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Obama: Global Cooperation Needed on Key Challenges

President Obama urged leaders at the U.N. General Assembly to assume a bigger role in solving the world's toughest problems. Margaret Warner reports.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    President Obama made an appeal today for help in facing the world's problems. He did so in an address to the U.N. General Assembly, saying the U.S. wants to work with others, not on its own. But he also insisted America's critics show good faith.

    Margaret Warner has our lead story report.

  • U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    It is my honor to address you for the first time as the…

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    President Obama came before the U.N. General Assembly this morning with a blunt call for greater cooperation and engagement at "a pivotal moment" for the 64-year-old organization.

  • BARACK OBAMA:

    No longer do we have the luxury of indulging our differences to the exclusion of the work that we must do together. The time has come for the world to move in a new direction.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Mr. Obama acknowledged America has not always lived up to its ideals, but he said he's made concrete moves in a new direction: from outlawing torture to re-engaging on Middle East peace and arms control. Now, he said, it is time for other nations to answer the call.

  • BARACK OBAMA:

    But make no mistake: This cannot solely be America's endeavor. Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone. We have sought, in word and deed, a new era of engagement with the world. And now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    He laid out what he called four pillars essential to the future of the planet: nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; the promotion of peace and security; preservation of the planet; and a global economy that works for everyone.

    Among the specifics, the president made a plea for help in advancing Middle East peace. Nations aligned with both Israel and the Palestinians must offer more than lip service, he said. They must be willing to say publicly what they often acknowledge in private.

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