U.S. President George Bush says the United Nations and other
multilateral organizations are needed more urgently than ever to
confront extremists and terrorists.
Mr. Bush spoke on Tuesday in his final address to the U.N. General Assembly.
He said there have been successes in fighting terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, while a few nations, which he says include Syria and Iran, continue to support terror.
He said the ideologies of terrorists must be confronted, and he called on nations to deliver a more hopeful vision. He said the Taliban must not be allowed to return to power in Afghanistan, and said although progress has been made in Iraq the fight has been difficult.
The president also renewed his support for the former Soviet republic of Georgia in its ongoing conflict with Russia. And he called on the U.N. to enforce sanctions against North Korea and Iran in connection with their nuclear programs.
He also assured world leaders that the U.S. is acting decisively to contain the country's financial crisis.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon kicked off the week-long general debate today, discussing global challenges such as climate change, fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS, and the crises in the food and financial sectors.
Mr. Ban again called on Iran to comply with Security Council resolutions and the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its nuclear program.
Other speakers today included Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Phillippine President Gloria Arroyo and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the forum later today. Thousands of people rallied against his visit outside the U.N. building Monday, describing him as a threat to both Israel and the United States.