We take it as a given that great powers no longer fight world wars; that the end of the Cold War lifted the shadow of nuclear Armageddon; that the battlefields of Europe have been replaced by peaceful union; that China and India remain on a path of remarkable growth. -Barack Obama
New York: President of the United States, Barack Obama today said that power has not been unipolar in most of human history. The end of the Cold War may have led too many to forget this truth.
As President, Obama said, he has noticed, both America’s adversaries and some of its allies believe that all problems were either caused by Washington or could be solved by Washington — and perhaps too many in Washington believed that as well. Stating this in lighter vain, he underscored his firm belief that America has been a rare superpower in human history “insofar as it has been willing to think beyond narrow self-interest….we have strived, sometimes at great sacrifice, to align better our actions with our ideals. And as a consequence, I believe we have been a force for good.”
Obama was addressing the 71st Session of United Nations General Assembly, for the last time as President of America. He said We have secured allies. We’ve acted to protect the vulnerable. We supported human rights and welcomed scrutiny of our own actions. We’ve bound our power to international laws and institutions. When we’ve made mistakes, we’ve tried to acknowledge them. We have worked to roll back poverty and hunger and disease beyond our borders, not just within our borders.
Stating that he knows that the USA can’t do this alone, he underscored that if the challenges of this century are to be met, more has to be done to build up international capacity. “We cannot escape the prospect of nuclear war unless we all commit to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and pursuing a world without them”, he asserted.
Focusing on international order, Obama said, it has been so successful that we take it as a given that great powers no longer fight world wars; that the end of the Cold War lifted the shadow of nuclear Armageddon; that the battlefields of Europe have been replaced by peaceful union; that China and India remain on a path of remarkable growth.
Obama said: “When Iran agrees to accept constraints on its nuclear program that enhances global security and enhances Iran’s ability to work with other nations. On the other hand, when North Korea tests a bomb that endangers all of us. And any country that breaks this basic bargain must face consequences. And those nations with these weapons, like the United States, have a unique responsibility to pursue the path of reducing our stockpiles, and reaffirming basic norms like the commitment to never test them again.”
Speaking about the “depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time”, Obama said: “we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth. We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy. We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America’s longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly. Our assistance is helping people feed themselves, care for the sick, power communities across Africa, and promote models of development rather than dependence. And we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative, while establishing a framework to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.”