Biden’s speech to UN: President pleads for use of “relentless diplomacy” instead of military might to resolve global crises
And although he did not point to China as the dominant global threat, he insisted that the United States would seek to counter the rise of autocracies while avoiding “a new cold war.”
It was an entirely different message from that of his predecessor, whose mixture of isolationism and confrontation caused deep disagreements with other nations. Instead, Biden gave a more traditional speech hailing the multilateral United Nations mission and proclaiming that a new chapter began after deciding to end the war in Afghanistan.
Biden called the next 10 years a “decisive decade for our world” that will determine the future of the global community, and said the planet stands at a “turning point in history.”
The global community’s response to pressing challenges like the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic “will spill over to generations to come,” Biden argued. But he said these challenges must be met through technological innovation and global cooperation, not war.
“We have ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, and as we bring this period of relentless war to a close, we usher in a new era of relentless diplomacy, of using the power of our development assistance to invest in new ways. to uplift people in the world, ”Biden said.
The speech was a throwback to many of the themes Biden had raised since entering the White House in January, defining the future of global relations as democracy versus autocracy and highlighting U.S. plans to strengthen their relations with their allies.
“We have kept the Paris climate agreement. We have kept the international cooperation against the virus. So we hope and we think, we must, we can have a very, very important partnership between the United States now and the United States. ‘European Union and Europeans to have an effective multilateral relationship, “he said.” And that is why we were indeed somewhat disappointed when we recently saw more unilateral behavior from this administration. “
Biden did not address the issue of submarines in his speech, but defended his decision to leave Afghanistan.
“As we close this era of endless war, we open an era of endless diplomacy,” he said.
Without naming China, Biden said the United States does not want a new cold war with the world’s most populous country, but said it seeks instead to “vigorously compete” with the autocracies of the world. He said the United States was turning its attention to the Indo-Pacific region and “fixing our eyes on the allocation of our resources to the challenges that hold the keys to our collective future.”
The president said these challenges include: “Ending this pandemic, dealing with the climate crisis, managing changes in global power dynamics, shaping the rules of the world on vital issues like trade, cybersecurity and emerging technologies, and face the threat of terrorism as it stands today. “
As part of this shift in focus, the president has made it clear that he will seek to use US diplomatic and scientific skills rather than military might as crises erupt around the world.
“US military might should be our tool of last resort, not our first and should not be used as an answer to all the problems we see in the world,” Biden said. “Indeed, many of our greatest concerns today cannot be resolved or even addressed by force of arms. Bombs and bullets cannot defend against Covid-19 or its future variants. “
“I am here today for the first time in 20 years with the United States not at war. We have turned the page,” Biden said.
Despite some trepidation from his allies, Biden said the United States is committed to working with partners around the world to collectively address challenges, and stressed the importance of working through multilateral institutions like the Nations. United.
“It is a fundamental 21st century truth that within each of our countries and as a global community, our own success is tied to the success of others. world, ”Biden said.
Biden focused heavily on the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, which has claimed millions of lives around the world. He boasted that the United States is shipping more than 160 million doses of Covid-19 to countries around the world and is spending more than $ 15 billion on the global response to Covid. He added that he would announce additional commitments against Covid-19 on Wednesday at the Covid-19 world summit hosted by the United States.
“We have lost so much to this devastating pandemic which continues to claim lives around the world and to have such a great impact on our existence. We mourn over 4.5 million people, people from all nations , from all walks of life. Every death is an individual sorrow. But our shared sorrow is a poignant reminder that our collective future will depend on our ability to recognize our common humanity and act together, “said Biden.
He underscored the urgent need for action to tackle the climate crisis and noted that his administration is committed to doubling international public funding to help developing countries cope with the climate crisis. Biden said he would work with Congress to double that number again, which “would make the United States the leader in public climate finance.”
Biden urged countries around the world to “put their highest possible ambitions to the table” when world leaders meet in Glasgow later this year for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26.
He highlighted the goal he set for himself earlier this year of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by about half of 2005 levels by 2030. Last week, Biden announced that the The United States and the European Union had launched a global commitment to reduce methane emissions by nearly 30% by the end of the decade.
The president said the United States will continue to abide by “long-standing rules and norms that have formed the safeguards of international engagement for decades and which have been essential to the development of nations around the world.”
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.