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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
UN General Assembly: Quotes and transcripts
Leaders from around the world have been addressing the United Nations General Assembly. Below are excerpts from some of the key speeches.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

President Bush (l) and Kofi Annan
Annan mounted his strongest criticism yet of US policy
"The last 12 months have been painful for those of us who believe in collective answers to our common problems and challenges...

"But it is not enough to denounce unilateralism, unless we also face up squarely to the concerns that make some states feel uniquely vulnerable, and thus drive them to take unilateral action.

"We must show that those concerns can, and will, be addressed effectively through collective action...

"We have come to a fork in the road. This may be a moment no less decisive than 1945 itself, when the United Nations was founded... Now we must decide whether it is possible to continue on the basis agreed then, or whether radical changes are needed.

"The United Nations is by no means a perfect instrument, but it is a precious one. I urge you to seek agreement on ways of improving it, but above all of using it as its founders intended, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."

US President George W Bush:

"Events during the past two years have set before us the clearest of divides: Between those who seek order, and those who spread chaos; between those who work for peaceful change, and those who adopt the methods of gangsters; between those who honour the rights of man, and those who deliberately take the lives of men, and women, and children, without mercy or shame...

"Between these alternatives there is no neutral ground. All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilisation...

"The former regimes of Afghanistan and Iraq knew these alternatives, and made their choices...

"Our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were supported by many governments... I also recognise that some of the sovereign nations of this assembly disagreed with our actions...

"Yet there was, and there remains, unity among us on the fundamental principles and objectives of the United Nations... These permanent commitments call us to great work in the world, work we must do together. So let us move forward...

"The United Nations can contribute greatly to the cause of Iraqi self-government. America is working with friends and allies on a new Security Council resolution, which will expand the UN's role in Iraq...

"The second challenge we must confront together is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction... Today I ask the UN Security Council to adopt a new anti-proliferation resolution.

"This resolution should call on all members of the UN to criminalise the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; to enact strict export controls consistent with international standards; and to secure any and all sensitive materials within their own borders."

French President Jacques Chirac:

"The United Nations has just weathered one of the gravest trials in its history... The war, embarked on without Security Council approval, has undermined the multilateral system.

"Having taken stock of this crisis, our organisation can now resume its onward march... In Iraq, the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis, who must have sole responsibility for their future, is essential for stability and reconstruction.

"It is up to the United Nations to give legitimacy to this process. It is also up to the United Nations to assist with the gradual transfer of administrative and economic responsibilities to the present Iraqi institutions according to a realistic timetable and to help the Iraqis draft a constitution and hold elections.

"Lastly it is up to the United Nations to give a mandate to a multinational force, commanded naturally by the main troop contributor, in order to ensure the security of Iraq and all those helping with the country's reconstruction...

"Let us call a summit meeting of the Security Council to frame a genuine United Nations action plan against proliferation (of weapons of mass destruction).

"For the present, we must demand that North Korea dismantle its military programme completely, verifiably, and irreversibly.

"We must demand that Iran sign and implement, unconditionally and without delay, a strengthened nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority)."

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva:

"A war can perhaps be won single-handedly. But peace - lasting peace - cannot be secured without the support of all...

"No manner how invaluable its humanitarian work, the UN was conceived to do more than clear the rubble of conflicts it could not prevent."

Leaders' speeches to General Assembly
Point by point clickable guide

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