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Obama Says America has Unique Responsibility to Lead World

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, Nov. 15, 2014. Obama is in Brisbane for the G20 Summit being held there this weekend.

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, Nov. 15, 2014. Obama is in Brisbane for the G20 Summit being held there this weekend.

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States, as the world's only superpower, has a unique responsibility to lead the world in destroying the terrorist group ISIL, fighting Ebola in west Africa, and battling climate change, among other issues.

In a speech Saturday at Brisbane University on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the president vowed that Washington will remain focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

"So I'm here today to say that American leadership in the Asia-Pacific will always be a fundamental focus of my foreign policy," said Obama. "It won't always make the headlines. It won't always be measured in the number of trips I make, although I do keep coming back."

The American leader said effective security in Asia must be based on alliances and international law - not "spheres of influence" or big nations bullying the small.

He said the only real source of legitimacy is a democracy and the consent of the people.

Obama also announced that the United States is contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to"help developing nations deal with climate change."

The president said the fund will help pay for such necessities as early warning systems and stronger defenses against storm surges. It will also help farmers plant more durable crops and aid developing economies in cutting carbon emissions and investing in clean energy.

The president said it is not just governments that can fight climate change. He called on citizens, especially young people, to raise their voices, saying they deserve to live in a cleaner and healthier world.

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