President Obama spoke before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning. The immediate reaction across Twitter was predictable - those opposed to Obama's foreign policy were critical. Others were impressed with the forceful delivery calling on fellow delegates to come together and make important choices that will affect world peace.
Main topics of today's speech included:
ISIL and Terrorism
?Four points of action towards peace and terrorism were outlined.
- The terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.
- Explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.
- Address the cycle of conflict – especially sectarian conflict – that creates the conditions that terrorists prey upon.
- The countries of the Arab and Muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.
He then spoke directly to young people across the Muslim world calling for innovation, not ignorance and dignity of life, not murder. He outlined tools needed to succeed - good schools; education in math and science; nurturing of creativity and entrepreneurship. He also called for support of women in parliaments, the peace processes, schools and the economy.
He continued "For America, the choice is clear. We choose hope over fear". He then reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam or Muslims.
Obama touched on the conflict in Ukraine and his confrontational words were not missed on Twitter.
"We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and counter falsehoods with the truth. We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions."
As the world faces an international health crisis, Obama spoke of Ebola and mentioned military supported doctors and scientists helping to contain the outbreak and pursue new treatments. He called for a broader effort to stop the disease that could potentially "kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders".
Obama concluded, "I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come. Join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s."
The full text of President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly can be found via The Washington Post.