அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Friday, 27 September 2013

ENB Doc: Text of Draft United Nations Resolution on Syrian Chemical Weapons

Text of Draft United Nations Resolution on Syrian Chemical Weapons
By REUTERS September 26, 2013
The United States and Russia reached an agreement on Thursday on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ridding Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal.

Following is the text of this draft resolution.

The Security Council, PP1. Recalling the Statements of its President of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012, and its resolutions 1540 (2004), 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012), PP2. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, PP3. Reaffirming that the proliferation of chemical weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security, PP4. Recalling that the Syrian Arab Republic on 22 November 1968 acceded to the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925, PP5. Noting that on 14 September 2013, Syria deposited with the Secretary-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Convention) and declared that it shall comply with its stipulations and observe them faithfully and sincerely, applying the Convention provisionally pending its entry into force for the Syrian Arab Republic, PP6. Welcoming the establishment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic (“the Mission”) pursuant to General Assembly resolution 42/37 C (1987) of 30 November 1987, and reaffirmed by resolution 620 (1988) of 26 August 1988, and expressing appreciation for the work of the Mission, PP7. Acknowledging the report of 16 September 2013(S/2013/553) by the Mission, underscoring the need for the Mission to fulfill its mandate, and emphasizing that future credible allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic should be investigated, PP8.

Deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons on 21 August 2013 in Rif Damascus, as concluded in the Mission’s report, condemning the killing of civilians that resulted from it, affirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, and stressing that those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable, PP9. Recalling the obligation under resolution 1540 (2004)that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, and their means of delivery, PP10. Welcoming the Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons dated 14 September 2013, in Geneva, between the Russian Federation and the United States of America (S/2013/565), with a view to ensuring the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest manner, and expressing its commitment to the immediate international control over chemical weapons and their components in the Syrian Arab Republic, PP11. Welcoming the decision of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of [XX September 2013] establishing special procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof, and expressing its determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program according to the timetable contained in the OPCW Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013], PP12.

Stressing that the only solution to the current crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, and emphasising the need to convene the international conference on Syria as soon as possible, PP13. Determining that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security, PP14.

Underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Council’s decisions,

1. Determines that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to international peace and security;

2. Condemns in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the attack on 21 August 2013, in violation of international law;

3. Endorses the decision of the OPCW Executive Council [XX September 2013], which contains special procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof and calls for its full implementation in the most expedient and safest manner;

4. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors;

5. Underscores that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons;

6. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall comply with all aspects of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of [XX September 2013] (Annex I);

7. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations, including by complying with their relevant recommendations, by accepting personnel designated by the OPCW or the United Nations, by providing for and ensuring the security of activities undertaken by these personnel, by providing these personnel with immediate and unfettered access to and the right to inspect, in discharging their functions, any and all sites, and by allowing immediate and unfettered access to individuals that the OPCW has grounds to believe to be of importance for the purpose of its mandate, and decides that all parties in Syria shall cooperate fully in this regard;

8. Decides to authorize an advance team of United Nations personnel to provide early assistance to OPCW activities in Syria, requests the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to closely cooperate in the implementation of the Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013] and this resolution, including through their operational activities on the ground, and further requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Director-General of the OPCW and, where appropriate, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, to submit to the Council within 10 days of the adoption of this resolution recommendations regarding the role of the United Nations in eliminating the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program;

9. Notes that the Syrian Arab Republic is a party to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, decides that OPCW-designated personnel undertaking activities provided for in this resolution or the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of [XX September 2013] shall enjoy the privileges and immunities contained in the Verification Annex, Part II(B) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and calls on the Syrian Arab Republic to conclude modalities agreements with the United Nations and the OPCW;

10. Encourages Member States to provide support, including personnel, technical expertise, information, equipment, and financial and other resources and assistance, in coordination with the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General, to enable the OPCW and the United Nations to implement the elimination of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program, and decides to authorize Member States to acquire, control, transport, transfer and destroy chemical weapons identified by the Director-General of the OPCW, consistent with the objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to ensure the elimination of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest manner;

11. Urges all Syrian parties and interested Member States with relevant capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW and the United Nations to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, recognizing the primary responsibility of the Syrian government in this regard;

12. Decides to review on a regular basis the implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council [XX September 2013] and this resolution, and requests the Director-General of the OPCW to report to the Security Council, through the Secretary-General, who shall include relevant information on United Nations activities related to the implementation of this resolution, within 30 days and every month thereafter, and requests further the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to report in a coordinated manner, as needed, to the Security Council, non-compliance with this resolution or the OPCW Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013];

