In the name of the African Union
, I would like to greet the
members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and I hope
that this meeting will be among the most historic in the history of
In the name of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth
session, presided over by Libya, of the African Union, of one
thousand traditional African kingdoms and in my own name, I would
like to take this opportunity, as President of the African Union, to
congratulate our son Obama because he is attending the General
Assembly, and we welcome him as his country is hosting this meeting.
This session is taking place in the midst of so many
challenges facing us, and the whole world should come together and
unite its efforts to defeat the challenges that are our principal
common enemy — those of climate change and international crises such
as the capitalist economic decline, the food and water crises,
desertification, terrorism, immigration, piracy, man-made and
natural epidemics and nuclear proliferation. Perhaps influenza H1N1
was a virus created in a laboratory that got out of control,
originally being meant as a military weapon. Such challenges also
include hypocrisy, poverty, fear, materialism and immorality.
As is known, the United Nations was founded by three or
four countries against Germany at the time. The United Nations was
formed by the nations that joined together against Germany in the
Second World War. Those countries formed a body called the Security
Council, made its own countries permanent members and granted them
the power of veto. We were not present at that time. The United
Nations was shaped in line with those three countries and wanted us
to step into shoes originally designed against Germany. That is the
real substance of the United Nations when it was founded over 60
That happened in the absence of some 165 countries, at a
ratio of one to eight; that is, one was present and eight were
absent. They created the Charter, of which I have a copy. If one
reads the Charter of the United Nations, one finds that the Preamble
of the Charter differs from its Articles. How did it come into
existence? All those who attended the San Francisco Conference in
1945 participated in creating the Preamble, but they left the
Articles and internal rules of procedures of the so-called Security
Council to experts, specialists and interested countries, which were
those countries that had established the Security Council and had
united against Germany.
The Preamble is very appealing, and no one objects to
it, but all the provisions that follow it completely contradict the
Preamble. We reject such provisions, and we will never uphold them;
they ended with the Second World War. The Preamble says that all
nations, small or large, are equal. Are we equal when it comes to
the permanent seats? No, we are not equal. The Preamble states in
writing that all nations are equal whether they are small or large.
Do we have the right of veto? Are we equal? The Preamble says that
we have equal rights, whether we are large or small. That is what is
stated and what we agreed in the Preamble. So the veto contradicts
the Charter. The permanent seats contradict the Charter. We neither
accept nor recognize the veto.
The Preamble of the Charter states that armed force
shall not be used, save in the common interest. That is the Preamble
that we agreed to and signed, and we joined the United Nations
because we wanted the Charter to reflect that. It says that armed
force shall only be used in the common interest of all nations, but
what has happened since then? Sixty-five wars have broken out since
the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council —
65 since their creation, with millions more victims than in the
Second World War. Are those wars, and the aggression and force that
were used in those 65 wars, in the common interest of us all? No,
they were in the interest of one or three or four countries, but not
of all nations.
We will talk about whether those wars were in the
interest of one country or of all nations. That flagrantly
contradicts the Charter of the United Nations that we signed, and
unless we act in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations
to which we agreed, we will reject it and not be afraid not to speak
diplomatically to anyone. Now we are talking about the future of the
United Nations. There should be no hypocrisy or diplomacy because it
concerns the important and vital issue of the future of the world.
It was hypocrisy that brought about the 65 wars since the
establishment of the United Nations.
The Preamble also states that if armed force is used, it
must be a United Nations force — thus, military intervention by the
United Nations, with the joint agreement of the United Nations, not
one or two or three countries using armed force. The entire United
Nations will decide to go to war to maintain international peace and
security. Since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, if
there is an act of aggression by one country against another, the
entire United Nations should deter and stop that act.
If a country, Libya for instance, were to exhibit
aggression against France, then the entire Organization would
respond because France is a sovereign State Member of the United
Nations and we all share the collective responsibility to protect
the sovereignty of all nations. However, 65 aggressive wars have
taken place without any United Nations action to prevent them. Eight
other massive, fierce wars, whose victims number some 2 million,
have been waged by Member States that enjoy veto powers. Those
countries that would have us believe they seek to maintain the
sovereignty and independence of peoples actually use aggressive
force against peoples. While we would like to believe that these
countries want to work for peace and security in the world and
protect peoples, they have instead resorted to aggressive wars and
hostile behavior. Enjoying the veto they granted themselves as
permanent members of the Security Council, they have initiated wars
that have claimed millions of victims.
The principle of non-interference in the internal
affairs of States is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
No country, therefore, has the right to interfere in the affairs of
any Government, be it democratic or dictatorial, socialist or
capitalist, reactionary or progressive. This is the responsibility
of each society; it is an internal matter for the people of the
country concerned. The senators of Rome once appointed their leader,
Julius Caesar, as dictator because it was good for Rome at that
time. No one can say of Rome at that time that it gave Caesar the
veto. The veto is not mentioned in the Charter.
We joined the United Nations because we thought we were
equals, only to find that one country can object to all the
decisions we make. Who gave the permanent members their status in
the Security Council? Four of them granted this status to
themselves. The only country that we in this Assembly elected to
permanent member status in the Security Council is China. This was
done democratically, but the other seats were imposed upon us
undemocratically through a dictatorial procedure carried out against
our will, and we should not accept it.
The Security Council reform we need is not an increase
in the number of members, which would only make things worse. To use
a common expression, if you add more water, you get more mud. It
would add insult to injury. It would make things worse simply by
adding more large countries to those that already enjoy membership
of the Council. It would merely perpetuate the proliferation of
super-Powers. We therefore reject the addition of any more permanent
seats. The solution is not to have more permanent seats, which would
be very dangerous. Adding more super-Powers would crush the peoples
of small, vulnerable and third world countries, which are coming
together in what has been called the Group of 100 — 100 small
countries banding together in a forum that one member has called the
Forum of Small States.
