On September 21, 2011, President Barack Obama spoke before the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly and held a series of meetings with world leaders in New York City. In his address to the UN General Assembly, President Obama spoke about the remarkable changes that have occurred throughout the world since the last gathering of this group. The President said:
"This year has been a time of extraordinary transformation. More nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. And more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity."
Following the address, President Obama met with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and pledged America's commitment to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. The President also met with Japan's new Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda. The two leaders discussed the ongoing recovery from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated that country earlier this year, and the importance of the strong Japan-U.S. relationship.
The President also spoke at the annual luncheon hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for world leaders, where he saluted the work of those who served in U.N. missions all over the world, "who risk their lives-- and give their lives -- so people can live in peace and dignity."
Late in the day, the President and his senior foreign policy advisors met with some of our closest European allies. President Obama met with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and both men stressed the importance of the U.S.-U.K. relationship. The two countries have worked closely together on issues related to Libya, Afghanistan, and the ongoing Middle East peace process.
In his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama said he would be relying on France to help deal with numerous pressing international issues, "including trying to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also trying to find a coordinated world strategy, global strategy, to deal with a economy that is still far too fragile."