On Syria, Obama issued an impassioned plea to the United Nations Security Council to act on that country's use of chemical weapons, including a threat of the use of force if the Assad regime doesn't meet its international commitments.
"There must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments," Obama said. "And there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws."
Obama announced an additional $339 million in humanitarian aid for those affected by the Syrian civil war, bringing the total U.S. commitment to $1.4 billion since the crisis began two years ago.
Obama also called for progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which Kerry has recently restarted, reaffirming the United States' support for a two-state solution.
Following its silence on Syria, Obama called on the United Nations to recognize that there are some crises so acute, some civil breakdowns so total, that the UN must act even within states. "I've made it clear that even when America's core interests are not directly threatened, we stand ready to do our part to prevent mass atrocities and protect basic human rights," the president said. "But we cannot and should not bear that burden alone."
"While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil, while we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences, should we really accept the notion that the world is powerless in the face of a Rwanda or a Srebrenica?" the President asked. "If that's the world that people want to live in, they should say so and reckon with the cold logic of mass graves."
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/09/24/obama-to-un-diplomacy-with-iran-must-be-tested/#ixzz2fpKCausG