通訳 スカイプで学習! 柴田バネッサの通訳演習

時代アカデミーでは、先祖が残してくれた古武道の忍者武芸その他、護身や英語通訳教室を提供しています。
道場で忍者 鎧 手裏剣体験 Hands-on Ninja Experience in Tokyo
電話:090-3691-8165   住所:東京都北区田端6-3-5 メール:office@musashi.ninja

バネッサの通訳講座 通訳入門から同通まで


スカイプ 日時固定コース(50分) (全てプライベート・レッスン)45分の無料体験あります。


木曜 デイタイム  09:00-18:00 要望があれば調整可 
土曜・日曜フレックスタイム(45分) コース

時間 集中講座 日曜

料金 \26,000円入会金\3,000円開始時間は相談で決定

集中講座を日曜以外の曜日にご希望の方は、お問い合わせ下さい。

HP http://www.geocities.jp/vanessa_482/index.html ia3

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通訳案内士さんのための忍者・侍ツアーの3時間研修  日時は相談
2名以上6名までのグループでお申込み下さい。料金1名3500円

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忍者体験などのサービス

参照:HP http://ninjawarriors.ninja-web.net/experience.html


貸し道場(20畳)

武蔵流忍術クラス。  第1,第3 火曜日 20:00  @時代アカデミー道場  会費:2000円/回 服装:自由(忍者装束推奨) 内容:武蔵一族としての動作。九字、礼法、座法、立法、歩法、車手裏剣(構え、打ち方、理合)要予約


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Global Citizen Awards Remarks by Klaus Schwab and H.E. Shinzo Abe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KP75DUbg3A

 

Global Citizen Awards Remarks by John Kerry and H.E. Matteo Renzi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36K7jBj_i4I

 

Global Citizen Awards Remarks by Paula J. Dobriansky and Nadiya Savchenko (通訳)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTnFpnT1HWc

 

 

2016 Global Citizens Awards - Part 1  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEd8UfTLHAE

 

2016 Global Citizen Awards - Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzBF_8sbSkY

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FULL: Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton - First Presidential Debate 2016 - Hofstra University NY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEHPrYUcoi0

 

Full Speech: VP Joe Biden Campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia, PA (9/27/2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz70o3MpXNs

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 第百九十二回国会における安倍内閣総理大臣所信表明演説

http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/97_abe/statement2/20160926shoshinhyomei.html

 

一 はじめに

 世界一への執念。
 歴代最多のメダルラッシュとなったリオ五輪では、世界の強豪たちに真っ向勝負を挑み、最後の一瞬まで勝利を諦めない選手たちの姿に、日本中が感動しました。
 四年後の東京オリンピック・パラリンピックは、必ずや、世界一の大会にする。何としても、成功させなければなりません。同時に、我が国の「未来」を切り拓く。私たちもまた、世界一暮らしやすい国、世界一信頼される国を目指し、新たなスタートを切る時です。
 参議院選挙で、自由民主党と公明党の連立与党は、目標の改選過半数を大きく上回る勝利を得ることができました。
 「この道を、力強く、前へ」
 これが、選挙で示された国民の意思であります。安定的な政治基盤の上に、しっかりと結果を出していく。国民の負託に応えていく決意であります。
 この国会に求められていることは、目の前の課題から逃げることではありません。挑戦です。いかに困難な課題にもチャレンジし、建設的な議論を行って「結果」を出すことであります。
 一億総活躍、地方創生、農政新時代、そして地球儀を俯瞰する外交。安倍内閣は「未来」への挑戦を続けます。世界の真ん中で輝く、日本の「未来」を、皆さん、共に切り拓いていこうではありませんか。

二 災害復旧・復興

 この夏、台風十号をはじめ記録的な豪雨が相次ぎました。お亡くなりになった方々に哀悼の意を表し、被災された全ての皆様にお見舞いを申し上げます。北海道、東北を中心に各地で、生活インフラ、収穫間近であった農作物などに甚大な被害が発生しており、激甚災害として、その復旧に全力を挙げてまいります。更なる防災・減災対策に取り組み、国土強靱化を進めます。
 熊本地震から五か月。仮設住宅への入居はほぼ完了しましたが、更に災害公営住宅の建設、保育所や介護施設の復旧など、被災地の生活再建を加速します。中小・小規模事業者、農林漁業者の皆さんの事業再開を支援し、生業の復興も進めます。特別交付税を増額し、被災自治体の財政負担を軽減します。一日も早い復興を目指して取り組んでまいります。
 東北では、外国人宿泊者が昨年、震災前を上回りました。「観光先進地・東北」を目指し、新たなチャレンジを支援します。福島では、中間貯蔵施設の建設、除染など住民の帰還に向けた環境整備、廃炉・汚染水対策を着実に進めながら、未来のエネルギー社会を拓く「先駆けの地」として、新しい産業の集積を一層促進してまいります。
 あの大震災、困難の日々を胸に刻みながら、被災地の皆さんと力を合わせ、新しい東北の未来を切り拓いてまいります。

三 アベノミクスの加速
(国際協調)
 英国のEU離脱、失速する新興国経済。世界経済は今、大きなリスクに直面しています。
 新たな危機に陥ることを回避するため、G7が協力して、全ての政策対応を行う。伊勢志摩の地で合意しました。英国のEU離脱の判断に際し、G7が緊密な協議を行い、速やかに行動しました。
 先般のG20では、中国をはじめ新興国とも、この危機感を共有しました。世界経済の成長と市場の安定のため、国際協調の強化に、更なるリーダーシップを発揮してまいります。

(政策総動員)
 G7の議長国として、日本はその責任を果たす。あらゆる政策を総動員いたします。事業規模二十八兆円を超える経済対策を講じ、内需を力強く下支えします。アベノミクスを一層加速し、デフレからの脱出速度を最大限まで引き上げてまいります。
 有効求人倍率は、四十七全ての都道府県で一倍を超えています。史上初めての事です。実質賃金もプラスに転じ、六か月連続でアップ。雇用の拡大、賃金の上昇による「経済の好循環」が生まれています。
 この流れをより確かなものにする。本年、最低賃金を、時給方式となって過去最大の二十五円引き上げます。千円を目指し、社会全体の所得の底上げを図ります。
 「経済の好循環」の成否は、全国の中小・小規模事業者の皆さんの元気にかかっています。生産性向上、販路開拓などの努力を後押しします。下請法の運用基準を十三年ぶりに抜本改訂し、下請取引の条件改善を進めます。低利融資による資金繰り支援と併せ、地域経済を支える金融機関のセーフティネットである金融機能強化法を延長します。
 消費税率十%への引上げを三十か月延期します。平成三十一年十月の実施に向け、軽減税率導入へ準備を進めます。それまでの間、逆進性対策として、所得の低い世帯への給付を行います。
 消費増税が延期された中にあっても、二〇二〇年度の財政健全化目標を堅持します。アベノミクスの果実も活かし、優先順位を付けながら社会保障を充実していきます。無年金者対策は喫緊の課題であり、来年度中に、年金受給資格期間を二十五年から十年へと短縮します。「成長と分配の好循環」を創り上げてまいります。

四 一億総活躍

   経済対策のキーワードは「未来への投資」。一億総活躍の「未来」を見据え、子育て支援、介護の拡充を進めます。
 「介護離職ゼロ」を目指し、五十万人分の介護の受け皿を前倒しで整備します。介護休業に積極的な事業者を新たな助成金で支援します。
 「介護の仕事は、本当にやりがいがある。そのことを国民の皆さんに正しく理解してもらいたい。」
 介護福祉士を目指す学生、小金栞さんから聞いた言葉が、私の耳から離れません。大きな希望を持って介護や保育の道を進んだ、こうした皆さんの高い使命感に、私たちはしっかりと応えていかなければなりません。
 技能や経験に応じた給料アップの仕組みを創るなど処遇の改善に取り組みます。補助者の活用などにより現場の負担軽減を進めます。再就職準備金を倍増する他、あらゆる手を尽くして、必要な人材の確保に努めていきます。
 保育の受け皿整備を加速します。小学生の放課後の受け皿づくりも、学校施設を活用し、全国で展開します。子育て支援を拡充することで、「希望出生率一・八」に向かって、歩みを進めてまいります。
 「みんな限界にチャレンジしている」
 パラリンピック三大会に出場した佐藤真海さんが、かつて私に語ってくれました。リオ・パラリンピックでは、限界を全く感じさせないアスリートたちの姿に、日本全体が勇気をもらいました。
 障害や難病のある人も、お年寄りも若者も、女性も男性も、一度失敗を経験した人も、誰もが生きがいを感じられる社会を創ることができれば、少子高齢化というピンチも、大きなチャンスに変えることができるはずです。
 二〇二〇年、そしてその先の未来に向かって、誰もがその能力を存分に発揮できる社会を創る。一億総活躍の「未来」を皆さんと共に切り拓いてまいります。
 その大きな鍵は、働き方改革です。働く人の立場に立った改革。意欲ある皆さんに多様なチャンスを生み出す、労働制度の大胆な改革を進めます。
 子育て、介護など多様なライフスタイルと仕事とを両立させるためには、長時間労働の慣行を断ち切ることが必要です。
 同一労働同一賃金を実現します。不合理な待遇差を是正するため、新たなガイドラインを年内を目途に策定します。必要な法改正に向けて、躊躇することなく準備を進めます。「非正規」という言葉を、皆さん、この国から一掃しようではありませんか。
 定年引上げに積極的な企業を支援します。意欲ある高齢者の皆さんに多様な就労機会を提供していきます。
 各般にわたる労働制度の改革プラン、「働き方改革実行計画」を、今年度内にまとめます。可能なものから速やかに実行し、一億総活躍の「未来」を切り拓いてまいります。
 若者こそ、我が国の「未来」。若者への投資を拡大します。本年採用する進学予定者から、その成績にかかわらず、必要とする全ての学生が、無利子の奨学金を受けられるようにします。給付型の奨学金も、来年度予算編成の中で実現いたします。

