In his final speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said the United States has to give up some freedom in exchange for security.
“We can only realize the promise of this institution’s founding to replace the ravages of war with cooperation if powerful nations, like my own, accept constraints,” Obama said.
His comments come just days after several terrorists attacks rocked the nation, including a bombing that injured 29 people in New York City — the same city where the U.N. is located.
“Sometimes I am criticized in my own country for professing a belief in international norms and multilateral institutions,” Obama told the assembly of foreign diplomats. “But I am convinced in the long run, giving up some freedom of action, not giving up our ability to protect ourselves or pursue our core interests, but binding ourselves to the international rules over the long-term enhances our security.”
After declaring that subordinating American sovereignty to a body of international bureaucrats would make the U.S. safer, Obama renewed his call for countries like the U.S. to absorb more Middle Eastern refugees. The president has been facing mounting pressure to tighten the screening and vetting of Middle Eastern immigrants in light of multiple terrorist attacks against the U.S. by foreign-born terrorists.
“Ultimately our world will be more secure if we are prepared to help those in need and the nations who are carrying the largest burden with respect to accommodating these refugees,” he told the U.N.