These countries would be crushed by super-Powers were
additional large countries to be granted membership in the Security
Council. This door must be closed; we reject it strongly and
categorically. Adding more seats to the Security Council would
increase poverty, injustice and tension at the world level, as well
as great competition between certain countries such as Italy,
Germany, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Japan, Brazil,
Nigeria, Argentina, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Iran, Greece and
Ukraine. All these countries would seek a seat on the Security
Council, making its membership almost as large as that of the
General Assembly and resulting in an impractical competition.
What solution can there be? The solution is for the
General Assembly to adopt a binding resolution under the leadership
of Mr. Treki based on the majority will of Assembly members and
taking into account the considerations of no other body. The
solution is to close Security Council membership to the admission of
further States. This item is on the agenda of the General Assembly
during the present session presided over by Mr. Treki. Membership
through unions and the transference of mandates should supersede
We should focus on the achievement of democracy based on
the equality of Member States. There should be equality among Member
States and the powers and mandates of the Security Council should be
transferred to the General Assembly. Membership should be for
unions, not for States. Increasing the number of States Members
would give the right to all countries to a seat, in accordance with
the spirit of the Preamble of the Charter.
No country could deny a seat in the Council to Italy,
for instance, if a seat were given to Germany. For the sake of
argument, Italy might say that Germany was an aggressive country and
was defeated in the Second World War. If we gave India a seat,
Pakistan would say that it, too, is a nuclear country and deserves a
seat, and those two countries are at war. This would be a dangerous
situation. If we gave a seat to Japan, then we should have to give
one to Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. Then
Turkey, Iran and Ukraine would make the same claim. What could we
say to Argentina or Brazil? Libya deserves a seat for its efforts in
the service of world security by discarding its weapons of mass
destruction programme. Then South Africa, Tanzania and Ukraine would
demand the same. All of these countries are important. The door to
Security Council membership should be closed.
This approach is a falsehood, a trick that has been
exposed. If we want to reform the United Nations, bringing in more
super-Powers is not the way. The solution is to foster democracy at
the level of the general congress of the world, the General
Assembly, to which the powers of the Security Council should be
transferred. The Security Council would become merely an instrument
for implementing the decisions taken by the General Assembly, which
would be the parliament, the legislative assembly, of the world.
This Assembly is our democratic forum and the Security
Council should be responsible before it; we should not accept the
current situation. These are the legislators of the Members of the
United Nations, and their resolutions should be binding. It is said
that the General Assembly should do whatever the Security Council
recommends. On the contrary, the Security Council should do whatever
the General Assembly decides. This is the United Nations, the
Assembly that includes 192 countries. It is not the Security
Council, which includes only 15 of the Member States.
How can we be happy about global peace and security if
the whole world is controlled by only five countries? We are 192
nations and countries, and we are like Speakers’ Corner in London’s
Hyde Park. We just speak and nobody implements our decisions. We are
mere decoration, without any real substance. We are Speakers’
Corner, no more, no less. We just make speeches and then disappear.
This is who you are right now.
Once the Security Council becomes only an executive body
for resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, there will be no
competition for membership of the Council. Once the Security Council
becomes a tool to implement General Assembly resolutions, there will
be no need for any competition. The Security Council should, quite
simply, represent all nations. In accordance with the proposal
submitted to the General Assembly, there would be permanent seats on
the Security Council for all unions and groups of countries.
The 27 countries of the European Union should have a
permanent seat on the Security Council. The countries of the African
Union should have a permanent seat on the Security Council. The
Latin American and ASEAN countries should have permanent seats. The
Russian Federation and the United States of America are already
permanent members of the Security Council. The Southern African
Development Community (SADC), once it is fully established, should
have a permanent seat. The 22 countries of the Arab League should
have a permanent seat. The 57 countries of the Islamic Conference
should have a permanent seat. The 118 countries of the Non-Aligned
Movement should have a permanent seat.
Then there is the G-100; perhaps the small countries
should also have a permanent seat. Countries not included in the
unions that I have mentioned could perhaps be assigned a permanent
seat, to be occupied by them in rotation every six or twelve months.
I am thinking of countries like Japan and Australia that are outside
such organizations as ASEAN or like the Russian Federation that is
not a member of the European or Latin American or African unions.
This would be a solution for them if the General Assembly votes in
favor of it.
The issue is a vitally important one. As has already
been mentioned, the General Assembly is the Congress and Parliament
of the world, the leader of the world. We are the nations, and
anyone outside this General Assembly will not be recognized. The
President of the Assembly, Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, and
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will produce the legal draft and set
up the necessary committees to submit this proposal to a vote: that
from now on, the Security Council will be made up of unions of
nations. In this way, we will have justice and democracy, and we
will no longer have a Security Council consisting of countries which
have been chosen because they have nuclear weapons, large economies
or advanced technology. That is terrorism. We cannot allow the
Security Council to be run by super-Powers; that is terrorism in and
If we want a world that is united, safe and peaceful,
this is what we should do. If we want to remain in a world at war,
that is up to you. We will continue to have conflict and to fight
until doomsday or the end of the world. All Security Council members
should have the right to exercise the veto, or else we should
eliminate the whole concept of the veto with this new formation of
the Council. This would be a real Security Council. According to the
new proposals submitted to the General Assembly, it will be an
executive council under the control of the General Assembly, which
will have the real power and make all the rules.