五 地方創生

 一人の若き農業者と、先日、山形で出会いました。
 「美しい田んぼを守っていきたい」
 二十二歳の工藤ひかりさんは、農業の道を志した理由をこう語ってくれました。汗水流して収穫したラズベリー。「おいしかったよ」という声に大きなやりがいを感じているそうです。
 農家の平均年齢は今、六十六歳を超えています。他方、一見困難に思える、その世界に飛び込み、チャレンジする若者たちがいます。
 過疎化、高齢化。地方が直面する困難は、深刻です。しかし、特色ある農林水産物、豊かな自然、伝統・文化。それぞれの地方が持つ個性は、いまだ十分に活かされているとは言えません。ここに、大きなチャンスがあります。
 安倍内閣は、地方創生の未来に、大胆に投資していきます。
 財政投融資を活用し、リニア中央新幹線の全線開業を最大八年間前倒しします。整備新幹線の建設も加速し、東京と大阪を大きなハブとしながら、全国を一つの経済圏に統合する「地方創生回廊」を整えます。それぞれの地方が、自らのアイデアで、自らの未来を切り拓く。自治体による地方創生への挑戦を、新しい交付金によって応援します。

(観光立国)
 宮崎の油津港では、海外からのクルーズ船が、四年前の三倍に増えました。英語での観光案内を地元の高校生たちが買って出るなど、地域に活気が生まれています。
 旅行収支が、昨年、史上初めて一兆円の黒字となりました。外国人観光客は、三年間で二倍以上に増え、本年、過去最高、二千万人を大きく上回る見込みです。
 次は、四千万人の高みを目指し、観光分野に大胆に投資します。
 岸壁の整備、客船ターミナルの建設など、クルーズ船受入れのための港湾整備を進めます。滑走路の増設など地方空港の機能を強化します。那覇空港や高松空港では、来月から入国審査手続の一部を事前に行うバイオカートを導入し、審査待ち時間を最大三割短縮します。最先端技術を積極的に活用し、世界一の出入国管理体制を整えてまいります。
 二〇一八年を目途に、三大メガバンクのATMコーナーの半分、三千台で、海外発行のカードを使えるようにします。クレジットカードのIC対応を義務化し、外国人観光客の皆さんが安心して決済できる環境を整えます。
 世界一安全な国創りも欠かせません。多くの若者たちの将来を奪った軽井沢スキーバス事故の教訓を踏まえ、貸切バス事業への監査機能を抜本的に強化し、許可更新制を導入します。
 ホテルなどの建設を後押しするため、本年から容積率規制を大幅に緩和しました。Wi‐Fiの整備なども支援します。「観光インフラ整備プログラム」を年内に策定し、外国人観光客四千万人時代を見据え、投資を加速してまいります。

(農政新時代)
 これからの成長の主役は、地方。目指すは、世界であります。
 三年連続で過去最高を更新してきた農林水産物の輸出は、本年も、昨年を上回るペースです。
 TPPの早期発効を大きなチャンスとして、一兆円目標の早期達成を目指します。その先には、欧州とのEPAの年内大筋合意を目指すなど、「良いものが良い」と評価される経済ルールを世界へ広げ、おいしくて、安全な日本の農林水産物を、世界に売り込みます。輸出基地、輸出対応型施設を全国に整備します。国際的に遜色ない生産性を目指し、経営規模の拡大も支援します。
 農政新時代。その扉を開くのは改革です。農家の所得を増やすため、生産から加工・流通まであらゆる面での構造改革を進めていきます。肥料や飼料を一円でも安く仕入れ、農産物を一円でも高く買ってもらう。そうした農家の皆さんの努力を後押しします。年内を目途に、改革プログラムを取りまとめます。
 夢や情熱を持って、農林水産業の「未来」に挑戦する。そうした皆さんを、全力で応援してまいります。

(世界一を目指す気概)
 世界シェア七割。
 欧州、アジアなど世界中で、今、カニ蒲鉾が一世を風靡しています。その製造装置で、世界の市場を制覇したのは、地方の中小企業です。
 百年前に誕生した一軒の蒲鉾店は、機械化の工夫を凝らした先に、ものづくり企業へ生まれ変わりました。蒲鉾だけでなく、豆腐や菓子の製造装置など新製品を次々と開発。高い技術力を活かし、世界の食品メーカーに販路を拡大してきました。
 「限りなき挑戦で、世界のオンリーワンを目指す」。宇部から、世界へ、挑戦を続けています。
 ひたすらに世界一を目指す気概。オンリーワンで世界を席巻する匠の技。こういう皆さんが挑戦を続ける限り、日本はまだまだ成長できる。皆さん、今こそ、臆することなく、自信を持って、世界一を目指していこうではありませんか。

六 地球儀を俯瞰する外交
 「一生懸命頑張れば、東京ではメダルを取れるかもしれない」
 リオ五輪・水泳に参加したユスラ・マルディニ選手の言葉です。内戦のシリアを逃れ、凍える寒さの海を泳ぎ切りました。暗い海で、ボートの中の子どもたちを安心させるため、笑顔を見せながら泳ぎ続けたそうです。
 ドイツでも諦めずに練習を続けました。そして目標の地、リオへ。初の難民代表団の一員として、夢のプールサイドに立ったユスラさんは、世界中の難民の人たちに、このメッセージを送りました。
 「夢は叶えられる」
 二〇二〇年「夢」の舞台となる我が国は、その国際社会の期待に応えなければなりません。
 地域紛争、大量の難民、相次ぐテロ、地球温暖化。世界は多くの困難に直面しています。日本は、積極的平和主義の旗を高く掲げ、国際社会と手を携え、世界の平和と繁栄に貢献する決意であります。
 日本の外交・安全保障の基軸は、日米同盟。これは不変の原則です。日米の絆を一層強化し、「希望の同盟」として世界の諸課題に共に立ち向かってまいります。
 その強い信頼関係の下、抑止力を維持しながら、沖縄の基地負担軽減に全力を尽くします。
 北部訓練場、四千ヘクタールの返還を、二十年越しで実現させます。沖縄県内の米軍施設の約二割、本土復帰後、最大の返還であります。〇・九六ヘクタールのヘリパッドを既存の訓練場内に移設することで、その実現が可能となります。もはや先送りは許されません。一つひとつ、確実に結果を出すことによって、沖縄の未来を切り拓いてまいります。
 今月、プーチン大統領と十四回目の会談を行いました。領土問題を解決し、戦後七十一年を経ても平和条約がない異常な状態に終止符を打ち、経済、エネルギーなど日露協力の大きな可能性を開花させる。本年中に大統領訪日を実現し、首脳同士のリーダーシップで交渉を前進させていきます。
 韓国は、戦略的利益を共有する最も重要な隣国であり、未来志向、相互の信頼の下に、新しい時代の協力関係を深化させてまいります。
 中国の平和的発展を歓迎します。地域の平和と繁栄、世界経済に大きな責任を持つことを、共に自覚し、「戦略的互恵関係」の原則の下、大局的な観点から、関係改善を進めてまいります。
 これまで延べ百を超える国・地域を訪れ、地球儀を俯瞰する視点で積極的な外交を展開してきました。自由、民主主義、基本的人権、法の支配といった基本的価値を共有する国々と連携を深めてまいりました。
 「我々は、核兵器のない世界を希求する勇気を持たなければならない」
 本年、現職の米国大統領として初めて、オバマ大統領による被爆地・広島への訪問が実現しました。唯一の戦争被爆国として、我が国は、「核兵器のない世界」を目指し、国際社会と共に、努力を積み重ねてまいります。
 北朝鮮がまたも核実験を強行したことは、国際社会への明確な挑戦であり、断じて容認できません。弾道ミサイルの発射も繰り返しており、強く非難します。このような挑発的な行動は、北朝鮮をますます孤立させ、何の利益にもならないことを理解させるべく、国際社会と緊密に連携しながら、断固として対応してまいります。核、ミサイル、そして、引き続き最重要課題である拉致問題の包括的な解決に向けて具体的な行動を取るよう強く求めます。
 東シナ海、南シナ海、世界中のどこであろうとも、一方的な現状変更の試みは認められません。いかなる問題も、力ではなく、国際法に基づいて、平和的・外交的に解決すべきであります。
 そして、我が国の領土、領海、領空は、断固として守り抜く。強い決意を持って守り抜くことを、お誓い申し上げます。
 現場では、夜を徹して、そして、今この瞬間も、海上保安庁、警察、自衛隊の諸君が、任務に当たっています。極度の緊張感に耐えながら、強い責任感と誇りを持って、任務を全うする。その彼らに対し、今この場所から、心からの敬意を表そうではありませんか。

七 おわりに

 先月、天皇陛下が、国民に向けておことばを発せられました。天皇陛下の御公務の在り方について、御年齢や御公務の負担の現状に鑑みる時、その御心労に思いを致し、有識者会議において国民的な理解の下に議論を深めていく考えであります。

(未来への架け橋)
 橋を架ける。
 熊本の白糸台地は、江戸時代、水に乏しい不毛の大地でした。この困難の中に、布田保之助は、希望を見出しました。
 水路橋を架け、山から水を引く。
 高さ二十メートルもの石橋は当時存在しませんでした。三十億円を超える費用を捻出しなければならない。高い水圧、大雨、想定外の事態に何度も失敗しました。
 それでも、保之助は、決して諦めませんでした。三十年以上にわたる挑戦の末に、「通潤橋」を完成させました。熊本地震で一部損壊したものの、今でも現役。百五十年にわたり白糸台地を潤し、豊かな実りをもたらしてきた。
 まさに「未来への架け橋」となりました。
 少子高齢化、不透明感を増す世界経済、複雑化する国際情勢、厳しい安保環境。我が国は、今も、様々な困難に直面しています。  私たちに求められていることは、悲観することでも、評論することでも、ましてや、批判に明け暮れることでもありません。建設的な議論を行い、先送りすることなく、「結果」を出す。私たちは、国民の代表として、その負託にしっかりと応えていこうではありませんか。
 憲法はどうあるべきか。日本が、これから、どういう国を目指すのか。それを決めるのは政府ではありません。国民です。そして、その案を国民に提示するのは、私たち国会議員の責任であります。与野党の立場を超え、憲法審査会での議論を深めていこうではありませんか。
 決して思考停止に陥ってはなりません。互いに知恵を出し合い、共に「未来」への橋を架けようではありませんか。
 御清聴ありがとうございました。

