UNGA speech: Biden urges world to stand firm in support of Ukraine’s fight against Russian invasion


New York
CNN

President Joe Biden on Tuesday made a strong call to the world to stand up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling on leaders to stand firm in support of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his nation as the war heads into its second fall.

Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin and his armed forces were betting the world would tire of supporting Ukraine, and that it was the duty of nations at the United Nations to stand firm against Putin’s aggression.

“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the freedom of any country safe? I would respectfully suggest that the answer is no. Today we must stand against this naked aggression, and tomorrow we must stop other occupiers,” Biden said.

“That’s why the United States, along with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom,” he added.

This is the second year the UN’s annual talks have been held under the umbrella War in Ukraine, and will be a focus for conflict leaders. Although the UN took the lead in organizing humanitarian aid during the conflict, it did not act as a mediator in the war. Biden is scheduled to meet with Zelensky, who was in the audience for Tuesday’s speech in Washington this weekend.

“For the second year in a row, this meeting — dedicated to the peaceful resolution of conflicts — is overshadowed by the shadow of war. An illegal war of conquest brought against its neighbor, Ukraine, without provocation,” Biden said.

And, “Russia alone should be responsible for this war. Only Russia has the power to end this war immediately. And only Russia stands in the way of peace.

Late Tuesday, at a United Nations leaders’ reception at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, he told other world leaders: “Our world is at an inflection point, and the decisions we make now are going to determine our future for decades. to come.”

Noting that the world is ready for a moment when “fundamental principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, universal human rights will be put to the test,” the president noted Russia, adding that “a member of the United Nations Security Council has launched a shameful and brutal attack. Against the people of Ukraine – attacks against the very character of the United Nations.”

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During his address to the General Assembly, Biden returned to an issue he frequently returns to in his public comments — the future of democracy in the world. The president has often expressed the underlying motivational issue of his presidency as democracy versus autocracy. A day after the president railed against his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, he warned at a fundraiser that Trump is “determined to destroy democracy.”

“We will protect democracy: our best tool to address the challenges we face around the world. We work to show how democracy can deliver in ways that matter to people’s lives,” he said, pointing to global infrastructure partnerships and investments in low- and middle-income countries.

The president often uses China as an example of that contradiction. But at the UN, he sought to strike a more diplomatic tone regarding US relations with China, saying he favored competition, not confrontation.

“I want to be clear and consistent: We are trying to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so that it does not escalate into conflict. I said we are not cutting off China, we are there to de-risk,” he said, warning that the US would be “pushed into aggression”.

This year, countries of the “Global South” are also demanding attention from leaders. While Ukraine’s crises remain largely unaddressed, many have viewed with suspicion the West’s increasing attention and funding for Ukraine.

Biden will meet with Brazil’s President Lula da Silva on Wednesday to discuss labor issues and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Biden has clashed over the country’s controversial judicial reform plan.

Biden and Netanyahu, the senior official said, “will discuss bilateral and regional issues focusing on the shared democratic values ​​between our two countries and the vision for a more stable and prosperous and integrated region, as well as compare notes on how to effectively counter.” and deterring Iran.

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But Russia, China, France and England – the UN. All permanent members of the Security Council — the Biden administration hopes to push for lower-level engagement with key allies and adversaries while boosting unity. States’ views on global infrastructure, food security, democratic values ​​and territorial sovereignty.

Reiterating his belief that the world is at a “turning point in history,” Biden told the assembly, “As president of the United States, I understand the duty my country has to lead this critical moment.”

Biden announced his administration’s efforts to combat the climate crisis, including investment in clean energy, climate finance in developing countries and steps toward climate finance pledges outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, although he called for additional public and private sector investment.

As the United States seeks to counter the authoritarian pull of Russia and China, Biden is joining the leaders of five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — “for the first time in a presidential summit called the C5+1.” On Tuesday, the first senior official, regional security, trade and connectivity, Said for discussion on climate and reforms to improve governance and rule of law.

“America seeks a more secure, prosperous, equal world for all people because we know our future is yours. … No nation can meet today’s challenges alone,” Biden said Tuesday.

A major challenge to the ability to generate attention and headlines for the Biden administration’s foreign policy goals: forum fatigue, the G20 meeting of world leaders, the BRIC summit of developing nations, the APEC meeting focused on Indo-Pacific policy and climate. The COP28 dialogue is all happening on an unusually compressed calendar, taking some of the urgency out of the dialogue in New York.

“There’s always been a feeling that if you can’t get what you want from the U.N., you have to go somewhere else,” said Marty Flax, director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Council on Strategic and International Studies. “More and more of them are being led by US rivals, especially China. So there is a sense that they are gaining strength.

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However, Biden emphasized the importance of the body in meeting new challenges.

“We also recognize that to meet the new challenges of our decades-old institutions and approaches, they need to be updated in pace with the world. We need to bring more leadership and capacity from everywhere, especially from regions that are not always fully included. … We need to ensure that we deliver to people everywhere. … That’s the United States.” It starts with the UN – it starts here,” he said.

There are areas where management admits progress will be elusive. National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said he was not confident in UN leadership and that partner countries could make progress on re-establishing the Black Sea grain initiative, even as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held meetings with Zelensky and other partners in New York this week.

“We know the Turks are working hard on this; Guterres is working hard on this,” Sullivan told reporters. “But the Russians are not giving us a great deal of reason for confidence at this point.”

Despite several requests by the Council to end the war in Ukraine, Russia is a member of the United Nations Security Council, and the UN has refused to do so. This issue raises the broader question of efficiency. Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. is working closely with the Ukrainians to document war crimes and atrocities — but it was unclear when such a court would take place.

In addition to strengthening institutions, Biden called on the UN to “build new partnerships and take on new challenges in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence,” which he said offer “enormous potential and enormous risk.”

“We need to break the cycle that often blocks progress and blocks consensus in the House. We need more voices, more perspectives at the table. The United Nations must continue to maintain peace, prevent conflict and reduce human suffering. We embrace countries that are leading new ways to seek new breakthroughs on difficult issues. ,” he added.

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