Obama: Chris Stevens And Those Like Him Must Determine World’s Future

President Obama is this morning addressing the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. We’ll be updating this post with highlights, so hit your “refresh” button to get our latest additions.

Earlier today, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. See our post about that: “Romney Touts ‘Prosperity Pacts’ To Help Middle East, Developing Nations.” Obama will address former President Clinton’s forum later today.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET. Why Ambassador Stevens And Those Like Him Must Determine The World’s Future:

As he begins his address, the president speaks of Chris Stevens, the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya.

“Chris Stevens embodied the best of America,” Obama says. “Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but stood up for a set of principles – a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity.

“The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and the Libyan people. And there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. …

“But understand, the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded — the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.

“If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an Embassy; or to put out statements of regret, and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis. Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common.

“Today, we must affirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.”

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