Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
September 24th, 2009
08:54 AM ET

Quite a Day on the U.N. Stage

The drama at the U.N. General Assembly started during our show yesterday and continued well into the evening.

In his speech, President Obama tried to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor, but also said that “those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone.” Pres. Obama hasn’t had to share the media spotlight much since he was elected last January. That is until yesterday when two other men took their turn at the U.N. microphone.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi talked about everything from the structure of the U.N. Security Council to theories on JFK’s assassination, and referred to Pres. Obama as “my son.”

And Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he won “a large majority” in the June 12 elections and blamed capitalism for the world economic crisis. His comments about the Holocaust prompted some delegates to walk out of the room.

There were dull moments in between, but overall, quite a day at the U.N.

We know you have lots to say about any or all of this. Go ahead and post your thoughts here.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This general assembly is more like somthing an anger managment counselor dreamd up to let leaders vent there anger but the real question is does it help or hurt relations.

    September 24, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  2. Audrey Fryer

    Do you "newspeople" actually ever LISTEN to the speeches made by other leaders – you seem to hear one phrase and dismiss the whole speech as being "ludicrous". You really should listen to these other people because there is some value in what they say. Why are you promoting B. Netanyahu – how many Palestinians has he murdered (and you talk about Gadhafi – not even close). I believe the U.N. has been attempting to complete the "war Criminal charges" against Israel and Mr. Netanyahu – but you people just blithely overlook these atrocities, the same as you overlook the American atrocities to the Iraqis. Are you all in a selective vacuum – Israel is always right – America is always right – rest of world – terrorists.

    September 24, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  3. Kayla

    It just shows how hateful and crazy some of these world leaders are, and soon as the world shines the spotlight on them it gives them a stage to act like fools

    September 24, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  4. Linda Anderson

    It never ceases to amaze me how arrogant we are in this country. The question from us is always accusatory - "What will happen if a country doesn't abide by the resolution? What if they won't allow inspections? They claim they don't have any nuclear weapons, that they're only using nuclear technology for energy."

    Well, we know we have nuclear weapons don't we? The difference is, we don't intend to get rid of them. In fact, we're the biggest stockpilers of the most dangerous nuclear or any other kind of weapons of mass destruct. No, we want to play the role of the oppressor - and that is so evident, Heidi, by your own tone. Supremacy is our motto.

    I want you to check a fact for me - who is the only country who ever used a Nuclear weapon? When you find the answer, maybe you'll understand why leaders like Quadaffi and Akmedinijad speak as they do about America.

    September 24, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  5. Sonia Vivar

    I think walking out, is so childish. It's best to know what the enemy is up to, or has to say......it the best way, to prepare for any course of action.

    svivar9087

    September 24, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  6. Usman

    Will the new UN Resolution on nonproliferation have "teeth"? As long as countries like Pakistan fear their neighbors conventional advantages, there's no rational basis to assume they will give up their nuclear weapons. National security is each country's right.

    I understand that this treaty will also seek to effect change from the Iranian regime... however, I believe that more countries in the Middle East will soon develop at least a covert nuclear weapons program because of Israel's 200+ warheads, and not because of Iran.

    September 24, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  7. Speed

    Heidi, I don't think Americans know how American foreign policies over the last 20, 30 or 40 years have affected Latin America, Africa and the Mid East. It is simple for you to sit and examine one or two statements that were made by these leaders, but what you must do is to deconstruct the policies of the U.S. and the effects they have had on the lesser developed economies of the world.

    I am awaiting your anaylsis.............I doubt I will get it

    September 24, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  8. Dan

    I think that all who speak bad of the US or our policies should buy a one way ticket to either Tripoli Libya or Tehran Iran. I am sure you would get a warm welcome there. Then, check out your freedoms.
    The US is the greatest and most FREE country on the face of this earth.

    September 24, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  9. Paul

    Pres. Obama has taken a lot of flak on the decision to scrap the missle shield based in Europe. Some claim he is too naive and gave up a very large enchilada for nothing. How do these same critics know whether or not there were negotiations going on behind the scenes for a quid pro quo with the Russians ? I for one have confidence in our President's intellect and those of his aides, to do the things necessary to keep us and our allies secure. Give the man a chance to prove that he is not dunce like some of his predecessors, who will remain nameless.

