World leaders met at the United Nations on Tuesday for the first day of debate at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Here are five things we learned:
1. The Syrian conflict is at a stalemate, and the global community can't agree on how to stop the bloodshed.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the day with a strong condemnation of the 18-month crisis in Syria, which has spiraled into a civil war. The situation grows worse by the day, he said, and is no longer limited to that country.
"It is a regional calamity with global ramifications. This is a serious and growing threat to international peace and security, which requires Security Council action," he said.
Ban's comments were no doubt directed at Russia and China, Security Council members that have repeatedly blocked draft resolutions that would take strong action against the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
French President Francois Hollande described the situation in Syria as urgent, adding that France -- also a Security Council member -- would recognize a new government as soon as it was officially formed.
Earlier, international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the conflict was at a stalemate. "There is no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward."
Brahimi added that he has plans to meet with Russian and Chinese leaders in an effort to forge a lasting solution, and that there were indications the country's anti-government resistance is growing more unified.
2. Time may be running out for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Ban and others dived head-first into the controversial issue of Palestinian statehood. Nearly a year after its failed bid to win United Nations recognition as an independent state, the Palestinian Authority is preparing to try again.
But unlike last year's attempt, which stalled in the Security Council, the Palestinian Authority is expected this time to seek nonmember observer status, one step up from its current status as a permanent observer.
"The Palestinians must be able to realize their right to a viable state of their own. Israel must be able to live in peace and security, free from threats and rockets. The two-state solution is the only sustainable option, yet the door may be closing for good," Ban said.
President Barack Obama called on world leaders to "leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist."
"The road is hard but the destination is clear -- a secure, Jewish state of Israel; and an independent, prosperous Palestine," the U.S. president said.
Jordan's King Abdullah II urged both sides to resume full negotiations toward a lasting settlement.
"For almost 65 years, the Palestinian people have been the exception of the U.N. promise," he said. "The shelter of international law and human rights, except not yet."
"Enough," he demanded.
3. The United States will "do what (it) must" to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Delivering remarks thought to be as much of a warning to Iran as an assurance to Israel, which has repeatedly threatened a pre-emptive strike, Obama said he remains committed to a diplomatic solution to Iran's disputed nuclear program.
But, he warned, "time is not unlimited."
"Make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained," Obama said. "The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and to fill energy shortages, but Western leaders believe Tehran is an aspiring armed nuclear power. U.N. inspectors have also expressed doubts about the program's aims.
Secretary-General Ban said Iran must prove the "solely peaceful intent of its (nuclear) program."
4. Fault lines appear among nations in their reaction to the anti-Islam film that triggered protests in the Muslim world.