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To this end, he called for global standards on the use of force, the use of sanctions that “exact a real price” to help head off armed conflict, the aggressive promotion of human rights and economic security.

“I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him,” he said. “So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.”

“Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he’s outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace,” Mr. Obama said. “Somewhere today, in this world, a young protester awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams. Let us live by their example.”