Wednesday, 26 April 2017

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General debate kicks off with Obama opening door to Iran

Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

24 September. US President Barack Obama, opened a door to better relations with Iran as he addressed the UN General Assembly as one of the first speakers in the annual General Debate.

Ahead of the debate, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, presented the annual report of the organization urging leaders to take bold steps and work together to tackle a host of concerns – from crafting a post-2015 sustainability agenda, to agreeing on a new climate change regime and bringing parties in Syria to the negotiating table to end nearly three years of bloodshed. "We come together not to preserve the status quo, but to drive our world forward," said Mr. Ban.

The theme for this year's session is "The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage." John Ashe, the President of General Assembly Ashe called on Member States to take this opportunity to help shape an inclusive development agenda, which "will completely redefine the concept of development as traditionally understood, rooting it in partnership, cooperation, equity – both social and generational – peace, good governance and economic growth based on environmental sustainability."

Brazil traditionally kicks of the General Debate, followed by the host nation. US President Barack Obama used his speech to urge the United Nations and its member states to "respond more actively to resolve the civil war in Syria," and said that "he firmly believed the diplomatic path must be tested" in relations with Iran. He said recent moves by Iran should offer the basis for a "meaningful agreement" on its nuclear programme, although words now had to be "matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable".


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