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安倍晋三 国連総会9/22 北朝鮮非難・南スーダン美談・国連改革を

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVnHIWGn94c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrZXrvIYA8E

 

議長、北朝鮮は今や、平和に対する公然たる脅威としてわれわれの正面に現れました。これに対して何ができるか。今まさに、国連の存在意義が問われています。
 北朝鮮は、SLBMを発射しました。その直後には、弾道ミサイル3発を同時に放ち、いずれも1000キロメートルを飛翔させ、我が国排他的経済水域に着弾させました。このとき民間航空機や船舶に被害がなかったのは、単にまったくの偶然に過ぎません。
 北朝鮮は本年だけで、計21発の弾道ミサイルを飛ばしました。加えてこのたび9月9日には、核弾頭の爆発実験に成功したと宣言しています。
 核爆発実験は、今年の1月に次ぐものでした。しかし一連のミサイル発射と核弾頭の爆発は、景色を一変させるものです。
 北朝鮮による核開発は、累次に及ぶ弾道ミサイル発射と表裏一体のものです。北朝鮮は、疑問をはさむ余地のない計画を、我々の前で実行しているのです。今やその脅威は、これまでとおよそ異なる次元に達したと言うほかありません。
 よって我々は、既往に一線を画す対応をもって、これに応じなくてはならない。力を結集し、北朝鮮の計画を挫かなくてはなりません。
 核実験の一報を聞いたわたくしは、直ちにバラック・オバマ米国大統領に電話をしました。次いで韓国の朴槿恵大統領とも電話で話し、三国で足並みを揃え、北朝鮮に対し断固たる態度を示すことで一致しました。
 次は、国連の出番です。安全保障理事会が、新次元の脅威に対し、明確な態度を示す時です。
 たった、4か月前のことでした。初めて炸裂した核爆弾により、無辜・無数の市民が犠牲となった広島に、オバマ大統領が訪れました。
 誓いを新たにした日でした。たとえどれだけ時間がかかろうと、核廃絶に向けた努力を片時たりとも怠ってはならない。誓いはあの日、太平洋両岸を結んで新たな力を得たのです。
 にもかかわらず、北朝鮮は今、挑発をエスカレートしている。人類の良心に対する挑戦です。もしこれを看過するなら、私たちは、私たち自身の良心に対して、どう申し開きができるのでしょうか。
 平和とは、ガラスのようなものです。磨かれ、透き通った状態では、その存在が意識にのぼりません。小さなヒビは、しばらく無視しても変化を生じないでしょう。
 しかしいつしかヒビは広がって、ガラスはやがて、音を立てて割れてしまう。だからヒビなど入らぬよう、ガラスを注意して扱う心の習慣を、日々営々と育てねばなりません。
 私は、両大戦を踏まえて発足した国連における初志とは、そのような、切実な自覚だったと思います。
 ならばこそ、軍事的挑発を許し続けてよいはずはない。それはガラスに、白昼公然ヒビをつけるに等しい行為だからです。
 しかも今我々の前に現れた平和の脅威、北朝鮮が続ける軍事的挑発の性質は、以前よりもっとはるかに深刻なものです。
 潜水艦から発射する弾道ミサイル。弾道ミサイルに搭載する核弾頭。これらを北朝鮮は、確実に、自らの手中にしつつある。
 かつこれを実行しているのは、当時13歳だった少女を含む多数の日本人を拉致した国です。彼らに速やかな全員の返還を強く要求しています。しかし、残念ながら、北朝鮮は、未だに祖国への帰国を認めず、彼らの人生を奪った国、人権を蹂躙し、権力に対する抑制と均衡がなにひとつ働かない国、国民の困窮を一顧だにせず、核・ミサイル等の軍備増強に邁進する国です。
 国際社会に与える脅威は深刻の度を増し、一層現実的になりました。もはや昨日までとは異なる、新たな対処を必要としています。
 議長、本年12月、日本は国連に加盟し60年の節目を迎えます。国連の前庭で、例年「国際平和デー」に、日本の一市民が送った鐘が静かな音色を響かせるようになってから数えると、62年の月日が流れました。
 あの鐘は鋳型の中で、ローマ法王が送った硬貨を溶かしてつくられた。世界60を超える国の人々、子供たちが送った硬貨やメダルを溶かして鋳造されました。そこに日本人の込めた願いとは、何だったか。
 60年前、名誉あるこの会堂に席を得た日本人が心の奥底から求め、以後一貫して、一切の揺るぎなく望み、かつ主張してきたものとは、いつにかかって世界の平和であり、核兵器の廃絶です。世代を継いで、その実現に向け歩みをやめまいという誓いです。
 議長、私は本来ならば、本日この場で、60年の歩みを振り返り、世界の平和と繁栄を目指した我が国の来し方に、静かな省察を述べるつもりでありました。
 しかし北朝鮮の脅威が新たなレベルに達した今、私は我が国60年の誓いにかけて、決意を語らなくてはならないと感じています。
 国連が、北朝鮮の野心を挫けるか、安保理が、一致して立ち向かえるかに世界の耳目が集中する今、日本は、理事国として、安保理の議論を先導します。
 私はこのことを決意として、本会議場に参集する諸国代表の皆様を前に、断じて述べようとするものであります。
 議長、当面するありとあらゆる課題にもかかわらず、いえ、それゆえに、加盟60年を迎えた日本は、国連を強くするための努力を惜しみません。
 これまで日本が払った国連分担金、PKO分担金の累計は、その時、その時の金額の積み上げで、200億ドルをゆうに上回ります。過去約30年、日本に勝る財政的貢献をした国は、唯一米国を数えるにすぎません。また開発援助の実績は、これもその時々の額を足し上げた数字で、3345億ドルに上ります。
 思いますに、国連には、その歴史を貫く3つの大義がありました。
 平和への貢献、成長の追求、そして、不義と不正のない世界への願望です。日本とは、いずれの大義に対しても、60年力を惜しまなかった国であることを、お認めいただけるのではないでしょうか。
 わけても成長は、全ての基礎となるものです。成長があってこそ平和は根づき、長い時間をかけて不義を正していくことができます。
 御覧ください、民主主義の下に暮らす人口は、今や広域アジアが、他のどの地域をもしのいでいます。これこそは、1980年代半ば以降に、それはあたかも、日本企業がアジア各国に旺盛な直接投資を始めた時期以来ということになりますが、アジアが獲得した成長の果実なのです。
 自由で開かれた通商・投資環境があってこそ、日本は成長できました。アジア諸国に今日の豊かさを与えたものも、また同様であります。
 海洋における平和、安定、安全、並びに航行と上空飛行の自由は、国際社会の平和と繁栄の土台です。
 争いごとがあれば法に基づく主張をし、力や威圧に頼らず、平和的に解決していくとする原則を、国際社会はあくまで堅持しなければなりません。
 日本は、開かれ、自由で、法とルールの支配において揺るぎのない世界の秩序を守る側に、どこまでも立ち続けます。
 また私は、日本政府の中枢に、持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)の実施に向けた特別のチームを作り、自ら率いています。我が政府は気候変動に関わるパリ協定の締結を急ぎ、途上国に向け、2020年における1.3兆円の支援という約束を確実に実施します。
 日本は、既往の60年と同様、この先60年においても、国連強化のため努力を惜しみません。私は、日本国民への信頼にかけて、お約束したいと思います。
 その人は、ジュバの一角に、ふらりと現れました。場所は、我が陸上自衛隊施設部隊が、国連のブルーヘルメットをかぶって活動していたところです。
 「日本が道路を作ってくれることに、自分は感謝している。信頼を寄せている。自分にできることはないか。見返りはなにもいらないから手伝わせてほしい。」
 翌日も、また次の日にも、国連の最も若い加盟国、南スーダンの首都で幹線道路を敷く現場に、その男性は現れました。3日目からは必要な作業を先回りして始めるようになったこの人と、陸自隊員との共同作業は結局8日続きます。
 別れの日、肩を叩きあって離別を惜しむ中、この男性が、やはり感謝の言葉ばかり口にするのを聞いた我が施設部隊隊員たちが、深い感動に襲われたのは言うまでもありません。ジュマ・アゴ・アイザック。隊員たちは、さもなくば無名の、一人の南スーダン人の名前をおのおの手帳に書きつけて、記憶に留めることにしました。
 議長、場所はどこであれ、仕事がなんであれ、国際協力の現場に携わる日本人たちは、常にこうした出会いを無上の喜びとします。
 彼らの行くところ、名もない市井の人々が、自らの力に目覚め、国造りとは自分の立っているそこから始まるのだと自覚する。それを目撃する日本人たちは、自身生涯の思い出となる感動を得る。
 私は、日本と国連との関わりが、過去60年、このように、心と心の交歓をアジアで、アフリカで、随所で築くものだったことに、静かな誇りを覚えるものです。これが日本の、国連精神。忘れず、育て、次世代に継いでいくことをお約束します。
 最後に私は、国連のガバナンス構造に根本的変化が必要であることを指摘し、討論を終えようと思います。
 アフリカや、ラテン・アメリカの国々は、世界の政治でも、経済でも、かつてない影響力を築きました。しかし安保理では、満足な代表をもてていません。この一事をとっても、安保理の現状は、今を生きる世代に説明しようのないものです。
 71年前に戦火が終息した時の国際関係は、今や歴史書の1頁を飾るものでこそあれ、その後に独立を果たした国々にとって縁も、ゆかりもないものです。
 先ごろ日本がアフリカ諸国と開いた会議「TICAD VI」で、私は、安保理にア

North Korea as a threat to peace
Mme. Vice President, North Korea has now manifested itself directly before us as an open threat to peace.  What can we do in response?  The raison d'etre of the United Nations is now truly being tested.
North Korea launched SLBMs.  Immediately after that it fired three ballistic missiles simultaneously, each traversing 1,000 kilometers to reach Japan’s exclusive economic zone.  It is purely a matter of good fortune that no commercial aircraft or ships suffered any damage during this incident.
This year alone, North Korea has launched a total of 21 ballistic missiles.  In addition, it claims to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead in a test on September 9.
That nuclear test followed another test conducted this past January.  This series of launches of missiles and a detonation of a war head does change the landscape completely.
North Korea’s nuclear development and the repeated launches of ballistic missiles are two sides of the same coin.
Right before our eyes, North Korea is carrying out a plan about which there can be no doubt.  There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now.
We must therefore respond to this in a manner entirely distinct from our responses thus far.  We must concentrate our strengths and thwart North Korea’s plans.
Immediately upon hearing the report of the nuclear test, I telephoned President Barack Obama of the United States.  After that I also held telephone talks with President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea. We all agreed that our three countries will demonstrate a resolute attitude towards North Korea, acting in close coordination.
Next is the United Nations’ turn on the stage.  Now is the time for the Security Council to indicate an unmistakable attitude towards this threat of a new dimension.

