Gaddafi chastises UN over wars

2009-09-23 19:08

New York - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is chastising the United Nations for failing to intervene or prevent some 65 wars that have erupted around the world since the organisation was founded in 1945.

Gaddafi spoke on Wednesday at the opening session of the General Assembly, taking the podium after US President Barack Obama's first speech to the world body.

The US Mission was represented by a couple of low to mid-ranking diplomats, after US Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton and US Ambassador Susan Rice left the chamber before Gaddafi ascended the podium.

Gaddafi welcomed Obama as the leader of the host nation for UN headquarters, and hailed his maiden speech.

But he railed against the "inequality" of UN member states, quoting from a copy of the UN Charter that calls for equality of nations. He noted that five nations hold veto power on the Security Council and can block actions contrary to their interests: the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.

Speaking rapid-fire Arabic, Gaddafi said the use of military power was contrary to the spirit of the UN, unless such actions are sanctioned by the United Nations.

Since the world body was founded in 1945, Gaddafi said it had failed to prevent or intervene in dozens of wars around the world.

"But 65 aggressive wars took place without any collective action by the United Nations to prevent them, Gaddafi said.