For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 19, 2006
Fact Sheet: Address to the UN General Assembly: A More Hopeful World Beyond Terror and Extremism
President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly
In Focus: Global Diplomacy
Today, The President Addressed The United Nations General Assembly And
Spoke About A More Hopeful World Beyond Terror And Extremism - Where
Ordinary Men And Women Are Free To Determine Their Own Destiny, The Voices
Of Moderation Are Empowered, And The Extremists Are Marginalized By The
Peaceful Majority. President Bush believes this more hopeful world can be
ours if we seek it and work together. At the start of the 21st century, it
is clear that the world is engaged in a great ideological struggle between
extremists who use terror as a weapon to create fear, and moderate people
everywhere who are working for peace.
We Are Seeing A Bright Future Begin To Take Root In The Broader Middle
East. The principles animating this future can be found in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights' statement that the "equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom,
justice and peace in the world." In the nearly six decades since that
document was approved, we have seen the forces of freedom and moderation
transform entire continents.
- Some Of The Changes In The Broader Middle East Have Been Dramatic - More
Than 50 Million People Have Been Given A Voice In The UN For The First Time
In Decades. Afghanistan's seat in the UN is now held by the freely elected
government of Afghanistan. Iraq's seat in the UN is now held by a
democratic government that embodies the aspirations of the Iraqi people.
- Some Of The Changes In The Middle East Are Happening Gradually, But These
Changes Are Real. Algeria has held its first competitive presidential
election, and the military remained neutral. The United Arab Emirates
recently announced that half the seats in its Federal National Council will
be chosen by elections. Kuwait held elections in which women were allowed
to vote and run for office for the first time. Citizens have voted in
municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, in parliamentary elections in Jordan
and Bahrain, and in multiparty presidential elections in Yemen and Egypt.
Some Have Argued That These Democratic Changes Are Destabilizing The Middle
East - But The Stability We Thought We Saw In The Middle East Was A Mirage.
For decades, millions of men and women in this region have been trapped in
oppression and hopelessness. These conditions left a generation
disillusioned and made the region a breeding ground for extremism.
Every Civilized Nation - Including Those In The Muslim World - Must Support
Those In The Region Who Are Offering A More Hopeful Alternative. We must
seek true stability through a free and just Middle East where the
extremists are marginalized by millions of citizens in control of their own
The President Spoke Directly To People Across The Broader Middle East:
America Desires Peace
- To The People Of Iraq: We Will Not Abandon You. Nearly 12 million Iraqis
braved the car bombers and assassins last December to vote in free
elections, and we will not abandon you in your struggle to build a free
nation. America and its Coalition partners will continue to stand with
Iraq's democratic government, help secure the international assistance and
investment Iraq needs to create jobs and opportunity, and train Iraqis who
have stepped forward to fight the enemies of freedom. In return, Iraq's
leaders must make the difficult choices to bring security and prosperity.
- To The People Of Afghanistan: We Will Help You Defeat The Extremists Who
Want To Destroy Afghanistan's Young Democracy. Since overthrowing the
Taliban, Afghanistan has chosen its leaders in free elections and built a
democratic government. Today, forces from more than 40 countries -
including members of the NATO Alliance - are bravely serving side by side
with the people of Afghanistan against the extremists. We will help you
defeat these enemies and build a free Afghanistan that will never again
oppress you or be a safe haven for terrorists.
- To The People Of Lebanon: We See Your Suffering, And The World Is Helping
You Rebuild Your Country And Deal With The Armed Extremists Who Are
Undermining Your Democracy By Acting As A State Within A State. Last year,
the people of Lebanon inspired the world when they drove Syrian forces from
their country and re-established democracy. Since then, they have been
tested by the fighting that began with Hezbollah's unprovoked attacks on
Israel. The UN has passed a good resolution that has authorized an
international force, led by France and Italy, to help restore Lebanese
sovereignty over Lebanese soil. For many years, Lebanon was a model of
democracy, pluralism, and openness in the region - and it will be again.
- To The People Of Iran: The United States Respects You And Your Country. The greatest obstacle to a better future for Iran is that its rulers have
chosen to deny the people of Iran liberty and use their nation's resources
to fund terrorists, fuel extremism, and pursue nuclear weapons. The UN has
passed a clear resolution requiring that the regime in Tehran meet its
international obligations. Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons
ambitions. The world has no objection to Iran's pursuit of a truly
peaceful nuclear power program. We are working toward a diplomatic
solution to this crisis, and we look to the day when the people of Iran can
live in freedom - and America and Iran can be good friends and close
partners in the cause of peace.
- To The People Of Syria: Your Government Must Choose A Better Way Forward. Syria is home to a great people with a proud tradition of learning and
commerce. Today, Syria's rulers have allowed the country to become a
crossroad for terrorists, and are turning the country into a tool of Iran,
increasing Syria's isolation from the world. Syria's government can stop
this growing isolation and create a more hopeful future for its country by
ending its support for terror, living in peace with its neighbors, and
opening the way to a better life for the Syrian people.
- To The People Of Darfur: You Have Suffered Unspeakable Violence, And
America Has Called These Atrocities What They Are - Genocide. For the last
two years, America has joined with the international community to provide
emergency food aid and support an African Union peacekeeping force. Yet
the suffering continues. The Security Council has approved a resolution
that would transform the African Union force into a blue-helmeted force
that is larger and more robust, but the regime in Khartoum is stopping the
deployment of this force. If the Sudanese government does not approve this
peacekeeping force quickly, the UN must act. Today, President Bush
announced he is naming former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios as a
Presidential Special Envoy to lead America's efforts to resolve the
outstanding disputes and help bring peace to Darfur.
The World Must Stand Up For Peace In The Holy Land
By Supporting The Forces Of Democracy And Moderation, The World Can Help
Israelis And Palestinians Build A More Hopeful Future And Achieve Peace In
The Holy Land.
- President Bush Is Committed To Two Democratic States - Israel And Palestine
- Living Side By Side In Peace And Security. President Abbas is committed
to peace and to his people's aspirations for a state of their own. Prime
Minister Olmert is also committed to peace and has said he intends to meet
with President Abbas to make real progress on the outstanding issues
- Earlier This Year, The Leaders Of Hamas Were Elected On A Platform Of
Ending Corruption And Improving The Lives Of The Palestinian People. The
world has sent a clear message to the leaders of Hamas: Serve the
interests of the Palestinian people, abandon terror, recognize Israel,
honor agreements, and work for peace.
- The President Has Directed Secretary Of State Rice To Lead A Diplomatic
Effort To Engage Moderate Leaders Across The Region, Help The Palestinians
Reform Their Security Services, And Support Israeli And Palestinian Leaders
In Their Efforts To Come Together To Resolve Their Differences. Prime
Minister Blair has indicated that his country will work with partners in
Europe to help strengthen the governing institutions of an effective
Palestinian administration. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt
have made clear they are willing to contribute the diplomatic and financial
assistance necessary to help these efforts succeed.
Freedom, By Its Nature, Cannot Be Imposed - It Must Be Chosen
The World Must Choose Between Supporting The Moderates And Reformers
Working For Change Across The Middle East - Or Yielding The Future To The
Terrorists And Extremists. America has made its choice: we will stand with
the moderates and reformers. Together we will support the dreams of good
and decent people who are working to transform a troubled region - and by
doing so, we will advance the high ideals on which the UN was founded.
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