rights and good governance and personal security. internal repression and foreign aggression are both symptoms of the failure to provide this foundation. politics and solidarity depend on demonizing on others, drawing against sectarianism, tribalism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed, and history tells us that the dark forces unleashed in this types of politics surely makes all of us less secure. our world has been there before. we gain nothing from going back. instead, i believe we must go forward in pursuit of our
ideals, not baby them at this crimina critical time. we must give expression to our hopes, not our deepest fears. this institution was founded because men and women who game before us had the foresight to know that our nations are more secure when we uphold basic laws and basic norms and pursue a path of cooperation over conflict. strong nations, above all, have a responsibility to uphold this international order. let me give a concrete example. after i took office i made clear that one of the principle achievements of this body, the nuclear nonproliferation regime was endangered by iran's violation of the npt. on that basis the security council tightened sanctions on
the iranian government and many nations joined us to enforce them. together we showed that laws and agreements mean something. but we also understood that the goal of sanctions was not simply to punish iran. our objective was to test whether iran could change course, accept strengthens and allow them to verify that this program would be peaceful. for two years the united states and our partners, including russia, including china, stuck together in complex negotiatio negotiations. the result of a lasting comprehensive deal that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon while allowing it to access peaceful energy. and if this deal is fully implemented the prohibition on nuclear weapons is strengthened, a potential war is averted, our
world is safer. that is the strength of the international system when it works the way it should. that same fidelity to international order guides our responses to other challenges around the world. consider russia's annexation of crimea and further aggression in eastern ukraine. america has few economic interests in ukraine. we recognize the deep and complex history between russia and ukraine. but we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity is violated. it happens in ukraine it can
happen anywhere today. that's the basis to the sanctions of the united states and the sanctions that we impose on russia. it is not a desire to return to a cold war. for russia, state controlled media may describe these events of an example of an insurgent russia. a view shared, by the way, by a number of u.s. politicians and commentators who have always been deeply skeptical of russia and seem to be convinced a new cold war is, in fact, upon us. look at the results. the ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning more with europe than russia. the fallen ruble, and the integration of more educated russians imagine if instead
russia had engaged in true diplomacy and worked with ukraine and the international community to insure its interests were protected. that would be better for ukraine, but also better for russia and better for the world. which is why we continue to press for this crisis to be resolved in a way that allows a sovereign and democratic ukraine to determine it's future and control its territory. not because we want to isolate russia. we don't. we want a strong russia that is invested in working with us to string the international system as a whole. similarly, in the south china sea, the united states makes no claim on territory there. we don't adjudicate claims. but like every nation gathered
here we have an interest in up holding the basic principles of freedom of navigation and the free throw of commerce, and in resolving disputes through international law not the law of force. so we will defend these principles while encouraging china and other claimants to resolve their differences peacefully. i say this recognizing that diplomacy is hard, that the outcomes are sometimes unsatisfying, that it's rarely politically popular, but i believe that leaders of large nations in particular have an obligation to take these risks precisely because we're strong enough to protect our interests if and when diplomacy fails.
i also believe that to move forward in this new era we have to be strong enough to acknowledge when what you're doing is not working. for 50 years the united states pursued a cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the cuban people. we changed that. we continue to have differences with the cuban government. we'll continue to stand up for human rights, but we address these issues through diplomatic relations and increased commerce and people-to-people ties. if these contacts yield progress, then i believe that we'll be able to lift an embargo tha that is not in place any
more. [applause] change won't come overnight to cuba. but i'm confident that openness, not coercion, will support the reforms and better the life cuban people deserve just as i believe cuba will find its success if it pursues cooperation with other nations. now if it's in the interest of major powers to up hold international standards, it is even more true of the rest of the community of nations. look around the world. from singapore to colombia to senegal, the facts show that nations succeed when they pursue an inclusive peace and prosperity within their borders and work cooperatively with countries beyond their borders. that path is now available to a
nation like iran, which as of this moment continues to employ violent proxies to advance its interests. these efforts may appear to give iran leverage in disputes with neighbors, but they fuel sectarian conflict that endangers the entire region and isolated iran from the promise of trade and commerce. iranian people have a proud history and are filled with extraordinary potential, but chanting death to america does not create jobs or make iran more secure. if iran chooses a different path that would be good for the security of the region, good for the iranian people, and good for the world. of course, around the globe we will continue to be confronted with nation who is reject this lessons of history, places are
civil strife and border disputes and sectarian wars bring about humanitarian disasters. where order has completely broken down we must act, but we will be stronger when we act together. in such efforts the united states will always do our part. we will do so mindful of the lessons of the past, not just the lessons of iraq, but the example of libya, where we joined an international coalition under an u.n. mandate to prevent a slaughter. even as we helped the libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill the vacuum left behind. we're grateful to the united nations for its efforts to forge
an unity government. we will help any legitimate libyan government as it works to bring the country together, but we also have to recognize that we must work more effectively in the future as an international community to build capacity for states that are in distress before they collapse. that's why we should celebrate the fact that later today the united states will join with more than 50 countries to enlist new capabilities, infantry, intelligence, helicopters, hospitals, and tens of thousands of troops to strengthen united nations peacekeeping. [applause] these new capabilities can prevent mass killing and insure that peace agreements are more than words on paper.
