Biden’s 1st address to UN depicted the global community as being at an “inflection point in history” due to the exacerbating crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other threats, urging world leaders to “work together as never before” in his first address as president to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Simply put, Biden believes we are at a watershed moment in history, Mr. Biden stated. “And I’m here today to share with you how the United States wants to work with partners and friends to address these concerns, as well as my new administration’s commitment to guiding the world toward a more peaceful, prosperous future for all people.”
Mr. Biden’s remarks came as he worked to re-establish the US’s alliances and reassure world leaders that his administration would not continue the chaotic four years under former President Donald Trump. However, the US is experiencing tense relations with its partners due to the country’s messy withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.
The Biden administration is also dealing with the impact of a submarine deal engineered by the US with Australia and the United Kingdom, which has strained relations with France, the country’s oldest partner.
Biden’s 1st Address To UN Echoes Biden’s “America is back” Mantra.
Nonetheless, the president reaffirmed on Tuesday that America is back, a statement he has frequently used to show how his administration differs from Mr. Trump’s foreign policy approach. Without criticizing his predecessor, Mr. Biden reiterated his repeated message that the United States is ready to re-engage in foreign alliances.
“We’re back at the negotiating table in international fora, most notably the United Nations, to focus emphasis and stimulate global action on shared challenges,” Mr. Biden stated. “We have re-engaged with the World Health Organization and are engaging closely with COVAX to offer life-saving vaccines globally.
We rejoined the Paris climate agreement and are running for re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council next year. And as the United States strives to steer the world to action, we will lead not only by our power but by the power of our example.”
In his address, Biden stressed that many of the world’s challenges “cannot be solved or even addressed through the use of force.”
Biden holds that bombs and bullets are powerless to protect against COVID-19 or future variations.
Mr. Biden highlighted that flights hauling vaccines from the United States have landed in more than 100 countries, providing a “dose of hope.” The president stated that he would announce greater vaccine commitments to the world soon.
Mr. Biden also addressed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ assertion that the US is engaged in a “Cold War” with China. Guterres urged the US to take a more conciliatory stance with the other great power.
“We are not pursuing — and I repeat, we are not seeking — a new Cold War,” Mr. Biden stated.
Guterres also noted that “our world has never been more threatened — or more divided,” adding that we are currently experiencing “the worst avalanche of crises in our lifetimes,” referring to COVID, climate change, and unrest in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Yemen. He spoke to “the tragedy of a lack of political will, self-centeredness, and mistrust, a surplus in some economies and empty shelves in others.”
“We are getting an F grade in ethics,” Guterres stated.
Biden’s 1st Address To UN Placed a Premium on Human Rights or Democratic Ideals.
Mr. Biden stressed the critical nature of defending human rights, regardless of the region of human suffering, and of standing up against authoritarianism.
“I am not agnostic about the world’s desired future,” he stated. “The future will belong to those who embrace, rather than trample, human dignity. The future will belong to those who unlock their people’s potential, not to those who suffocate it.
The future will belong to those who allow their people to breathe freely, not to those who suffocate them with an iron fist. Authoritarianism, or the world’s authoritarians, may strive to herald the end of the democratic era. They are, however, wrong. The truth is that the democratic world is universal.”
On Monday, the president arrived in New York and met with Guterres. Mr. Biden met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in New York following his speech Tuesday morning. He then proceeded to the White House for a bilateral session with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On Wednesday, the president will convene a virtual COVID Summit, during which he will urge participants to enhance their commitments to give COVID-19 vaccines.
He will also hold bilateral discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide at the White House on Friday. He will host an in-person summit with Australia, India, and Japan’s prime ministers.