Here's What Obama Had To Say To The World's Leaders

Photo: Richard Drew/AP Photo.
U.S. President Barack Obama addressed world leaders as part of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
President Barack Obama called for diplomacy in an address before the United Nations on Monday, and didn't mince words when it came to the nations he feels have not lived up to that promise.

"If we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences," Obama said.

The president called on leaders to rely on cooperation and coordination to fix the world's woes, saying member nations "cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion."
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"We cannot look backward. We live in an integrated world, one in which we all have a stake in each others' success. We cannot turn back those forces of integration," Obama said.

But he didn't hesitate to call out nations he believes haven't worked with the U.S., particularly Russia. Obama singled out Russia's annexation of Crimea, saying the world shouldn't stand by while one country violates the sovereignty of another. He argued if leaders let that happen in Ukraine without consequences, the same type of aggression could be allowed to happen anywhere.

"Imagine if instead Russia had engaged in true diplomacy," he said.

If we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.

President Barack Obama
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been slated to speak after Obama on Monday, his first address before the United Nations in 10 years.

In an address that was almost three times longer than the 15 minutes allotted for each leader on the agenda, Obama outlined his diplomatic successes as well, specifically mentioning the deal struck with Iran on its nuclear program.

Obama said the Iran deal shows "the strength of the international system when it works the way it should."
President Obama also mentioned his administration's opening doors to Cuba after 54 years. On July 20, both countries reopened their embassies, formally reestablishing diplomatic relations. The U.S. is also reportedly considering abstaining from the U.N.'s yearly vote on the U.S. embargo, according to the Associated Press. Typically, the vast majority of countries have voted to condemn the embargo, while the U.S. votes in favor of it.

"Openness — not coercion — will support the reforms and better the life the Cuban people deserve," Obama told the U.N. on Monday.

Cuba’s President Raúl Castro is scheduled to speak after Obama on Monday afternoon, and the two will meet privately on Tuesday.

Speaking about the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, Obama called it an "apocalyptic cult" that had emerged "out of the chaos of Iraq and Syria."

In a reference to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, he said: "When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation's internal affairs." The U.S. has actively called for Assad to step down after alleged chemical attacks, but the rise of ISIS in Syria has complicated that demand.

On Monday, he said Syria deserves a "managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader," but that lasting peace can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to come together.

Obama's speech followed that of Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Castro were also slated to address the U.N. on Monday.

Pope Francis addressed the United Nations himself on Friday, outlining an ambitious agenda that included taking action on climate change, eradicating poverty, forgiving the debts of poor countries, rethinking the drug war, and ensuring girls' access to education.
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