UNITED NATIONS - Vowing to forge partnerships to target terrorists, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that the United States will not permit safe-havens for Al-Qaeda to launch attacks from Afghanistan or any other country. In a wide-ranging address to the UN General Assembly, his first since he took office earlier this year, the US leader also pledged strong economic support for Pakistan as he rolled out his administrations policies on major world issues. The violent extremists who promote conflict by distorting faith have discredited and isolated themselves, he told world leaders packing the gold-and-blue hall of the 192-member assembly. In confronting them, America will forge lasting partnerships to target terrorists, share intelligence, coordinate law enforcement, and protect our people. Obama spoke about the Pak-Afghan region while he explores alternatives to a major troop increase in Afghanistan. In this regard, US officials said he is considering a plan advocated by Vice-President Joseph Biden to scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al-Qaeda there and in Pakistan. The options under review are part of what administration officials described as a wholesale reconsideration of a strategy the president announced with fanfare just six months ago. Two new intelligence reports are being conducted to evaluate Afghanistan and Pakistan, the New York Times said in a dispatch Wednesday. The sweeping reassessment has been prompted by deteriorating conditions on the ground, the messy and still unsettled outcome of the Afghan elections and a dire report by Obamas new commander, Gen Stanley McChrystal. Obamas speech to the assembly came a day ahead of an important Friends of Democratic Pakistan summit, which Obama will co-chair with Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The US president reaffirmed Washingtons resolve to rout Al-Qaeda but also said Washington would work to pursue positive engagement in pursuit of peace. He described hope as the most powerful weapon in forging world peace. We will stand by our friends on the front lines, as we and many nations will do in pledging support for the Pakistani people tomorrow, Obama said. We have set a clear and focused goal: to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies as a network that has killed thousands of people of many faiths and nations, and that plotted to blow up this very building. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we and many nations here are helping those governments develop the capacity to take the lead in this effort, while working to advance opportunity and security for their people, he added. Obama listed out some of the pressing problems retarding world progress. The United Nations was born of the belief that the people of the world can live their lives, raise their families, and resolve their differences peacefully. And yet we know that in too many parts of the world, this ideal remains an abstraction. We can either accept that outcome as inevitable, and tolerate constant and crippling conflict. Or we can recognise that the yearning for peace is universal, and reassert our resolve to end conflicts around the world. That effort, he continued, must begin with an unshakeable determination that the murder of innocent men, women and children will never be tolerated. The US President acknowledged that he took office earlier this year at a time when there was much scepticism and distrust about the United States and its intentions. Part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others. This has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for our collective inaction. We have reached a pivotal moment. The United States stands ready to begin a new chapter of international cooperation - one that recognises the rights and responsibilities of all nations. Obama stressed that it falls to the current generation to work together to make the most of the UN. The United Nations does extraordinary good around the world in feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and mending places that have been broken. But it also struggles to enforce its will, and to live up to the ideals of its founding. I believe that those imperfections are not a reason to walk away from this institution - they are a calling to redouble our efforts. 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, the United Nations can be an institution that is disconnected from what matters in the lives of our citizens, or it can be indispensable in advancing the interests of the people we serve. Agencies add: Obama called for a new era of engagement with the world, pledging to work together with other countries while defending the interests of the United States. The US President also pressed world leaders to help confront challenges ranging from the war in Afghanistan to nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea instead of expecting the United States to do it all alone. Reflecting the pressure he faces for results on a slew of foreign policy problems, Obama issued a blunt message in his UN debut that other countries must shoulder a larger burden in tackling international crises. Obama also delivered a stern message to global leaders to work together to solve the worlds most pressing problems. 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, Obama said in his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly since taking office in January. Obama urged international leaders to join him, saying the US could not shoulder the responsibility alone. Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the worlds problems alone, he said. The US leader, who will host a Group of 20 nations summit in Pittsburgh this week, also pledged to work with allies to strengthen financial regulation to put an end to the greed, excess and abuse that led us into disaster. Obama also sought to shore up support from world leaders for the war in Afghanistan, where US combat deaths have risen as a resurgent Taliban has confounded efforts to stabilize the country. We have set a clear and focused goal: to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies, Obama said as he reasserted a US commitment not to allow Al-Qaeda to use Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan as safe havens for launching attacks. He said he would seek a new deal with Russia on reducing nuclear weapons and said countries that refuse to meet their non-proliferation obligations must face consequences. Obama said the next 12-months would be pivotal in efforts to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and he pledged to seek the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. In a reminder of the dangers facing the world, in the city still scarred by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, Obama warned of the heavy price to pay if global leaders fail to act against militants. Consider the course that we are on if we fail to confront the status quo. Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world. Protracted conflicts that grind on and on, the US President said. Genocide and mass atrocities. More and more nations with nuclear weapons. Melting ice caps and ravaged populations. Persistent poverty and pandemic disease, he added.