Leading Security Council discussions
It was only four months ago that President Obama visited Hiroshima, where countless innocent citizens fell victim to the first atomic bomb ever detonated.
It was a day on which we renewed pledges.  However much time it may take, we must never, even for the briefest moment, let up in our efforts towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  Our pledges on that day linked both sides of the Pacific and gained new strength.
Despite this, North Korea is now escalating its provocations.  This is a challenge posed to the conscience of humankind.  Were we to overlook it, how would we justify it to our own consciences?
Peace is something very much like glass.  When well-polished and transparent, we are not conscious of its presence.  And a small crack can be overlooked for a while without giving rise to any changes.
But before you know it, the crack expands and the glass in time shatters with a crash.  That is why day in and day out we must continuously foster the habit of mind of handling glass with great care so that no cracks form.
I believe the original intention of the United Nations, created in the wake of two world wars, was that kind of keen awareness.
For that very reason, it would simply be unacceptable to continue to tolerate military provocation.  It is because that would be an act equivalent to openly and in broad daylight setting a crack into glass.
Moreover, the threat to peace now manifest before us, and the nature of the military provocation North Korea has persisted with, are substantially more serious than before.
Ballistic missiles to be launched from submarines.  Nuclear warheads to be mounted on ballistic missiles.  North Korea is without a doubt poised to have these in its possession.
 And the country carrying this out is a country that abducted a large number of Japanese, including a girl aged 13 at the time. We are demanding that North Korea return them immediately, but they have not agreed upon doing that and deprived them of their peaceful lives and not allowing them to return to their homeland even now.
It is a country that tramples human rights, where no heed whatsoever is paid to restraints on or balances of power.  It is a country pushing ahead with a buildup of arms including nuclear weapons and missiles while paying no attention to the plight of its citizens.
The threat to the international community has become increasingly grave and all the more realistic.  It demands a new means of addressing it, altogether different from what we applied until yesterday.
Mme. Vice President, this December, Japan will mark the 60th anniversary of its accession to the United Nations.
And 62 years have passed if we count from when the peaceful toll of the bronze bell sent by a Japanese citizen began sounding in the front gardens of the UN grounds on the International Day of Peace each year.
That bell was cast by melting down within the mold coins sent by the Pope.  Coins and medals sent by children and adults from more than 60 countries around the world were melted to cast it.  What was the wish of the Japanese people contained therein?
Sixty years ago, what the Japanese who had attained a seat in this distinguished Chamber sought from the depths of their hearts, and thereafter consistently and absolutely unfailingly wished for and advocated for was, single-mindedly, world peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
It was a pledge to be passed down for generations not to stop walking along the path which would make that a reality.
Mme. Vice President, on this occasion today, I had originally intended to look back on the path we have walked these 60 years and convey a quiet reflection on how Japan has travelled that road, aiming at world peace and prosperity.
However, now, with the North Korea threat reaching a new level, I feel I must state my determination in light of Japan having upheld its pledge these 60 years.
Now, as the world concentrates on whether the United Nations will thwart North Korea’s ambitions or the Security Council will be able to confront North Korea in a united way, Japan, as a Security Council member, will lead the Security Council’s discussions.
This, I wish to declare absolutely as my resolution before the distinguished national representatives gathered here in the General Assembly chamber.

Bringing the rule of law to the seas
Mme. Vice President, no matter the issue facing us, or exactly since we are faced with many challenges, Japan, which marks its 60th year since accession, will spare no effort to strengthen the United Nations.
The cumulative total of the assessed contributions to the UN and assessed contributions to peacekeeping operations that Japan has paid in, as a simple tally of the book value of those contributions, easily exceeds 20 billion U.S. dollars.
The one and only country whose total amount of financial contributions surpass those of Japan over the past 30 years is the United States.
In addition, our track record of development assistance amounts to 334.5 billion U.S. dollars, again as a simple tally of the then book value.
In my view, the United Nations has had three great causes pervading its history.
These are the devotion to peace, the pursuit of growth, and the desire for a world free of injustice and unfairness.
I believe you will recognize that Japan is a country that has made all-out efforts regarding each of those causes over these 60 years.
Above all, growth serves as the foundation for all.  Only when there is growth does peace take root and can injustices be rectified over time.
Take a look and see how greater Asia has now surpassed any other region on earth for the size of its population living under democracy.  This is precisely the fruit of the growth that Asia came to enjoy since the mid-1980’s, which happens also to be the period since Japanese companies began their vigorous direct investments in Asian nations.
It is only through a free and open trade and investment environment that Japan was able to grow.  This is the very same thing that has conferred the prosperity of the present day on the countries of Asia.
Peace, stability, and security of the seas as well as freedom of navigation and overflight are the basis for the peace and prosperity of the international community.
Should there be disputes, the international community must adhere strictly to the principles that states shall make their claims based on international law, they shall not use force or coercion in trying to drive their claims, and they shall seek to settle disputes by peaceful means.
Japan will continue to stand without fail on the side that upholds a world order that is open, free, and unwavering in adhering to the rule of law and international rules.
Let me also say that at the core of the Japanese government I have formed a special team which I lead directly that is working to further the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Government of Japan will accelerate the work towards early conclusion of the Paris Agreement on climate change and will carry out without fail its pledge to provide 1.3 trillion yen of assistance for developing countries in 2020.I will make sure that it will be done.
Japan will spare no effort in strengthening the United Nations in the 60 years to come just as it did over the past 60 years.  I wish to pledge this grounded in trust in the Japanese people.

This is Japan’s UN Spirit
The person was seen unexpectedly on a corner in Juba.  The location was a place where members of a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force engineering unit were in the midst of activities wearing the blue helmets of the United Nations.
“I am really thankful that Japan is building roads.  I place my full confidence in you.  Isn’t there anything I can do?  Let me help you.  I don’t need anything in return.”
Again the next day, and the day after that, the man appeared at the worksite where an arterial road was being laid in the capital of South Sudan, the UN's youngest member state.  From the third day, the man began doing the work that he knew would be necessary, and ultimately he continued working together with the members of the Self-Defense Force for eight days.
On the day they went separate ways, as they were patting each other on the back while regretting they had to part, it goes without saying that our engineering unit members, who had heard nothing but words of thanks from this man, were deeply moved.
Juma Ago Isaac.  The SDF members each wrote the name of this otherwise nameless man from South Sudan in their notebooks to remember him.
Mme. Vice President, no matter what the job or where, the Japanese engaged in international cooperation there at the local worksites always consider this kind of encounter to be the greatest pleasure.
Wherever they go, the nameless people there wake up to their own abilities and realize that nation-building begins from the very place where they themselves are standing.  The Japanese witnessing this are moved in ways that become memories lasting their entire lives.
It is a source of quiet pride for me that the relationship between Japan and the United Nations has for the past 60 years brought hearts together in this way in Asia, in Africa, and indeed all around the world.  This is Japan’s UN spirit.  I pledge not to forget this and to foster it and hand it down to the next generation.

Reform of the Security Council as a matter of urgency
I will end my address by pointing out the need for fundamental changes in the UN governance structure.  Countries in Africa and Latin America have built up a degree of influence they have never had before in global politics and the global economy, and yet they do not have satisfactory representation on the Security Council.  Just this single example makes the current state of affairs on the Security Council indefensible to the generation alive now.
Although international relations at the time the war drew to an end 71 years ago do appear on a page in the history books even now, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the countries that achieved their independence since then.
At the TICAD VI summit Japan convened recently with the countries of Africa, I heard the leaders call the circumstances by which Africa has no permanent representation on the Security Council a “historical injustice,” to which I nodded deeply in agreement.  Africa’s long-term vision has set forth the goal of Africa having permanent members on the Security Council by 2023, and Japan supports this thoroughly.
If we do not carry out the reform of the Security Council now, it will easily be put off for a decade or two.  Will we stand in the position of harming the values of the UN?  Or will we wish for a strengthening of the UN?  If it is the latter, then it goes without saying that reform of the Security Council is a matter of urgency.
I will end my address here, placing emphasis on this point.  Thank you very much.

フリカの代表がない状況を「歴史的不正義」と彼らが呼ぶのを聞き、深く頷きました。アフリカはその長期ビジョンにおいて、2023年までに、アフリカから常任理事国を出すことを目標に掲げています。大いに支持したいと思っています。
 安保理の改革は、今実行するのでなければ、容易に10年、20年と先送りされてしまいます。国連の価値を損ねる立場に立つのか。それとも我々は、国連の強化を念じるのか。後者に立つ限り、安保理改革が急務であることは多言を要しません。
 この点を強調し、討論を終えます。ありがとうございました。http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/97_abe/statement/2016/0921enzetsu.html

 

 

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President Obama Speaks at the General Assembly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJzLC-AAWHw

 

Address by President Obama to the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The United Nations
New York, New York 

10:29 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Mr. President; Mr. Secretary General; fellow delegates; ladies and gentlemen:  As I address this hall as President for the final time, let me recount the progress that we’ve made these last eight years.

From the depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time, we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth.  We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy.  We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America’s longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly.  Our assistance is helping people feed themselves, care for the sick, power communities across Africa, and promote models of development rather than dependence.  And we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative, while establishing a framework to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.

This is important work.  It has made a real difference in the lives of our people.  And it could not have happened had we not worked together.  And yet, around the globe we are seeing the same forces of global integration that have made us interdependent also expose deep fault lines in the existing international order. 

