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Obama's speech was vague on specifics but the U.S. President hinted at improving relations with China and Russia.
U.S. President Barack Obama gave his final address to the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York Tuesday focusing on the global economic malaise, the refugee crisis and the rise of extremism in the world.
"We have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees desperate for a home,” Obama said. “We all face a choice, press forward with a better model or retreat into a world sharply divided,” he said.
As is typical of Obama's public remarks, however, Tuesday's address was more a vague homily than concrete foreign policy. For instance, he used the U.N. address to again promote the role of democracy in modern societies.
“The number of democracies around the world has nearly doubled in last 25 years… The road to true democracy remains the better path,” Obama said.
He also called on the world community to reject all kinds of fundamentalism, nationalism and crude populism and instead “embrace respect."
“We have to do better as leaders in tamping down rather than encourage notions of identity that leads us to diminish others...The countries that succeeded are ones in which people feel they have a stake," he said.
"Binding ourselves to international rules in the long term enhances our security" he said, citing deepening tensions with Russia and the ongoing dispute over the South China Sea.
"Our international community must continue to work with those who seek to build rather than destroy,” he concluded.