HIGHLIGHTS-World leaders address U.N. General Assembly

by reuters | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 23 September 2010 20:32 GMT

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama appealed for international support for the Middle East peace process at the United Nations on Thursday, urging world leaders to make sure "this time is different."

Below are excerpts from speeches:

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ON MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS:

"Now, many are pessimistic about this process. The cynics say that Israelis and Palestinians are too distrustful of each other, and too divided internally, to forge lasting peace.

"But consider the alternative. If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to co-existence."

IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD ON SEPT. 11 ATTACKS:

"There remain a few questions to be answered. Would it not have been sensible that first, a thorough investigation should have been conducted by independent groups to conclusively identify the elements involved in the attack, and then map out a rational plan to take measures against them?

"I wish to announce that next year the Islamic Republic of Iran will host a conference to study terrorism and the means to confront it."

CHINESE PREMIER WEN JIABAO ON CHINA'S DEVELOPMENT:

"China, which has come a long way in modernization is advanced in some areas of development but remains backward in others. And it faces unprecedented challenges brought by problems old and new.

"Taken as a whole, China is still in the primary stage of socialism and remains a developing country."

EMIR OF QATAR SHEIKH HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL-THANI ABOUT THE WAR ON TERRORISM:

"For reasons, some of which we understand and some of which we fail to understand, this first decade of the 21st Century has been blindly attacked by what has come to be known as the war on terrorism.

"We believe that even as the phenomenon of terrorism exists, it should not be treated by waging wars. This treatment has not achieved security, peace or prosperity."

MALAWI PRESIDENT BINGU WA MUTHARIKA ON AFRICA:

"Africa has decided to shift from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism, we are going to make Africa better.

"I want the world to know that we the African leaders have a vision of Africa free of hunger, disease and poverty. We have the vision of a new Africa that is prosperous and full of hope. We have the vision of African nations determined to contribute more to the global prosperity, peace and stability."

BRAZILIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CELSO AMORIM ON G20 REFORM:

"The financial crisis of 2008 accelerated change in global economic governance. The G20 replaced the G8 as the primary forum for deliberation on economic issues.

"The G20 was a step forward. But the group must be adjusted to ensure, for instance greater African participation."

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER ON SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT:

"This assembly should know that Canada is eligible to serve on the Security Council. If we are elected, we will be ready to serve.

"And, if called upon to serve on the Security Council which shall be informed by these ideals and strive to further them just as we have striven to implement Security Council resolutions."

TURKISH PRESIDENT ABDULLAH GUL ON GLOBAL ECONOMY:

"The current economic crisis unveiled, once again, the weaknesses and deficiencies of the existing global and national financial and economic architectures which lack efficient governance and regulation over those reckless financial institutions.

"Within the G20, we strongly support the efforts in international forums aiming at restoring global growth and streamlining financial practices."

SWISS PRESIDENT DORIS LEUTHARD ON U.N. POVERTY GOALS:

"The Millennium Development Goals must be implemented fully and rapidly.

"We know that dropping sacks of rice from helicopters is not enough. We must help people to grow it. Still today, 1.4 billion people around the world are living in extreme poverty ... Money flows to emergency situations, but who is still concerned three years later." (Compiled by Helen Popper; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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