13. Reaffirms its readiness to consider promptly any reports of the OPCW under Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the referral of cases of non-compliance to the United Nations Security Council;

14. Decides that Member States shall inform immediately the Security Council of any violation of resolution 1540 (2004), including acquisition by non-State actors of chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials in order to take necessary measures therefore; Accountability

15. Expresses its strong conviction that those individuals responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic should be held accountable; Political transition

16. Endorses fully the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 (Annex II), which sets out a number of key steps beginning with the establishment of a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers, which could include members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent;

17. Calls for the convening, as soon as possible, of an international conference on Syria to implement the Geneva Communiqué, and calls upon all Syrian parties to engage seriously and constructively at the Geneva Conference on Syria, and underscores that they should be fully representative of the Syrian people and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and to the achievement of stability and reconciliation; Non-Proliferation

18. Reaffirms that all Member States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any violations of this paragraph to the Security Council immediately;

19. Demands that non-State actors not develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer, or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any actions inconsistent with this paragraph to the Security Council immediately;

20. Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of chemical weapons, related equipment, goods and technology or assistance from the Syrian Arab Republic by their nationals, or using their flagged vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic; Compliance

21. Decides, in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

22. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

இலங்கையில் பிரிவினைவாத தமிழீழப் பயங்கரவாதத்தை பூண்டோடு அழித்து முடித்தலில் நான் பெருமை அடைகின்றேன்! ஐ.நா.வில் ராயபக்ச முள்ளிவாய்க்கால் போர் வெற்றி முழக்கம்.


இலங்கையில் பிரிவினைவாத தமிழீழப் பயங்கரவாதத்தை பூண்டோடு அழித்து முடித்ததில் நான் பெருமை அடைகின்றேன்! ஐ.நா.வில் ராயபக்ச முள்ளிவாய்க்கால் போர் வெற்றி முழக்கம்.








HE MR IN UN I:I am proud that Sri Lanka has eradicated SEPARATIST TERROISM


H.E. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse address - UNGA September 24 2013


Address by H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse  at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York on September 24,2013


Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I offer my condolences to the families whose loved ones died as a result of a terrorist attack in a shopping mall in Kenya. Having suffered from many terrorist attacks, for nearly three decades, we Sri Lankans condemn this cowardly act.

Mr. President,

The UN has consistently ensured cooperation between States, and provided a universal platform for discussions on a range of issues, contentious or otherwise. It is imperative that we jealously protect and abide by, the principle of equal treatment of countries, which has been the very basis of this global organization. Be it economic or political issues, equality must form the bedrock of all international interaction.

Reflecting on the work of the UN, matters of a political nature have over-ridden the most basic issues, which affect the under-privileged and marginalized, who dominate world society. The commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) brought a real sense of optimism. The theme for this session is timely, as progress in MDGs could be evaluated with its deadline fast approaching.

Appreciable progress has been made in the MDGs, with the results being uneven among and within countries. According to World Bank projections, by 2015, Sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia will be home to approximately 40% of the developing world’s population, living in extreme poverty. This only diminishes the sense of our optimism.It is fitting for the UN system to examine the causes for the failure in improving the lot of the deprived.

In the context of Sri Lanka, my vision has been to distribute the benefits of growth across all segments of the population and prevent inequalities, social exclusion and adverse environmental effects. Socio-economic achievements in my country are the results of people centric government policies.

Mr. President,

Despite contending with one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the world, the 2004 tsunami and the global food, energy and financial crises, Sri Lanka’s attaining the MDGs is salutary. Statistics speak for themselves. Sri Lanka was ranked 92nd out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index in 2012. Absolute poverty in Sri Lanka declined to 6.5% in 2012 from 15.2%, over a period of five years, surpassing the MDG mid- term target.

The goal of universal primary education will be easily achieved by 2015. The key dividend from this strong educational infrastructure has been a drastic reduction in the unemployment level. Sri Lanka’s accomplishments in healthcare include the infant mortality rate of 9.4 per 1000 live births, highlighted by UNICEF as a success story.

The early recognition of the crucial role women play in political and socio-economic development amply warrants Sri Lanka’s sense of pride with the world has first elected woman Prime Minister, the late Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Sri Lanka has been rated 16th in the world Gender Parity Index.

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka has mainstreamed youth in its post 2015-development agenda, and is at the forefront of advocating internationally the interests of youth. Sri Lanka will be hosting the Commonwealth Youth Forum 2013, this November and the UN World Conference on Youth in May 2014.

