Highlights of Biden's Speech to UN

He warns that the world can't allow Ukraine to be 'carved up'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2023 11:15 AM CDT
Highlights of Biden's Speech to UN
President Biden addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

President Biden addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, and while he dropped no bombshells, he castigated Russia over its Ukraine war and warned of the "existential threat" posed to the world by climate change. Some highlights of the speech, as rounded up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the AP, and CNN:

  • Climate: Biden spoke of heat waves, droughts, and other weather-related emergencies around the world. "Taken together these snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate-proof our world," he said. The US, Biden added, "has treated this crisis as an existential threat from the moment we took office. Not only for us, but for all of humanity."

  • Russia: Moscow "believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence," he said. But "if we abandon the core principles of the [UN Charter] to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?" he asked. "If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I'd respectfully suggest the answer is no. We must stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow."
  • Russia, II: "Russia alone bears responsibility for this war," he said. "Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately. And it's Russia alone that stands in the way of the peace. Because Russia's price for peace is Ukraine's capitulation, Ukraine's territory, and Ukraine's children."
  • China: "When it comes to China, let me be clear and consistent," Biden said. "We seek to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict."
  • Unity: "Folks—cooperation, partnership: These are the keys to progress on the challenges that affect us all," Biden said. On that theme: "The United States seeks a more secure, more prosperous, more equitable world for all people because we know our future is bound to yours. And no nation can meet the challenges of today alone."
  • Democracy: "We will not retreat from the values that make us strong," Biden said. "We will defend democracy—our best tool to meet the challenges that we face around the world. And we're working to show how democracy can deliver in ways that matter to people's lives."
(More UN General Assembly stories.)

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