"We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully - not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear," Obama said.
"America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation," the 51-year-old president said. "We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom," Obama said.
"And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalised, the victims of prejudice - not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice," he said at the 57th inauguration ceremony of an American president. However, there was no mention of any specific country, neither there was any mention of the war in Afghanistan which is coming to an end by 2014 or that of the first against terrorism including the defeat of Al-Qaeda.
Obama said Americans still believe that their obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," he said.
"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries - we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure - our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks," Obama said.
"That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared," said Obama, who was flanked by First Lady Michelle and the two daughters Sasha and Malia. "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty," Obama said.
"The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well," he said. Obama pushed the case for equal rights for women and gays and a better system to welcome new immigrants to the US.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still," he said. "It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," he added.
"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity."