Wednesday, September 21, 2016

US President Obama urges world to eschew division and pursue global integration at UN Assembly

20 September 2016 – In his final address to the United Nations General Assembly as United States President, Barack Obama today delivered a ringing appeal for global integration in the face of religious fundamentalism, the politics of ethnicity, aggressive nationalism and crude populism, even as he called for a course correction.

“At this moment, we all face a choice. We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration. Or we can retreat into a world sharply divided, and ultimately in conflict, along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion,” he said, declaring that the spirit behind the founding of the UN itself shows what is best in humanity.

“As imperfect as they are, the principles of open markets and accountable governance, ofdemocracy and human rights and international law that we have forged, remain the firmest foundation for human progress in this century,” he told world leaders on the first day of the Assembly’s annual general debate, his eighth.

“The integration of our global economy has made life better for billions of men, women and children. Over the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut from nearly 40 per cent of humanity to under 10 per cent. That's unprecedented. And it's not an abstraction. It means children have enough to eat; mothers don’t die in childbirth.”

But in order to move forward it has to be acknowledged that the existing path requires a course correction. “A world in which one per cent of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99 per cent will never be stable,” Mr. Obama stressed, calling for a global economy that works for all people.

“The choices of individual human beings created a United Nations, so that a war like [the Second World War] that would never happen again. Each of us as leaders, each nation, can choose to reject those who appeal to our worst impulses and embrace those who appeal to our best. For we have shown that we can choose a better history,” Mr. Obama concluded. - Read More
US President Obama urges world to eschew division and pursue global integration at UN Assembly


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