All eyes have been on the United Nations this week as numerous heads of state addressed the General Assembly. President Obama called for a “new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect” and suggested four pillars that are “fundamental to the future that we want for our children: Nonproliferation and disarmament, the promotion of peace and security, the preservation of our planet, and a global economy that advances opportunity for all people.” Read the full transcript of his address here.
Following President Obama’s address, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi gave a lengthy speech, his first at a UN General Assembly. He spoke for 90 minutes, during which he asked for an African seat on the UN Security Council, while also calling the Council “political feudalism for those who have a permanent seat.” To read more about his controversial appearance, check out this article from the New York Times.
Qaddafi is not the first to call for changes to the UN Security Council. To learn more about various proposals to reform the UN, join the World Affairs Council on Wednesday, October 7. We will be hosting David Bosco, a former senior editor at Foreign Policy, who will examine the role of the Security Council and diverging interests of its five permanent members.