UN General Assembly: Theresa May pledges billions to tackle terrorism and to stop hundreds of thousands of migrants travelling to Europe — Obama talks about “International Order”

Theresa May addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. Photo by AFP

By Ruth Sherlock
The Telegraph

Theresa May has pledged billions of pounds in aid spending to tackle terrorism and stop hundreds of thousands of migrants travelling to Europe.

The Prime Minister used her first speech to the UN General Assembly to commit money to help refugees in the Middle East and Africa.

She also announced that hundreds of UK troops will be sent to Somalia to train local forces in their fight against al-Shabaab.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, left, is greeted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters

More than 100 UK soldiers will travel to the African country to train local forces amid fears that terrorist groups including Isil are gaining traction in the region.

A further £20million will be spent trying to ensure Somalian refugees in Kenya are able to return to their home country.

And £80million will be spent to help provide 30,000 jobs in Ethiopia.

The pledges are an attempt to reduce the flow of migrants attempting to get to European countries such as the UK.

Mrs May said: “Across the world today, there are 65 million people who have been forcibly displaced. That it is equivalent to the entire population of the UK.

“It is an unprecedented figure, one that has almost doubled in a decade. And yet UN appeals are underfunded; host countries are not getting enough support; and refugees are not getting the aid, education and economic opportunities they need.

 African refugees photographed trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea during the UN General Assembly, September 20, 2016. EPA photo

“We must do more. And as the second largest bi-lateral provider of assistance, the UK remains fully committed to playing a leading role.”

She added: “In addition to refugees and displaced people fleeing conflict and persecution, we are also seeing an unprecedented movement of people in search of greater economic opportunities through the same unmanaged channels.

“This affects all of us, and it is the responsibility of us all to take action. We cannot ignore this challenge, or allow it to continue unmanaged. We need to do better. Better for the countries people leave, for the countries they move through, for the countries they try to get to – and most of all, better for the migrants and refugees themselves.

“Despite the huge increase in international efforts, more migrants have died attempting hazardous journeys across borders this year than any other. I believe we have to use the opportunity afforded by this General Assembly for an honest global debate to address this global challenge.

Obama: nations should not be surrounded by wallsPlay!01:45

Aid is seen strewn across the floor in the town of Orum al-Kubra on the western outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday.
Humanitarian Aid is seen strewn across the ground in the town of Orum al-Kubra, Syria on the western outskirts of the city of Aleppo on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. The U.S. says Russian and Syrian air force air strikes destroyed the U.N. Aid — while U.N dignitaries were meeting in New York at the UN General Assembly. PHOTO:AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

“In doing so, we should be clear that there is nothing wrong with the desire to migrate for a better life. And also that controlled, legal, safe, economic migration brings benefits to our economies.”

She said Britain will not turn away from the world after the Brexit vote and will remain at the heart of international affairs.

“When the British people voted to leave the EU, they did not vote to turn inwards or walk away from any of our partners in the world,” May said in her first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

She said Britain would remain an “outward-facing, global partner at the heart of international efforts to secure peace and prosperity for all our people.”

Earlier, Barack Obama gave his final speech to the General Assembly, making an passionate appeal for greater integration between nations in the face of global insecurity.

Obama: nations should not be surrounded by wallsPlay!01:45

Mr Obama, who is heading into the last months of his presidency, is calling for a new approach to global politics in the face of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, increasing Russian aggression and a growing global terrorist threat.

Mr Obama  spoke of advances in tackling climate change and in international development efforts, but also recognised what he called  “fault lines in  our international order”.

Mr Obama attends a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Tuesday, September 20, 2016. CREDIT:EPA

“A quarter of a century after the end of the cold war the world is by many measures less violent and more prosperous than ever before. And yet societies are  filled with unease,” he said.

“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.”

Kim Jong-un, center, the North Korean leader, at the testing of a new long-range rocket engine at the Sohae Space Center on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 — during the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Credit Korean Central News Agency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Summary of events so far

  • Barack Obama struck a personal note at his final address to the UNGA saying he knew that the only way to protect the future of his children is to secure that of children around the world
  • He called for greater integration and collaboration between nations, for renewed efforts to tackle income inequality, and for an “opening of our hearts” in dealing with the refugee crisis.
  • He said the world was locked a struggle between authoritarianism and liberalism, and said that, if world leaders kept to an optimistic view of humanity and its history, democracy could prevail.
  • Ban Ki-Moon in his last speech as UN secretary general condemned the Syrian government and its allies for causing the most bloodshed in the Syrian civil war.
  • He seemed to wade into the US election, warning candidates “not engage in the cynical and dangerous political maths that says you add votes by dividing people and multiplying fear”.


