President Obama during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, blasted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad calling him a “tyrant” and called upon the international community to work together to conquer ISIS. Obama applauded the United Nations for working together in a time of threats from terrorism and economic crises during the 70th session of the General Assembly.
Obama received applause for his comments about Cuba. The U.S. policy on Cuba wasn’t working, he said, so “we changed that.” Though the United States has “differences with the Cuban government,” those disagreements can be addressed through diplomacy, increased revenue sharing and “people-to-people ties,” the President said.
President Obama also addressed issues concerning the Iran nuclear deal, the Syrian civil war, the rise of ISIS, Cuba relations and tensions with Russia. Obama praised the historic deal between Tehran and six world leaders aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program as an example as an example of what can be accomplished by international cooperation when nations are held accountable for violating international rules, and principled diplomacy is pursued to achieve our objectives.
President Obama also targeted Russia in his address. Relations between the two countries have fallen to significant low levels amid Russia’s conquest into portions of Ukraine and an increased military presence near Syrian port city of Latakia. Obama focused on the need for a political transition in Syria stressing that Assad must relinquish power, while Putin is expected to put Assad up as the only option to defeat ISIS.
President Obama is scheduled to co-host a summit on international peacekeeping with eight other countries and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The White House stressed that U.N. peacekeeping has never been “more stretched or more important than it is to international peace and security right now.”
The President’s address comes after a speech on Sunday in which he called for global leaders to work together to eliminate global hunger by supporting a 15-year development agenda which is expected to require trillions of dollars from countries, companies and civil society. President Obama called upon warring factions in Syria to disarm and other countries to aid millions of refugees born of that war.
For those risking their lives, especially those taken advantage of by human traffickers, it’s critical that aid come not only because international law mandates it, but because it would reflect “basic compassion,” he said.
After Obama, speakers Monday include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is also on the agenda.