The United Nations General Assembly is a major test for Biden

President Biden delivered his first speech at the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday amid strong new doubt...


President Biden delivered his first speech at the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday amid strong new doubts about his ability to put the United States back in a position of global leadership after its predecessor was promoted to the United Nations. ‘America First’ isolationism.

Speaking to a smaller audience than usual of his peers due to the still raging Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Biden called for a new era of global unity against the coronavirus, climate change, emerging technological threats and the growing influence of autocratic nations such as China and Russia.

“No matter how difficult or complex the problems we are going to face, government by and for the people remains the best way to act for all our people,” he said, insisting that states -United and their Western allies remain essential partners.

“Our security, our prosperity and our very freedoms are interconnected, in my opinion like never before,” Biden said.

Calling on the world to make the use of force “our tool of last resort, not our first,” he defended his decision to end the US war in Afghanistan, a chaotic US troop withdrawal that left the allies next to.

“Today many of our greatest concerns cannot be resolved or even addressed by force of arms,” ​​he said. “Bombs and bullets cannot defend against Covid-19 or its future variants. “

But Mr. Biden’s efforts to move America beyond President Donald J. Trump’s more confrontational policies come amid growing frustration among allies with his administration’s diplomatic approach.

Its familiar refrain that the world must choose between democracy and autocracy sounds different now that the Taliban is once again in control of Kabul, overturning many of the democratic gains of the past 20 years. The Covid is resurfacing in much of the world. And the French have just recalled their ambassador with indignation – not just for lose over $ 60 billion submarine contract, but because it was made clear that they were not part of the inner circle of allies.

The event is a major test of credibility for Mr Biden, who was among the first to address the 193 members General assembly. The latest to speak at the morning session was Chinese President Xi Jinping, via a pre-recorded video, highlighting the opposing views of the two most powerful countries in the world.

The two leaders announced potentially important steps to tackle climate change, a rare moment of common goal: Mr Biden said he intended to double the US financial contribution to developing countries’ efforts to fight against the climate crisis, and Xi said China will stop funding overseas coal-fired power projects, a major source of heat-trapping gas.

Secretary-General António Guterres, who has openly expressed concern over the bitter rivalry between China and the United States, said he was encouraged by “the leaders of the world’s two largest economies in their commitment to the ‘climate action’.

Yet a dominant theme in Mr. Biden’s speech was what he described as the choice the world faces between democratic values ​​espoused by the West and the contempt for them of China and other authoritarian governments.

“The future belongs to those who give their people the opportunity to breathe freely, not to those who seek to suffocate their people with iron-fisted authoritarianism,” he said. “The authoritarians of the world, they seek to proclaim the end of the era of democracy, but they are wrong.

But the president has vowed not to pursue a new era of sustained conflict with countries like China, saying the United States “will vigorously compete and lead with our values ​​and strength to defend our allies and friends.”

“We are not looking – repeat it, we are not looking – for a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocks,” he said.

Climate change and the pandemic are also expected to dominate the week, and Mr Biden was planning to host a Covid summit on the sidelines to push other countries to increase their capacities to manufacture vaccines for poor countries.

“This year has also brought widespread death and devastation from the borderless climate crisis,” Biden said. “The extreme weather events that we have seen in all parts of the world – and you all know it and feel it – represent what the Secretary General has rightly called Code Red for Humanity.”

On Covid, Biden urged leaders to act faster to bring a pandemic that has left millions dead.

“We need a collective act of science and political will,” he said. “We need to act now to get the arm shots as quickly as possible and to expand access to oxygen, to tests, to treatment, to save lives around the world.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: The United Nations General Assembly is a major test for Biden
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