I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to you all to join in celebrating youth at the World Conference. I also call upon the United Nations to declare an International Skills day as recognition of skills development of youth, paving the way for reduced poverty. An innovative development has been the establishment of a Youth Parliament to sharpen the awareness of democracy and skills of the new generation and prepare them to assume leadership.

It is of the foremost importance that Member states decide individually the means for achieving these MDGs. The unique socio-cultural practices and traditions of countries should be taken into account when designing these processes.

Mr. President,

The post 2015 Development Agenda needs to be an intergovernmental process, in line with the outcomes and agreed principles of Rio + 20. Centuries of growth in advanced economies have left little carbon space for the developing world, challenging their growth. The thin lines of balancing economic development and protection of the environment will remain a great challenge, in future development policy setting. It is therefore critical that developed countries honor their commitments and compensate damage to the environment, based on common but differentiated responsibilities.

Eradication of poverty must be the primary goal of the post 2015 Development Agenda, and promote accelerated economic growth in developing countries. Ensuring sustainable growth with social equity, demands a balanced approach towards development. High rates of investment, strengthening the quality of human capital, and technology transfers are crucial for sustainable growth.

Mr. President,

The mechanisms on financing and technology mandated by Rio + 20, need to be urgently implemented. The sustainable development financing strategy in its formulation, must seek to provide for enhanced predictable financial support to developing countries. Sri Lanka supports the establishment of a Technology Facilitation Mechanism under the UN, recommended in the UNSG’s report. The mighty advocates of the rights based approaches, should also honor their international commitments relating to development financing.

Calls for reforms in the current international financial institutions continue to be relevant. Their ad-hoc policies prove to be untenable in the long run. It is imperative for the international monetary and financial institutions, to give expression to the solid voice of the developing world. Also, those countries that are economically blessed must shed their practices of leveraging through these institutions. A comprehensive structural reform of the existing imperfect global economic order needs to be fully addressed to reflect current realities.

The world is in need of a fair international economic system to revitalize partnerships for development. This includes State and non-State actors and blue-chip companies, emerging as new partners. Moreover, South-South Cooperation is crucial due to the shift in economic power, which should be actively promoted to complement North-South Cooperation.

Mr. President,

It is disturbing to observe the growing trend in the international arena, of interference by some, in the internal matters of developing countries, in the guise of security, and guardians of human rights. Therefore, we continue to witness agitations the world over, leading to violence and forcing political change accompanied by turmoil.

It is timely to contemplate whether such movements have led to better stability in these countries, or produced different results, due to inappropriate external factors. In fact, the positive outcomes envisaged by those responsible have not come to pass, but indeed contributed to making those countries unstable. Does this not erode the authority of the Security Council because of unilateral or group actions?

This trend needs to be arrested, as it has now extended into areas, detrimental to the well-being of populations. This turmoil results from attempts to impose a type of democracy, upon countries with significantly different cultures, values and history. The world needs no policing by a few States, particularly when the UN is mandated to ensure international security, through multi-lateral engagement. This engagement, to be complete in our time must ensure protection of the human race against the flagrant abuse of modern science in such forms as nuclear and chemical weapons.

Mr. President,

Deepening uncertainties in the Middle East are disturbing. We wait for Palestine and Israel to co-exist on the basis of pre – 1967 borders. Sri Lanka looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full member of the UN.

We salute the people of Africa in their efforts to achieve better living conditions and economic prosperity. Sri Lanka continues to demonstrate solidarity with the African people, in their pursuit of further socio-economic growth.

Mr. President,

Unilateral measures such as embargoes and economic sanctions, imposed on countries are disturbing. Such initiatives bring suffering not only to those specifically targeted but also to a wide range of humanity without any justification. Yet again, I stand in support of the people of Cuba in overcoming economic hardships and full access to economic opportunity.

Mr. President,

Permit me to consider briefly the post-conflict developments in my own country. I am proud that Sri Lanka has eradicated separatist terrorism, spanning three decades, and is in the process of addressing the issues of development and reconciliation. Sri Lanka’s government, at all times responsive to the priorities reflected in public opinion, is engaged in all measures required for meaningful progress in these fields.

A significant event in this regard is the opportunity, which the people of the Northern Province enjoyed at the elections, held three days ago, to elect their representatives in the Provincial Council. It is a matter of legitimate satisfaction to me that this was made possible after the lapse of almost a quarter of a century. There can be no doubt regarding the crucial importance of this measure in the context of political empowerment and reconciliation. It is clearly the responsibility of the international community to assist with these efforts and to ensure their success for the benefit of all the people of Sri Lanka.

