Mr. Bush's policy speech to the General Assembly was dominated by
the same anti-terrorism theme that has marked his U.N. messages since
the 2001 attacks against the United States.
But with the financial crisis looming over New York's Wall Street just
a few kilometers away, the President assured the world community his
administration is determined to tackle the economic instability that
has already had major spillover effects around the world:
Last week, I announced decisive action by the federal government to
address the root cause of much of the instability in our financial
markets by purchasing illiquid assets that are weighing down balance
sheets and restricting the flow of credit. I can assure you that my
administration and our Congress are working together to quickly pass
legislation approving this strategy. And I am confident we will act in
the urgent time frame required.
On terrorism, Mr. Bush said the United Nations and other world
organizations need to focus on preventive action rather than decrying
acts of terror in resolutions after they occur. He challenged the
notion of treating all forms of government as equally tolerable, and
said the global community must actively challenge conditions of tyranny
and despair that allow terror and extremism to thrive: Multi-lateral organizations must respond by taking an unequivocal
moral stand against terrorism. No cause can justify the deliberate
taking of innocent life. And the international community is nearing
universal agreement on this truth. The vast majority of nations in this
assembly now agree that tactics like suicide bombing, hostage taking
and hijacking are never legitimate."
Mr. Bush said whatever disagreements countries may have had over the
U.S.-led intervention in Iraq in 2003, they should all welcome recent
progress there toward stability and peace and stand united in helping
Iraqi democracy succeed.
He similarly urged support for efforts for democratic development in
Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Ukraine and Liberia,
among others, and called for solidarity with the people of Georgia,
where he said the Russian invasion in August had violated U.N. founding
The United Nations Charter sets forth the equal rights of nations
large and small. Russia's invasion of Georgia was a violation of those
words. Young democracies around the world are watching to see how we
respond to this test. The United States has worked with allies in
multi-lateral institutions like the European Union and NATO to uphold
Georgia's territorial integrity and provide humanitarian relief, and
our nations will continue to support Georgia's democracy.
Mr. Bush stressed the multi-billion dollar U.S. efforts during his
tenure to fight HIV-AIDS and Malaria in Africa and elsewhere, and urged
other countries to fulfill pledges to the United Nations and the Global
Fund to combat the diseases.
He also urged renewed efforts to break down global trade barriers,
saying the recent impasse at the Doha round of world tariff-cutting
negotiations is disappointing, but said it does not have to be the
Listen to audio files for more details.
Written by: David Gollust
Translated by: Sing Bourommavong