    September 24, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  10. Cynthia Tolbert

    President Obama's non-unilaterial world view at at the G-20 Summit allows the whole world to witness, for themselves, the unilateral behavioral temprement of many Middle East Leaders. Its not a far away country, anymore, its in our backyard. Civil Liberties in word and deed for all people in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. is Liberty for the world.

    September 24, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  11. ha

    People!!! You have to understand the time we reach to live fearful life for us and for next generations as well. Instead of inventing great medicine and very healthy food kinds, we are spending our time, energy and Money for weapons to kill our people, our naighbour and the people that we could live together.

    Please, let's invent something that could create peace and happiness in our mind.

    God Bless!

    September 24, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  12. Parthenia

    I think the fact that President Obama's speech brought forth a resolution is a giant step in the right direction. Whether the resolution will bring forth the next essential steps remains to be seen. Our President knows law, has taught law and makes us all proud, and
    whether we admit it or not, he knows what he is doing.

    September 24, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  13. Fabian Bustamante

    The message send to Gadhafi and Ahmadinejad by the people walking out on them was "We don't care about what you have to
    say", if that is the position of this people how can we expect to have some kind of peaceful relations or get to agreed in what the US want from them, or, will the US use their classic international policy of "You do what we said or we will put you down". It is time to stop the friction, we can't afford another stupid war, if some of this guys have problems with Israel, why does that affect the US?, maybe the real concern for the US is to keep Israel on a leach before they start lunching nuclear weapons against their enemies. The middle east nations had been fighting since before the US and even England existed, what makes you think that the almighty US would change that, a new approach is needed and a little respect won't hurt..

    September 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  14. mike sey

    What on earth relevance does the Holocaust and whether the Iranian leader believes it happened or not have to do with settling the Palestinian issue today.

    At most it explains why the USA, supported by other western powers, created Israel – mainly because they didn't want displaced Jews to return to their homes in Europe or resettle in places like Canada or the USA. Mrs. Rooseveldt wouldnt have them in the White House and Canada's top civil servant wrote of the possibility " one Jew is too many".

    It may be dramatic and emotionallly satisfying for Netanyahu to wave about original plans for the Germna/nazi death camps signed by Himler but they have nothing to do whatsoever with Iran and its nuclear program.

    So far Iran has lived up to the standard obligations of Nuclear powers for the development of Nuclear energy which it has every right to do. The IAEA has repeatedly said that there is no evidence whatsoever of the weaponization of Iran's nuclear capability including its enrichment program which has not produced an ounce of weapons grade material to date.

    Not a word from Israel, of course, about submitting its nuclear capability to the norms of international inspection.

    So all in all Mr. Netanyahu's bombastic indignation should carry about as much weight on the issues of concern at hand as waving the biblical accounts of King David's extermination of the men of the Kingdoms of Moab and Edom and the wholesale sale of their women and children into slavery should be given. No doubt, one could argue that the Jews carries out one of the world's first holocausts, but many would deny it. So what is the point of bringing it up except to whip up emotional propaganda points?

    September 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  15. Mimi Charepoo

    President Obama should be our President for ever and ever. He has a good heart, is a peace maker and a wonderful person. I am happy i lived to see a President like him in my life time. I am surprized though, to see people oppose him before he openes his mouth. After so many months in office they should know he is her to make our life a better one than before. We elected him, he is listening why waste energy yelling and name calling. It 2009 we must have learned by now how to communiate. Please tell Mr. President Barak Obama that i love him and his family. Long live Obama.

    September 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  16. William Courtland

    We look at our world: and deny history, we look at our world: and only see our homes, We look at our world: and forget that it is a finite planet, then when think to possess the land: we only see the surface: and refuse it to be part of the globe.

    The UN... has no purpose but to allow nations to come together to form and arrange summits and discuss critical events and issues presented in our world.

    Government in leadership has but one duty: plan for the future: or respond to the pain. When planning for the future: one can plan to respond better to the pain when it happens: or one can attempt to cure the causes.

