

He also repeated several times that "there will be absolutely no changes — no alterations" to the agreement. And he said Iran will not accept any "preconditions or conditions" to keep the United States in the agreement.

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3:56 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is calling for stronger steps to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's nuclear weapons buildup.

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, May said Kim "continues to defy and provoke the international community and threaten its neighbors."

She said the international community "must be prepared to take all necessary measures" to "force Kim Jong Un to change his ways."

May said the international community's determination to uphold the rules is stronger than North Korea's determination to undermine them.

In recent months, North Korea conducted a series of provocative launches and also exploded its most powerful nuclear bomb to date. The U.N. has responded with the toughest economic sanctions on North Korea.

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2:34 p.m.

Japan's leader is urging international unity in pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday the "gravity of this threat is unprecedented." Two North Korean missiles have traversed his nation in the past three weeks.

In a speech focused entirely on the North Korean threat, Abe appealed for nations to fully implement U.N. sanctions that were tightened last week after the North's most powerful nuclear test to date.

He said aid-for-disarmament negotiations had failed in the past two decades, and concluded "not dialogue, but pressure" is needed.

Abe voiced support for the U.S. stance that "all options are on the table."

Trump vowed Tuesday to "totally destroy North Korea" if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies.

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2:20 p.m.

Israel's U.N. ambassador says Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the General Assembly "spread falsehoods" that "encourage hate."

Ambassador Danny Danon issued a statement after the Palestinian Authority president spoke Wednesday about the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas said Israel is jeopardizing the two-state solution by continuing to expand its settlements on Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

He also warned Israel it would be like "playing with fire" to make any unilateral decisions about a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. Tensions rose recently after Israel installed, then removed, metal detectors following the shooting of two Israeli police.

The Israeli ambassador says, in his words: "Today's lies and excuses have proven once again that the Palestinian leadership is a serial evader of peace."

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1:45 p.m.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is warning Israel not to turn the Middle East's decades-long conflict into a religious one.

In a speech Wednesday to the U.N. General Assembly, the Palestinian leader warned Israel not to target the site sacred to both Muslims and Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem with any unilateral decisions, saying that this would be like "playing with fire."

The site has been at the center of recent tensions after Israel installed, then removed, metal detectors following the shooting of two Israeli police. Muslims administer the compound, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, while Jews can visit, but not pray there.

Abbas said Israel is jeopardizing the two-state solution by continuing to expand its settlements on Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, adding that there is no physical space anymore for a Palestinian state.

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1:20 p.m.

The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution supporting efforts to reform the world body's far-flung peacekeeping operations, a priority of the Trump administration at the General Assembly this week.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence applauded Wednesday's resolution during a speech to the council.

Pence said all peacekeeping missions should have an exit strategy. He said, "when a mission succeeds, we must not prolong it. When a mission underperforms, we should restructure it. And when a mission consistently fails to fulfill a mandate of this council, we should end it."

While some peacekeeping missions have been successful, including in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, others in the Central African Republic and Congo have been criticized for abuse and corruption. The joint U.N.-African Union mission in Darfur has been criticized for inefficiency.

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1:12 p.m.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is renewing calls for a U.N. peacekeeping mission to his country amid what he describes as "blatant" violations of its sovereignty by Russia.

In a speech Wednesday to the U.N. General Assembly, Poroshenko said that Russia "blatantly violates the U.N. resolution on the situation of human rights in Crimea."

He said the action required "a proper response by the international community."

Poroshenko said a "full-fledged" peacekeeping operation with a mandate over the entire Ukraine-Russia border "is the only viable solution." He insisted that Russian troops be excluded from any peacekeeping force "by definition."

Russia's relations with the West plunged to their lowest level since the Cold War in recent years after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support of separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine, clashes that have left over 10,000 dead.

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1 p.m.

More than 40 countries so far have signed on to the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons. But the nuclear powers want no part of it.

Forty-two states put their names to the pact within an hour after a signing ceremony opened Wednesday, and more were signing afterward. Guyana, the Vatican and Thailand also have already ratified the treaty.

If 50 countries ratify it, the treaty would take effect for those that did so.

More than 120 countries approved the treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. They boycotted negotiations.

Supporters of the pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Nuclear powers say a ban won't work.

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12:27 p.m.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country won't be the first to violate the nuclear agreement with six world powers, "but it will respond decisively to its violation by any party."

In remarks clearly directed at U.S. President Donald Trump, he told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that "it will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics."

Rouhani said "the world will have lost a great opportunity, but such unfortunate behavior will never impede Iran's course of progress and advancement."

He said that "by violating its international commitments, the new U.S. administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise."

Iran has accused the Trump administration of not living up to its requirements on sanctions relief under the nuclear deal.

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11:53 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is warning that violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar that has triggered a massive refugee exodus will "sow seeds of hatred" that could consume the region and threaten global peace.

Pence issued the warning at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. He urged Myanmar security forces "to end their violence immediately and support diplomatic efforts for a long-term solution."

More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25 when attacks on security forces by Rohingya insurgents prompted a military crackdown and reprisals by majority Buddhists against the minority group.

The council was discussing peacekeeping operations. Pence urged the council to take "strong and swift action" and "to give hope and help to the Rohingya people in their hour of need," without specifying what kind of action he was seeking.

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8:54 a.m.

Countries have started signing on to the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons that is backed by over 100 nations. But the nuclear powers want no part of it.

Brazilian President Michel Temer was first to sign at a ceremony Wednesday at the United Nations. Its treaty office said 51 countries were expected to sign on the opening day.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls the pact "an important step towards the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons."

More than 120 countries approved the treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. They boycotted negotiations.

Supporters of the pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Nuclear powers say a ban won't work.

___

8:30 a.m.

The first treaty to ban nuclear weapons is ready for countries to sign at the United Nations. It's backed by over 100 countries, but nuclear-armed nations want no part of it.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened a signing ceremony Wednesday. He called the pact "an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons."

More than 120 countries approved the treaty in July over strong opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. They boycotted negotiations.

Supporters of the pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But nuclear powers say a ban won't work. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday it can only weaken the nonproliferation treaty.

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