The 193 members of the United Nations are convening this week for the 67th general assembly. The general debate period, which takes place annually at the end of September, has provided many highs and lows in international dialogue, but few are as memorable as the following:
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, 2010
"In identifying those responsible for the attack, there were three viewpoints. One, that a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of US intelligence and security, carried out the attack. This is the main viewpoint advocated by US statesmen. Two, that some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining US economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the US people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view. Three, it was carried out by a terrorist group but the US government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents." Read the transcript ►
MOAMMAR GADHAFI, 2009
"We as a matter of fact that we Africans are happy, proud, that one son of Africans governs the United States of America, of Africa. This is a historic event. One day that the black doesn't go where the white go and cannot be in a bus where the white is. Now, the American people, the black African Kenyan, young voted for him and made him a president. This is a great thing, and we are proud of that. You are the beginning of a change. … As far as I'm concerned, Obama is a glimpse in the dark for the four years or the next eight years, and I'm afraid that we may go back to square one. How can you guarantee America after Obama? Can you guarantee after Obama how America will be governed? No one can guarantee America. We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of the United States of America." Read the transcript►
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, 2009
"Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries. But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" Read the transcript►
ROBERT MUGABE, 2007
"Let Mr. Bush read history correctly. Let him realize that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current president of the United States, he stands for this 'civilization, which occupied, which colonized, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little to lecture us on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with innocent blood of many nationalities. He still kills." Read the transcript ►
HUGO CHÁVEZ, 2006
"The devil came here yesterday. Yesterday, the devil was here in this very place. This rostrum still smells of sulfur." Read the transcript ►
YASSER ARAFAT, 1974
"I appeal to you to enable Our people to establish national independent sovereignty over its own land. Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand." Read the transcript ►
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