Biden stresses global partnerships at U.N. General Assembly 

September 19, 2023

President Biden stressed the importance of global partnerships when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday. 

During a speech that touched upon competition with China, Russia’s war in Ukraine, nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, and human atrocities in Darfur as well as climate change and artificial intelligence, Biden stated that “cooperation, partnership, these are the keys to progress in the challenges that affect us all.”

“As President of the United States I understand the duty my country has to lead in this critical moment, to work with countries in every region, linking them in common cause, to join together with partners who share a common vision of the world,” said Biden.

He pointed to institutions established during World War II by the U.N. and noted that the United States had reentered into UNESCO during his Administration, and that his Administration supports expanding the U.N. Security Council to include more permanent and non-permanent members.

Biden also promoted the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in aiding with the clean energy transition, the protection of workers and promotion of inclusive and sustainable growth. 

But, he added, upgrading established institutions is “only half of the challenge,” particularly in the tackling such issues as ensuring that artificial intelligence technology is used for “tools of opportunity, not as weapons of oppression.” 

To that end, the U.S. is expanding its diplomatic partnerships as well, said Biden, such as working with Indo-Pacific Quad partners Japan, Australia and India. He further noted that the G-20 this year had expanded to include the 50-nation African Union. 

Global partners, according to Biden, are creating a “market demand for green products” in carbon-dependent sectors such as concrete, shipping, aviation in trucking, as well as agricultural innovation surrounding climate issues.

He also stressed, “When it comes to China, I want to be clear and consistent: We seek to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict.”

Biden then blasted Russia for “shredding long-standing arms control agreements including announcing the suspension of the New START [treaty] and withdrawing from the conventional forces in Europe.”

“I view it as irresponsible, and it makes the entire world less safe,” Biden stated.

The President received the only round of applause during his speech when he vowed that the United States “will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and their territorial integrity and their freedom.” 

Then, calling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the United Nations’ “North Star,” Biden stressed that it means protecting women and girls, as well as members of the LGBTQI community as well as others.

“Let’s bend the arc of history for the good of the world because it’s in our power to do it,” Biden concluded. 

On Monday Biden met with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. According to the White House, the pair discussed the threat that Russia’s war in Ukraine posed to the U.N. Charter and global community, along with discussing swift action to address climate and food insecurity.

PHOTO: Biden speaks before U.N. General Assembly

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