As the U.N. General Assembly commences, Biden appeals for assistance to Ukraine.

President Biden urged international leaders in New York on Tuesday to unite with the United States and its allies in addressing Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine. He emphasized the importance of removing Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, stating that the safety of all nations is at stake.

Mr. Biden spoke on the initial day of the weeklong U.N. General Assembly meeting while encountering increasing doubt in both Washington and developing nations regarding assistance and military backing for Ukraine. The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has now exceeded 18 months.

“In a speech to the gathering of global leaders in Manhattan, Mr. Biden questioned the security of any nation’s independence if we permit the division of Ukraine.”

“I respectfully disagree and believe the answer is negative. It is crucial to confront this act of aggression now in order to discourage potential aggressors in the future,” stated the president during his speech at the United Nations headquarters. It is worth mentioning that this year’s annual meeting is missing some significant leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Later in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was scheduled to speak at the event before heading to Washington. On Tuesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda provided verbal support to Mr. Biden by condemning Russia’s invasion of their neighboring country as “evil” during his speech at the General Assembly.

“I cannot reword”

SEE ALSO: Biden warns U.N. of ‘existential threat’ from climate shocks, urges China and others to act


Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi, along with several others, have chosen not to attend this year’s General Assembly, opting instead to send delegations with less authority to New York.

Mr. Biden spoke at the start of a two-day trip to New York, pushing a narrative that the United States is working overtime on his watch to bring nations together to confront the full range of challenges facing humanity — from conflicts and food insecurity in Africa to gender inequality, climate change and threats to democracy around the world.

He stressed his belief that the United States perceives itself as just one of many nations in the world that rely on each other, aiming to establish a foundation for responsible leadership on a global scale.

“I cannot reword”

Other leaders participating in the series of speeches at the General Assembly are likely to support this message. However, there is a high chance that it will not be heard or considered, especially during a time when the concept of “multipolarity” and division on the global stage, as highlighted by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is gaining momentum.

A range of dramatic speeches, meanwhile, are expected throughout the coming days. In addition to Mr. Zelenskyy, leaders such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will address the assembly.

The nonattendance of Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi this week has overshadowed this year’s gathering. These two leaders have been identified by Washington as contributors to international tensions, conflicts, and obstacles in multinational forums like the United Nations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely regarded as the most influential leader from the developing world in the “Global South,” will not be present at the General Assembly. Countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia seem to be uncertain about aligning with the Biden administration on various matters, including global development finance priorities and the conflict in Ukraine.

The gathering is being attended by the leaders of Britain and France. This implies that the General Assembly and the private diplomatic meetings taking place at luxurious hotels in Manhattan are happening without the participation of the top leaders from four out of the five permanent member nations of the U.N. Security Council.

U.N. reform

Mr. Biden on Tuesday reiterated his position that the Security Council, which has been hamstrung by divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the past 18 months, is badly in need of reform.

“I cannot reword”

He emphasized that the United States is actively striving to enhance the responsiveness, effectiveness, and inclusivity of various global institutions.

Mr. Biden pointed to changes underway at the World Bank, the Washington-based global financing entity, noting that he recently asked Congress to “expand World Bank financing by $25 billion.”

Mr. Biden stated that the World Bank has undergone substantial changes and growth to enhance its operations in providing financial assistance to low- and middle-income nations. This is aimed at accelerating progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals and effectively tackling interconnected issues such as climate change and fragility.

Analysts frequently refer to the World Bank as a contrasting force to China’s extensive development lending activities across the globe in the last ten years. The loans provided by China are often labeled as predatory by U.S. officials.

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden expressed careful comments regarding China as tensions between Washington and Beijing escalate due to global trade, the strengthening alliance between China and Russia, and increasing disputes over the status of Taiwan.

“I aim to effectively handle the competition between our two nations in a responsible manner, ensuring it does not escalate into a conflict,” he stated regarding China.

He emphasized that officials from the United States are prepared to collaborate with China on shared matters.

“I cannot reword”

He expressed his sympathy for the people of Libya.

Tom Howell Jr. made a contribution to this article.