Obama likely to talk on unrest over anti-Islam film in UN
US President Barack Obama is likely to touch upon the issue of recent unrest in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film during his speech at the annual UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, officials said.
Obama will travel to New York on Monday to attend 67th annual session of General assembly of the world body.
Noting that the UN General Assembly always provides an opportunity for the US President to put the international situation in context and to put forward a vision of American leadership, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said he would certainly expect Obama to address the recent unrest in the Muslim world, and the broader context of the democratic transitions in the Arab World.
"As he has in recent days, the President will make it clear that we reject the views in this video, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable – a message that has been echoed by the leaders he has personally reached out to in places like Libya, Egypt and Yemen," Vietor said.
"He will also send a clear message that the United States will never retreat from the world; will bring justice to those who harm Americans; and will stand strongly for our democratic values abroad," he said.
Iran is going to be another issue that Obama is expected to address in his speech.
"We have consistently framed that issue around Iran's profound failure to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear programme. Therefore, UNGA presents another opportunity for him to underscore that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon," Vietor said.
Observing that any time the President goes to the General Assembly, he has an opportunity to set the agenda on the world stage as the leader of the world's most powerful nation.
"He does so with the credibility of strengthening our alliances, ending the war in Iraq, devastating al-Qaeda, and rallying international action on challenges like securing nuclear materials and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. It's clear that the United States is in a stronger position than we were when he took office," Vietor said.
Ahead of the session, assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs Esther Brimmer told reporters that the US has four broad priorities.
"First, we will continue to advance US interests and objectives at the UN. That includes effective implementation of international sanctions on Iran's illicit nuclear program. We'll work to strengthen global nonproliferation and counter-terrorism regimes... And we will continue to oppose unilateral Palestinian actions in the UN on issues that can only be achieved through direct negotiations," she said.
"Second, we're going to expand our successful efforts on UN reform... Third, we'll maintain our global leadership on human rights... Fourth, we'll build on the progress already made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals and on Rio+20," she added.