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President Obama Will Accept Nobel Peace Prize as a Call to Action

"I will accept this award as a call to action --
a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.
. . . we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts
that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years . . ."

- President Barack Obama

United States Mission to the United Nations

What are some of those "common challenges of the 21st century"?

The US government hosted UN link above, identifies some of these global issues as:

Peace & Security
Nonproliferation & Disarmament
Poverty & Development
Climate Change
Human Rights & Democracy
United Nations Reform

As the Obama Administration's Ambassador to the UN, put it recently

"change is essential because we face an extraordinary array of global challenges ..."


The Brookings Institution, is also following these many Challenges. Recently they hosted a little discussion on the subject:

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for a major foreign policy speech on August 13, 2009. In the speech, Rice outlined the Obama administration’s plans to work through the U.N. to address the world’s looming global challenges.

Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice (pdf), U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations,

At New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and the Center on International Cooperation,

"A New Course in the World, a New Approach at the UN," -- August 12, 2009

Ambassador Susan Rice:

[...]
And today, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I’d like to offer some thoughts about how the United States is changing the course it charts in the world -- and how, consistent with our new direction, we are rather dramatically changing our approach to the United Nations.

That change is essential because we face an extraordinary array of global challenges:

-- poorly guarded nuclear weapons and material,
-- a global financial meltdown,
-- wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,
-- Iran and North Korea building their nuclear weapons capabilities,
-- al-Qaeda and its affiliates,
-- genocide and mass atrocities,
-- cyber attacks on our digital infrastructure,
-- international crime and drug trafficking,
-- pandemics, and
-- a climate that is warming by the day.

These are transnational security threats that cross national borders as freely as a storm. By definition, they cannot be tackled by any one country alone.


Since taking office, the Obama Administration has acted internationally on the basis of three core premises.

First, the global challenges we face cannot be met without U.S. leadership.

But second, while U.S. leadership is necessary, it’s rarely sufficient. We need the effective cooperation of a broad range of friends and partners.

And third, others will likely shoulder a greater share of the global burden if the United States leads by example, acknowledges mistakes, corrects course when necessary, forges strategies in partnership and treats others with respect.


The reach, scale, and complexity of these 21st-century security challenges put unprecedented demands on states and the entire infrastructure of international cooperation that we helped to build after 1945.

If ever there were a time for effective multilateral cooperation in pursuit of U.S. interests and a shared future of greater peace and prosperity, it is now. We stand at a true crossroads. We must move urgently to reinvigorate the basis for common action.

The bedrock of that cooperation must be a community of states committed to solving collective problems and capable of meeting the responsibilities of effective sovereignty.
[...]
Our values compel us to reduce poverty, disease, and hunger, to end preventable deaths of mothers and children, and to build self-sufficiency in agriculture, health, and education.

But so too does our national interest. Whether the peril is terrorism, pandemics, narcotics, human trafficking, or civil strife, a state so weak that it incubates a threat is also a state too weak to contain a threat.

In the 21st century, therefore we can have no doubt: as President Obama has said time and again, America’s security and wellbeing are inextricably linked to those of people everywhere.
[...]
Today, as we steer a new course at the United Nations, our guiding principles are clear: We value the UN as a vehicle for advancing U.S. policies and universal rights. We work for change from within rather than criticizing from the sidelines. We stand strong in defense of America’s interests and values, but we don’t dissent just to be contrary. We listen to states great and small. We build coalitions. We meet our responsibilities. We pay our bills. We push for real reform. And we remember that, in an interconnected world, what’s good for others is often good for the United States as well.
[...]
Real change does not come from sitting on the sidelines. Real change can only come through painstaking, principled diplomacy. So we will work hard to reduce customary divisions. We will demand fair treatment for Israel. We will amplify the voices of those suffering under the world’s cruelest regimes. And we will lead by example through our actions at home and our support for those risking their lives for democracy and human rights abroad.

It will not be easy. It will not be quick. But let’s remember the words of a former university president who once said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Well, if you think engagement is imperfect, try isolation.


Wow that's quite an agenda. Nobel Prize recognition is indeed in order, if we can bring the world together, to make significant progress, on these very worthy "global goals".

All nations of peace, indeed, must rise up, to confront these common (and difficult) challenges, we face as the 21st century looms ...

Thank goodness we finally have a Leader, who even realizes that such Challenges are there!

What a difference a real Election can make, eh?

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:57 PM PDT.

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