We see it in the headlines every day.  Around the world, refugees flow across borders in flight from brutal conflict.  Financial disruptions continue to weigh upon our workers and entire communities.  Across vast swaths of the Middle East, basic security, basic order has broken down.  We see too many governments muzzling journalists, and quashing dissent, and censoring the flow of information.  Terrorist networks use social media to prey upon the minds of our youth, endangering open societies and spurring anger against innocent immigrants and Muslims.  Powerful nations contest the constraints placed on them by international law.

This is the paradox that defines our world today.  A quarter century after the end of the Cold War, the world is by many measures less violent and more prosperous than ever before, and yet our societies are filled with uncertainty, and unease, and strife.  Despite enormous progress, as people lose trust in institutions, governing becomes more difficult and tensions between nations become more quick to surface.

And so I believe that at this moment we all face a choice. 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 backward.  I believe that as imperfect as they are, the principles of open markets and accountable governance, of democracy and human rights and international law that we have forged remain the firmest foundation for human progress in this century.  I make this argument not based on theory or ideology, but on facts -- facts that all too often, we forget in the immediacy of current events. 

Here’s the most important fact:  The integration of our global economy has made life better for billions of men, women and children.  Over the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut from nearly 40 percent of humanity to under 10 percent.  That's unprecedented.  And it's not an abstraction.  It means children have enough to eat; mothers don’t die in childbirth. 

Meanwhile, cracking the genetic code promises to cure diseases that have plagued us for centuries.  The Internet can deliver the entirety of human knowledge to a young girl in a remote village on a single hand-held device.  In medicine and in manufacturing, in education and communications, we’re experiencing a transformation of how human beings live on a scale that recalls the revolutions in agriculture and industry.  And as a result, a person born today is more likely to be healthy, to live longer, and to have access to opportunity than at any time in human history. 

Moreover, the collapse of colonialism and communism has allowed more people than ever before to live with the freedom to choose their leaders.  Despite the real and troubling areas where freedom appears in retreat, the fact remains that the number of democracies around the world has nearly doubled in the last 25 years. 

In remote corners of the world, citizens are demanding respect for the dignity of all people no matter their gender, or race, or religion, or disability, or sexual orientation, and those who deny others dignity are subject to public reproach.  An explosion of social media has given ordinary people more ways to express themselves, and has raised people’s expectations for those of us in power.  Indeed, our international order has been so successful that we take it as a given that great powers no longer fight world wars; that the end of the Cold War lifted the shadow of nuclear Armageddon; that the battlefields of Europe have been replaced by peaceful union; that China and India remain on a path of remarkable growth.

I say all this not to whitewash the challenges we face, or to suggest complacency.  Rather, I believe that we need to acknowledge these achievements in order to summon the confidence to carry this progress forward and to make sure that we do not abandon those very things that have delivered this progress.

In order to move forward, though, we do have to acknowledge that the existing path to global integration requires a course correction.  As too often, those trumpeting the benefits of globalization have ignored inequality within and among nations; have ignored the enduring appeal of ethnic and sectarian identities; have left international institutions ill-equipped, underfunded, under-resourced, in order to handle transnational challenges.

And as these real problems have been neglected, alternative visions of the world have pressed forward both in the wealthiest countries and in the poorest:  Religious fundamentalism; the politics of ethnicity, or tribe, or sect; aggressive nationalism; a crude populism -- sometimes from the far left, but more often from the far right -- which seeks to restore what they believe was a better, simpler age free of outside contamination.

We cannot dismiss these visions.  They are powerful.  They reflect dissatisfaction among too many of our citizens.  I do not believe those visions can deliver security or prosperity over the long term, but I do believe that these visions fail to recognize, at a very basic level, our common humanity.  Moreover, I believe that the acceleration of travel and technology and telecommunications -- together with a global economy that depends on a global supply chain -- makes it self-defeating ultimately for those who seek to reverse this progress.  Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself.

So the answer cannot be a simple rejection of global integration.  Instead, we must work together to make sure the benefits of such integration are broadly shared, and that the disruptions -- economic, political, and cultural -- that are caused by integration are squarely addressed.  This is not the place for a detailed policy blueprint, but let me offer in broad strokes those areas where I believe we must do better together.

It starts with making the global economy work better for all people and not just for those at the top.  While open markets, capitalism have raised standards of living around the globe, globalization combined with rapid progress and technology has also weakened the position of workers and their ability to secure a decent wage.  In advanced economies like my own, unions have been undermined, and many manufacturing jobs have disappeared.  Often, those who benefit most from globalization have used their political power to further undermine the position of workers. 

In developing countries, labor organizations have often been suppressed, and the growth of the middle class has been held back by corruption and underinvestment.  Mercantilist policies pursued by governments with export-driven models threaten to undermine the consensus that underpins global trade.  And meanwhile, global capital is too often unaccountable -- nearly $8 trillion stashed away in tax havens, a shadow banking system that grows beyond the reach of effective oversight.

A world in which one percent of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99 percent will never be stable.  I understand that the gaps between rich and poor are not new, but just as the child in a slum today can see the skyscraper nearby, technology now allows any person with a smartphone to see how the most privileged among us live and the contrast between their own lives and others.  Expectations rise, then, faster than governments can deliver, and a pervasive sense of injustice undermine people’s faith in the system.

So how do we fix this imbalance?  We cannot unwind integration any more than we can stuff technology back into a box.  Nor can we look to failed models of the past.  If we start resorting to trade wars, market distorting subsidies, beggar thy neighbor policies, an overreliance on natural resources instead of innovation -- these approaches will make us poorer, collectively, and they are more like to lead to conflict.  And the stark contrast between, say, the success of the Republic of Korea and the wasteland of North Korea shows that central, planned control of the economy is a dead end.

But I do believe there’s another path -- one that fuels growth and innovation, and offers the clearest route to individual opportunity and national success.  It does not require succumbing to a soulless capitalism that benefits only the few, but rather recognizes that economies are more successful when we close the gap between rich and poor, and growth is broadly based. And that means respecting the rights of workers so they can organize into independent unions and earn a living wage.  It means investing in our people -- their skills, their education, their capacity to take an idea and turn it into a business.  It means strengthening the safety net that protects our people from hardship and allows them to take more risks -- to look for a new job, or start a new venture.

These are the policies that I’ve pursued here in the United States, and with clear results.  American businesses have created now 15 million new jobs.  After the recession, the top one percent of Americans were capturing more than 90 percent of income growth.  But today, that's down to about half.  Last year, poverty in this country fell at the fastest rate in nearly 50 years.  And with further investment in infrastructure and early childhood education and basic research, I’m confident that such progress will continue. 

So just as I’ve pursued these measures here at home, so has the United States worked with many nations to curb the excesses of capitalism -- not to punish wealth, but to prevent repeated crises that can destroy it.  That’s why we’ve worked with other nations to create higher and clearer standards for banking and taxation -- because a society that asks less of oligarchs than ordinary citizens will rot from within.  That’s why we’ve pushed for transparency and cooperation in rooting out corruption, and tracking illicit dollars, because markets create more jobs when they're fueled by hard work, and not the capacity to extort a bribe.  That’s why we’ve worked to reach trade agreements that raise labor standards and raise environmental standards, as we've done with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so that the benefits are more broadly shared.

And just as we benefit by combatting inequality within our countries, I believe advanced economies still need to do more to close the gap between rich and poor nations around the globe.  This is difficult politically.  It's difficult to spend on foreign assistance.  But I do not believe this is charity.  For the small fraction of what we spent at war in Iraq we could support institutions so that fragile states don’t collapse in the first place, and invest in emerging economies that become markets for our goods.  It's not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do.

And that’s why we need to follow through on our efforts to combat climate change.  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 conflicts born of despair.  The Paris Agreement gives us a framework to act, but only if we scale up our ambition.  And there must be a sense of urgency about bringing the agreement into force, and helping poorer countries leapfrog destructive forms of energy. 

So, for the wealthiest countries, a Green Climate Fund should only be the beginning.  We need to invest in research and provide market incentives to develop new technologies, and then make these technologies accessible and affordable for poorer countries.  And only then can we continue lifting all people up from poverty without condemning our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair.

So we need new models for the global marketplace, models that are inclusive and sustainable.  And in the same way, we need models of governance that are inclusive and accountable to ordinary people.

I recognize not every country in this hall is going to follow the same model of governance.  I do not think that America can -- or should -- impose our system of government on other countries.  But there appears to be growing contest between authoritarianism and liberalism right now.  And I want everybody to understand, I am not neutral in that contest.  I believe in a liberal political order -- an order built not just through elections and representative government, but also through respect for human rights and civil society, and independent judiciaries and the rule of law.

I know that some countries, which now recognize the power of free markets, still reject the model of free societies.  And perhaps those of us who have been promoting democracy feel somewhat discouraged since the end of the Cold War, because we've learned that liberal democracy will not just wash across the globe in a single wave.  It turns out building accountable institutions is hard work -- the work of generations.  The gains are often fragile.  Sometimes we take one step forward and then two steps back.  In countries held together by borders drawn by colonial powers, with ethnic enclaves and tribal divisions, politics and elections can sometimes appear to be a zero-sum game.  And so, given the difficulty in forging true democracy in the face of these pressures, it’s no surprise that some argue the future favors the strongman, a top-down model, rather than strong, democratic institutions.

But I believe this thinking is wrong.  I believe the road of true democracy remains the better path.  I believe that in the 21st century, economies can only grow to a certain point until they need to open up -- because entrepreneurs need to access information in order to invent; young people need a global education in order to thrive; independent media needs to check the abuses of power.  Without this evolution, ultimately expectations of people will not be met; suppression and stagnation will set in.  And history shows that strongmen are then left with two paths -- permanent crackdown, which sparks strife at home, or scapegoating enemies abroad, which can lead to war. 

Now, I will admit, my belief that governments serve the individual, and not the other way around, is shaped by America’s story.  Our nation began with a promise of freedom that applied only to the few.  But because of our democratic Constitution, because of our Bill of Rights, because of our ideals, ordinary people were able to organize, and march, and protest, and ultimately, those ideals won out -- opened doors for women and minorities and workers in ways that made our economy more productive and turned our diversity into a strength; that gave innovators the chance to transform every area of human endeavor; that made it possible for someone like me to be elected President of the United States.

