Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President George W. Bush said that the U-N must "free people from tyranny and violence:<!-- IMAGE -->
The first article of the [U-N] Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] begins, 'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights'. The truth is denied by terrorists and extremists who kill the innocent with the aim of imposing their hateful vision on humanity. The followers of this violent ideology are a threat to civilized people everywhere.
The best way to defeat extremists, said Mr. Bush, is to defeat their dark ideology with the vision of liberty on which the U-N was founded:
The United States salutes the nations that have recently taken strides toward liberty -- including Ukraine and Georgia and Kyrgyzstan and Mauritania and Liberia, Sierra Leone and Morocco. The Palestinian Territories have moderate leaders, mainstream leaders that are working to build free institutions that fight terror, and enforce the law, and respond to the needs of their people. . . . Brave citizens in Lebanon and Afghanistan and Iraq have made the choice for democracy -- yet the extremists have responded by targeting them for murder.
Every civilized nation, said President Bush, also has a responsibility to stand up for the people suffering under dictatorship:
"In Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Iran, brutal regimes deny their people the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma, where a military junta has imposed a nineteen-year reign of fear. . . . In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end. The Cuban people are ready for their freedom. And as that nation enters a period of transition, the United Nations must insist on free speech, free assembly, and ultimately, free and competitive elections. In Zimbabwe, ordinary citizens suffer under a tyrannical regime. . . . In Sudan, innocent civilians are suffering repression -- and in the Darfur region, many are losing their lives to genocide.
President Bush said that the vision of a world in which all are created equal and free to pursue their dreams is the founding conviction of America and the promise that established the United Nations. And with our determination, he said, it can be the future of our world.