Colonel Muammar Gaddafi today attacked the United Nations, branding the Security Council the “terror council”. The Libyan leader was addressing the UN in New York as those affected by terrorist attacks protested at his presence outside. Colonel Gaddafi lambasted the UN’s “inequality” and inability to prevent some 65 wars breaking out since being founded in 1945. His words came as relatives of victims of the Lockerbie bombing gathered on the roads leading to the UN compound to demonstrate against his appearance in front of the general assembly.

 They were joined by those affected by the September 11 attacks in New York and family members of victims of IRA violence in the North. As they united in their condemnation of Gaddafi, the man himself used the opportunity of speaking to world leaders to hit out at the UN’s structure.

He said Libya did not accept, acknowledge or recognise the UN charter and criticised the make-up of the Security Council. Dressed in brown robes with a large black badge of Africa attached, Gaddafi read from hand-written notes contained in a yellow folder. He called for an abolition of veto rights for the permanent council members. “It should not be called the Security Council, it should be called the ’terror council’,” he said. Gaddafi added that the body should be more representative with a place on the council for African nations.

He also attacked the UN’s inability to prevent conflict, noting that since 1945 “sixty-five aggressive wars took place without any collective action by the United Nations to prevent them”. Gaddafi’s speech directly followed that of President Barack Obama. The Libyan leader welcomed the US leader’s address, adding that he was “a glimpse in the dark”. He contrasted it to the actions of the previous US administration, calling on the Bush administration to be held to account over the Iraq war.

He said that “those who have participated in mass murder against Iraqis” should be tried. Gaddafi added that the US will never come to a “fruitful” result in terms of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gaddafi’s long – it lasted for around one and a half hours – and at times rambling speech took in a number of topics, from the effects of jet lag to swine flu and even the assassination of John F Kennedy, but it was delivered in front of a half-empty chamber. The US was represented by two low to mid-ranking diplomats, with secretary of state Hillary Clinton leaving the hall after President Obama’s address.

 Likewise British foreign secretary David Miliband left the chamber shortly before the Libyan leader’s speech, a spokeswoman for the UK mission the UN confirmed.