So, yes, my views are shaped by the specific experiences of America, but I do not think this story is unique to America.  Look at the transformation that's taken place in countries as different as Japan and Chile, Indonesia, Botswana.  The countries that have succeeded are ones in which people feel they have a stake. 

In Europe, the progress of those countries in the former Soviet bloc that embraced democracy stand in clear contrast to those that did not.  After all, the people of Ukraine did not take to the streets because of some plot imposed from abroad.  They took to the streets because their leadership was for sale and they had no recourse.  They demanded change because they saw life get better for people in the Baltics and in Poland, societies that were more liberal, and democratic, and open than their own.

So those of us who believe in democracy, we need to speak out forcefully, because both the facts and history, I believe, are on our side.  That doesn’t mean democracies are without flaws.  It does mean that the cure for what ails our democracies is greater engagement by our citizens -- not less. 

Yes, in America, there is too much money in politics; too much entrenched partisanship; too little participation by citizens, in part because of a patchwork of laws that makes it harder to vote.  In Europe, a well-intentioned Brussels often became too isolated from the normal push and pull of national politics.  Too often, in capitals, decision-makers have forgotten that democracy needs to be driven by civic engagement from the bottom up, not governance by experts from the top down.  And so these are real problems, and as leaders of democratic governments make the case for democracy abroad, we better strive harder to set a better example at home.

Moreover, every country will organize its government informed by centuries of history, and the circumstances of geography, and the deeply held beliefs of its people.  So I recognize a traditional society may value unity and cohesion more than a diverse country like my own, which was founded upon what, at the time, was a radical idea -- the idea of the liberty of individual human beings endowed with certain God-given rights.  But that does not mean that ordinary people in Asia, or Africa, or the Middle East somehow prefer arbitrary rule that denies them a voice in the decisions that can shape their lives.  I believe that spirit is universal.  And if any of you doubt the universality of that desire, listen to the voices of young people everywhere who call out for freedom, and dignity, and the opportunity to control their own lives.  

This leads me to the third thing we need to do:  We must reject any forms of fundamentalism, or racism, or a belief in ethnic superiority that makes our traditional identities irreconcilable with modernity.  Instead we need to embrace the tolerance that results from respect of all human beings.

It’s a truism that global integration has led to a collision of cultures; trade, migration, the Internet, all these things can challenge and unsettle our most cherished identities.  We see liberal societies express opposition when women choose to cover themselves.  We see protests responding to Western newspaper cartoons that caricature the Prophet Muhammad.  In a world that left the age of empire behind, we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force.  Asian powers debate competing claims of history.  And in Europe and the United States, you see people wrestle with concerns about immigration and changing demographics, and suggesting that somehow people who look different are corrupting the character of our countries.

Now, there’s no easy answer for resolving all these social forces, and we must respect the meaning that people draw from their own traditions -- from their religion, from their ethnicity, from their sense of nationhood.  But I do not believe progress is possible if our desire to preserve our identities gives way to an impulse to dehumanize or dominate another group. If our religion leads us to persecute those of another faith, if we jail or beat people who are gay, if our traditions lead us to prevent girls from going to school, if we discriminate on the basis of race or tribe or ethnicity, then the fragile bonds of civilization will fray.  The world is too small, we are too packed together, for us to be able to resort to those old ways of thinking.

We see this mindset in too many parts of the Middle East.  There, so much of the collapse in order has been fueled because leaders sought legitimacy not because of policies or programs but by resorting to persecuting political opposition, or demonizing other religious sects, by narrowing the public space to the mosque, where in too many places perversions of a great faith were tolerated.  These forces built up for years, and are now at work helping to fuel both Syria’s tragic civil war and the mindless, medieval menace of ISIL.

The mindset of sectarianism, and extremism, and bloodletting, and retribution that has been taking place will not be quickly reversed.  And if we are honest, we understand that no external power is going to be able to force different religious communities or ethnic communities to co-exist for long.  But I do believe we have to be honest about the nature of these conflicts, and our international community must continue to work with those who seek to build rather than to destroy. 

And there is a military component to that.  It means being united and relentless in destroying networks like ISIL, which show no respect for human life.  But it also means that in a place like Syria, where there’s no ultimate military victory to be won, we’re going to have to pursue the hard work of diplomacy that aims to stop the violence, and deliver aid to those in need, and support those who pursue a political settlement and can see those who are not like themselves as worthy of dignity and respect. 

Across the region’s conflicts, we have to insist that all parties recognize a common humanity and that nations end proxy wars that fuel disorder.  Because until basic questions are answered about how communities co-exist, the embers of extremism will continue to burn, countless human beings will suffer -- most of all in that region -- but extremism will continue to be exported overseas.  And the world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall and prevent it from affecting our own societies.

And what is true in the Middle East is true for all of us.  Surely, religious traditions can be honored and upheld while teaching young people science and math, rather than intolerance. Surely, we can sustain our unique traditions while giving women their full and rightful role in the politics and economics of a nation.  Surely, we can rally our nations to solidarity while recognizing equal treatment for all communities -- whether it’s a religious minority in Myanmar, or an ethnic minority in Burundi, or a racial minority right here in the United States.  And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.  We all have to do better as leaders in tamping down, rather than encouraging, a notion of identity that leads us to diminish others.

And this leads me to the fourth and final thing we need to do, and that is sustain our commitment to international cooperation rooted in the rights and responsibilities of nations. 

As President of the United States, I know that for most of human history, power has not been unipolar.  The end of the Cold War may have led too many to forget this truth.  I’ve noticed as President that at times, both America’s adversaries and some of our allies believe that all problems were either caused by Washington or could be solved by Washington -- and perhaps too many in Washington believed that as well.  (Laughter.)  But I believe America has been a rare superpower in human history insofar as it has been willing to think beyond narrow self-interest; that while we’ve made our share of mistakes over these last 25 years -- and I’ve acknowledged some -- we have strived, sometimes at great sacrifice, to align better our actions with our ideals.  And as a consequence, I believe we have been a force for good. 

We have secured allies.  We’ve acted to protect the vulnerable.  We supported human rights and welcomed scrutiny of our own actions.  We’ve bound our power to international laws and institutions.  When we've made mistakes, we've tried to acknowledge them.  We have worked to roll back poverty and hunger and disease beyond our borders, not just within our borders. 

I'm proud of that.  But I also know that we can't do this alone.  And I believe that if we're to meet the challenges of this century, we are all going to have to do more to build up international capacity.  We cannot escape the prospect of nuclear war unless we all commit to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and pursuing a world without them. 

When Iran agrees to accept constraints on its nuclear program that enhances global security and enhances Iran's ability to work with other nations.  On the other hand, when North Korea tests a bomb that endangers all of us.  And any country that breaks this basic bargain must face consequences.  And those nations with these weapons, like the United States, have a unique responsibility to pursue the path of reducing our stockpiles, and reaffirming basic norms like the commitment to never test them again.

We can't combat a disease like Zika that recognizes no borders -- mosquitos don't respect walls -- unless we make permanent the same urgency that we brought to bear against Ebola -- by strengthening our own systems of public health, by investing in cures and rolling back the root causes of disease, and helping poorer countries develop a public health infrastructure.  

We can only eliminate extreme poverty if the sustainable development goals that we have set are more than words on paper. Human ingenuity now gives us the capacity to feed the hungry and give all of our children -- including our girls -- the education that is the foundation for opportunity in our world.  But we have to put our money where our mouths are.  

And we can only realize the promise of this institution’s founding -- to replace the ravages of war with cooperation -- if powerful nations like my own accept constraints.  Sometimes I'm criticized in my own country for professing a belief in international norms and multilateral institutions.  But I am convinced that in the long run, giving up some freedom of action -- not giving up our ability to protect ourselves or pursue our core interests, but binding ourselves to international rules over the long term -- enhances our security.  And I think that's not just true for us. 

If Russia continues to interfere in the affairs of its neighbors, it may be popular at home, it may fuel nationalist fervor for a time, but over time it is also going to diminish its stature and make its borders less secure.  In the South China Sea, a peaceful resolution of disputes offered by law will mean far greater stability than the militarization of a few rocks and reefs.

We are all stakeholders in this international system, and it calls upon all of us to invest in the success of institutions to which we belong.  And the good news is, is that many nations have shown what kind of progress is possible when we make those commitments.  Consider what we’ve accomplished here over the past few years. 

Together, we mobilized some 50,000 additional troops for U.N. peacekeeping, making them nimble, better equipped, better prepared to deal with emergencies.  Together, we established an Open Government Partnership so that, increasingly, transparency empowers more and more people around the globe.  And together, now, we have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are desperate for a home.

We should all welcome the pledges of increased assistance that have been made at this General Assembly gathering.  I'll be discussing that more this afternoon.  But we have to follow through, even when the politics are hard.  Because in the eyes of innocent men and women and children who, through no fault of their own, have had to flee everything that they know, everything that they love, we have to have the empathy to see ourselves.  We have to imagine what it would be like for our family, for our children, if the unspeakable happened to us.  And we should all understand that, ultimately, our world will be more secure if we are prepared to help those in need and the nations who are carrying the largest burden with respect to accommodating these refugees.

There are a lot of nations right now that are doing the right thing.  But many nations -- particularly those blessed with wealth and the benefits of geography -- that can do more to offer a hand, even if they also insist that refugees who come to our countries have to do more to adapt to the customs and conventions of the communities that are now providing them a home.

Let me conclude by saying that I recognize history tells a different story than the one that I've talked about here today.  There's a much darker and more cynical view of history that we can adopt.  Human beings are too often motivated by greed and by power.  Big countries for most of history have pushed smaller ones around.  Tribes and ethnic groups and nation states have very often found it most convenient to define themselves by what they hate and not just those ideas that bind them together. 

Time and again, human beings have believed that they finally arrived at a period of enlightenment only to repeat, then, cycles of conflict and suffering.  Perhaps that's our fate.  We have to remember that the choices of individual human beings led to repeated world war.  But we also have to remember that the choices of individual human beings created a United Nations, so that a war like that would never happen again.  Each of us as leaders, each nation can choose to reject those who appeal to our worst impulses and embrace those who appeal to our best.  For we have shown that we can choose a better history.

