In recent weeks, it seems Qaddafi has been making the news quite regularly. His latest show was delivered yesterday in a one of the most visible of all world platforms. While many have been quick to dismiss it as lunacy, I propose we look at it in a different light. Qaddafi’s speech at the United Nations' General Assembly makes some useful points that all outside the Permanent Five in the Security council could agree on. Granted the style, antics and the delivery leave much to be desired, the Colonel had a point when he argued the largely ineffective international body is in need of reform. The United Nations has long been relegated to a forum for great powers to legitimize and impose a new world order, which is in essence, shaped in their image.
Qaddafi’s speech emanates from 60 years worth of the developing world’s frustrations with the world body. The Colonel unleashed on the world community demands to investigate everything from the death of Patrice Lumumba to the execution of Saddam Hussein. While such claims are outlandish, they highlight the ever-increasing rift between the developed world powers and the majority-developing world that has been disempowered and disenfranchised from any meaningful decisions at the world stage. Those that claim the United Nations’ General Assembly has lost moral legitimacy for allowing Qaddafi and Ahmadinejad a platform to spew their objectionable rhetoric seem to forget that the Assembly is exactly the forum for all forms of discourse.
Qaddafi’s unorthodox 90-minute diatribe, while lacking all forms of decorum, is his right as the leader of a sovereign state, member of the United Nations and president of the current session of the General Assembly. Internally, his regime has been a reprehensible panacea of political repression for the last 40 years. That, however, does not exclude him from the company of other equally rogue world leaders represented or present at the United Nations. His speech has only reminded the world of Qaddafi’s theatrics, and it is a missed opportunity for the Colonel (“King of Kings of Africa, as he was introduced yesterday) to persuade the world that he has somehow corrected his erratic behavior and is ready to join the circle of respectable world leaders.