Mr. President,

In spite of the visible progress made, and consistent engagement with UN mechanisms, many countries are surprised at the disproportionate emphasis on Sri Lanka, and the unequal treatment through the multi-lateral framework. The basis for this relentless pursuit is also questioned. It is my conviction that the UN system should be astute to ensure the consistency of standards applied so that there is no room for suspicion of manipulation of the UN System by interested parties to fulfill their agendas.

By nature, human beings have the capacity to achieve the most challenging and noble goals in life, through strong commitment and dedication. I am confident that, by our own collective efforts these results would prove to be beneficial to all humanity. As Buddha, the Enlightened One said,

“Atta hi attano natho”
“Oneself is one’s own benefactor”

Let these timeless words of wisdom guide the destiny of the world.

May the Noble Triple Gem Bless you all.

තෙරුවන් සරණයි

Thank you.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

ஒபாமாவுடனான வட்டமேசை சந்திப்பில் கலந்துகொண்டார் பாக்கியசோதி சரவணமுத்து

ஒபாமாவுடனான வட்டமேசை சந்திப்பில் கலந்துகொண்டார் பாக்கியசோதி சரவணமுத்து!
[ புதன்கிழமை, 25 செப்ரெம்பர் 2013, 01:49.23 PM GMT ]

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் பொதுச் சபைக் கூட்டத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டுள்ள அமெரிக்க ஜனாதிபதி பராக் ஒபாமா, நாடுகளின் தலைவர்கள் மற்றும் உலக முழுவதிலும் உள்ள சிவில் அமைப்புகளின் தலைவர்களை சந்திக்கும் வட்டமேசை கூட்டத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டார்.

இதன் போது சிவில், சமூக அமைப்புகளுக்கு எதிரான தடைகள் குறித்து அவர் இவர்களுடன் விவாதித்துள்ளார்.

சிவில், சமூக அமைப்புகள் எதிர்நோக்கும் தடைகள், அந்த அமைப்புகளை பாதுகாக்க எடுக்க வேண்டிய நடவடிக்கைகள், அவற்றுக்கு ஆதரவு வழங்குவது தொடர்பில் இதன் போது விவாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

23 ஆம் திகதி நடைபெற்ற இந்த விவாதத்தில் கலந்து கொள்ள இலங்கையின் மாற்றுக்கொள்கைக்கான நிலையத்தின் நிறைவேற்றுப் பணிப்பாளர் கலாநிதி பாக்கியசோதி சரவணமுத்துவிற்கு வெள்ளை மாளிகை அழைப்பு விடுத்திருந்து.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

வடக்குத் தேர்தல்: திருத்தி அமைத்த காட்டூன்



சமஸ்டியா? தமிழீழமா? தேர்தல் நடத்து விக்னேஸ்வரனே ! காசி ஆனந்தன் சவால்!

Text of Obama’s Speech at the U.N.240913


The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood, and landed in opposition neighborhoods.  It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.
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September 24, 2013



Text of Obama’s Speech at the U.N.

Following is a transcript of President Obama’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York, provided by the White House.

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution. For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. Divisions of race, religion and tribe were settled through the sword and the clash of armies. The idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable.  

It took the awful carnage of two world wars to shift our thinking. The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve; they did not think this body could eradicate all wars. But in the wake of millions dead and continents in rubble; and with the development of nuclear weapons that could annihilate a planet; they understood that humanity could not survive the course it was on. So they gave us this institution, believing that it could allow us to resolve conflicts, enforce rules of behavior, and build habits of cooperation that would grow stronger over time. 

For decades, the U.N. has in fact made a real difference – from helping to eradicate disease, to educating children, to brokering peace. But like every generation of leaders, we face new and profound challenges, and this body continues to be tested. The question is whether we possess the wisdom and the courage, as nation-states and members of an international community, to squarely meet those challenges; whether the United Nations can meet the tests of our time.

For much of my time as President, some of our most urgent challenges have revolved around an increasingly integrated global economy, and our efforts to recover from the worst economic crisis of our lifetime. Now, five years after the global economy collapsed, thanks to coordinated efforts by the countries here today, jobs are being created, global financial systems have stabilized, and people are being lifted out of poverty. But this progress is fragile and unequal, and we still have work to do together to assure that our citizens can access the opportunity they need to thrive in the 21st century. 

Together, we have also worked to end a decade of war. Five years ago, nearly 180,000 Americans were serving in harm’s way, and the war in Iraq was the dominant issue in our relationship with the rest of the world. Today, all of our troops have left Iraq. Next year, an international coalition will end its war in Afghanistan, having achieved its mission of dismantling the core of al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11.

