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Bush Calls For UN Reform, Activism Against Terror

(file photo) 14 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush today called on the United Nations to reform itself or risk losing the respect of the world.

In an address before the UN General Assembly as well as 160 heads of state, heads of government and foreign ministers, Bush said it is up to the members of the world body to begin the reform process.

"If member countries want the United Nations to be respected -- respected and effective -- they should begin by making sure it is worthy of respect," Bush said.

Bush also urged the UN Security Council to take action curbing incitement of terrorist acts, and called on all countries to bring those accused of such violence to justice.

At the same time, the American leader spoke of understanding of those driven to terrorism because they live in poverty and under authoritarian rule. He said improving their economic conditions and spreading democracy would bring the world a step closer to peace.

And Bush called for an elimination of tariffs, particularly tariffs on agricultural products. He said they represent curbs on worldwide economic growth, keeping developing countries from the rewards and the responsibilities of joining the global marketplace.