An Assembly that is stuck in time

Picture of Nayib Armando Bukele
His Excellency Nayib Armando Bukele, President, Republic of El Salvador

This year we took it upon ourselves to go through every speech of the United Nations General Assembly and brief you about the most important updates. In doing so, we got to hear some of the most bold and exciting statements from leaders around the world. 

We believe that the President of El Salvador’s speech was courageous, effective and to the point and thus, deserves the prize of the best statement of the debate.

President of El Salvador, Nayib Armando Bukele

At the stage of the UN General Assembly El Salvador’s new leader started his statement by snapping a selfie that was worth a thousand words. He reasoned many more people will see his selfie than to hear his speech at UN debate. “The way in which we speak has not changed for hundreds of years, but the world has. We are not irrelevant, but the format in which we do things is long obsolete.” adding that El Salvador has decided to do things differently and the world should learn from it.

The president recounted that he had campaigned for his presidency through new media and his government communicates through it. Describing a viral video that recently drew attention to the needs of a village in El Salvador, he said everyone can now have a voice through their smartphones.

“Villagers can be transformed into citizens of the world and help bring about a new democratic revolution”.

He called on the Assembly to make changes that would allow this to happen and better empower itself to deal with the overwhelming problems of the modern era. He ambitiously added: “why don’t we open a competition for people with genuine proposals? Why doesn’t the assembly meet via video and engage people around the world in its work?” 

Mr. Bukele’s statement comes at a time where the UN is repeatedly being condemned for its ineffectiveness in dealing with global problems.

El Salvador’s profile:

Known as the Land of Volcanoes, El Salvador was a former colony of Spain that declared its independence in 1821, although its struggle continued for the next several decades, which were marked by frequent revolutions. With a population of six million the country is considered as the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America.

In the 1980s, El Salvador was ravaged by a bitter civil war stoked by gross inequality between the overwhelming majority of the population and a small and wealthy elite.  Around 70,000 people died in the conflict.

Today, El Salvador suffers from high rates of gang crime and a poor economy.  Last week Mr. Bukele signed an agreement with US President, Trump, and though its details are still unclear, the deal would require foreign nationals who cross into El Salvador seeking asylum, to apply for it there first, rather than in the United States.

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