Joe Biden addressed the U.N. General Assembly for the first time as U.S. president. He declared that this is a decisive decade for the world, and promised to fulfill all of his country’s allied obligations.
Fighting the coronavirus
Biden began his remarks by mentioning the enormous global toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. The president noted that the U.S. has committed more than $15 billion to the global response to the coronavirus, sending more than 160 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to other countries.
He pledged that on Sept. 22, at a U.S.-organized world summit on COVID-19, he would announce additional U.S. commitments to fight the coronavirus worldwide to advance it and take responsibility for concrete results in three key areas: save lives now, vaccinate the world and improve it.
The new pandemic
Biden called for efforts to prepare for the new pandemic that he said inevitably awaits the world.
“Will we work together to save lives, fight COVID-19, and take the necessary steps to prepare for the next pandemic as it comes, or will we fail to take advantage of all the tools at our disposal while new, more infectious, and dangerous options emerge?” – the U.S. president posed the question.
According to Biden, this choice must be made.
The U.S. is ushering in an era of “ruthless diplomacy” instead of “ruthless war” after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said. Military force, he said, should be the last resort in the U.S. arsenal of methods.
“Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we will focus our sights on directing resources toward the problems that are the keys to our collective future,” Biden said.
He specified that the world must focus on defeating the COVID pandemic, solving the climate crisis and shaping new rules in global trade, technology and countering threats from terrorism.
“We have ended the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan, and as we end this period of ruthless war, we are ushering in a new era of ruthless diplomacy – using the power of our aid to develop new ways to invest in inspiring people around the world, renewing and protecting democracy,” Biden added.
During his speech, Biden called on world leaders to unite in the fight against climate change because “the climate crisis has no boundaries.”
“This year has also brought widespread death and destruction from a climate crisis that has no limits. The extreme weather events we have seen in all parts of the world – and you all know it and feel it – represent what the secretary-general rightly called a ‘code red for humanity,'” Biden told world leaders.
He recalled that scientists and experts tell the world that “we are fast approaching the point of no return, literally.
Fighting hunger around the world
During his speech, Biden announced that the United States will commit $10 billion to efforts to “end hunger and invest in food systems at home and abroad.”
“At a time when nearly one in three people around the world does not have access to adequate food, just last year the United States committed to bringing our partners together to address the urgent problem of malnutrition and ensure that we can sustainably feed the world for decades to come,” the U.S. president said.
A new cold war
Without mentioning any particular country, Biden said that the U.S. “will stand up for our allies and friends and resist attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones.
At the same time, he stressed that the U.S. does not seek “a new Cold War or a world divided into hard blocks.”
“The United States is willing to work with any country that advocates peaceful solutions to common problems, even if we have serious disagreements in other areas, because we will all suffer the consequences of our failure,” the U.S. president said.