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 Home > News & Policies > September 2005

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 14, 2005

Fact Sheet: President Bush Addresses the United Nations High-Level Plenary Meeting

Today, President Bush Addressed The Delegates Of The United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The President outlined an agenda of progress and reform to advance the UN's vital work and ideals by confronting the scourge of terrorism, fighting poverty and disease in developing nations, and spreading human liberty. By working together, the members of the UN will create the conditions for progress and peace in this new century.

  • President Bush Thanked The UN And Member Countries For Contributions To Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts. In this time of great challenge for the United States, many nations have sent a clear message that the American people are not alone. Assistance is pouring into the Gulf Coast from virtually every corner of the globe. More than 115 countries and nearly a dozen international organizations have offered assistance. Our Nation is lifted and strengthened by the care and support of the international community.

  • The President Challenged The International Community To Help Developing Nations Through Free Trade. The international community must work together in the Doha negotiations to eliminate agricultural subsidies that distort trade and stunt development, and to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to open markets for farmers around the world. The United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies, and other barriers to the free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same. This is key to overcoming poverty in the world's poorest nations - and promoting prosperity and opportunity for all nations.

Confronting The Threat Of Terrorism

  • The Global Community Is Working To Confront Terrorism And Must Complete The Comprehensive Convention On International Terrorism. Terrorism has come to cities and countries across the globe. In response, nations have worked together to break up terrorist networks that cross borders while rooting out radical cells within their own borders. Terrorist sanctuaries have been removed and terrorist financing has been drained. As we fight, we must be clear about our purpose. The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism must be completed to put every nation on record - the targeting and deliberate killing of civilians and non-combatants by terrorists cannot be justified or legitimized by any cause or grievance.

  • The Global Community Is Working To Prevent The Proliferation Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction And Must Sign The International Convention On The Suppression Of Acts Of Nuclear Terrorism. The international community has joined together to break up and bring to justice terrorists who are trying to acquire these dangerous weapons. Already, more than 60 nations have joined together in the Proliferation Security Initiative to intercept shipments of these weapons. Further, the nations of the world must sign the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The UN must send a clear message that it will not allow the rulers of outlaw regimes who sponsor terror and pursue weapons of mass murder to threaten the peace and stability of the world.

Fighting Poverty And Disease In Developing Nations

  • Promoting Reform And Confronting Poverty In Developing Nations. The international community is taking steps to change the way it fights poverty, curbs corruption, and provides aid. In 2002, nations created the Monterrey Consensus linking new aid from developed nations to real reform in developing ones. Through the Millennium Challenge Account, the United States has increased its aid to developing nations and helped expand economic freedom and investment in education and health. These programs help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in the developing world - and bring the citizens of these countries into the world economy.

  • Confronting Global Health Epidemics Such As Avian Influenza. The President announced a new International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza that will bring together key nations and international organizations to improve global readiness on this growing threat. The Partnership will require transparency of nations to rapidly respond to dangerous outbreaks. For many countries, AIDS, malaria, and other diseases have become humanitarian tragedies and significant obstacles to development. The United States and other countries are working together to provide poor countries with emergency life-saving drugs they need to fight infectious epidemics. Through these efforts, we fulfill a moral duty to protect our citizens, heal the sick, and comfort the afflicted.

  • Lifting The Crushing Burden Of Debt. The United States and many nations have acted to lift the financial burden that limits economic growth in developing countries and holds millions of people in poverty. Today, poor countries with the heaviest debt burdens are receiving more than $30 billion in debt relief. To prevent the future build-up of debt, the United States and other nations have agreed that international financial institutions should increasingly provide new aid in the form of grants, rather than loans.

  • Promoting Free Trade Through The Successful Conclusion Of The Doha Round. The international community must reduce trade barriers and subsidies that hold developing economies back. The Doha Round is the most promising way to achieve this goal. The elimination of trade barriers under Doha could lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the next 15 years. To help alleviate poverty in this new century, the Doha trade talks must be brought to a successful conclusion.

Spreading Human Liberty

  • The Members Of The UN Must Work To Spread The Hope Of Freedom Around The World. Those who stand for human rights must also stand for human freedom. Freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, and free nations are peaceful nations. Today, the world is presented with a moment of great opportunity for the cause of freedom. In the last two years alone, tens of millions have voted in free elections for the first time in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Georgia. These nations are inspiring millions more across the broader Middle East. The UN has a vital role to play in encouraging their aspirations and nurturing freedom's progress.

  • The United Nations Democracy Fund Will Help The Advance Of Freedom. Through the new UN Democracy Fund, proposed by President Bush at last year's General Assembly, UN members are working to help nations who want to join the democratic world. Eight nations have already pledged tens of millions of dollars to get the Fund started. This year, President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh will join Secretary General Annan and other leaders in inaugurating this new institution. Every free nation has an interest in the success of this Fund - and every free nation has a responsibility in advancing the cause of liberty and, through it, the cause of peace.

  • The United States And The United Nations Are Working To Build A Lasting Iraqi Democracy. The whole world has an interest in the success of the Iraqi people, and no civilized nation has an interest in seeing a new terror state emerge in Iraq. The UN played a vital role in supporting the success of Iraq's January elections and drafting of a new constitution. Now, the international community must continue to support the Iraqi people as they complete the journey to a fully constitutional government, because an Iraqi democracy will help the Middle East grow in peace and hope and liberty.

Reforming The UN

  • The UN Must Reform And Renew Itself In Its Own Great Ideals. The UN must be strong and efficient, free of corruption, and accountable to the people it serves. The UN must stand for integrity - and live by the high standards it sets for others. When member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the UN Human Rights Commission, they discredit a noble effort and undermine the credibility of the whole organization. If member countries want the UN to be respected and effective, they should begin by making sure it is worthy of respect.

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