US President Barack Obama has called for “a new era of engagement” with the world in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.He pledged to work together with other countries while defending the interests of the United States. He said the time has come for the world to move in a new direction: “We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect and our work must begin now.” President Obama said the UN was the world’s best chance of tackling global problems. “The United Nations can either be a place where we bicker about outdated grievances or forge common ground, a place where we focus on what drives us apart or what brings us together, a place where we indulge tyranny or a source of moral authority. In short: that the United Nations can be an institution that is disconnected from what matters in the lives of our citizens or it can be an indispensable factor in advancing the interests of the people we serve.” President Obama spoke of what he called the four fundamental pillars encapsulating the challenges facing the world. Nuclear proliferation, the pursuit of peace, tackling climate change and developing a sustainable global economy. He said he wanted an end to the greed, excess and abuse that led the world into the disaster of a global economic crisis and pledged to seek the reform of international institutions.