World News Brief, Friday September 25

Obama: America is "re-engaged" with the UN; US to start talks with Burma but sanctions remain; Brazil backs Iran's nuclear ambitions; Russia opens door to tougher Iran stance; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama at General Assembly

At his first UN General Assembly as U.S. president, Barack Obama secured the support (NYT) of Russia and China for a new draft nuclear-safeguards resolution.

The resolution, the UN Security Council is expected to pass today, would pave the way for military and diplomatic action to be taken against nations that that use civilian nuclear technology for military purposes. The UN Security Council is expected to unanimously adopt (WSJ) the resolution today.

In his speech to the General Assembly, Obama emphasized his commitment to the United Nations after years of tension between the Bush administration and the world body. The United States has "re-engaged the United Nations. We have paid our bills," Obama said, referencing former President George W. Bush's practice of withholding UN dues.

He also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a day after hosting talks between Mideast leaders on the issue. Obama called for an end to "the occupation that began in 1967" of Palestinian lands, but stressed the need for "a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis."


The Washington Post's Dan Balz writes that Obama's speech was "an expression of apparent frustration" at the expectation from world leaders that the United States is responsible for implementing major changes alone.

In a conference call, CFR experts James Lindsay and Ray Takeyh discuss the challenges Iran poses to Obama's nuclear arms reduction efforts at the United Nations.


The full text of Obama's speech to the United Nations is available here.

A CFR Backgrounder examines the role of the UN General Assembly, as well as calls for the body's reform.


PACIFIC RIM: US-Burma Diplomacy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration will engage (Reuters) in direct, high-level negotiations with the military junta of Burma. Clinton, speaking at the United Nations, said US sanctions on Burma would remain in place, but that the United States would push the Asian state to implement democratic reforms.

China: Foreign Policy looks at the growing problem of electronic waste in China.



Brazil's Lula supports Iran's nuclear program.

President Medvedev bends on Iran sanctions.

General Petraeus endorses McChrystal report.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on