President Obama’s second speech to the UN General Assembly, a year to the day after his first address as president, focused on human rights and democracy. In proposing a long-term agenda for the United Nations, the President recalled the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” He articulated the need to enforce universal values even in times of political and economic crisis and trumpeted the power of democracy, broadly defined as a system of government that is open and accountable to its citizens. President Obama also emphasized the importance of civil society and committed to guaranteeing its expansion “within and across borders.” Read the full speech here.
The National Security Strategy (NSS) is prepared periodically by the executive branch for the Congress. The document outlines major national security concerns and the Administration’s approach for addressing these concerns.
The Obama Administration’s NSS emphasizes the United States’ belief in and commitment to universal values such as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship, the right of people to choose their leaders, equality, and the rule of law. To that end, the Administration will strengthen the example the United States sets by maintaining our traditional values in the face of terrorism and other global threats. The U.S. will also promote human rights and democracy around the world by supporting new democracies, engaging in principled diplomacy with non-democratic regimes, and recognizing the legitimacy of all peaceful democratic movements. In doing so, the U.S. will support the rights of women and girls, fight corruption, build an international coalition to advance universal values, and promote the use of new technologies to increase access to information. The U.S. is also committed to eradicating global poverty and promoting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.