but we have to do it together. together we must strengthen our collective capacity to establish the security where order has broken down and to support those who seek a just and lasting peace. nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in syria. when a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people that's not just a matter of one nation's internal affairs. it breeds human suffering on an order and magnitude that effects us all. when a terrorist group we heads captives, slaughters innocent and enslaves women, that's not a single nation's security
problem. that's an assault on all of humanity. i have said before and i will repeat there is no room for accommodating. an apocalyptic group like isil. we go after them with a determination to insure that there will never be a safe haven for terrorist who is carry out these crimes. we've demonstrated over more than a decade of relentless pursuit of al-qaeda we will not be outlasted by extremists. but while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in syria. lasting stability can only take hold when the people of syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. the united states is prepared to work with any nation, including russia and iran, to resolve the
conflict. but we must recognize that there cannot be after so much bloodshed, so much carnage a return to the pre-war status q quo. let's remember how this started. assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that in turn created the environment for the current strife. so assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population that has been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing. yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out isil. but realism also requires a
managed transition away from assad and to a new leader. and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the syrian people can begin to rebuild. we know that isil, which emerged outs of the chaos of iraq and syria, depends on perpetual war to survive, but we also know that they gain inher rents from a pointed ideology. our work together is to reflect extremism that affects too many of our young people. part of that effort must be a continued rejection by muslims by those who distort islam, who preach intolerance and promote violence and must have rejection by non-muslims who equate islam
with terror. [applause] this work will take time. there are no easy answers to syria, and there are no simple answers to the changes taking place in much of the middle east and north africa. but so many families need help right now. they don't have time. that's why the united states is increasing the number of refugees who we welcome within our borders. that's why we will continue to be the largest donor of assistance to support those refugees. today we are launching new efforts to insure that our people and our businesses are, our universities and ngos can help as well. because in the faces of suffering families our nation of immigrants sees ourselves.
in the old ways of thinking the plight of the powerless, the plight of the refugees, the plight of the marginalized did not matter. they were on the periphery of the world's concerns. today our concern for them is driven not just by conscience, but should be driven by self interest. for helping people who have been pushed to the margins of the world is not mere charity, it is matter of collective security. the purpose of this institution is not merely to avoid conflict, it is to galvanize the collective action that makes life better on this planet. the commitments we've made to the sustainable development goal speak to this truth. i believe that capitalism has been the greater creator of wealth and opportunity that the world has ever known. but from big cities to
ruralvillages around the world we know that prosperity is cruelly out of reach for too many. as his holiness, pope francis, reminds us, we're stronger when we value the least among these, and see them as equal in dignity to ourselves and our sons and our daughters. we can roll back preventable disease and end the scourge of hiv/aids. we can stamp out pandemics that recognize no borders. that work may not be on television right now, but as we demonstrated in reversing the spread of ebola, it can save more lives more than anything we can do. target we can eradicate poverty, so farmers can feed for people,
so entrepreneurs can start a business without having to pay a bribe, we can promote growth through trade that meets a higher standard. that's what we're doing through the transspecific partnership, a trade agreement that encompasses more than 40% of the world economy, an agreement that will open markets while protecting the rights of workers and protecting the environment that enables development to be sustained. we can roll back the pollution that we put in our skies and help economies lift people out of poverty without condemning our children to the ravages of an ever warming climate. the same eny knewty that that created the industrial age allows us to harness clean energy. no country can help us to escape the ravages of climate change.
