UN General Debate Speech: Biden’s Vision for American Leadership

DAmerican President Joe Biden reaffirmed his country’s claims to global leadership during a general debate at the UN on Tuesday. In his third address to the General Assembly, he presented a “vision for American leadership” to representatives of the 193 member states. “As president of the United States, I understand my country’s responsibility to lead in this moment,” he said. You share a common vision of the world with your partners. He continued: “The United States is committed to a safer, more prosperous and just world for all peoples.” No country can face these challenges alone.

Biden reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the UN Charter – especially given Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates the principles of the Charter. Russia believes that the world is tired and violence against Ukraine will have no consequences, he said. But if the basic principles of the UN Charter were to be repealed, no member state would be safe any longer.

“We must confront overt aggression today to deter the aggressors of tomorrow,” Biden said. “That’s why the United States, along with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to support the brave Ukrainian people as they defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom.”

At the start of his presidency, Biden set out to strengthen America’s alliances after a disastrous four years under Donald Trump. It was successful. NATO is stronger today in the face of Russian aggression. And new alliances are emerging in the Indo-Pacific region.

Regarding the dispute with China, the president emphasized that he is interested in responsible competition to avoid conflict. The goal is to “reduce risks” rather than “decouple” the world’s two largest economies. There are also areas of cooperation with Beijing, for example on the climate crisis. Heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires have shown what the world faces if those responsible fail to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. His government viewed the crisis as an “existential threat” from the outset.

The President called for mobilizing financial resources for the so-called Global South. A group of developing and developing countries that have long felt neglected by the West have for some time been using the services of China and Russia in their struggle against the existing world order. Biden has emphasized that he has states’ interests in mind, for example, when it comes to promoting investment, such as by better equipping the World Bank, something he has proposed to Congress.

After Biden, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky also wanted to address the General Assembly. Last year, he chose to address the international community through a video message from Kyiv. “Ukraine will present UN member states with a concrete proposal on how to strengthen the principle of territorial integrity and improve the UN’s ability to prevent and stop aggression,” he said before his speech.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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