In this way, all countries will be on an equal footing
in the Security Council just as they are in the General Assembly. In
the General Assembly we are all treated equally when it comes to
membership and voting. It should be the same in the Security
Council. Currently, one country has a veto; another country does not
have a veto; one country has a permanent seat; another country does
not have a permanent seat. We should not accept this, nor should we
accept any resolution adopted by the Security Council in its current
composition. We were under trusteeship; we were colonized; and now
we are independent. We are here today to decide the future of the
world in a democratic way that will maintain the peace and security
of all nations, large and small, as equals. Otherwise, it is
terrorism, for terrorism is not just Al Qaeda but can also take
We should be guided by the majority of the votes in the
General Assembly alone. If the General Assembly takes a decision by
voting, then its wishes should be obeyed and its decision should be
enforced. No one is above the General Assembly; anyone who says he
is above the Assembly should leave the United Nations and be on his
own. Democracy is not for the rich or the most powerful or for those
who practice terrorism. All nations should be and should be seen to
be on an equal footing.
At present, the Security Council is security feudalism,
political feudalism for those with permanent seats, protected by
them and used against us. It should be called, not the Security
Council, but the Terror Council. In our political life, if they need
to use the Security Council against us, they turn to the Security
Council. If they have no need to use it against us, they ignore the
Security Council. If they have an interest to promote, an axe to
grind, they respect and glorify the Charter of the United Nations;
they turn to Chapter VII of the Charter and use it against poor
nations. If, however, they wished to violate the Charter, they would
ignore it as if it did not exist at all.
If the veto of the permanent members of the Security
Council is given to those who have the power, this is injustice and
terrorism and should not be tolerated by us. We should not live in
the shadow of this injustice and terror.
Super-Powers have complicated global interests, and they
use the veto to protect those interests. For example, in the
Security Council, they use the power of the United Nations to
protect their interests and to terrorize and intimidate the Third
World, causing it to live under the shadow of terror.
From the beginning, since it was established in 1945,
the Security Council has failed to provide security. On the
contrary, it has provided terror and sanctions. It is only used
against us. For this reason, we will no longer be committed to
implementing Security Council resolutions after this speech, which
marks the 40th anniversary.
Sixty-five wars have broken out: either fighting among
small countries or wars of aggression waged against us by
super-Powers. The Security Council, in clear violation of the
Charter of the United Nations, failed to take action to stop these
wars or acts of aggressions against small nations and peoples.
The General Assembly will vote on a number of historic
proposals. Either we act as one or we will fragment. If each nation
were to have its own version of the General Assembly, the Security
Council and the various instruments and each were to have an equal
footing, the Powers that currently fill the permanent seats would be
confined to use of their own sovereign bodies, whether there be
three or four of them, and would have to exercise their rights
against themselves. This is of no concern to us.
If they want to keep their permanent seats, that is
fine; permanent seats will be of no concern to us. We shall never
submit to their control or to their exercise of the veto that was
given to them. We are not so foolish as to give the right of veto to
the super-Powers to use so they can treat us as second-class
citizens and as outcast nations. It is not we who decided that those
countries are the super-Powers and respected nations with the power
to act on behalf of 192 countries.
You should be fully aware that we are ignoring the
Security Council resolutions because those resolutions are used
solely against us and not against the super-Powers which have the
permanent seats and the right of veto. Those Powers never use any
resolutions against themselves.
They are, however, used against us. Such use has turned
the United Nations into a travesty of itself and has generated wars
and violations of the sovereignty of independent States. It has led
to war crimes and genocides. All of this is in violation of the
Charter of the United Nations.
Since no one pays attention to the Security Council of
the United Nations, each country and community has established its
own security council, and the Security Council here has become
The African Union has already established its own Peace
and Security Council, the European Union has already established a
security council, and Asian countries have already established their
own security council. Soon, Latin America will have its own Security
Council as will the 120 non-aligned nations.
This means that we have already lost confidence in the
United Nations Security Council, which has not provided us with
security, and that is why we now are creating new regional security
We are not committed to obeying the rules or the
resolutions of the United Nations Security Council in its present
form because it is undemocratic, dictatorial and unjust. No one can
force us to join the Security Council or to obey or comply with
resolutions or orders given by the Security Council in its present
Furthermore, there is no respect for the United Nations
and no regard for the General Assembly, which is actually the true
United Nations, but whose resolutions are non-binding. The decisions
of the International Court of Justice, the international judicial
body, take aim only at small countries and Third World nations.
Powerful countries escape the notice of the Court. Or, if judicial
decisions are taken against these powerful countries, they are not
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an
important agency within the United Nations. Powerful countries,
however, are not accountable to it or under its jurisdiction. We
have discovered that the IAEA is used only against us. We are told
that it is an international organization, but, if that is the case,
then all the countries of the world should be under its
jurisdiction. If it is not truly international, then right after
this speech we should no longer accept it and should close it down.
Mr. Treki, in his capacity as President of the General
Assembly, should talk to the Director General of the IAEA, Mr.
ElBaradei, and should ask him if he is prepared to verify nuclear
energy storage in all countries and inspect all suspected increases.
If he says yes, then we accept the Agency’s jurisdiction. But if he
says that he cannot go into certain countries that have nuclear
power and that he does not have any jurisdiction over them, then we
should close the Agency down and not submit to its jurisdiction.
For your information, I called Mr. ElBaradei when we had
the problem of the Libyan nuclear bomb. I called Mr. ElBaradei and
asked him if the agreements by the super-Powers to reduce nuclear
supplies were subject to Agency control and under inspection, and
whether he was aware of any increases in their activity. He told me
that he was not in a position to ask the super-Powers to be
So, is the Agency only inspecting us? If so, it does not
qualify as an international organization since it is selective, just
like the Security Council and the International Court of Justice.
This is not equitable nor is it the United Nations. We totally
reject this situation.
