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Five key takeaways from Joe Biden’s UNGA speech | United Nations News

Joe Biden accused Russia of aiming to end Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation, telling United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that Washington wants the conflict to end on “normal conditions”.

In his second speech to UNGA as US president, Mr. Biden on Wednesday emphasized that Russia violated the UN Charter by invading its neighbor earlier this year.

He also addressed many international issues, including the global need to combat climate change and food insecurity.

Here are five key takeaways from Biden’s speech:

Says Russia seeks to ‘extinguish’ Ukraine’s right to exist

Biden began his remarks by condemning Invasion of Russia of Ukraine as an unjustified act of aggression.

“This war is aimed at stamping out Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and [Ukrainians’] Biden said. “Wherever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, it will chill your blood.”

Biden also rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia is threatened by Ukraine’s push to join NATO.

“The United States wants this war to end only under the conditions that we all signed up for – that you can’t take a country’s territory by force,” he said.

Biden’s comments come just hours after Putin announced partial military mobilization on Wednesday, called for about 300,000 reservists to serve in Ukraine.

The Russian offensive has met with major setbacks in recent weeks, as Ukrainian forces – backed by US weapons – recapture much of the territory in a swift advance east of the country. country.

Call for reform of the United Nations Security Council

Biden called for reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make it more inclusive and better equipped to respond to global challenges.

He suggested that the number of countries with 15 members should be increased. Currently, the UNSC has 5 permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – and 10 countries alternately elected for two-year terms.

“We have long supported permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean,” Biden told the General Assembly.

The council’s permanent members have veto powers that limit the council’s ability to pass resolutions against them or their allies.

Although Washington has exercised its veto over the Security Council dozens of times To protect Israel, a top US ally, from criticism for violating international law, Mr. Biden on Wednesday said veto powers should be used sparingly.

“Members of the United Nations Security Council, including the United States, should consistently uphold and defend the Charter of the United Nations, and limit the use of veto power to rare occasions, regardless of circumstances. often to ensure that the board remains reliable and effective,” Biden said.

Say the US does not want a cold war with China

Since taking office in early 2021, Biden has continued the preferred approach of his predecessor Donald Trump compete with China in US foreign policy. But on Wednesday, the US president said Washington wanted to avoid confrontation with Beijing.

“Let me speak directly about the rivalry between the United States and China as we manage changing geopolitical trends: The United States will behave like a sensible leader,” Biden said.

“We are not looking for conflict. We are not looking for a Cold War. We are not asking any country to choose between the United States or any other partner.”

Biden has drawn the ire of Beijing by repeatedly declaring that Washington will militarize protect Taiwan – an autonomous island that Beijing claims as its own – if China wants to invade.

On Wednesday, Biden said the US opposes “unilateral changes to the status quo by either party”.

Reaffirming support for a two-state solution

On Wednesday, Mr. Biden, a staunch supporter of Israel, reaffirmed his administration’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The United States is committed to Israel’s security – full stop,” Biden said. “And in our view, a negotiated two-state solution remains the best way to ensure the security and prosperity of Israel’s future and to give the Palestinians a state they enjoy. .”

During his tenure in the White House, Biden has refused to criticize Israel’s abuses against Palestinians, including the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem – territories The land will be home to a future Palestinian state.

Furthermore, the US President kept Israel’s US embassy in Jerusalem – a controversial move by Trump that drew Palestinian and international outrage – while failing to deliver on his war promises. His campaign campaign was to reopen the consulate to Palestinians in holy city.

Verbal support for the two-state solution has been the policy of successive US administrations.

However, many Palestinian rights advocates say such a solution to the conflict has become impossible due to the prevalence of Israeli settlements in the occupied territory. They argue that discussing a two-state solution allows Israel to maintain the status quo.

On Wednesday, Biden said that both sides deserve “an equal measure of freedom and dignity”.

The US gives $3.8 billion in annual military aid to Israel, which is accused of imposing a system racist against the Palestinians.

US says will not allow Iran to buy nuclear weapons

Amid stalled negotiations to revive 2015 Iran nuclear dealBiden on Wednesday pledged that Washington would not let Iran get a nuclear weapon.

Multiple rounds of indirect negotiations to date have failed to restore the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has seen Iran scale back its nuclear program in exchange take international sanctions.

“While the United States prepares for a joint return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran meets its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to have it,” Biden said. nuclear weapons.

Trump canceled the JCPOA in 2018 and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions targeting the Iranian economy. In response, Tehran has escalated its nuclear program, but Iranian officials deny seeking nuclear weapons.

On Wednesday, Biden also agreed to continue to fight the government Protests in Iran triggered by the death of a woman in police custody. “Today, we stand with the brave citizens and brave women of Iran, who are now protesting to secure their fundamental rights,” he said.

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