|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
September 24, 2003
From President Bush's remarks to the United Nations General Assembly, NYC, 9/23/03
Twenty-four months ago, the center of New York City became a battlefield, and a graveyard, and the symbol of an unfinished war. Since that day, terrorists have struck in Bali, Mombassa, Casablanca, Riyadh, Jakarta, and Jerusalem. Last month, terrorists brought their war to the United Nations itself. The U.N. headquarters in Baghdad stood for order and compassion, and for that reason, the terrorists decided it must be destroyed.
The Iraqi people are meeting hardships and challenges, like every nation that has set out on the path of democracy. Yet their future promises lives of dignity and freedom, and that is a world away from the squalid, vicious tyranny they have known. Across Iraq, life is being improved by liberty.
The goal is the full independence of Iraq, reached by orderly and democratic means. This process must unfold according the needs of the Iraqi people.
The United Nations can contribute greatly to the cause of Iraqi independence, and the U.S. is working with friends and allies on a new Security Council resolution which will expand the UN's role in Iraq.
The UN should assist in drafting a constitution, training civil servants, and conducting free and fair elections.
Across the Middle East, people are safer because an unstable aggressor has been removed from power. Across the world, nations are more secure because an ally of terror has fallen.
All parties in the Middle East must meet their responsibilities and carry out their commitments from Aqaba. Israel must work to create the conditions that will allow a peaceful Palestinian state to emerge. Arab nations must cut off funding and other support for terrorist organizations. America will work with every nation in the region that acts boldly for the sake of peace.