Regarding Africa, Mr. President, whether the United
Nations is reformed or not, and even before a vote is taken on any
proposals of a historic nature, Africa should be given a permanent
seat on the Security Council now, having already waited too long.
Leaving aside United Nations reform, we can certainly
say that Africa was colonized, isolated and persecuted and its
rights usurped. Its people were enslaved and treated like animals,
and its territory was colonized and placed under trusteeship. The
countries of the African Union deserve a permanent seat. This is a
debt from the past that has to be paid and has nothing to do with
United Nations reform. It is a priority matter and is high on the
agenda of the General Assembly. No one can say that the African
Union does not deserve a permanent seat.
Who can argue with this proposal? I challenge anyone to
make a case against it. Where is the proof that the African Union or
the African continent does not deserve a permanent seat? No one can
possibly deny this.
Another matter that should be voted on in the General
Assembly is that of compensation for countries that were colonized,
so as to prevent the colonization of a continent, the usurpation of
its rights and the pillaging of its wealth from happening again.
Why are Africans going to Europe? Why are Asians going
to Europe? Why are Latin Americans going to Europe? It is because
Europe colonized those peoples and stole the material and human
resources of Africa, Asia and Latin America — the oil, minerals,
uranium, gold and diamonds, the fruit, vegetables and livestock and
the people — and used them. Now, new generations of Asians, Latin
Americans and Africans are seeking to reclaim that stolen wealth, as
they have the right to do.
At the Libyan border, I recently stopped 1,000 African
migrants headed for Europe. I asked them why they were going there.
They told me it was to take back their stolen wealth — that they
would not be leaving otherwise. Who can restore the wealth that was
taken from us? If you decide to restore all of this wealth, there
will be no more immigration from the Philippines, Latin America,
Mauritius and India. Let us have the wealth that was stolen from us.
Africa deserves $777 trillion in compensation from the countries
that colonized it. Africans will demand that amount, and if you do
not give it to them, they will go to where you have taken those
trillions of dollars. They have the right to do so. They have to
follow that money and to bring it back.
Why is there no Libyan immigration to Italy, even though
Libya is so close by? Italy owed compensation to the Libyan people.
It accepted that fact and signed an agreement with Libya, which was
adopted by both the Italian and Libyan Parliaments. Italy admitted
that its colonization of Libya was wrong and should never be
repeated, and it promised not to attack the Libyan people by land,
air or sea. Italy also agreed to provide Libya with $250 million a
year in compensation over the next 20 years and to build a hospital
for Libyans maimed as a result of the mines planted in Libyan
territory during the Second World War. Italy apologized and promised
that it would never again occupy the territory of another country.
Italy, which was a kingdom during the Fascist regime and has made
rich contributions to civilization, should be commended for this
achievement, together with Prime Minister Berlusconi and his
predecessor, who made their own contributions in that regard.
Why is the Third World demanding compensation? So that
there will be no more colonization — so that large and powerful
countries will not colonize, knowing that they will have to pay
compensation. Colonization should be punished. The countries that
harmed other peoples during the colonial era should pay compensation
for the damage and suffering inflicted under their colonial rule.
There is another point that I would like to make.
However, before doing so — and addressing a somewhat sensitive issue
— I should like to make an aside. We Africans are happy and proud
indeed that a son of Africa is now President of the United States of
America. That is a historic event. Now, in a country where blacks
once could not mingle with whites, in cafés or restaurants, or sit
next to them on a bus, the American people have elected as their
President a young black man, Mr. Obama, of Kenyan heritage. That is
a wonderful thing, and we are proud. It marks the beginning of a
change. However, as far as I am concerned, Obama is a temporary
relief for the next four or eight years. I am afraid that we may
then go back to square one. No one can guarantee how America will be
governed after Obama.
We would be content if Obama could remain President of
the United States of America for ever. The statement that he just
made shows that he is completely different from any American
President that we have seen. American Presidents used to threaten us
with all manner of weapons, saying that they would send us Desert
Storm, Grapes of Wrath, Rolling Thunder and poisonous roses for
Libyan children. That was their approach. American Presidents used
to threaten us with operations such as Rolling Thunder, sent to Viet
Nam; Desert Storm, sent to Iraq; Musketeer, sent to Egypt in 1956,
even though America opposed it; and the poisonous roses visited upon
Libyan children by Reagan. Can you imagine? One would have thought
that Presidents of a large country with a permanent seat on the
Security Council and the right of veto would have protected us and
sent us peace. And what did we get instead? Laser-guided bombs
carried to us on F-111 aircraft. This was their approach: we will
lead the world, whether you like it or not, and will punish anyone
who opposes us.
What our son Obama said today is completely different.
He made a serious appeal for nuclear disarmament, which we applaud.
He also said that America alone could not solve the problems facing
us and that the entire world should come together to do so. He said
that we must do more than we are doing now, which is making
speeches. We agree with that and applaud it. He said that we had
come to the United Nations to talk against one another. It is true
that when we come here, we should communicate with one another on an
equal footing. And he said that democracy should not be imposed from
outside. Until recently, American Presidents have said that
democracy should be imposed on Iraq and other countries. He said
that this was an internal affair. He spoke truly when he said that
democracy cannot be imposed from outside.
So we have to be cautious. Before I make these sensitive
remarks I note that the whole world has so many polarities. Listen:
should we have a world of so many polarities? Can we not have
nations on an equal footing? Let us have an answer. Does anyone have
an answer as to whether it is better to have a world of so many
polarities? Why can we not have equal standing? Should we have
patriarchs? Should we have popes? Should we have gods?