For the United States, these new circumstances have also meant shifting away from a perpetual war-footing. Beyond bringing our troops home, we have limited the use of drones so they target only those who pose a continuing, imminent threat to the United States where capture is not feasible, and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties. 

We are transferring detainees to other countries and trying terrorists in courts of law, while working diligently to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. And just as we reviewed how we deploy our extraordinary military capabilities in a way that lives up to our ideals, we have begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so as to properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies, with the privacy concerns that all people share. 

As a result of this work, and cooperation with allies and partners, the world is more stable than it was five years ago. But even a glance at today’s headlines indicates the dangers that remain. In Kenya, we’ve seen terrorists target innocent civilians in a crowded shopping mall. In Pakistan, nearly 100 people were recently killed by suicide bombers outside a church. In Iraq, killings and car bombs continue to be a horrific part of life. Meanwhile, al Qaeda has splintered into regional networks and militias, which has not carried out an attack like 9/11, but does pose serious threats to governments, diplomats, businesses and civilians across the globe. 

Just as significantly, the convulsions in the Middle East and North Africa have laid bare deep divisions within societies, as an old order is upended, and people grapple with what comes next. Peaceful movements have been answered by violence – from those resisting change, and from extremists trying to hijack change. Sectarian conflict has reemerged. And the potential spread of weapons of mass destruction casts a shadow over the pursuit of peace.  

Nowhere have we seen these trends converge more powerfully than in Syria. There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter. In the face of carnage, many retreated to their sectarian identity – Alawite and Sunni; Christian and Kurd – and the situation spiraled into civil war. The international community recognized the stakes early on, but our response has not matched the scale of the challenge. Aid cannot keep pace with the suffering of the wounded and displaced. A peace process is still-born. America and others have worked to bolster the moderate opposition, but extremist groups have still taken root to exploit the crisis. Assad’s traditional allies have propped him up, citing principles of sovereignty to shield his regime. And on August 21st, the regime used chemical weapons in an attack that killed more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of children.

The crisis in Syria, and the destabilization of the region, goes to the heart of broader challenges that the international community must now confront. How should we respond to conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa – conflicts between countries, but also conflicts within them? How do we address the choice of standing callously by while children are subjected to nerve gas, or embroiling ourselves in someone else’s civil war? What is the role of force in resolving disputes that threaten the stability of the region and undermine all basic standards of civilized conduct? What is the role of the United Nations, and international law, in meeting cries for justice?

Today, I want to outline where the United States of America stands on these issues. With respect to Syria, we believe that as a starting point, the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons. When I stated my willingness to order a limited strike against the Assad regime in response to the brazen use of chemical weapons, I did not do so lightly. I did so because I believe it is in the security interest of the United States and the world to meaningfully enforce a prohibition whose origins are older than the U.N. itself. The ban against the use of chemical weapons, even in war, has been agreed to by 98 percent of humanity. It is strengthened by the searing memories of soldiers suffocated in the trenches; Jews slaughtered in gas chambers; and Iranians poisoned in the many tens of thousands.

The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood, and landed in opposition neighborhoods.  It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.

I know that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, there were those who questioned the legitimacy of even a limited strike in the absence of a clear mandate from the Security Council. But without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all. However, as I’ve discussed with President Putin for over a year, most recently in St. Petersburg, my preference has always been a diplomatic resolution to this issue, and in the past several weeks, the United States, Russia and our allies have reached an agreement to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, and then to destroy them.

The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now, there must be a strong Security Council Resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the U.N. is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that  this body means what it says.

Agreement on chemical weapons should energize a larger diplomatic effort to reach a political settlement within Syria. I do not believe that military action – by those within Syria, or by external powers – can achieve a lasting peace. Nor do I believe that America or any nation should determine who will lead Syria – that is for the Syrian people to decide. Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country. The notion that Syria can return to a pre-war status quo is a fantasy. It’s time for Russia and Iran to realize that insisting on Assad’s rule will lead directly to the outcome they fear: an increasingly violent space for extremists to operate. In turn, those of us who continue to support the moderate opposition must persuade them that the Syrian people cannot afford a collapse of state institutions, and that a political settlement cannot be reached without addressing the legitimate fears of Alawites and other minorities. 

As we pursue a settlement, let us remember that this is not a zero-sum endeavor. We are no longer in a Cold War. There’s no Great Game to be won, nor does America have any interest in Syria beyond the well-being of its people, the stability of its neighbors, the elimination of chemical weapons, and ensuring it does not become a safe-haven for terrorists. I welcome the influence of all nations that can help bring about a peaceful resolution of Syria’s civil war. And as we move the Geneva process forward, I urge all nations here to step up to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and surrounding countries. America has committed over a billion dollars to this effort, and today, I can announce that we will be providing an additional $340 million. No aid can take the place of a political resolution that gives the Syrian people the chance to begin rebuilding their country – but it can help desperate people survive.