Sitting in a prison cell, a young Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that, “Human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God.”  And during the course of these eight years, as I've traveled to many of your nations, I have seen that spirit in our young people, who are more educated and more tolerant, and more inclusive and more diverse, and more creative than our generation; who are more empathetic and compassionate towards their fellow human beings than previous generations.  And, yes, some of that comes with the idealism of youth.  But it also comes with young people’s access to information about other peoples and places -- an understanding unique in human history that their future is bound with the fates of other human beings on the other side of the world.

I think of the thousands of health care workers from around the world who volunteered to fight Ebola.  I remember the young entrepreneurs I met who are now starting new businesses in Cuba, the parliamentarians who used to be just a few years ago political prisoners in Myanmar.  I think of the girls who have braved taunts or violence just to go to school in Afghanistan, and the university students who started programs online to reject the extremism of organizations like ISIL.  I draw strength from the young Americans -- entrepreneurs, activists, soldiers, new citizens -- who are remaking our nation once again, who are unconstrained by old habits and old conventions, and unencumbered by what is, but are instead ready to seize what ought to be.

My own family is a made up of the flesh and blood and traditions and cultures and faiths from a lot of different parts of the world -- just as America has been built by immigrants from every shore.  And in my own life, in this country, and as President, I have learned that our identities do not have to be defined by putting someone else down, but can be enhanced by lifting somebody else up.  They don’t have to be defined in opposition to others, but rather by a belief in liberty and equality and justice and fairness. 

And the embrace of these principles as universal doesn't weaken my particular pride, my particular love for America -- it strengthens it.  My belief that these ideals apply everywhere doesn’t lessen my commitment to help those who look like me, or pray as I do, or pledge allegiance to my flag.  But my faith in those principles does force me to expand my moral imagination and to recognize that I can best serve my own people, I can best look after my own daughters, by making sure that my actions seek what is right for all people and all children, and your daughters and your sons. 

This is what I believe:  that all of us can be co-workers with God.  And our leadership, and our governments, and this United Nations should reflect this irreducible truth.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

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Remarks by President Obama at Leaders Summit on Refugees

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXfaqGUdT30

United Nations 
New York, New York   

3:43 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Yusra, we could not be prouder of you -- not just for the great introduction, but more importantly, for your courage and your resilience and the great example that you're setting for children everywhere, including your eight-year-old sister, who I know must look up to you.  (Applause.)  

Good afternoon.  Mr. Secretary General; Your Excellencies, we are here because, right now, in crowded camps and cities around the world, there are families -- from Darfur in Chad, Palestinians in Lebanon, Afghans in Pakistan, Colombians in Ecuador -- who’ve endured years -- in some cases, decades -- as refugees, surviving on rations and aid, and who dream of someday, somehow, having a home of their own.

We’re here because, right now, there are young girls -- like Yusra, like my daughters -- who are just as precious and just as gifted -- like the 16-year-old refugee from Myanmar that I met in Malaysia -- who’ve suffered unspeakable abuse at the hands of traffickers, modern day slavery, girls who pray at night that someone might rescue them from their torment.  There are boys, fleeing the fighting in South Sudan, violence in Central America, wars in North Africa and the Middle East -- who are at the mercy of criminals who pack them into trucks or makeshift rafts, and who die on treacherous seas -- like little Alan Kurdi from Syria, lifeless, face down on a Turkish beach, in his red shirt and blue pants.   

We are here because, right now, there are mothers separated from their children -- like the woman in a camp in Greece, who held on to her family photographs, heard her children cry on the phone, and who said “my breath is my children…every day I am dying 10, 20, 30 times.”  We’re here because there are fathers who simply want to build a new life and provide for their families -- like Refaai Hamo, from Syria, who lost his wife and daughter in the war, who we welcomed to America, and who says, “I still think I have a chance to make a difference in the world.”

Mr. Secretary General; heads of state and heads of government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen:  As you saw in the video, we are facing a crisis of epic proportions.  More than 65 million people have been driven from their homes -- which is more than any time since the Second World War.  Among them are more than 21 million refugees who have fled their countries -- everything and everyone they’ve ever known, fleeing with a suitcase or the clothes on their back.

And I’m here today -- I called this summit -- because this crisis is one of the most urgent tests of our time -- our capacity for collective action.  To test, first and foremost, our ability to end conflicts, because so many of the world’s refugees come from just three countries ravaged by war -- Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

And I said today to the General Assembly, the mentality that allows for violence with impunity is something we cannot excuse.  And collectively, we continue to make excuses.  It's not the subject of this summit, but we all know that what is happening in Syria, for example, is unacceptable.  And we are not as unified as we should be in pushing to make it stop.

It’s a test of our international system where all nations ought to share in our collective responsibilities, because the vast majority of refugees are hosted by just 10 countries who are bearing a very heavy burden -- among them Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia.  Countries that often have fewer resources than many of those who are doing little or nothing.  

It is a crisis of our shared security.  Not because refugees are a threat.  Refugees, most of whom are women and children, are often fleeing war and terrorism.  They are victims.  They’re families who want to be safe and to work, be good citizens and contribute to their country -- I was talking to Yusra -- she’s now in Germany.  She already speaks some English.  Now she’s trying to learn German -- who are interested in assimilating and contributing to the society in which they find themselves.   

In recent years, in the United States, we’ve worked to put in intensive screening and security checks, so we can welcome refugees and ensure our security -- in fact, refugees are subject to more rigorous screening than the average tourist.  We’ve seen in America, hardworking, patriotic refugees serve in our military, and start new businesses and help revitalize communities.  I believe refugees can make us stronger.

So the challenge to our security is because when desperate refugees pay cold-hearted traffickers for passage, it funds the same criminals who are smuggling arms and drugs and children.  When nations with their own internal difficulties find themselves hosting massive refugee populations for years on end, it can risk more instability.  It oftentimes surfaces tensions in our society when we have disorderly and disproportionate migration into some countries that skews our politics and is subject to demagoguery. 

And if we were to turn refugees away simply because of their background or religion, or, for example, because they are Muslim, then we would be reinforcing terrorist propaganda that nations like my own are somehow opposed to Islam, which is an ugly lie that must be rejected in all of our countries by upholding the values of pluralism and diversity.

And finally, this crisis is a test of our common humanity -- whether we give in to suspicion and fear and build walls, or whether we see ourselves in another.  Those girls being trafficked and tortured, they could be our daughters.  That little boy on the beach could be our son or our grandson.  We cannot avert our eyes or turn our backs.  To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values.  It would deny our own heritage as nations, including the United States of America, that have been built by immigrants and refugees.  And it would be to ignore a teaching at the heart of so many faiths that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us; that we welcome the stranger in our midst.  And just as failure to act in the past -- for example, by turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany -- is a stain on our collective conscience, I believe history will judge us harshly if we do not rise to this moment.

First and foremost, we must recognize that refugees are a symptom of larger failures -- be it war, ethnic tensions, or persecution.  If we truly want to address the crisis, wars like the savagery in Syria must be brought to an end -- and it will be brought to an end through political settlement and diplomacy, and not simply by bombing.  

We have to insist on greater investments in development and education and democratic institutions -- the lack of which fuels so much of the instability we see in the world.  And we need to continue to speak up for justice and equality, and insist that the universal human rights of every person are upheld, everywhere.

In the face of this crisis, with what often seems grim news, we are grateful for the heroic work of so many around the world. Leaders who, often in the face of difficult politics at home, welcome refugees as new neighbors.  Businesses, such as those I met with right before I came here, which had made commitments worth more than $650 million to empower refugees.  International institutions and faith groups and NGOs, including InterAction -- the alliance of American NGOs -- whose members will invest more than $1.2 billion over the next three years to assist the world’s displaced people and refugees.  

As Americans, we're determined to do our part.  The United Nations [United States] is the largest single donor of humanitarian aid around the world, including to refugees and to the people of Syria.  We resettle more refugees than any other nation.  As President, I’ve increased the number of refugees we are resettling to 85,000 this year, which includes 10,000 Syrian refugees -- a goal we’ve exceeded even as we’ve upheld our rigorous screening.  And I called for this summit because we all have to do more.  

I want to thank our co-hosts, Secretary General Ban, and Jordan.  Obviously, Jordan is carrying an enormous burden as a consequence of the conflict, and we are grateful for His Majesty and the work that they've done.  Mexico, which is absorbing a great number of refugees from Central America.  Sweden, which has made enormous humanitarian contributions in addition to taking on refugees.  Germany and Canada -- two countries that have gone above and beyond in providing support for refugees.  And I want to personally thank Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Trudeau, and the people of both those countries -- because the politics sometimes can be hard, but it's the right thing to do.  And Ethiopia, which as was noted in the video, bears an enormous burden.

I also want to thank the more than 50 nations and organizations participating in this summit for making tangible, concrete commitments.  Collectively, our nations have increased our contributions to humanitarian organizations and U.N. appeals this year by some $4.5 billion, and that includes a $1 billion increase this year from the United States.  This will translate concretely into lifesaving food, and medicine, and clothing, and shelter.  

But since we can’t just keep on doing the same thing the same way -- allowing refugees to languish in camps, disconnected from society -- we’ve also been working with the World Bank to create new financing facilities to assist countries hosting refugees build schools and economic opportunities.  As part of these efforts, the United States will contribute at least $50 million to help middle-income countries, and we’ll do more to help low-income countries so that refugees and their host communities can flourish and grow stronger together.  The refugees in places like Ecuador or Kenya don’t always get as much attention as some of the recent migrations, but they need help too.  And that's part of our goal here.

Collectively, our nations are roughly doubling the number of refugees that we admit to our countries to more than 360,000 this year.  Again, I want to especially commend Germany, Canada, Austria, the Netherlands and Australia for their continued leadership, as well countries like Argentina and Portugal for their new commitments.  And today, I'm proud to announce that the United States will continue our leadership role.  In the coming fiscal year, starting next week, the United States will welcome and resettle 110,000 refugees from around the world -- which is a nearly 60 percent increase over 2015.  We intend to do it right, and we will do it safely.  

