President Obama addresses UN General Assembly, calls for dismantling ISIS 'network of death'

EMBED </>More Videos

N.J. Burkett has the latest new from the United Nations (WABC)

Declaring the world at a crossroads between war and peace, President Barack Obama vowed at the U.N. on Wednesday to lead a coalition to dismantle an Islamic State "network of death" that has wreaked havoc in the Middle East and drawn the U.S. back into military action in the region.

Speaking to the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly, Obama said the U.S. would be a "respectful and constructive partner" in confronting the Islamic State militants through force. But he also implored Middle Eastern nations to take the lead in addressing the conditions that have sparked the rise of extremists and to cut off funding to terror groups.

"Ultimately, the task of rejecting sectarianism and extremism is a generational task - a task for the people of the Middle East themselves," Obama said. "No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds."

The president's remarks came against the backdrop of an expanded U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State group, with airstrikes now hitting targets in both Iraq and Syria. A coalition of five Arab nations joined the U.S. this week in the strikes in Syria: Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The U.S. also opened another military front with airstrikes this week against a new al-Qaida cell that the Pentagon said was "nearing the execution phase" of a direct attack on the U.S. or Europe.

The threats have drawn Obama back into conflicts in the Middle East that he has long sought to avoid, particularly in Syria, which is mired in a bloody three-year civil war. Just months ago, the president appeared to be on track to fulfill his pledge to end the U.S.-led wars he inherited in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet the militant threat in the Middle East is just one in a series of global crises that have tested Obama this year. Russia has repeatedly flouted warning from the U.S. and Europe to stop its threatening moves in Ukraine. And leaders in West Africa have criticized Obama for not doing more to help combat an Ebola outbreak that is believed to have infected more than 5,800 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.

Obama took on Russia directly in his remarks, accusing Moscow of sending arms to pro-Kremlin separatists, refusing to allow access to the site of a downed civilian airliner and then moving its own troops across the border with Ukraine.

"This is a vision of the world in which might makes right, a world in which one nation's borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed," Obama said. "America stands for something different."

Still, Obama held open the prospect of a resolution to the monthslong conflict between Russia and Ukraine. While he has previously expressed skepticism about a fragile cease-fire signed earlier this month, he said Wednesday that the agreement "offers an opening" for peace.

If Russia follows through on the agreement, Obama said the U.S. will lift economic sanctions that have damaged Russia's economy but so far done little to shift President Vladimir Putin's approach.

As Obama spoke, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sat in the audience at the U.N., staring down at a stack of papers without glancing up at Obama.



STREET CLOSURES:

The NYPD has announced street closures and expected traffic delays related to the General Assembly. The U.N. is located at 1st Avenue and 42nd Street.

Police encourage the use of public transportation for the duration of the General Assembly.

For the second week of the United Nations General Assembly, the following streets will be completely closed to traffic beginning Tuesday, September 23rd at 10 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m. Thursday, September 25th :

49th Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
50th Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue

Please note: Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
Park Avenue from 48th Street to 52nd Street
Lexington Avenue 48th Street to 52nd Street

The following streets will have managed closings beginning Monday, September 22nd until Saturday, September 27th :
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue

Please note: Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
Madison Avenue from 48th Street to 52nd Street

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2014


Beginning at approximately 10 p.m. the following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2014


The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day's session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd, 2014


The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day's session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session.

On Tuesday the FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures:
Southbound at 63rd Street
Northbound at South Ferry

Additional intermittent closures to vehicular traffic for Tuesday include:
50th Street from Park Avenue to 1st Avenue
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 50th Street

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th, 2014


The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars but will be subject to intermittent closures. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day's session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session

Additional intermittent closures to vehicular traffic for Wednesday include:
50th Street from Park Avenue to 1st Avenue
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 50th Street

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th, 2014


The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 42nd Street to 57th Street

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
The 42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session

On Wednesday the FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures:
Southbound at 63rd Street
Northbound at South Ferry

Additional intermittent closures to vehicular traffic for Wednesday include:
50th Street from Park Avenue to 1st Avenue
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 50th Street

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2014


The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
The 42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, 2014


The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:
1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:
42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
The 42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
These areas will reopen each evening after the day's session.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



Related Topics:
united nationsgeneral assemblynypdisisbarack obamaNew York City
(Copyright ©2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments