Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Video, Transcript: Obama UN General Assembly Speech (9-23-09)

Read the complete transcript. Excerpt below:
I come before you humbled by the responsibility that the American people have placed upon me, mindful of the enormous challenges of our moment in history, and determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity at home and abroad. I have been in office for just nine months, though some days it seems a lot longer.

I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. These expectations are not about me. Rather, they are rooted, I believe, in the discontent with the status quo that has allowed us to be increasingly defined by our differences and outpaced by our problems.

But they are also rooted in hope. The hope that real change is possible and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change.

I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. A part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies and a belief on, on certain critical issues, America had acted unilaterally without regard for the interests of others.

And this is has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism which, too often, has served as an excuse for collective inaction.

Now, like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interests of my nation and my people. And I will never apologize for defending those interests. But it is my deeply held belief that, in the year 2009, more than at any point in human history, the interests of nations and peoples are shared. The religious convictions that we hold in our hearts can forge new bonds among people or they can tear us apart.

The technology we harness could light the path to peace or forever darken it. The energy we use can sustain our planet or destroy it. What happens to the hope of a single child anywhere can enrich our world or impoverish it.