What broader conclusions can be drawn from America’s policy toward Syria? I know there are those who have been frustrated by our unwillingness to use our military might to depose Assad, and believe that a failure to do so indicates a weakening of America’s resolve in the region. Others have suggested that my willingness to direct even limited military strikes to deter the further use of chemical weapons shows that we have learned nothing from Iraq, and that America continues to seek control over the Middle East for our own purposes. In this way, the situation in Syria mirrors a contradiction that has persisted in the region for decades: the United States is chastised for meddling in the region, and accused of having a hand in all manner of conspiracy; at the same time, the United States is blamed for failing to do enough to solve the region’s problems, and 
for showing indifference toward suffering Muslim populations.

I realize some of this is inevitable, given America’s role in the world. But these attitudes have a practical impact on the American peoples’ support for our involvement in the region, and allow leaders in the region – and the international community – to avoid addressing difficult problems. So let me take this opportunity to outline what has been U.S. policy towards the Middle East and North Africa, and what will be my policy during the remainder of my presidency.

The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests in the region.

We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War.

We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world. Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends upon the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.

We will dismantle terrorist networks that threaten our people. Wherever possible, we will build the capacity of our partners, respect the sovereignty of nations, and work to address the root causes of terror. But when its necessary to defend the United States against terrorist attacks, we will take direct action. 

And finally, we will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction. Just as we consider the use of chemical weapons in Syria to be a threat to our own national security, we reject the development of nuclear weapons that could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, and undermine the global non-proliferation regime.

Now, to say these are America’s core interests is not to say these are our only interests. We deeply believe it is in our interest to see a Middle East and North Africa that is peaceful and prosperous; and will continue to promote democracy, human rights, and open markets, because we believe these practices achieve peace and prosperity. But I also believe that we can rarely achieve these objectives through unilateral American action – particularly with military action. Iraq shows us that democracy cannot be imposed by force. Rather, these objectives are best achieved when we partner with the international community, and with the countries and people of the region.

What does this mean going forward? In the near term, America’s diplomatic efforts will focus  on two particular issues: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. While these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace.

The United States and Iran have been isolated from one another since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This mistrust has deep roots. Iranians have long complained of a history of U.S. interference in their affairs, and America’s role in overthrowing an Iranian government during the Cold War. On the other hand, Americans see an Iranian government that has declared the United States an enemy, and directly – or through proxies – taken Americans hostage, killed U.S. troops and civilians, and threatened our ally Israel with destruction.

I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight – the suspicion runs too deep. But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship – one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.

Since I took office, I have made it clear – in letters to the Supreme Leader in Iran and more recently to President Rouhani – that America prefers to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program peacefully, but that we are determined to prevent them from developing a nuclear weapon. We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy. Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.

These statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement. We should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the rights of the Iranian people, while giving the world confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful. To succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable. After all, it is the Iranian government’s choices that have led to the comprehensive sanctions that are currently in place. This isn’t simply an issue between America and Iran – the world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past, and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future.   

We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. Given President Rouhani’s stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort with the Iranian government, in close coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China. The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested. For while the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world, and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential – in commerce and culture; in science and education.

We are also determined to resolve a conflict that goes back even further than our differences with Iran: the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. I have made clear that the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel’s security, nor our support for its existence as a Jewish state. Earlier this year, in Jerusalem, I was inspired by young Israelis who stood up for the belief that peace was necessary, just, and possible, and I believe there is a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state. But the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country, and unequivocally reject those who fire rockets at their homes or incite others to hate them.

Likewise, the United States remains committed to the belief that the Palestinian people have a right to live with security and dignity in their own sovereign state. On the 

same trip, I had the opportunity to meet with young Palestinians in Ramallah whose ambition and potential are matched by the pain they feel in having no firm place in the community of nations. They are understandably cynical that real progress will ever be made, and frustrated by their families enduring the daily indignity of occupation. But they recognize that two states is the only real path to peace: because just as the Palestinian people must not be displaced, the state of Israel is here to stay.

The time is now ripe for the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace. Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks. President Abbas has put aside efforts to short-cut the pursuit of peace and come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has released Palestinian prisoners, and reaffirmed his commitment to a Palestinian state. Current talks are focused on final status issues of borders and security, refugees and Jerusalem.

