On September 23 and 24, President Obama joined Heads of State from all around the world at the opening of the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly. Over the course of the two days, the President led a high-level event on supporting civil society, engaged in bilateral discussions with Nigerian, Lebanese, and Palestinian leaders, and addressed the General Assembly.
The President’s speech to the General Assembly outlined the United States’ perspective on the challenges that the international community is confronting with the Syrian crisis, the destabilization of the region, and the conflicts between and within countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In his remarks, the President:
- Stated that there must be a “strong Security Council Resolution” to verify that the Asad regime is keeping its commitments with respect to chemical weapons and “there must be consequences” if they fail to do so;
- Announced an additional $340 million in U.S. humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria, on top of the more than $1 billion that the United States has already provided, and urged other countries to increase their aid as well;
- Emphasized the U.S. commitment to resolving the issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons, noting that resolution of that issue could “serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship—one based on mutual interests and mutual respect;”