Why should we have a world of so many polarities? We
reject such a world and call for a world where big and small are
The other sensitive point is the Headquarters of the
United Nations. Can I have your attention, please? All of you came
across the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, crossing the Asian
continent or the African continent to reach this place. Why? Is this
Jerusalem? Is this the Vatican? Is this Mecca? All of you are tired,
have jet lag, and have sleepless nights. You are very tired, very
low, physically. Somebody just arrived now, flying 20 hours. Then we
want him to make a speech and talk about this.
All of you are asleep, all of you are tired. It is clear
that all of you are lacking energy because of having to make a long
journey. Why do we do that? Some of our countries are in nighttime
and people are asleep. Now you should be asleep, because your
biological clock, your biological mind is accustomed to be asleep at
this time. I wake up at 4 o’clock New York time, before dawn,
because in Libya it is 11 in the morning. When I wake up at 11
o’clock it is supposed to be daytime; at 4 o’clock I am awake.
Why? Think about it. If this was decided in 1945, should
we still retain it? Why can we not think about a place that is in
the middle, that is comfortable?
Another important point is that America, the host
country, bears the expenses and looks after the Headquarters and
diplomatic missions and looks after the peace and security of the
heads of State who come here. They are very strict; they spend a lot
of money, New York and all of America being very tight.
I want to relieve America of this hardship. We should
thank America; we say to America, thank you for all the trouble that
you have taken on yourself. We say thank you to America. We want to
help reassure America and New York and keep them calm. They should
not have the responsibility of looking after security. Perhaps some
day a terrorist could cause an explosion or bomb a president. This
place is targeted by Al-Qaeda, this very building. Why was it not
hit on 11 September? It was beyond their power. The next target
would be this place. I am not saying this in an offhand manner. We
have tens of members of Al-Qaeda detained in Libyan prisons. Their
confessions are very scary. That makes America live under tension.
One never knows what will happen. Perhaps America or this place will
be targeted again by a rocket. Perhaps tens of heads of State will
die. We want to relieve America from this worry. We shall take the
place to where it is not targeted.
Now after 50 years United Nations Headquarters should be
taken to another part of the hemisphere. After 50 years in the
western hemisphere, for the next 50 years it should be in the
eastern hemisphere or in the middle hemisphere, by rotation. Now,
with 64 years we have an extra 14 years over the 50 that
Headquarters should have been moved to somewhere else.
This is not an insult to America; it is a service to
America. We should thank America. This was possible in 1945, but we
should not accept it now. Of course this should be put to the vote
in the General Assembly — only in the Assembly, because in section
23 of the Headquarters Agreement it says that the United Nations
Headquarters can be moved to another location only by a resolution
of the General Assembly. If 51 per cent of the Assembly approves
relocation of Headquarters, then it can be moved.
America has the right to make security tight because it
is targeted by terrorists and by Al-Qaeda. America has the right to
take all security measures; we are not blaming America for that.
However, we do not tolerate these measures. We do not have to come
to New York and be subjected to all these measures. One president
told me that he was told that his co-pilot should not come to
America because there are restrictions. He asked how he could cross
the Atlantic without a co-pilot. Why? He does not have to come here.
Another president complained that his honor guard could not come
because there was some misunderstanding regarding his name when it
came to granting a visa. Another president said his own doctor could
not get a visa and could not come to America.
The security measures are very strict. If a country has
any problem with America, they will set up restrictions on the
movements of member delegations, as if one is in Guantanamo. Is this
a Member State of the United Nations, or is it a prisoner in the
Guantanamo camp that cannot be allowed free movement?
This is what is submitted to the General Assembly for a
vote — moving the Headquarters. If 51 per cent agree, then we come
to the second vote: to the middle of the globe, or to the eastern
part. If we say that we must move the Headquarters to the middle of
the hemisphere, why do we not move to Sirte or Vienna? One can come
even without a visa. Once you come as a president, Libya is a secure
country. We are not going to restrict you to 100 or 500 meters.
Libya has no hostile actions against anybody. I think the same holds
true of Vienna.
If the vote says we should move Headquarters to the
eastern part, then it will be Delhi or Beijing, the capital of China
or the capital of India.
That is logical, my brothers. I do not think there will
be any objection to that. Then you will thank me for this proposal,
for eliminating the suffering and the trouble of flying 14, 15 or 20
hours to come here. No one can blame America or say that America
will reduce its contributions to the United Nations. No one should
have that bad thought. America, I am sure, is committed to its
international obligations. America will not be angry; it will thank
you for alleviating its hardship, for taking on all that hardship
and all the restrictions, even though this place is targeted by
We come now to the issues that will be considered by the
General Assembly. We are about to put the United Nations on trial;
the old organization will be finished and a new one will emerge.
This is not a normal gathering. Even son Obama said that this is not
a normal gathering. It is a historic meeting.
The wars that took place after the establishment of the
United Nations — why did they occur? Where was the Security Council,
where was the Charter, where was the United Nations? There should be
investigations and judicial intervention. Why have there been
massacres? We can start with the Korean War because it took place
after the establishment of the United Nations. How did a war break
out and cause millions of victims? Nuclear weapons could have been
used in that war. Those who are responsible for causing the war
should be tried and should pay compensation and damages.
Then we come to the Suez Canal war of 1956. That file
should be opened wide. Three countries with permanent seats on the
Security Council and with the right of veto in the Council attacked
a member State of this General Assembly. A country that was a
sovereign State — Egypt — was attacked, its army was destroyed,
thousands of Egyptians were killed and many Egyptian towns and
entities were destroyed, all because Egypt wanted to nationalize the
Suez Canal. How could such a thing have happened during the era of
the United Nations and its Charter? How is it possible to guarantee
that such a thing will not be repeated unless we make amends for
past wrongs? Those were dangerous events and the Suez Canal and
Korean War files should be re-opened.