Now the rest of us must also be willing to take risks. Friends of Israel, including the United States, must recognize that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends upon the realization of a Palestinian state. Arab states – and those who have supported the Palestinians – must recognize that stability will only be served through a two-state solution with a secure Israel. All of us must recognize that peace will be a powerful tool to defeat extremists, and embolden those who are prepared to build a better future. Moreover, ties of trade and commerce between Israelis and Arabs could be an engine of growth and opportunity at a time when too many young people in the region are languishing without work. So let us emerge from the familiar corners of blame and prejudice, and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders who are prepared to walk the 
difficult road to peace.

Real breakthroughs on these two issues – Iran’s nuclear program, and Israeli-Palestinian peace – would have a profound and positive impact on the entire Middle East and North Africa. But the current convulsions arising out of the Arab Spring remind us that a just and lasting peace cannot be measured only by agreements between nations. It must also be measured by our ability to resolve conflict and promote justice within nations. And by that measure, it is clear to all of us that there is much more work to be done. 

When peaceful transitions began in Tunisia and Egypt, the entire world was filled with hope. And although the United States – like others – was struck by the speed of transition, and did not – in fact could not – dictate events, we chose to support those who called for change. We did so based on the belief that while these transitions will be hard, and take time, societies based upon democracy and openness and the dignity of the individual will ultimately be more stable, more prosperous, and more peaceful. 

Over the last few years, particularly in Egypt, we’ve seen just how hard this transition will be. Mohammed Morsi was democratically elected, but proved unwilling or unable to govern in a way that was fully inclusive. The interim government that replaced him responded to the desires of millions of Egyptians who believed the revolution had taken a wrong turn, but it too has made decisions inconsistent with inclusive democracy – through an emergency law, and restrictions on the press, civil society, and opposition parties.

Of course, America has been attacked by all sides of this internal conflict, simultaneously accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and engineering their removal from power. In fact, the United States has purposely avoided choosing sides. Our over-riding interest throughout these past few years has been to encourage a government that legitimately reflects the will of the Egyptian people, and recognizes true democracy as requiring a respect for minority rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and assembly, and a strong civil society.

That remains our interest today. And so, going forward, the United States will maintain a constructive relationship with the interim government that promotes core interests like the Camp David Accords and counter-terrorism. We will continue support in areas like education that benefit the Egyptian people. But we have not proceeded with the delivery of certain military systems, and our support will depend upon Egypt’s progress in pursuing a democratic path. 

Our approach to Egypt reflects a larger point: the United States will at times work with governments that do not meet the highest international expectations, but who work with 
us on our core interests. But we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals, whether that means opposing the use of violence as a means of suppressing dissent, or supporting the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We will reject the notion that these principles are simply Western exports, incompatible with Islam or the Arab World — they are the birthright of every person. And while we recognize that our influence will at times be limited; although we will be wary of efforts to impose democracy through military force, and will at times be accused of hypocrisy or inconsistency – we will be engaged in the region for the long haul. For the hard work of forging freedom and democracy is the task of a generation.

This includes efforts to resolve sectarian tensions that continue to surface in places like Iraq, Syria and Bahrain. Ultimately, such long-standing issues cannot be solved by outsiders; they must  be addressed by Muslim communities themselves. But we have seen grinding conflicts come to an end before – most recently in Northern Ireland, where Catholics and Protestants finally recognized that an endless cycle of conflict was causing both communities to fall behind a fast-moving world.

In sum, the United States has a hard-earned humility when it comes to our ability to determine events inside other countries. The notion of American empire may be useful propaganda, but it isn’t borne out by America’s current policy or public opinion. Indeed, as the recent debate within the United States over Syria clearly showed, the danger for the world is not an America that is eager to immerse itself in the affairs of other countries, or take on every problem in the region as its own. The danger for the world is that the United States, after a decade of war; rightly concerned about issues back home; and aware of the hostility that our engagement in the region has engendered throughout the Muslim World, may disengage, creating a vacuum of leadership that no other nation is ready to fill.

I believe that would be a mistake. I believe America must remain engaged for our own security. I believe the world is better for it. Some may disagree, but I believe that America is exceptional – in part because we have shown a willingness, through the sacrifice of blood and treasure, to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interest, but for the interests of all. I must be honest, though: we are far more likely to invest our energy in those countries that want to work with us; that invest in their people, instead of a corrupt few; that embrace a vision of society where everyone can contribute – men and women, Shia or Sunni, Muslim, Christian or Jew. Because from Europe to Asia; from Africa to the Americas, nations that persevered on a democratic path have emerged more prosperous, more peaceful, and more invested in upholding our common security and 
our common humanity. And I believe that the same will hold true for the Arab World.