the united states will work with every nation that is willing to do its part so that we can come together in paris to con sighsively confront this challenge. finely, our vision for the future of this assembly, my belief in moving forward rather than backwards requires us to defend the democratic principles that allows societies to succe succeed. let me start from a simple premise, catastrophes with what we're seeing in syria do not take place in countries where there is genuine democracy and respect for the values that this institution is supposed to defend. [applause]
i recognize the democracy is going to take different forms in different parts of the world. the very idea of a people governing themselves depends upon government giving expression to their unique culture, their unique history, their unique experiences. but some universal truths are self-evident. no certain wants to be imprisoned for peaceful worship. no woman should be abused with impunity or girl barred from going to school. the freedom to peacefully petition those in power without fear of arbitrary laws. these are not ideas of one country or one culture. they are fundamental to human progress. they are a cornerstone of this institution.
i realize that in many parts of the world there is a different view, a belief that strong leadership must tolerate no descent. i hear it not only from america's adversaries, but privately i also hear it from some of our friends. i disagree. i believe a government that suppresses peaceful descent is not showing strength, it is showing weakness, and it is showing fear. [applause] history chose that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble. but strong institutions built on the consent of the government endure long after any one individual is gone. that's why our strongest leaders
from george washington to nelson mandela have elevated the importance of building strong democratic institutions over a thirst for perpetual power. leaders who amend institutions to stay in office only acknowledge that they failed to build a successful country for their people because none of us last forever. it tells us that power is something that they cling to for its own sake rather than for the betterment of those they purport to serve. i understand that dempsey is frustrating. democracy in the united states is certainly imperfect. at times it can be dysfunctional, but democrat, the constant struggle to extend rights to more of our people to, give more people a voice is what
has allowed us to become the most powerful nation in the world. [applause] it's not simply a matter of principle. it is not an abstraction. democracy, includesive democracy makes countries stronger. opposition parties can seek peacefully through the ballot, a country can draw on new ideas. when media can inform the public, corruption and abuse are exposed and can be rooted out. when civil society thrives communities can solve problems that governments cannot necessarily solve alone. when immigrants are welcomed, countries are more productive and more vibrant. when girls can go to school and get a job and pursue unlimited opportunity, that's when a country realizes it's full potential.
[applause] that is what i believe is america's greatest strength. not everyone in america agrees with me. that's part of democracy. i believe that the fact that you can walk the streets of this city right now and pass churches and synagogues and temples and mosques where people worship freely, the fact that our nation of immigrants mirrors the diversity of the world. you can find everybody from everywhere here in new york city. the fact that in this country everybody can contribute. [applause] everybody can participate no matter who they are, what they look like or who they love. that's what makes us strong. i believe what is true for america is true for all mature democracies, and that is no
accident. we can be proud of our nations without defining ourselves in opposition to some other group. we can be patriotic without demonizing someone else. we can cherish our identities, our traditions, without putting others down. our systems are premised on the notion that absolute power will corruption, but the people, ordinary people are fundamentally good. very value family and friendship, faith, and the dignity of hard work, and that with the appropriate checks and balances, government can reflect this goodness. i believe that the future we must seek together to believe in the dignity of every individual, to believe we can bridge our
differences and choose cooperation over conflict. that is not weakness, that is strength. [applause] it is a practical necessity in this inter connected world. our people understand this. think of the liberian doctor who went door to door looking for ebola cases an and told them what to look for. think of the american who is lowered the flag over our embassy in havana in 1916, the year i was born, and returned this summer to raise that flag back up. [applause]
one of these men said of the cuban people, we could do things for them, and they could do things for us. we love them. for 50 years we ignored that fact. think of the families leaving everything they've known behind, risking barren deserts and stormy waters just to find shelter, just to save their children. one syrian refugee who was greeted in hamburg with warm greetings and shelter said we feel there are still some people who love other people. the people of our united nations are not as different as they are told. they can be made to fear, they
can be taught to hate, but they can also respond to hope. history is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires who believed that might always makes right. that will continue to be the case, and you can count on that, but we are called upon to offer a different type of leadership. leadership strong enough to recognize the nations share common interests, and people share a common humanity, and yes, there are certain ideas and principles that are universal. that's what those who shaped the united nations 70 years ago understood. let us carry forward that faith into the future, for it is the only way we can assure that future will be brighter for my
children and for yours. thank you very much. [applause] >> barack obama going about 30 men's over think his 15 minutes for 45 minutes. it's a wide-ranging speech, that's the best way i can put it, covering syria, bashar al-assad, libya, iran, cuba, russia, i think i got most things, ukraine. i'm sure i'm leaving something out. we'll cover the topics. we'll go to mike viqueira, who was also taking notes as well. i'm sure you got something that i left out. mike, he seemed to cover a lot of things. i'm not sure how you characterize it. >> i would characterize it as an