UNGA: Craziest moments in its history

As per guidelines, 15 mins are allotted to each leader of 193 countries to speak at the UNGA. This world stage has seen various moments in history when leaders have done some crazy things

UN Headquarters
UN Headquarters

Suprakash Majumdar

The stage of the world body, originally set up to prevent wars of the magnitude of WW-I and WW-II, have seen quite a few antics in its life. Some of them are listed below:

In 2005, during the UNGA meeting US President George W. Bush can be seen passing a not to then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and then walking away. The overhead cameras zoomed into note which said “I think I may need a bathroom break? Is this possible…..”

In 2011, while the then President of Iran, Ahmadinejad was giving the speech, several western countries walked out as he was criticising the west and denied Iran’s involvement in 9/11.

US President George W. Bush note to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice
US President George W. Bush note to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice

In 2006, after George W. Bush finished his speech, Venezuela president Hugo Chávez started his speech by “I can still detect the smell of sulphur in here” referring the US President as a devil.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded to go inside the hall when Palestinian leader was about to declare the quest for statehood. The Turkish security guards tried to enter through the wrong entry, this resulted into a fist fight between Turkish guards and UN security.

President of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi started his speech which lasted 96 minutes. Even the translator fainted after an hour.

The stage is often used by the leaders to stand out from the rest of the leaders. Zimbabwe President Mugambe once started his speech by “WE ARE NOT GAYS”.

The stage where the world leaders meet can become an interesting arena where world leader may act like petty human beings.

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