Props galore as world leaders lay out their ideas at the UN

Books, diagrams and photographs have been seen on the floor of the UN Assembly Hall

Politicians at this year’s United Nations General Assembly are using more than words to get their point across.

On the first day of the general debate, the New York audience witnessed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro waving a letter from some of the country's indigenous community and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan using an array of photographs and maps to illustrate his ideas for a safe zone in Syria and refugee issues.

Even when not on stage, objects were being used to convey the emotions of those holding them. During Donald Trump’s address, a Venezuelan diplomat was spotted reading a book.

Daniela Rodiguez later tweeted a photo of the book, a biography of Venezuelan military and political leader Simón Bolívar that translates to "Bolivar, Hero, Genius and Universal Thinker".

One prolific user of props will be missing from the programme this year. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back in Israel trying to resolve his election woes, but in the past he has theatrically brandished a diagram of a bomb with a lit fuse, a picture apparently showing children playing next to rocket launchers and original documents detailing Nazi holocaust plans. Instead, delegates will have to make do with dour Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz.

Mr Netanyahu did not invent employing the symbolism of a prop at the UN, however. In 2003, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell held up a vial of anthrax to the Security Council to back his claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a claim which turned out to be untrue.

Updated: September 25, 2019 05:39 PM

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