See highlights of remarks by heads of state from the Western Hemisphere at the sixty-eighth session of the UNGA General Debate, taking place from September 24 to October 1.

Guide: Leaders of the Americas at UNGA


Leaders from throughout the hemisphere convene in New York this week for the opening of the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The General Debate of the UNGA—where heads of state from member countries address the Assembly—begins September 24 and ends on October 1. AS/COA Online provides a guide to leaders' remarks from the Western Hemisphere as they speak at UNGA.

Explore remarks by region and country, using the tabs above.

Image: United Nations

North America

CANADA: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird – September 30

"Whether with China, now Canada's second-largest trading partner, or the ASEAN countries, where Canadian trade and investment ties are dramatically increasing, or the Pacific Alliance, which provides new and exciting opportunities, or the European Union, where we are negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement, Canada and Canadians are supporting market liberalization."

MEXICO: Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade – September 26

"The fight against organized crime must always take place under the rule of law and with full respect for human rights. In this context, when confronted with the possibility that the privacy rights of any citizen by any government are invaded, we have demanded that full investigations be undertaken and that the parties responsible for violations be held accountable."

UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama – September 24

"[S]overeignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye to slaughter."


Southern Cone & Brazil

ARGENTINA: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – September 24

"[The UN Security Council] today has been shown itself to be dysfunctional and obsolete."

  • Read Fernández's remarks in Spanish.

BRAZIL: President Dilma Rousseff – September 24

"The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country."

CHILE: President Sebastián Piñera – September 24

"Chile supports the inclusion of Brazil, Germany, Japan, and India as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the African continent's request for fair representation."

PARAGUAY: President Horacio Cartes – September 24

"For the second consecutive time in our history, Executive authority alternated from one political party to another, thoroughly respecting the constitutional framework. This is no small achievement in our 202 years of independence, signaling the true beginnings of new and auspicious times."

URUGUAY: President José Mujica – September 24

"A world with better humanity is possible, but maybe today the first priority is to save lives."

  • Read Mujica's remarks in Spanish.
  • Listen to audio of Mujica's remarks.
Andean Region

BOLIVIA: President Evo Morales – September 25

"Terrorism is not fought with more military spending, nor with unilateral military intervention; terrorism is fought with social policies."

  • Read Morales' remarks in Spanish.
  • Listen to the audio of Morales' remarks.

COLOMBIA: President Juan Manuel Santos – September 24

"I hope the guerrilla understands that the time has come to leave this 50 year confrontation behind; that the time has come to change from bullets to votes, from weapons to argumentations; that the time has come for them to continue their struggle, but within democracy."

ECUADOR: Permanent Representative to the UN Xavier Lasso Mendoza – October 1

"It's not the existence of this mechanism of intruding on the private lives of all of the inhabitants of the world that's caused's the extent and range of this global spying that knows no limits."

  • Read Mendoza's remarks in Spanish.
  • Hear audio of Mendoza's remarks.

PERU: President Ollanta Humala – September 25

"Economic growth is a means and not an end, an indispensable tool, but not enough. Our people, especially the most forgotten, cannot wait indefinitely for growth to come one day without the State actively promoting the extension of its benefits."

VENEZUELA: Foreign Minister Elías Jaua - September 27

"We propose that the secretary general calls for the creation of a body within the United Nations that works to guarantee the right to privacy and to communicate without interceptions, for all of the inhabitants of our planet."

Central America & Caribbean

COSTA RICA: President Laura Chinchilla – September 24

"The Nicaraguan and Costa Rican people wish and deserve to live in peace, but the Nicaraguan government insists on preventing it. In following such deliberate and reiterated misconduct, the government of Nicaragua undermines international law and the very purpose ofthe United Nations."

CUBA: Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez - September 26

"The establishment of nuclear weapons-free zones strengthens international and regional peace and security."

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Trullols - October 1

"If we aspire to a world where development is sustainable, we first have to accept shared responsibility; in all sectors of every society and that it is time for action, not words."

EL SALVADOR: President Mauricio Funes – September 25

"In my government, we're convinced that the formula for growth is investing in the poor and their transformation into the middle class, and to ensure their access to health and education."

  • Read Funes' remarks in Spanish.
  • Listen to audio of Funes' remarks.

GUATEMALA: President Otto Pérez Molina – September 26

"Without abandoning the path of international cooperation against transnational crime, each country must experiment with new models to address the drug problem. In that respect, my government has decided to create a National Commission which will help us explore more effective means of dealing with the consumption, trafficking, and production of drugs."

HAITI: Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe – September 26

"Despite our extremely difficult legacy and countless setbacks, a new Haiti is making progress…on the path of democracy and development."

  • Read Lamothe's statement in French.
  • Hear audio of Lamothe's remarks.

HONDURAS: Vice President María Antonieta de Bográn – September 27

"An effective fight against global crime requires a more decisive and effective international and regional effort, in which countries of illicit drug production and consumption are both charged with shared responsibility during this wave of violence."

  • Read Bográn's remarks in Spanish.
  • Hear audio of Bográn's remarks.

JAMAICA: Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller – September 28

"As countries like Jamaica implement strategies to deal with indebtedness and also encourage growth and investment, it is critical that international financial institutions, multilaterals and other development partners recognise the importance of social protection mechanisms."

  • Read Simpson Miller's remarks in English.
  • Hear audio of Simpson Miller's remarks.

NICARAGUA: Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Santos López - September 30

"International democracy cannot exist without respect for international law. Nicaragua has proven and demonstrated with reliable facts its adherence to international law; respect to the principle of resolving our differences through dialogue, by means of negotiation, to appeal to international bodies like the International Court of Justice to settle territorial disputes among others."

  • Read Santos López's remarks in English.
  • Hear audio of Santos López's remarks.

PANAMA: President Ricardo Martinelli – September 25

"My government finds itself in the pressing need to categorically reject the Republic of Nicaragua's attempt to delimit its maritime boundaries, because this violates the existing treaties with the Republic of Panama, which we have honored in good faith, as well as our legitimate maritime rights."

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar – September 25

"The economic vulnerability and ability of the member states of CARICOM to build resilience are exacerbated by a debilitating debt overhang which continues to bedevil the region's growth and development prospects."

  • Read Persad-Bissessar's remarks in English.