In his last speech at the United Nations General Assembly as the US President, Barack Obama painted a grim picture on Tuesday of a world divided between those who want to cooperate with global partners and those who want to retreat into division and isolationism.
“Our societies are filled with uncertainty and unease and strife,” Obama said, while describing a world full of chaos, “despite enormous progress as people lose trust in institutions, governing becomes more difficult and tensions between nations become more quick to surface.”
He mocked about the Republican Party’s presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying that “a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself”.
Obama observed that voices advocating globalisation unfortunately tend to bypass inequality and injustice, adding that indifference is strengthening ”aggressive nationalism” and a “crude populism … often from the hard right.”
He opined we “cannot dismiss these visions,” which are disturbing. He termed those “powerful” trends in the contemporary world and urged to reject those power centres upholding authoritarianism, dictatorship that threaten the spirit of liberalism.
Here is Obama’s speech at the UN:
“I believe that at this moment we all face a choice,” Obama mentioned.
Taking the examples of how people from Ukraine and other former republics of USSR, raised the voice for democracy, discarding decades-old state dictatorship, Obama mentioned they were wanted to better their lives under democracy.
He said, those who believe in democracy should act forcefully.
“We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion. I want to suggest to you today that we must go forward and not back.”
On the Palestinian crisis, Obama advised them to accept the legitimacy of Israel.
They must “reject incitement and recognise the legitimacy of Israel,” he said, and advised both sides to arrive at a peaceful solution for the issue.
But he reminded the Israel authorities that peace won’t dawn on the land until “Israel recognises it cannot permanently occupy and settle on Palestinian land”.
Obama will be meeting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “discuss the need for genuine advancement of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the face of deeply troubling trends on the ground”, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.