Obama Announces New U.S. Approach At The U.N.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/ CBS 2/AP) – President Barack Obama told a U.N. conference that the United States is changing its approach to development to focus less on spending money and more on really helping countries develop.

That means using diplomacy, trade, investment policies and other resources to help them prosper.

The changed approach is spelled out in the administration’s new global development policy, which Obama announced in a speech Wednesday at the United Nations in New York.

Obama said the administration will demand accountability from the U.S. and the countries it is trying to help. But, he says, make no mistake, the U.S. will remain a world leader in providing assistance.

He said the U.S. will not abandon countries that need lifesaving help.

Obama’s trip to the United Nations Wednesday afternoon  did not offer the sense of anticipation that came with his first presidential address to the General Assembly last September. That event was about defining his new brand of U.S. engagement; this one is more about defending it.

In his centerpiece speech to world leaders Thursday, Obama is expected to describe what he sees as clear progress since he took office — a “cover the waterfront” reminder, as one aide put it, of how the U.S. has ditched unilateral leadership and worked with the world over the last 20 months. He is less likely to unveil anything significantly new as he is to recount the international efforts to keep Iran in line, slow the spread of nuclear weapons and revive plodding economies.

The president’s visit to New York also meant major traffic logjams on the East Side.  Rush hour traffic moved at a snail’s pace Wednesday, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported.

An NYPD traffic advisory is seen on the East Side - New York, NY - Sep 22, 2010 - Photo: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880

An NYPD traffic advisory is seen on the East Side - New York, NY - Sep 22, 2010 - Photo: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

RELATED: Full List of U.N.-Related Street Closures

The biggest traffic hassle for motorists seemed to come when they tried to go crosstown.

“I didn’t even know this was going on,” one motorist told Guzman.

“Oh man, it’s really bad out here,” another man said, “I [was] supposed to be at a meeting since 1:30, now it’s 2:40.”

“Traffic is too horrible,” another man said.

First Avenue was relatively empty looking back towards the UN area.

The less-stress approach taken by some including  Eugene Weaver seemed to be to deal with the situation.

“I know how it can get when the president’s in town…life if too short, you’ve got to take it easy,” Weaver said.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Paul Murnane
  • Mir N. Islam

    Over the years UN has become a very inefficient organization with high overheads. Senior positions are occupied by a bunch cronies from corrupted countries. I have had the opportunity to attend one of their international meetings where delegates were spending $600-700/day staying in five star hotels. United States should withdraw from UN and hand over the funds to our ex-President Jimmy Carter who is doing a far better job through his “Habitat for Humanity” at a fraction of our UN contributions.

  • jim

    Of course, He is going to kiss all of the UN Members ass and bow to them like he always does.

  • jmpace

    I’d like to see you clean up a mess that took eight years to make in 18 months.
    And everyone you turn to opposes every idea you have. You wouldn’t make anny progress at all. ,Anti-masterbation witches, and idiots who support the idea of taking up arms are so far from intelligent, they should win and take us further down the drain bush started us spiraling into. None of them have propose ANY ideas and they believe that government will work if they just start taking us backwards to what got us here in the first place. Try to find your memory..

  • PS

    How about we help America develop and recover first before we worry about other countries.

  • jmpace

    totally foolish comment by one of the less patriotic and intelligent Amerkkkan

  • BS Meter

    Always a ‘new’ approach.. half his term is over.

    Although I didn’t hear the speech, yet, seems hallow. Meaningful headway should be relayed by now. Not ‘new’ plans. Especially regarding Israel? There’s nothing on Darfur — showing the world that there’s no spirit even with a President with African descent to help tackle that. Has Haiti fully recovered? What of America’s own problems, like immigration/Mexican issues, which are international? How detailed was he on Iraq (don’t call it a war, anymore please, although there’s 40,000 troops there) and Afghanistan?

  • Sally Rogers

    Whoever wrote this story and named it has a hard time with staying on topic. Wasn’t this suppossed to be about Gridlock?????

  • Johnj

    Obama is a chump…watch the Obama Deception and tell me he isnt

    • harriet in queens

      oh great, i go to get the traffic and find a birther, oy

  • Tom G

    And Peter- continue to turn a blind eye that is the disaster we know as the Obama administration. And continue to try to marginalize a huge cross section of this country who doesn’t like Obama’s big government power grab. As soon as the kool aid of all things Obama wore off, and the country took a look at his agenda- he was rejected faster than a Tea Party member on the Jon Stewart show.
    Obama has been an unmitigated disaster since the moment he set his community organizing, socialist loving feet in the White House.

    • harriet in queens

      ok, i’m game, how exactly is Obama an “unmitigated disaster”?

      • dwayne

        He isn’t an “Unmitigated Disaster” Tom has wanted to use that expression for years and leapt at the opportunity.

  • blah

    I thought this article was about the Gridlock that was going to happen today, not the political schpiel that it ended up being

    • harriet in queens

      exactly, i wanted to know if i could cross lexington to get pizza and got a hit job on Obama instand.

    • Dwayne

      Great observation….Paul needs to stick to the facts and leave his political bias to the side.

  • Peter

    You talk like an idiot and what’s worse you don’t even know it. Be a complete fool and join the tea party movement.

    • harriet in queens

      Methinks he already has, and i doubt he’s really working in mid-town, probably some jerk from the boonies with internet access.

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