Rome (dpa) - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez depicted the United States as "a menace for the planet" and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe likened its leader to a Fascist dictator seeking to rule the world during a ceremony Monday in Rome marking the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
As Investor's business daily dryly comments, this farce merely shows the depth of corruption at the UN and it's bureaus:
....Mugabe is only the most visible manifestation of the tyranny and corruption that sustains misery through much of Africa. And all the Live Aid concerts in the world and other high-profile handouts won't bring the kind of economic freedom needed for real change.
Don't expect that kind of change to be promoted at the U.N. — at least not until further along in the tenure of our new ambassador, John Bolton. Having been dominated by Third World socialist dictatorships for so long, the truth is that Robert Mugabe personifies much of what the U.N. really stands for....And only the Aussies had the guts to walk out on the meeting: LINK
Mr Downer today said Australia's representative at the meeting had walked out prior to the speech.
"I thought his speech was absolutely disgraceful," the Foreign Minister said on ABC radio.
"Australia, I am proud to say, was the only country whose representative walked out before President Mugabe's speech.
"We boycotted his speech. I thought it was quite inappropriate for him to make a speech like that, and ironical and inappropriate for him to turn up at the meeting at all."
Mr Downer said it would have been difficult not to invite Mr Mugabe to the FAO anniversary as Zimbabwe was a member of the United Nations.
However, he said Mr Mugabe had made "an enormous mistake" in accepting the invitation and then making a political speech.
"But he has also highlighted the simple point about Zimbabwe – that this is a country that used to be the ... food bowl of Africa, a major exporter of food, and under his regime he has simply decimated agriculture and they are begging now for food from the international community," Mr Downer said.
Mr Downer said Mr Mugabe had destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe, and half the country was now suffering from a lack of sufficient nutrition.