Some of Obama’s “common challenges of the 21st century”

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

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

“I will accept this award as a call to action —

a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

. . . we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts

that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years . . .”

– President Barack Obama

United States Mission to the United Nations

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

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

Peace & Security

Nonproliferation & Disarmament

Poverty & Development

Climate Change

Human Rights & Democracy

United Nations Reform

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

“change is essential because we face an extraordinary array of global challenges …”

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

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

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

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

A New Course in the World, a New Approach at the UN,” — August 12, 2009

Ambassador Susan Rice:


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

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

— poorly guarded nuclear weapons and material,

— a global financial meltdown,

— wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,

— Iran and North Korea building their nuclear weapons capabilities,

— al-Qaeda and its affiliates,

— genocide and mass atrocities,

— cyber attacks on our digital infrastructure,

— international crime and drug trafficking,

— pandemics, and

— a climate that is warming by the day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bedrock of that cooperation must be a community of states committed to solving collective problems and capable of meeting the responsibilities of effective sovereignty.


Our values compel us to reduce poverty, disease, and hunger, to end preventable deaths of mothers and children, and to build self-sufficiency in agriculture, health, and education.

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

In the 21st century, therefore we can have no doubt: as President Obama has said time and again, America’s security and wellbeing are inextricably linked to those of people everywhere.


Today, as we steer a new course at the United Nations, our guiding principles are clear: We value the UN as a vehicle for advancing U.S. policies and universal rights. We work for change from within rather than criticizing from the sidelines. We stand strong in defense of America’s interests and values, but we don’t dissent just to be contrary. We listen to states great and small. We build coalitions. We meet our responsibilities. We pay our bills. We push for real reform. And we remember that, in an interconnected world, what’s good for others is often good for the United States as well.


Real change does not come from sitting on the sidelines. Real change can only come through painstaking, principled diplomacy. So we will work hard to reduce customary divisions. We will demand fair treatment for Israel. We will amplify the voices of those suffering under the world’s cruelest regimes. And we will lead by example through our actions at home and our support for those risking their lives for democracy and human rights abroad.

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

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

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

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

What a difference a real Election can make, eh?


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on October 10, 2009 at 04:05

    kind of looks like

    the world community,

    has its work cut out, for us.

  1. I keep running into videos with the evil embed disabled but heres a link for one that would work here!

  2. O’BOMBA is an idiot. And an evil idiot at that.  

  3. this journey has barely begun.

    Yes, much of Barack Obama’s rhetoric has represented a refreshing change from the gunboat diplomacy of the previous eight-year coup (courtesy of the Supreme Court).  Will history show that he did, indeed, earn this accolade?

    Glaring exceptions abound: the continuation of hostilities in Iraq, the escalation of U. S. involvement in Afghanistan, and the many areas where key Bush Administration officials and policies remain intact and unchanged.

    Like many on the progressive side, this writer was surprised when the announcement was made of Barack Obama’s selection for the Nobel Peace Prize.  

    The Nobel Prize selection committee must surely be cognizant that the United States spends more on defense (aka “offense”) than the rest of the world combined.

    Perhaps other nations, as represented on this committee, focusing on the positive changes to date and realizing that much remains to be done, are hoping that Mr. Obama will now feel empowered and obligated to live up to this honor, not just by his words, but by his actions as well.  

    To be sure, Mr. Obama received a higher level of contributions from the defense industry in 2008 than any other presidential candidate (source:

    Remarkably, when one considers how paltry the contributions from the defense sector are compared with other sectors, it would seem that they enjoy far more bang for their buck than any other industry.

    Can Barack Obama simultaneously satisfy his supporters from the defense industry and advance the cause of world peace?  To the extent that Mr. Obama is guided by a conscience, he must now be even more aware of the vise that now holds him has tightened its grip just a little bit more.

    This writer’s biggest concern is that the Obama Administration and many in this country will now deem our efforts to date as sufficient and turn its collective attention to other matters.

    Let’s hope that Mr. Obama chooses the side of peace, despite the political fallout that might ensue.  The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

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