    It is a new day: and the President of Israel took the podium at the UN: not to initiate any new treaties: or invite to a new accord or principle of united effect or enhanced trade: no formal Global legislation was introduced... When Leaders take the stage at the UN Secretariat building and enter the NAtional Assembly: they just continue to spew rhetoric for the ideals of not getting anthing really done.

    So Russia had Nuclear arms in space: at least those arms were installed before the Nuclear Pro-life-ration Act: while the United States did so after. Please: just because I have been marked for target: if those damn things look at me again with the intent to do harm or to gain intelligence without asking me for it: then one will be provided to a non-partizan three party nation so to review the treaty violation presented by the United States in the nuclear weaponization of Space. Nuclear weapons both in the method in which the Satellite is used: and weapons on board for true WMD attacking.

    Only America is guilty in this: Russia has been exonerated: and worse: The U.S. will not admit to loosing control of four of its six or seven industrial military spy satelites launched from mid-pacific space-pads back in the early eighties...

    So Israel: did the United States ever install a Shuttle into your nation? A back up one released for treaty allowances in the original method for the orbital release and the designs. If this plan ever was: well: the Shuttle that exists is required to bridge the gap between that old system: and the new designs expected... Military programs: secret spending...

    Israel: so Jerusalem: a city of the old trade empire founded in the times before Gilgamesh: and you think you can own it just because you have fought over it? Israel: can not exist as a Jewish State: simply because it was taken and not received. Jerusalem is an international trade city: and should be reformed as the international city for global religious affairs. The people: and the hebrew culture belongs in the Sinai Mountains of its pennisula: the Spirit drove men to war: the Spirit like the one Saul approached in Samuel 18: the one from Endor... The witches forgiven in that psalm: the evil forgiven by a desprite person.

    Israel: at the United Nations... Israel is not the home of the Jewish: Israel and Jerusalem are a worthless treasure a token to bad ideas of hostile takeover: and the walls require to prevent the takebacks, when civilization does not exist: and Civilization can not exist until the Jewish return to the Sinai so to find what was lost and give it back to the world as the truth to culture and the power of true conquors: the power of culture itself. To abide God's laws: one can only use Culture as a viable tool for conquoring other nations.

    This is why Iran is such a threat: because its culture is threatened by the inhumanities of our western society: the temptations we offer: the intent to defy logic and release the witches to the freedom of their acts: the goal and reason in annihilating Islamic traditions in sexual respect. Releasing the witch: the goal of the west: releasing the witch to burden all society with her wants and her fickle responses to being denied.

    Just stop reporting Politics: it is not news: just party positioning: if nothing really changes: if nothing really gets done: then there is no news worth reporting: accept for the fact that government fails and the party method is mostly at fault: yet historical events cause that faultering.

    September 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  17. Serje

    Most news medias comments on Gadhafi speach are made to make him lood like a fool!!
    But a fool sometimes tells the things as they are!!!
    The UN is obsolete!!
    A) What's the use of adopting any UN resolutions if it is to be vetoed by the security council! (Lead by Super Powers)
    B)UN resolutions should be "force of law" since they are adopted by the MAJORITY! (Thus giving smaller countries a VOICE) and not be vetoed by the Security council unless the following point is adopted.
    C) Having a permanent seat on the Secutiry council for the African Union, the South American Union and others is a great idea!
    D) Does being a member of the Securtiy council makes a country Above the law?? (The UN CHARTA)
    E) As for example: was the US condemmend by the UN for it's invasion of a sovereing country?? Was there any sanctions adopted againts the US???
    What Gadhafi tried to told us is that the UN needs a profound change to be considered and respected by ALL countries. And most of us "deep inside" can understand why he trowed away the UN CHARTA

    September 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  18. Serge

    Nukes!!! What a nice subject!!
    A weapon is a weapon! If I have a bow and arrow...can I ask my neighbour to give up his bow and arrow??
    Iran, North Corea and OTHERS have the right to have as many NUKES as their neighbours!!
    So if I take in consideration the NUKES in possesion of the Security council...even Luxembourg should have it's share!!!
    There is only two way to solve the problem!!!
    Either we all blow ourselves up!!! So the Earth will be finally at peace!!!
    Or we create a SUPER POWER that will be able to take the Nukes of everybody!!And use them for clean energy for centuries!!! The UN ...maybe!!! Or Luxembourg???

