The 38-year-old thanked the other leaders present and said he especially wanted to greet his wife and baby daughter sitting in the gallery
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, whose social media savvy helped win him power earlier this year, took a selfie before his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly, which he called "obsolete" and suggested scrapping.
In a dark suit and no tie, his hair slicked back in his signature style, the 38-year-old thanked the other leaders present and said he especially wanted to greet his wife and baby daughter sitting in the gallery.
"If you'll just bear with me a second," he then added, pulling out his iPhone 11, lifting it up to his grinning face and snapping a photo he later posted on Twitter to his 1.1 million followers.
"Believe me, many more people will see that selfie when I share it than will listen to this speech -- I hope I took a good one."
"A couple of images on Instagram can have more impact than any speech delivered in this assembly," he said, quipping that the annual summit of the world's leaders could be done by video-conference.
First let me take a selfie, El Salvador's president Nayib Bukele tells UN then they are Obsolete and suggested scrapping it he went on to say Believe me, many more people will see that selfie when I share it than will listen to this speech -- I hope I took a good one."#UNGA pic.twitter.com/7JJGiSjzE3— CHAD BENSON (@chadbensonshow) September 26, 2019
The conservative businessman and former mayor of the capital San Salvador was sworn into office in June in the small Central American country of 6.6 million people, tasked with turning around grinding poverty and rampant gang violence that are sending thousands fleeing to the United States.
He traded on his telegenic looks and promises of a break with the past, but critics have called him light on policy and substance.
On Wednesday, he held his first meeting with US President Donald Trump, a fellow prolific social media user and self-styled iconoclast whom Bukele has aggressively courted -- a contrast with his predecessor Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a leftist former guerrilla.
The two countries reached an agreement last week to curb illegal migration that opens the door for the United States to send refugees back to the violent Central American country, a move slammed by migrant rights advocates.
"For us, the United States is not only a partner and an ally, but also a friend," Bukele told reporters after that meeting.
"We're hoping that this meeting will only strengthen our relationship even more, and I think it will because, you know, President Trump is very nice and cool, and I'm nice and cool, too. We both use Twitter a lot, so, you know, we'll get along."