Excerpts from Barack Obama’s final address to the UNGA

Pres. Obama at : “A nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself.” http://cnn.it/2cNvHeb 

Obama: “We must reject… racism, or a belief in ethnic superiority” and embrace tolerance http://cnn.it/2cApyPe 

Pres. Obama: “We have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are desperate for a home.”

.@POTUS: The integration of our global economy has made life better for billions of men, women and children.

“Our identities do not have to be defined by putting someone else down but can be enhanced by lifting someone else up” —@POTUS at

“We need to embrace the tolerance that results from respect of all human beings” –@POTUS at

“A world in which 1% of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99% will never be stable.” —@POTUS at



Danger of  “extremism and intolerance” around the world

Andrej Kiska, the president of the Slovak Republic is  speaking about concerns  that are becoming a central theme of the assembly:

“There is a real danger in the rise of nationalism, extremism, intolerance in many parts of the world. I am certain responsible leaders need to address these dark moods in our society. Because they are the enemy of mankind.”

“One of our most obvious duties is to provide for peace and development. However we are witnessing the largest crises of displacement since World War Two.”

“When a terrorist group enslaves and takes hold of [kidnaps] men, women, and children it is global problem… they encourage hostility between nations” and the “clash of civilisations”. He said UN member states needed to remain strong in their values.  “We need to stop growing anger, prejudice and hostility to different races and religions”. 


‘Show some respect’

The individual convening the UNGA is repeatedly calling on attendees to stop talking among themselves and “show some respect” as Andrej Kiska, the president of the Slovak Republic prepares to take the stage.

He called those leaving the hall to do so quietly, again urging them to “show respect”.

Angela Merkel had to skip the U.N. General Assembly in New York as the voters in Germany are in revolt while rejecting her leadership….

Workers dig the foundations of a wall near the Calais migrant “Jungle” camp on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 (during the UN General Assembly) to stop migrants from jumping on lorries bound for Britain. Credit AFP


A personal, heart felt moment at the end of Obama’s speech

Obama struck a personal tone in the final minutes of his address, tying the future of his own children to those of children around the globe.

He said he could best look after his own daughters by pushing for policies that secure the future “for your children”. “This is what I believe,” he said.

He said America had been a “force for good” throughout the world. He said it is necessary to give up some freedom of action to bind countries to international rules.

And he said we “have to open our hearts” and do more to help refugees.

He said he was aware that there is a   “a much darker and more cynical version of history we can adopt”. But urged world leaders to choose the more moral path.

He talked about his own family being the product of  different cultures and parts of the world. And he again called for the world to integrate, not divide itself .



A progressive call to tackle climate change

 Obama  urged the world to bring the Paris climate deal into force as soon as possible, calling on leaders not to leave future generations to fix the problem.

“If we don’t act boldly, the bill that could come due will be mass migrations and cities submerged and nations displaced and food supplies decimated and conflicted born of despair,” he said.

“There must be a sense of urgency about bringing the agreement into force and helping poorer countries leapfrog destructive forms of energy.



A dig at Putin

Obama accused Vladimir Putin’s Russia of trying to recover power through force, amid Moscow’s military involvement in Syria and Ukraine.

“In a world that left the age of empire behind, we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force,” Obama said in his final address.

Here’s some history on their relationship: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/11898993/The-awkward-moment-when-Barack-Obama-and-Vladimir-Putin-met-at-the-UN-General-Assembly.html



Syrian government not delighted with Obama’s speech

A look at the delegation in audience as@POTUS speaks about the tragic five-year civil war in that country.



A brief mention of Syria

The White House’s handling of the Syrian crises may come to be seen as the biggest failure of Obama’s presidency, analysts who have begun assessing the president’s legacy have said.

At the UNGA  so far he has only briefly addressed the crisis. In an apparent attempt to exonerate the United States’ role in the crisis Mr Obama said “no external power will be able to force different religious and sectarian communities together for long”.

