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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Lech Kaczyński: The United Nations has undergone various turns over the past 64 years

Statement by
President of the Republic of Poland

at the General Debate of the 64th Session
of the General Assembly of the United Nations


23 September 2009
New York



Mr. President,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen who represent the Member States of the United Nations,

Sixty-four years have passed since the creation of the United Nations. Allow me to recall some well-known facts. The reason the United Nations was called into being was to prevent the atrocities that occurred during the Second World War of 1939-1945. The UN was founded so as not to repeat the failure of the League of Nations, which was the first organization of a global reach that tried to carry out its mandate in the period between the First and Second World Wars.


The United Nations has undergone various turns over the past sixty-four years. There have been better and worse times, including when the forces of the two camps, the so-called ‘socialist camp’ and the ‘free world camp’, clashed here on this floor. There were times when this hall witnessed the birth of tens and hundreds of new states: in Africa, in the region of Oceania and Asia. There were also times, twenty years ago and later, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when many new states emerged, while others, including my own country, Poland, regained their independence in the real sense of the word. At that time, twenty years ago, the whole world believed that we had found a way to solve all our problems, particularly economic ones, by applying the rules of the free market, by relying on a very unregulated economy and by allowing capital to move freely in all sectors.

We have to admit that in recent years – as we have repeatedly heard speakers say it today – this faith has been undermined. For this reason, I would like to discuss briefly the problem of the current crisis, which this UN General Assembly session is addressing for the first time this year.

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