Next we come to the Viet Nam war. There were 3 million
victims of that war. During 12 days, more bombs were dropped than
during four years of the Second World War. It was a fiercer war, and
it took place after the establishment of the United Nations and
after we had decided that there would be no more wars.
The future of humankind is at stake. We cannot stay
silent. How can we feel safe? How can we be complacent? This is the
future of the world, and we who are in the General Assembly of the
United Nations must make sure that such wars are not repeated in the
Then Panama was attacked, even though it was an
independent member State of the General Assembly. Four thousand
people were killed, and the President of that country was taken
prisoner and put in prison. Noriega should be released — we should
open that file. How can we entitle a country that is a United
Nations Member State to wage war against another country and capture
its president, treat him as a criminal and put him in prison? Who
would accept that? It could be repeated. We should not stay quiet.
We should have an investigation. Any one of us Member States could
face the same situation, especially if such aggression is by a
Member State with a permanent seat on the Security Council and with
the responsibility to maintain peace and security worldwide.
Then there was the war in Grenada. That country was
invaded even though it was a Member State. It was attacked by 5,000
war ships, 7,000 troops and dozens of military aircraft, and it is
the smallest country in the world. This occurred after the
establishment of the United Nations and of the Security Council and
its veto. And the President of Grenada, Mr. Maurice Bishop, was
assassinated. How could that have happened with impunity? It is a
tragedy. How can we guarantee that the United Nations is good or
not, that a certain country is good or not? Can we be safe or happy
about our future or not? Can we trust the Security Council or not?
Can we trust the United Nations or not?
We must look into and investigate the bombing of
Somalia. Somalia is a United Nations Member State. It is an
independent country under the rule of Aidid. We want an
investigation. Why did that happen? Who allowed it to happen? Who
gave the green light for that country to be attacked?
Then there is the former Yugoslavia. No country was as
peaceful as Yugoslavia, constructed step by step and piece by piece
after being destroyed by Hitler. We destroyed it, as if we were
doing the same job as Hitler. Tito built that peaceful country step
by step and brick by brick and then we arrived and broke it apart
for imperialistic, personal interests. How can we be complacent
about that? Why can we not be satisfied? If a peaceful country like
Yugoslavia faced such a tragedy, the General Assembly should have an
investigation and should decide who should be tried before the
International Criminal Court.
Then we have the war in Iraq — the mother of all evils.
The United Nations should also investigate that. The General
Assembly, presided over by Mr. Treki, should investigate that. The
invasion of Iraq was a violation of the United Nations Charter. It
was done without any justification by super-Powers with permanent
seats on the Security Council. Iraq is an independent country and a
member State of the General Assembly. How could those countries
attack Iraq? As provided for in the Charter, the United Nations
should have intervened and stopped the attack.
We spoke in the General Assembly and urged it to use the
Charter to stop that attack. We were against the invasion of Kuwait,
and the Arab countries fought Iraq alongside foreign countries in
the name of the United Nations Charter.
In the first instance, the Charter was respected. The
second time when we wanted to use the Charter to stop the war
against Iraq, no one used it and that document was ignored. Why did
that occur? Mr. Treki and the General Assembly should investigate to
determine whether there was any reason at all to invade Iraq.
Because the reasons for that attack remain mysterious and ambiguous,
and we might face the same destiny.
Why was Iraq invaded? The invasion itself was a serious
violation of the United Nations Charter, and it was wrong. There was
also a total massacre or genocide. More than 1.5 million Iraqis were
killed. We want to bring the Iraqi file before the International
Criminal Court (ICC), and we want those who committed mass murder
against the Iraqi people to be tried.
It is easy for Charles Taylor to be tried, or for Bashir
to be tried, or for Noriega to be tried. That is an easy job. Yes,
but what about those who have committed mass murder against the
Iraqis? They cannot be tried? They cannot go before the ICC? If the
Court is unable to accommodate us, then we should not accept it.
Either it is meant for all of us, large or small, or we should not
accept it and should reject it.
Anyone who commits a war crime can be tried, but we are
not livestock or animals like those that are slaughtered for the Eid.
We have the right to live, and we are ready to fight and to
defend ourselves. We have the right to live in dignity, under the
sun and on earth; they have already tested us and we have withstood
There are other things as well. Why is it that Iraqi
prisoners of war can be sentenced to death? When Iraq was invaded
and the President of Iraq was taken he was a prisoner of war. He
should not have been tried; he should not have been hanged. When the
war was over, he should have been released. We want to know why a
prisoner of war should have been tried. Who sentenced the President
of Iraq to death? Is there an answer to that question? We know the
identity of the judge who tried him. As to who tied the noose around
the President’s neck on the day of sacrifice and hanged him, those
people wore masks.
How could this have happened in a civilized world? These
were prisoners of war of civilized countries under international
law. How could Government ministers and a head of State be sentenced
to death and hanged? Were those who tried them lawyers or members of
a judicial system?
Do you know what people are saying? They are saying that
the faces behind the masks were those of the President of the United
States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and that it was
they who put the President of Iraq to death.
Why do the executioners not unmask their faces? Why do
we not know their ranks? Why do we not know whether they were
officers, judges, soldiers or doctors? How does it come about that
the President of a State Member of the United Nations was sentenced
to death and killed? We do not know the identity of the
executioners. The United Nations is duty-bound to answer these
questions: who carried out the death sentence? They must have legal
status and official responsibilities; we should know their
identities and we should know about the presence of a physician and
the nature of all the legal proceedings. That would be true for an
ordinary citizen, let alone for the President of a State Member of
the United Nations who was put to death in that manner.
My third point on the Iraq war relates to Abu Ghraib.