In a “place like Syria where there is no ultimate military victory to be won”,” he said. He said a diplomatic route for peace was not the only option and  said country’s needed to provide aid to those in need.

A child clears damage and debris in the besieged area of Homs CREDIT:THAER AL KHALIDIYA



A global struggle between authoritarianism and liberalism

Mr Obama said “there appears to be a growing contest between authoritarianism and liberalism right now.”

He said he is not neutral in that contest, believing  in the liberal order with its  “independent judiciaries” and “the rule of law”.

He said some countries who now recognise free markets still don’t accept liberty in governance.

“Building accountable institutions is hard work; the work of generations,” he said.

He said that politics and elections can sometimes appear to be “a zero some sum”. So it’s “not surprising that given these difficulties some feel the future favours a strong man; A top down model”.

“But I believe the road of true democracy remains the better path.”

“Independent media needs to check the abuses of power. Without this evolution ultimately expectations of people will be never met.”

“We need new models for the global marketplace that are inclusive and sustainable.”-@POTUS athttp://go.wh.gov/gRnUNS 

Photo published for President Obama Addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly
President Obama Addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly

Watch as the President delivers his final address to the United Nations in New York City.



Obama has made an impassioned appeal for greater income and social equality across the world.

He said that as imperfect as the international order is these principles of human rights and international law and democracy that we have formed “remain the best” option.

He said: “Our international order has been so successful that we take it for granted that the battle fields of Europe remain peaceful.”

“But the existing path to globalisation requires a course correction.”

He said technological developments have made it easier than ever before for the poor to have an intimate look at the lives of the world’s rich and privileged.

He said the United States has focused creating “thousands” of jobs, working to rebalance its chronic income inequality.

He said he has pushed for trade deals that help improve worker rights. He said that countries around the world need to do more to balance income inequality.

“It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” he said.


President Obama has begun his last UNGA address calling for greater integration between nations

President Obama has begun his last UNGA address calling for greater integration between nations and respect for the “international order”.

He opened talking about how “our assistance is helping people feed themselves, powering communities across Africa and promoting models of development that create independence”. He spoke of advances in climate change.

He said however, that around world the same forces that made us interdependent, are causing “fault lines in  our international order”.

“This is the paradox that defines our world today. A quarter of a century after the end of the cold war the world is by many measures less violent and more prosperous than ever before. And yet societies are  filled with unease.”

“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.”



Ban’s passionate words on Syria come as ceasefire collapses

The UN chief told leaders that “powerful patrons” of both sides in the more than five-year Syrian conflict “have blood on their hands”

“Present in this hall today are representatives of governments that have ignored, facilitated, funded, participated in or even planned and carried out atrocities inflicted by all sides of the Syria conflict against Syrian civilians,” he said.

Ban said “many groups have killed innocent civilians – none more so than the government of Syria.”

His words were made all the more powerful – and depressing – by the announcement that the United Nations has today suspended all aid shipments into Syria  following a deadly attack on a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies.

Washington said it was “outraged” by the apparent air strike that hit a 31-truck aid convoy late on Monday.

Both Russia and the Syrian government denied launching an air strike on the convoy,  although the allied actors had again begun bombing parts of northern Aleppo province, in violation of a ceasefire.

Read our report from Middle East correspondent Josie Ensor.

A damaged truck carrying aid is seen on the side of the road in the town of Orum al-Kubra on the western outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 20, 2016, the morning after a convoy delivering aid was hit by a deadly air strike. The UN said at least 18 trucks in the 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed en route to deliver humanitarian assistance to the hard-to-reach town. CREDIT: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP

There’s more:



Syria’s Assad and Russian President Putin were too busy to attend the U.N. General Assembly this week….

 (September 19, 2016)


 (Read the Associated Press)



Kim Jong-un was too busy for the U.N. this week…


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and over 3,000 Filipinos killed by extrajudicial or summary executions were absent from the U.N. this week…

In this picture taken on July 8, 2016, police officers investigate the dead body of an alleged drug dealer, his face covered with packing tape and a placard reading “I’m a pusher”, on a street in Manila. Getty Images

Evo Morales

Bolivia’s leftwing President Evo Morales was too busy to be at the U.N. this week….


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One Response to “UN General Assembly: Theresa May pledges billions to tackle terrorism and to stop hundreds of thousands of migrants travelling to Europe — Obama talks about “International Order””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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