It is scheduled that about 150 leaders or heads of government will deliver speeches during the annual meeting, which is being held in attendance for the first time after two years of being held remotely, due to the Corona pandemic crisis..
Historically, the podium of the General Assembly with a marble pulpit has witnessed, in the past eighty years, many unforgettable speeches no matter how much time has passed, to record decisive positions, or signs of turning points in international relations.
Castro.. the longest speech
In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s first speech to the United Nations was the longest-running speech ever during the annual General Assembly sessions, with an expectation of four and a half hours..
At that time, Castro called his speech “the philosophy of war will disappear after the philosophy of plunder is gone”, reviewing the goals of the Cuban Revolution. He also launched a sharp attack on US President John F. Kennedy, describing him as “ignorant”, in addition to warning Washington against attacking “revolutionary Cuba.”“.
According to “Foreign Policy” magazine, Castro presented at the international gathering a strange memory, by keeping chickens alive in his hotel room..
Khrushchev .. The shoe incident
The 15th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was held in 1960, witnessed a strange incident, the hero of the former Soviet Union leader, Nikita Khrushchev, in one of the most famous moments of the Cold War, when he took off his shoes and hit him hard on the podium of the General Assembly..
Khrushchev’s behavior came in opposition to the speech of the head of the Philippine delegation, Lorenzo Somolong, when he attacked the foreign policy of the Soviet Union and its actions in the “colonial” eastern Europe, as he put it, after a sharp discussion with the Western bloc about the People’s China and the Philippines..
This behavior became a classic example of his speech, which witnessed a reckless warning and a torrent of insults to the head of the Filipino delegation, saying: “We will bury you.”“.
Guevara.. death or homeland
In December 1964, the revolutionary Che Guevara delivered a speech before the General Assembly, in which he defended the rights of the weak, criticizing the ability of the United Nations to confront the “brutal and apartheid” policy in South Africa, and the “imperial mistreatment of Native Americans”, in reference to the United States.
At the end of his speech, Guevara launched his Latin shout “land or death”, as evidence of his continuation in his revolution, to end his speech with loud applause..
Guevara stated during his presence at the United Nations headquarters that he was subjected to two failed assassination attempts.
Arafat .. the branch
The speeches of Arab leaders were also present among the most prominent speeches throughout the General Assembly meetings. In 1974, Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, gave a speech after the organization was invited for the first time at the request of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In his speech, Arafat called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, before issuing his famous warning: “Do not let the green branch fall from my hand.”
Chavez..a sharp attack on Bush
At the UN General Assembly in 2006, Hugo Chávez, then leader of Venezuela, took to the podium the day after then-US President George W. Bush addressed the assembly, where he proceeded to repeatedly describe the latter as “the devil”.
CNN described Chavez as “the theatrical president who has always loved the spotlight provided by the General Assembly, and who used his speeches to deliver books by prominent left-wing authors, as happened when he lifted a book by American Professor Noam Chomsky.”.
Gaddafi.. and tearing up the charter
As usual, the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sparked controversy, and became the focus of discussion at the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, which witnessed his first appearance in a 96-minute speech, after presenting himself as the “King of Kings.”“.
Gaddafi made many statements that dealt with different things, from the United Nations Security Council to the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy.
Gaddafi accused the United States of developing swine flu, and his attack reached the extent of the UN Security Council, before he tore up the Charter of the United Nations in expression of his anger.
The controversy over the late Libyan leader did not end there, as his attempts to set up a Bedouin tent in several locations in the New York area were rejected, before he finally formed a camp in the backyard of former US President Donald Trump’s land..
Netanyahu..a bomb and a red line
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the General Assembly in 2012 was followed up by the international media, when he called on the United Nations to draw a “clear red line” to halt Iran’s development of nuclear weapons..
During his speech, Netanyahu revealed a scheme on which a bomb with a fuse, divided into different parts, was drawn, and a red line was drawn indicating the enrichment of uranium by 90%..
“A red line must be drawn here, before Iran completes the second stage of uranium enrichment needed to make a bomb,” he said“.
Ahmadinejad.. and hostile words
In the same vein, in 2010 and 2011, the speech of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused the withdrawal of delegates from Western countries. He claimed at the time that the United States helped organize the September 11 attacks.
Foreign Policy magazine said Ahmadinejad regularly used the United Nations as a platform to attack Western powers. His remarks caused representatives of 32 countries, including the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to leave the meeting room.
Trump..and the man of rockets
In 2017, the first speech of former US President Donald Trump to the United Nations came in a tough tone, especially with his description of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man.”“.
Trump targeted North Korea and Iran in his 40-minute speech, threatening that his country would “completely destroy North Korea” if necessary, considering Kim Jong Un as a “rocket man on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”“.
Saakashvili.. and the withdrawal of the Russians
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, in his speech from the United Nations podium in 2013, shortly before the end of his presidential term, angered Russia, when he referred to the “failure of the project of the former KGB agent Vladimir Putin.”“.
And then Saakashvili said: “We are a united nation in our will to join the European family, of democratic nations, and we will remain so.” According to his speech, the Russian delegation left the hall before asking them to conduct a “medical examination of the psychological state” of the Georgian president.