Addressing the annual session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the Iranian President, while less incendiary than previous years, nevertheless lashed out at the prevailing world order for its failings and called for an entirely new world order where a “global vision.....(intended) to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquillity” should be the ruling passion. While his criticism of the difference in treatment ofIran, as compared to other nations considered more closely allied to the source of influence in this unipolar world are valid, Mr Ahmadinejad went off on a somewhat philosophical tangent as well. He intoned that “the history of mankind is marked with failures”, and pointed towards environmental disasters, the massive casualties arising from the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden without trial, as well as a plethora of other topics, as evidence of these failures. He lamented that it was such failures, which if avoided would have made the world a utopic, “beautiful and pleasant” to live in. Mr Ahmadinejad blamed capitalism for these ills, maintaining that capitalism is bogged down in a self-made quagmire and carefully avoided naming any country, when he criticised the Western world for holding double standards in its dealings with different nations.

Against this background, he did make the sensible call for uniformity in the treatment of nations by the UN, as it was a forum for and of these nations, and thus not subservient to any  one of them. He called for a restructuring of the United Nations at this “historic juncture” so that it could play a proactive role in global affairs. Uniformity in treatment is a welcome call, especially for countries likePakistan, with the outstanding issue of Indian-occupiedKashmirgathering dust on UN desks for years, despite a roadmap to a solution simply awaiting implementation, with the approval of bothPakistanandIndiaattached. Similarly, Mahmoud Abbas ofPalestineand Egyptian President al-Mursi championed the cause ofPalestine, with Mursi stating that the continued occupation of the Arab land constituted a standing shame for the world community. The Muslim leadership evident on the world stage, which no doubt includes even the unapologetic Mr Ahmedinejad and the master politician Mr Zardari, as well as the first of hopefully a long tradition of democratic leaders of the Egyptian people, Mr Mursi, among many other notable and excellent speakers, is evidence of the talent and eloquence that the Muslim world showcases in front of the world once a year. The themes of bias, unfair treatment and the desire for one rule for everyone has been constant in speeches from the Muslim world. Addressed obliquely at the United States for the most part, and pleading their legitimate causes for the world community to lend its support to, these nations have made it clear time and again that they wish to be treated equally, with the same rule for Iran, that there might be for Israel. The same tolerance and opportunities for all countries to pursue their nuclear programmes. The world is not blind to these differences and the hypocrisy must end, by either extending the same leniencies to all members of the UN, or come down as hard on the chosen few who have been protected thus far by their powerful friends.