This was a disgrace to humankind. I know that the United States
authorities will investigate this scandal, but the United Nations
must not ignore it either. The General Assembly should investigate
this matter. Prisoners of war held in Abu Ghraib prison were
torturers; dogs were set on them; men were raped. This is
unprecedented in the history of war. It was sodomy, and it was an
unprecedented sin, never before committed by past aggressors or
invaders. Prisoners of war are soldiers, but these were raped in
prison by a State, a permanent member of the Security Council. This
goes against civilization and humankind. We must not keep silent; we
must know the facts. Even today, a quarter of a million Iraqi
prisoners, men and women alike, remain in Abu Ghraib. They are being
maltreated, persecuted and raped. There must be an investigation.
Turning to the war in Afghanistan, this too must be
investigated. Why are we against the Taliban? Why are we against
Afghanistan? Who are the Taliban? If the Taliban want a religious
State, that is fine. Think of the Vatican. Does the Vatican pose a
threat to us? No. It is a religious, very peaceful State. If the
Taliban want to create an Islamic Emirate, who says that this makes
them an enemy? Is anyone claiming that Bin Laden is of the Taliban
or that he is Afghan? Is Bin Laden of the Taliban? No; he is not of
the Taliban and he is not Afghan. Were the terrorists who hit New
York City of the Taliban? Were they from Afghanistan? They were
neither Taliban nor Afghan. Then, what was the reason for the wars
in Iraq and in Afghanistan?
If I truly wanted to deceive my American and British
friends, I would encourage them to send more troops and I would
encourage them to persist in this bloodbath. But they will never
succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Look what happened to them in Iraq,
which is a desert. It is even worse in mountainous Afghanistan. If I
wanted to deceive them I would tell them to continue the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan. But no, I want to save the citizens of the
United States, the United Kingdom and other countries who are
fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I tell them: leave Afghanistan
to the Afghans; leave Iraq to the Iraqis. If they want to fight each
other, they are free to do so.
America had its Civil War, and no one interfered in it.
There were civil wars in Spain, China and countries all over the
world — no place on Earth has been free of civil wars. Let there be
a civil war in Iraq. If the Iraqis want to have a civil war and
fight each other, that is fine. Who says that if the Taliban form a
Government they would possess intercontinental missiles or the kind
of airplanes that hit New York? Did those airplanes take off from
Afghanistan or Iraq? No; they took off from American airports. So
why is Afghanistan being struck? The terrorists were not Afghans or
Taliban or Iraqis.
Why are we silent? We must never be war devils: anyone
who does not speak the truth is a silent devil. We are committed to
international peace and security. We do not wish to scorn or
ridicule humankind. We want to save humanity.
As President of the General Assembly, Mr. Ali Treki
should open an investigation of the assassinations file — in
addition to the war files. Who killed Patrice Lumumba, and why? We
merely want to record it in the annals of African history; we want
to know how an African leader, a liberator, came to be assassinated.
Who killed him? We want our sons to be able to read the history of
how Patrice Lumumba, the hero of Congo’s liberation struggle, was
assassinated. We want to know the facts, even 50 years on. That is
one file that should be reopened.
And who killed Secretary-General Hammarskjöld? Who fired
on his aero plane in 1961, and why?
Then, there is the assassination of United States
President Kennedy in 1963. We want to know who killed him and why.
There was somebody called Lee Harvey Oswald, who was then killed by
one Jack Ruby. Why did he kill him? Jack Ruby, an Israeli, killed
Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed Kennedy. Why did this Israeli kill
Kennedy’s killer? Then Jack Ruby, the killer of the killer of
Kennedy, died in mysterious circumstances before he could be tried.
We must open the files. The whole world knows that Kennedy wanted to
investigate the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor. This involves
international peace and security and weapons of mass destruction.
That is why we should open this file.
Then there is the assassination of Martin Luther King,
the black reverend and human rights activist. His assassination was
a plot, and we should know why he was killed and who killed him.
Then Khalil Wazir, or Abu Jihad, a Palestinian, was
attacked. He was living peacefully in Tunisia, a Member State, and
that country’s sovereignty was not respected. We cannot keep silent.
Even though submarines and ships were detected along the coast of
Tunisia, where he was killed, no one was accused or tried. Abu Iyad
was also killed, and we should know how he was killed. He was killed
in ambiguous circumstances. In Operation Spring of Youth, Kamal
Nasser, a poet, Kamal Adwan and Abu Youssef al Najjar, three
Palestinians, were killed in Lebanon, a country that is a free,
sovereign State member of the General Assembly. They were attacked
and killed while sleeping peacefully. We should know who killed
them, and he should be tried so that those crimes against humanity
are not repeated.
We have already talked about the size of the force used
in the invasion of Grenada — 7,000 troops, 15 battleships and dozens
of bombers — and President Bishop was killed even though Grenada was
a Member State. Those are crimes, and we cannot keep silent.
Otherwise, we will look like sacrificial beasts. We are not animals.
Year after year, we are attacked. We defend ourselves, our sons and
our children, and we are not afraid. We have the right to live, and
the Earth is not destined for violence, but for us all. We can never
live on this Earth in such humiliation. So those are the wars.
The last file is that of the massacres. In the Sabra and
Shatila massacre, 3,000 people were killed. That area, under the
protection of the occupying Israeli army, was the site of a huge and
calamitous massacre in which 3,000 Palestinian men, women and
children were killed. How can we keep quiet? Lebanon is a sovereign
State; a member of the General Assembly was occupied, Sabra and
Shatila were under Israeli control, and then the massacre took
Then there was the 2008 massacre in Gaza. There were
1,000 women and 2,200 children among the victims killed in the
massacre in Gaza in 2008. Sixty United Nations facilities and
another 30 belonging to non-governmental organizations were damaged.
Fifty clinics were destroyed. Forty doctors and nurses were killed
while carrying out humanitarian activities. This took place in Gaza
in December 2008.
