George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Lunch With Human Rights Activists in New York City

September 23, 2008

The President. Laura and I and Secretary Rice and members of my administration have just had a wonderful lunch with democracy leaders, human rights activists, courageous men and women who have stood strong for freedom. I assured them that this Government—or my Government believes in the universality of freedom. We believe there's an Almighty, and a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman, and child is freedom.

They inspire us. Here in America, we have an obligation to help others realize the blessings of liberty. They have been on the frontlines of securing liberty. And so we want to thank you very much for your courage. We thank you for your set of beliefs that remain strong. Thank you for taking time to be with us today. And you might want to say something.

[At this point, First Lady Laura Bush made brief remarks, concluding with the introduction of human rights activist, U Kovida.]

U Kovida. Thank you very much for inviting me here. This is really a nice day and my friends—discussion with many people. In Burma, many hundred people, a lot. We all need human rights, all the world's people, because we are all human. So if—when people—there's no human rights, there's no people, and there's no human. So I hope so—I hope that we all— international community need—help the Burmese people, and I hope to get help to others—international community and the U.S. and the European, every country. And I hope we can change the Government some without weapon in Burma and Tibet and other—Zimbabwe—other countries, so around the world, we all need peace for— need a change without weapon. Thank you very much.

The President. Thank you all. Thanks.

The First Lady. Thank you all very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:32 p.m. at Governors Island. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of the First Lady.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Lunch With Human Rights Activists in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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