“I sincerely hope that this trend will be corrected.” the Swiss President, Ueli Maurer, told the 68th session of the General Assembly. “No country imposes its law over that of another country. Problems are not solved by diktat, but through negotiation.”The President spoke on the opening day of the General Debate, making the point that humanitarian efforts were part of his country’s history and it was an honour for Switzerland to make its neutral soil available for peace talks.He reminded delegations that it was 150 years ago that the world renowned humanitarian organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was created in Geneva, and both Switzerland and the ICRC shared a tradition of neutrality and humanitarian action.Going on to speak about the situation in Syria, Mr. Maurer said that serious and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and human rights must not be tolerated – and he called on the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.In his address, Mr. Maurer appealed to the Security Council’s permanent members to overcome their differences to “find some common ground.” He reiterated the need for no effort to be spared for a consensus to be reached to allow for a political solution and the resumption of talks in Geneva. Separate from bilateral talks between Russia and the United States on a framework for the safeguarding and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, the United Nations-Arab League Joint Representative Lakhdar Brahimi has pressed on with efforts towards the holding of a long-proposed international peace conference on Syria, commonly referred to as “Geneva II”, after the Swiss city in which it would be held.Mr. Maurer also said global problems need global solutions and the UN should be where that happens. But in order to live up to that role, the UN must be “efficient, innovative and effective,” he added.Acknowledging that the UN is active in a vast range of areas, the President went on to say, “There is perhaps a risk that it has taken on too much and lost focus.” According to a readout issued by a spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief met today with Mr. Maurer. During the meeting, they discussed the situation in Syria. They also exchanged views on disarmament and on prospects for a concrete outcome from the upcoming High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development. Mr. Maurer joins a score of other world leaders and high-level officials taking part in the General Debate, which concludes on 1 October. The delegations will present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance. read more

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Speed cameras should have been installed three years ago on the road where the Duke of Edinburgh crashed in Norfolk, but disgruntled police say that councillors delayed the scheme.Back in 2016, local police and Norfolk County Council agreed to fund and erect speed cameras along the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham – the stretch of road where Prince Philip’s Land Rover collided with a 28-year-old mother’s Kia.But according to the Eastern Daily Press, local county councillors requested further consultation with their communities and the chance to explore alternatives, so a decision was made to suspend the scheme.The paper reported that Stuart Dark, a former Met Police officer, Andrew Jamieson and Michael Chenery had sought reassurances that the cameras would not be a “cash cow” and that there should be a better process for involving councillors.This move irked Norfolk Constabulary, who said in a statement: “We have continuously been in support of road safety improvements on the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham. Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “We have been looking closely into the safety of the A149 for some time.”A detailed report was submitted to Environment, Development and Transport Committee by Norfolk County Council officers last week along with a recommendation to approve, at today’s meeting, the implementation of a 50mph speed limit and to install road safety cameras.“Based on the report and our dedication to the safety of the people in Norfolk, the committee has agreed to reduce the speed limit of the A149 to 50mph on two sections of the road and approved the Norfolk Camera Safety Partnership scheme to install road safety cameras along the road.”A spokesperson for Norfolk constabulary said: “While it is regrettable there has been a delay, we fully welcome today’s decision by the environment, development and transport committee to approve the scheme.” “In 2016, the decision to fund and proceed with the scheme was agreed by the Safety Camera Partnership Board, which is a multi-agency partnership of the police, Norfolk County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.“As with all such schemes there is an appropriate process to follow which can be lengthy, however at every stage we have expressed a strong desire to proceed with the implementation of average speed cameras in a bid to improve road safety.“Following concerns raised by councillors, a decision was made by the county council to suspend the scheme.“This decision was not agreed to by the police and was against the expressed wishes of the chief constable, clearly outlined in a letter to the county council in September 2018.”Only on Friday, after Prince Philip’s crash, did the new cameras – and a reduction in the speed limit along the road, from 60mph to 50mph – get rubber stamped by the council.Police are investigating the car crash in which the Duke of Edinburgh was left bleeding and two women were hospitalised, but there is no suggestion that either car was travelling over the speed limitThe Duke’s car was seen to “tumble” across a road near the Sandringham Estate following the collision, with an eyewitness reporting that he was helped from his car before immediately asking whether others were “alright”. read more