    September 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  19. David

    Dear Heidi,

    Yes, we've seen three consecutive days of events at the UN that were stunning in several aspects.

    I feel President Gadhafi's comments were in some ways successful. To put it briefly, he sort of said, here's what I believe in, here's what I'm fighting for and why. I think he's throwing his weight around somewhat, but he is working into the process at the General Assembly as best he can. Mainly, he is standing up for the countries who need more influence in the decision making process. Many of his remarks touched on this pt.

    I was busy here so I didn't hear hardly any of the Iranian President's address but I did catch his comments on the recent Iranian election. He didn't seem to acknowledge that he has come to office again in what is widely known to be disputed election. As people in this country and around the world are used to hotly contested elections, and as his election is being protested in NYC even during his visit to the UN this is a significant misstep.

    With President Obama, we are seeing a much more hands on approach. He's obviously sees the UN as a venue for leaders to come together and get things done. I felt the thrust of his comments on Thursday was to secure more international cooperation and engagement in the face of differences between countries. By making the case for common purpose on questions that people generally agree are urgent, I think he showed himself to be more firmly grounded in the process of how resolve issues running the gamut–from non-proliferation, to helping developing countries with energy and economic issues, to helping countries in crisis, to protecting the environment, security, and ensuring economic stability world wide–and that's not a complete list. A strong speech to the international community.

    September 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  20. Serge

    To Netanyahu
    We are in the year 2009!! Nearly 70 years ago your people were threated whit the outmost savalgery!!! Were your concentrations camps different than those of the Poles and the Russians?? Was that savalgery different for them??
    We all remeber the Holocaust..and also the death of millions of others.but we also remember how Israel have been treating Palestinians for more than 50 years!!!
    50 years ago you had my support! Then I lost it year after year. It started whit Sharon's raid in that peacefull palestinian village and ended with the WALL!
    Wonder why you think YOU have the right for freedom but not others!!
    You above all should understand that one have the right to fight against tiranny!
    That one have the right to avenge the slaughter of their womens and childrens!
    That one have the right to claim the possesion of their houses and lands that they have been taken from them by force!
    That the UN should stand for all those that you have confined in refugee camps!
    That as those who fought in Varsovie...Palestinians have the right to fight againts their invaders..and that they should be sustained by the UN

    September 24, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  21. Serge

    Feel sorry for us
    Feel sorry that we don't want to listen to what the " smalls" and the" poors"of this world have to say!!
    Feel sorry for the world is only the world that the Security council is!!
    Thought Man was the outmost acheivemnt of creation!
    Made a mistake!
    Wolves are!!!

    September 24, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  22. Nancy Millelr Saunders

    I was in the middle of my comment, when it disappeared. I was telling why I am suspicious of the current spate of terrorist plots being exposed by the FBI.

    I'd mentioned the Camden 28 being set up by the FBI and Robert Hardy and had started to write about young men around the University of Arkansas who were set up by FBI informer Bill Lemmer–some for picking hemp, thinking it was marijuana, something they could not have done without his help and I hadn't gotten to the story of a high school boy for dreaming of fire bombing an historic building on campus. Lemmer not only advised him on how to do it, he took the boy and his Molotov cocktail to the site, where FBI agents and local police were waiting for him.

    I had also begun writing about FBI interrogations and was telling about Alton Foss, one of the Gainesville 8 who was framed on drug charges and denied needed surgery in an effort to turn him against his co-defendants. After questioning him, the FBI gave him a false "confession" to sign. I know about Alton's dilemma and Lemmer's deceitful manipulations because I knew them. I knew Lemmer here in Arkansas and taped a 2-day interview with him and I worked on the Gainesville 8's defense team. I tell all about these instances and others in my book COMBAT by TRIAL: An ODYSSEY with 20TH CENTURY WINTER SOLDIERS.

    September 25, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  23. hallie kempt

    Lock him up with all the other child molesters and then lets move on.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:52 am |