This leads me to a final point: there will be times when the breakdown of societies is so great, and the violence against civilians so substantial, that the international community will be called upon to act. This will require new thinking and some very tough choices. While the U.N. was designed to prevent wars between states, increasingly we face the challenge of preventing slaughter within states.  And these challenges will grow more pronounced as we are confronted with states that are fragile or failing – places where horrendous violence can put innocent men, women and children at risk, with no hope of protection from national institutions.

I have made it clear that even when America’s core interests are not directly threatened, we stand ready to do our part to prevent mass atrocities and protect human rights. 

Yet we cannot and should not bear that burden alone. In Mali, we supported both the French intervention that successfully pushed back al Qaeda, and the African forces who are keeping the peace. In Africa, we are working with partners to bring the Lord’s Resistance Army to an end. And in Libya, when the Security Council provided a mandate to protect civilians, America joined a coalition that took action. Because of what we did there, countless lives were saved, and a tyrant could not kill his way back to power.

I know that some now criticize the action in Libya as an object lesson. They point to problems that the country now confronts – a democratically-elected government struggling to provide security; armed groups, in some places extremists, ruling parts of a fractured land – and argue that any intervention to protect civilians is doomed to fail. No one is more mindful of these problems than I am, for they resulted in the death of four outstanding U.S. citizens who were committed to the Libyan people, including Ambassador Chris Stevens – a man whose courageous efforts helped save the city of Benghazi. But does anyone truly believe that the situation in Libya would be better if Qadhafi had been allowed to kill, imprison, or brutalize his people into submission? It is far more likely that without international action, Libya would now be engulfed in civil war and 
bloodshed.

We live in a world of imperfect choices. Different nations will not agree on the need for action in every instance, and the principle of sovereignty is at the center of our international order. But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye to slaughter. 

While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil, and we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences, should we really accept the notion that the world is powerless in the face of a Rwanda or Srebrenica? If that’s the world that people want to live in, then they should say so, and reckon with the cold logic of mass graves.

I believe we can embrace a different future. If we don’t want to choose between inaction and war, we must get better – all of us – at the policies that prevent the breakdown of basic order. Through respect for the responsibilities of nations and the rights of individuals. Through meaningful sanctions for those who break the rules. Through dogged diplomacy that resolves the root causes of conflict, and not merely its aftermath. Through development assistance that brings hope to the marginalized.  And yes, sometimes, all this will not be enough – and in such moments, the international community will need to acknowledge that the multilateral use of military force may be required to prevent the very worst from occuring. 

Ultimately, this is the international community that America seeks – one where nations do not covet the land or resources of other nations, but one in which we carry out the founding purpose of this institution. A world in which the rules established out of the horrors of war can help us resolve conflicts peacefully, and prevent the kind of wars that our forefathers fought. A world where human beings can live with dignity and meet their basic needs, whether they live in New York or Nairobi; in Peshawar or Damascus.

These are extraordinary times, with extraordinary opportunities. Thanks to human progress, a child born anywhere on Earth can do things today that 60 years ago would have been out of reach for the mass of humanity. I saw this in Africa, where nations moving beyond conflict are now poised to take off. America is with them: partnering to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and to bring power to places off the grid.

I see it across the Pacific, where hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty in a single generation.  I see it in the faces of young people everywhere who can 

access the entire world with the click of a button, and who are eager to join the cause of eradicating extreme poverty, combating climate change, starting businesses, 

expanding freedom, and leaving behind the old ideological battles of the past. That’s what’s happening in Asia and Africa; in Europe and the Americas. That’s the future that 

the people of the Middle East and North Africa deserve – one where they can focus on opportunity, instead of whether they’ll be killed or repressed because of who they are or what they believe.

Time and again, nations and people have shown our capacity to change – to live up to humanity’s highest ideals, to choose our better history. Last month, I stood where fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. told America about his dream, at a time when many people of my race could not even vote for President. Earlier this year, I stood in the small cell where Nelson Mandela endured decades cut off from his own people and the world. Who are we to believe that today’s challenges cannot be overcome, when we have seen what changes the human spirit can bring? Who in this hall can argue that the future belongs to those who seek to repress that spirit, rather than those who seek to liberate it?

I know what side of history I want to the United States of America to be on. We are ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges with you – firm in the belief that all men and women are in fact created equal, each individual possessed with a dignity that cannot be denied. That is why we look to the future not with fear, but with hope. That’s why we remain convinced that this community of nations can deliver a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world to the next generation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/us/politics/text-of-obamas-speech-at-the-un.html?pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print 


Source: New York Times

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