Collectively, the major commitments by Turkey, Thailand, Chad and Jordan will help more than one million children who are refugees get an education; will help one million refugees get training, new skills or find a job.  And in all of this work, we cannot forget those who are often the most vulnerable to abuse -- young girls and women.  So a key part of our efforts must be a renewed commitment to stopping sexual violence and forced marriage.  And we need to do more to truly empower women and girls -- because every girl deserves the chance to grow and be safe, and every woman should have her human rights and dignity upheld. 

So I'm heartened by the commitments that have been made here today.  They will help save lives.  But we're going to have to be honest -- it’s still not enough; not sufficient for a crisis of this magnitude.  And that’s why I believe this summit must be the beginning of a new global movement where everybody does more:    More nations donating more assistance and accepting more refugees.  More institutions and NGOs finding new ways to deliver aid.  More businesses contributing their expertise.  More faith groups making this work their own.  More young people demanding action.  More states and cities and towns coming forward and saying, yes, we will open our communities to our fellow human beings in need.  And more pressure on those countries that are willing to perpetrate violence on their own citizens in pursuit of power that carries such a heavy human toll. 

We can learn from a young boy named Alex, who lives not far from here in Scarsdale, New York.  Last month, like all of us, Alex saw that heartbreaking image -- five-year-old Omran Daqneesh in Aleppo, Syria, sitting in that ambulance, silent and in shock, trying to wipe the blood from his hands.  

And here in New York, Alex, who is just six years old, sat down and wrote me a letter.  And he said, he wanted Omran to come live with him and his family.  "Since he won’t bring toys," Alex wrote, "I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it.  I will teach him addition and subtraction.  My little sister will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him…We can all play together.  We will give him a family and he will be our brother."  

Those are the words of a six-year-old boy.  He teaches us a lot.  (Applause.)  

The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn’t learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness -- we can all learn from Alex.  Imagine the suffering we could ease, and the lives we could save, and what our world would look like if, seeing a child who’s hurting anywhere in the world, we say, "We will give him a family and he will be our brother."

We spend, so many of us in politics and in leadership, so much time devoted to ascending the ladders of power.  We spend time maintaining it; we spend time trying to win over public opinion.  And maybe sometimes we forget that the only rationale for doing it is to help that little boy.  I hope and pray that we remember.  

I appreciate all of your support.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Remarks by President Obama at Call to Action CEO Roundtable

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkswzg6L1dc

United Nations
New York, New York

2:36 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: As I discussed in my speech earlier today before the General Assembly, our international system is facing a number of challenges, none of which can be solved by a single country. And for that matter, none of which can be solved solely by governments. Obviously we expect for governments to take the lead on many of these transnational challenges, but for us to be able to mobilize the private sector, NGOs and others is absolutely vital to maximize our impact.

And that's why we're convening today a summit of 50 nations to make new commitments to address a growing refugee crisis, not just in Europe, which has received the most attention, but around the world. And what we have represented here is the results of what we launched what we call A Call to Action, to encourage companies to contribute not just money but their unique expertise. And as you can see, some extraordinary companies and individuals have answered the call.

I want to thank Secretary Penny Pritzker, Ambassador Power, and my national -- my Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, for bringing these leaders together here today. I'm pleased to announce that 50 companies, large and small, have stepped up and committed more than $650 million, including in-kind contributions that are all designed to help empower more than 6.3 million refugees across more than 20 countries.

Microsoft, TripAdvisor, HP, Google, something called the Clooney Foundation for Justice -- I don't know what that is -- (laughter) -- among others. They’re going to help children get an education, including in refugee camps -- altogether, educational opportunities for more than 80,000 refugees. You have companies like Accenture, Western Union, and LinkedIn that are going to help with internships, skills training and job placement. Newton Supply Company, a small business in Texas that makes handbags, is going to make 90 percent of their bags with local refugees.

So today’s commitment means that we're going to be creating employment opportunities for more than 220,000 refugees.

Meanwhile, companies like MasterCard, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and Airbnb are going to help refugees become more self-sufficient by getting online, accessing aid, finding housing, health care, and financial services. And the private sector is also driving change through investment. For example, George Soros and the Soros Fund Management is making an extraordinary investment of up to $500 million in companies that come up with sustainable long-term solutions to help refugees.

So for these companies to put themselves out there on behalf of the most vulnerable citizens in the world is not just an extraordinary gesture of compassion, but I think it’s also a recognition that, for those of us who benefit from this increasingly integrated global society, we can only sustain what we do to the extent that we’re making sure that the least of these, the most vulnerable among us, also have hope, also have opportunity.

And as a consequence, I want to thank them for doing good, but I want to emphasize that, from their perspective, this isn’t charity, this is part of their overall mission and makes good business sense.

I suspect, as well, that there’s some around this table who, themselves, were displaced, were immigrants -- recall what it’s like, maybe, leaving a place they called home in search of a better life. And as I said today, if there’s one thing that I hope comes out of today, it is a shared understanding that the children we see in these refugee camps are as precious as our children. Somebody loves them just as much. And hopefully we can begin to see through their eyes and imagine what it might be like to not be able to control the safety, the education, and the opportunity that we provide our kids and take for granted.

So thank you all for the extraordinary work, and thanks for helping to tell the story. (Applause.)

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Obama Speaks at COPE Visitor Center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PLWCpEheo8

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good morning, everybody.  As you saw, we just had the opportunity to learn more about the very important work that’s being done here at the COPE Center, and about the magnitude of the challenge posed by unexploded ordnance. 

For many people, war is something that you read about in books -- you learn the names of battles, the dates of conflicts, and you look at maps and images that depict events from long ago.  For the United States, one of the wars from our history is the conflict called the Vietnam War.  It’s a long and complicated conflict that took the lives of many brave young Americans.  But we also know that despite its American name, what we call it, this war was not contained to Vietnam.  It included many years of fighting and bombing in Cambodia and here in Laos.  But for all those years in the 1960s and ‘70s, America’s intervention here in Laos was a secret to the American people, who were separated by vast distances and a Pacific Ocean, and there was no Internet, and information didn’t flow as easily.

For the people of Laos, obviously, this war was no secret. Over the course of roughly a decade, the United States dropped more bombs on Laos than Germany and Japan during World War II. Some 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped on this country. You can see some of these displays showing everything that landed on relatively simple homes like this, and farms and rural areas.  By some estimates, more bombs per capita were dropped on Laos than any other country in the world.

For the people of Laos, war was also something that was not contained to a battlefield.  In addition to soldiers and supply lines, bombs that fell from the sky killed and injured many civilians, leaving painful absences for so many families.

For the people of Laos, the war did not end when the bombs stopped falling.  Eighty million cluster munitions did not explode.  They were spread across farmlands, jungles, villages, rivers.  So for the last four decades, Laotians have continued to live under the shadow of war.  Some 20,000 people have been killed or wounded by this unexploded ordnance, or UXO.

For the people of Laos, then, these are not just statistics. These bomblets have taken the lives of farmers working in the fields, traders gathering scrap metal, children playing outside who thought these small, metal balls could be turned into a toy. 

And for the people of Laos, this is also about the ability to make a good living.  In communities that rely so much on agriculture, you can’t reach your potential on land that is littered with UXOs.  As one farmer said, “We need our land to be cleared of bombs.  If it weren’t for the bombs, I would multiply my production.”

We also know that the people of Laos are resilient.  We see that determination in members of the clearance teams that we met, men and women who have worked for years -- this very young lady says she’s been at it for 20 years -- all across this country to find UXO and eliminate them one by one.  And I’m glad that we could be joined by them today.

We see the determination in the survivors of UXOs.  Some of you heard me talking to Thoummy Silamphan, who joins us here today.  When he was just a young child, he was badly wounded by a UXO explosion and lost his left hand.  But rather than losing hope, he’s dedicated his life to providing hope for others.  Through his organization, the Quality of Life Association, Thoummy has helped survivors get medical care, find work, rebuild their lives with a sense of dignity.

And we see that determination in the many organizations like this one.  Here at COPE, you provide assistance to those who have suffered because of UXO while shining a spotlight on the work that still has to be done.  And in that effort, I’m very glad that America is your partner.

When I took office, we were spending $3 million each year to address the enormous challenge of UXO.  We have steadily increased that amount, up to $15 million last year.  This funding -- together with the work of the Lao government, UXO Lao, other international donors and several non-governmental organizations -- has allowed us to fund clearance efforts while also developing plans for a nationwide survey that can help locate UXO and focus clearance efforts on areas that have the most potential for economic development.

So yesterday, I was proud to announce a significant increase in America’s commitment to this work.  We will invest $90 million over the next three years to this effort.  Our hope is that this funding can mark a decisive step forward in the work of rolling back the danger of UXO –- clearing bombs, supporting survivors, and advancing a better future for the people of Laos. 

As President of the United States, I believe that we have a profound moral and humanitarian obligation to support this work. We’re a nation that was founded on the belief in the dignity of every human being.  Sometimes we’ve struggled to stay true to that belief, but that is precisely why we always have to work to address those difficult moments in history and to forge friendships with people who we once called enemies.

That belief in the value of every human being is what motivates the teams of Americans who travel to remote parts of this land to find the remains of hundreds of Americans who have been missing so that their families can receive some measure of comfort.  That belief has to lead us to value the life of every young Lao boy and girl, who deserve to be freed from the fear of the shadow of a war that happened long ago.

Doing this work also builds trust.  History does not have to drive us apart; it can sometimes pull us together.  And addressing the most painful chapters in our history honestly and openly can create openings, as it has done in Vietnam, to work together on other issues, so that violence is replaced by peaceful commerce, cooperation, and people-to-people ties.

And above all, acknowledging the history of war and how it’s experienced concretely by ordinary people is a way that we make future wars less likely.  We have to force ourselves to remember that war is not just about words written in books, or the names of famous men and battles.  War is about the countless millions who suffer in the shadows of war -- the innocents who die, and the bombs that remain unexploded in fields decades after.

Here in Laos, here at COPE, we see the victims of bombs that were dropped because of decisions made half a century ago and we are reminded that wars always carry tremendous costs, many of them unintended.  People have suffered, and we’ve also seen, though, how people can be resourceful and resilient.  It helps us recognize our common humanity.  And we can remember that most people want to live lives of peace and security.  We embrace the hope that out of this history, we can make decisions that lead to a better future for the people of Laos, for the United States, for the world. 

Thank you very much, everybody. 

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