UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The following are quotable quotes from the general debate of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly held in New York Tuesday.
"Let us empower the United Nations to be more than a first responder or a last resort. Change is inevitable, but progress is not. Leadership makes the difference." -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
"The annual gathering of world leaders and dignitaries should not just be seen as another September routine or tradition; rather, it serves and should serve another larger and better purpose: that of recommitting ourselves and our countries to the noble ideals that lie at the organization's core." -- John William Ashe, president of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly
"Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information -- often of high economic and even strategic value -- was at the center of espionage activity ... Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations. " -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
"For decades, the United Nations has, in fact, made a difference from helping to eradicate disease to educating children to brokering peace. But like every generation of leaders, we face new and profound challenges, and this body continues to be tested. The question is whether we possess the wisdom and the courage as nation states and members of an international community to squarely meet those challenges, whether the United Nations can meet the test of our time." -- U.S. President Barack Obama
"Some years ago, a 16-year-old Bulgarian boy, writing a school report on the Millennium Development Goals, compared the world's development models to a colorful carpet in which some colors, threads and stitches were missing making it look unfinished, patchy and ragged." -- Rosen Plevnelive, president of Bulgaria
"The inability of a state to meet its development targets conceived and agreed upon in this Magnificent House represents a collective failure of the entire international community because such targets are a shared responsibility of all states. Otherwise, why would we set international targets, which are later incorporated in national agendas, if these are not to be met?" -- Armando Emilio Guebuza, president of Mozambique.