NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is ready to make the case to world leaders at the UN General Assembly that Russia’s “naked aggression” in Ukraine is an affront to the heart of what the international organization that seeks to rally allies to stand firm in supporting the Ukrainian resistance represents.
Biden, during his time at the UN General Assembly, was also scheduled to meet with new Britons on Wednesday Prime Minister Liz Truss, announce a global food security initiative and push partners to meet an $18 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
But White House officials say the crux of the president’s visit to the UN this year would be a vociferous condemnation of Russia as its brutal I was close to the seven month mark.
“He will deliver a firm rebuke for Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine and call on the world to continue to oppose the open aggression we have seen in recent months,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. in a preview. the address of the president. “It will underline the importance of strengthening the United Nations and reaffirming the basic principles of its charter at a time when a permanent member of the Security Council has struck at the very heart of the charter by challenging the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
The speech comes as the Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans hold referendums backed by the Kremlin in the coming days as it becomes part of Russia and while Moscow is losing ground in the invasion.
Biden faces a host of difficult issues as leaders meet this year.
In addition to the Russian war in Ukraine, Europe fear a recession could be just around the corner step up. The administration’s concerns grow every day that time is running out to reactivate the Iran nuclear deal and about China’s saber rattling over Taiwan.
When he addressed the General Assembly last year, Biden focused on broad issues of global partnership and urged world leaders to act quickly against the coronavirus, climate change and human rights abuses. And he offered assurances that his presidency marked the return of American leadership to international institutions following Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.
But a year later, the global dynamic has changed dramatically.
Stewart Patrick, senior fellow and director of the Institutions and Global Order Program at the Washington think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in a analysis that Biden’s task this year is “immense” compared to his first UN speech as president.
“Last year, the American leader won easy plaudits as the ‘anti-Trump,’ claiming that ‘America is back,’” Patrick said. “This year demands more. The liberal rules-based international system is reeling, battered by Russian aggression, Chinese ambitions, authoritarian attacks, a stalling pandemic recovery, accelerating climate change, skepticism about the UN’s relevance, and lingering doubts about the America’s staying power.”
Beyond diplomacy, the president is also doing some politicking. This year’s meeting comes less than seven weeks early key midterm elections in the U.S. Shortly after arriving in Manhattan Tuesday night, Biden spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser for about 100 participants that raised nearly $2 million, and he is scheduled to hold another fundraiser Thursday before returning to Washington.
His speech on Wednesday comes on the heels of the Ukrainian forces. regaining control of large tracts of territory near Kharkov. But even as Ukrainian forces have racked up battlefield victories, much of Europe feels a painful setback from economic sanctions imposed against Russia. A large reduction in Russian oil and gas has led to a sharp rise in energy prices, triggering inflation and raising the risk of Europe slipping into recession.
Biden’s visit to the UN also comes as his administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal appear stalled.
The deal brokered by the Obama administration, and scrapped by Trump in 2018, provided billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to broad international inspection. .
Sullivan said no breakthrough with Iran is expected during the General Assembly, but Biden would make clear in his speech that a deal can still be reached “if Iran is prepared to take its obligations seriously.” He added that administration officials would consult with other signatories to the 2015 agreement on the sidelines of this week’s meetings.
This year’s UN meeting has reverted to a large-scale in-person event after two years of restricted activity due to the pandemic. In 2020, the in-person meeting was canceled and leaders instead delivered pre-recorded speeches; last year it was a mix of in-person and pre-recorded speeches. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were set to host a leaders’ reception on Wednesday night.
Chinese President Xi Jinping opted not to attend this year’s UN meeting, but his country’s conduct and intentions will loom large during the leaders’ talks.
Last month, the UN human rights office expressed concern about possible “crimes against humanity” in western China against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. Beijing has vowed to suspend cooperation with the bureau and has criticized what it has described as a Western plot to undermine China’s rise.
Meanwhile, China’s government said Monday that Biden’s statement in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that US forces would defend taiwan If Beijing tried to invade the self-governing island, it was a violation of the United States’ commitments on the matter, but there was no indication of possible retaliation.
The White House said after the interview that there has been no change in US policy on Taiwan, which China claims as its own. That policy says that Washington wants Taiwan’s status to be resolved peacefully, but does not say whether US forces could be sent in response to a Chinese attack.
Follow AP’s coverage of the UN General Assembly at