The perpetrators are still alive, and they should be
tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Should we try only
the underdogs, the weak and the poor of third-world countries, and
not important and protected figures? Under international law, they
should all face trial for the consequences of the crimes that they
have committed. Otherwise, the role of the ICC will never be
recognized. If the decisions of the ICC are not respected or
implemented, if the General Assembly and the Security Council mean
nothing, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency serves only
certain countries and organizations, then what is the United
Nations? It would mean that the United Nations is nothing and is
insignificant. Where is it? There is no United Nations.
Then, while piracy may be a phenomenon of the high seas,
a form of terrorism, we talk about the piracy in Somalia. Somalis
are not pirates. We are the pirates. We went there and usurped their
economic zones, their fish and their wealth. Libya, India, Japan and
America — any country in the world — we are all pirates. We all
entered the territorial waters and economic zones of Somalia and
stole. The Somalis are protecting their own fish, their sustenance.
They have become pirates because they are defending their children’s
food. Now, we seek to address that matter in the wrong way. Should
we send warships to Somalia? We should send warships to the pirates
who have attacked and seized the economic zones and wealth of the
Somalis and the food of their children.
I met the pirates, and I told them that I would
negotiate an agreement between them and the international community
that respects the 200-mile exclusive economic zone under the law of
the sea, that protects all marine resources belonging to the Somali
people, and that stops all countries from disposing of toxic waste
along the Somali coast. In return, the Somalis would no longer
attack ships. We will propose and draft such an international treaty
and submit it to the General Assembly. That is the solution. The
solution does not lie in sending more military ships to fight the
Somalis. That is not the solution.
We are addressing the phenomena of piracy and terrorism
in the wrong way. Today there is swine flu. Perhaps tomorrow there
will be fish flu, because sometimes we produce viruses by
controlling them. It is a commercial business. Capitalist companies
produce viruses so that they can generate and sell vaccinations.
That is very shameful and poor ethics. Vaccinations and medicine
should not be sold. In The Green Book, I maintain that medicines
should not be sold or subject to commercialization. Medicines should
be free of charge and vaccinations given free to children, but
capitalist companies produce the viruses and vaccinations and want
to make a profit. Why are they not free of charge? We should give
them free of charge, and not sell them. The entire world should
strive to protect our people, create and manufacture vaccinations
and give them free to children and women, and not profit by them.
All those items are on the agenda of the General Assembly, which has
only to exercise that duty.
The Ottawa Convention on Landmines forbids the
production of landmines. That is wrong. Landmines are defensive
weapons. If I place them along the border of my country and someone
wants to invade me, they may be killed. That is all right, because
they are invading me. The Convention should be reconsidered. I am
not taking that defensive weapon to another country. The enemy is
coming to me. On the Al-Qadhafi website, I call for that treaty to
be modified or annulled. This treaty should be modified or annulled.
I want to use anti-personnel mines to defend my home against
invasion. Eliminate weapons of mass destruction, not landmines,
which are defensive weapons.
With regard to the Palestinian situation, the two-State
solution is impossible; it is not practical. Currently, these two
States completely overlap. Partition is doomed to failure. These two
States are not neighbors; they are coextensive, in terms of both
population and geography. A buffer zone cannot be created between
the two States because there are half a million Israeli settlers in
the West Bank and a million Arab Palestinians in the territory known
The solution is therefore a democratic State without
religious fanaticism or ethnicity. The generation of Sharon and
Arafat is over. We need a new generation, in which everyone can live
in peace. Look at Palestinian and Israeli youth; they both want
peace and democracy, and they want to live under one State. This
conflict poisons the world.
The White Book actually has the solution; I hold it
here. The solution is Isratine. Arabs have no hostility or animosity
towards Israel. We are cousins and of the same race. We want to live
in peace. The refugees should go back.
You are the ones who brought the Holocaust upon the
Jews. You, not we, are the ones who burned them. We gave them
refuge. We gave them safe haven during the Roman era and the Arab
reign in Andalusia and during the rule of Hitler. You are the ones
who poisoned them; you are the ones who annihilated them. We
provided them with protection. You expelled them. Let us see the
truth. We are not hostile; we are not enemies of the Jews. And one
day the Jews will need the Arabs. At that point, Arabs will be the
ones to give them protection, to save them, as we have done in the
past. Look at what everybody else did to the Jews. Hitler is an
example. You are the ones who hate the Jews, not us.
In brief, Kashmir should be an independent State,
neither Indian nor Pakistani. We must end that conflict. Kashmir
should be a buffer State between India and Pakistan.
With regard to Darfur, I truly hope that the assistance
provided by international organizations can be used for development
projects, for agriculture, for industry and for irrigation. You are
the ones who made it a crisis; you put it on the altar; you wanted
to sacrifice Darfur so that you could interfere in its internal
You have turned the Hariri problem into a United Nations
problem. You are selling Hariri’s corpse. You just want to settle
scores with Syria. Lebanon is an independent State; it has laws,
courts, a judiciary and police. At this stage, it is no longer the
perpetrators that are being sought; the real wish is to settle
scores with Syria, not ensure justice for Hariri. The cases of
Khalil al-Wazir, Lumumba, Kennedy, and Hammarskjöld should also have
been turned over to the United Nations, if the Hariri case merits
The General Assembly is now under the presidency of
Libya. This is our right. Libya hopes that you will assist in making
the transition from a world fraught with crises and tension to a
world in which humanity, peace and tolerance prevail. I will
personally follow up on this issue with the General Assembly,
President Treki and the Secretary-General. It is not our habit to
compromise when it comes to the destiny of humanity and the
struggles of the third world and the 100 small nations, which should
live in peace always.