Biden at UN to call Russian war an affront to body’s charter

(AP) NEW YORK — In an effort to persuade friends to steadfastly support the Ukrainian opposition, President Joe Biden is prepared to argue to global leaders at the U.N. General Assembly that Russia’s “naked aggression” in Ukraine is in violation of the core principles of the organisation.

Announcing a global food security initiative and pressing allies to meet a $18 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria were also among Biden’s agenda items for his time at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. He also planned to meet with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The president’s trip to the United Nations this year, according to White House officials, will centre on a scathing denunciation of Russia as its deadly conflict approaches the seven-month mark.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan described the president’s speech as “a forceful denunciation of Russia’s illegitimate conflict in Ukraine and a call to the world to continue to stand against the brazen aggression that we’ve witnessed these past several months.” “At a time when a permanent member of the Security Council has struck at the very heart of the charter by questioning the notion of territorial integrity and sovereignty, he will emphasise the need of strengthening the United Nations and restate basic tenets of its charter.”

The speech was given while Moscow is losing ground in the invasion and as Russian-controlled areas of eastern and southern Ukraine declared intentions to conduct referendums on joining Russia with support from the Kremlin soon. The West is engaging in “nuclear blackmail,” according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Wednesday authorised a partial mobilisation to call up 300,000 reserve personnel.

As leaders assemble this year, Biden is dealing with a number of challenging problems.

Along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are increased concerns in Europe that a recession may be approaching soon. The administration is increasingly concerned about China’s saber-rattling on Taiwan and the fact that there isn’t much time left to save the Iran nuclear agreement.

Last year, when he spoke to the General Assembly, Vice President Biden emphasised the need of global cooperation and urged world leaders to take swift action to combat the coronavirus, climate change, and violations of human rights. Additionally, he gave promises that his administration will bring an end to Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and usher in a new era of American leadership in international organisations.

However, a year later, the world has undergone a significant transformation.

Biden’s work this year is “immense” compared to his first presentation to the U.N. as president, according to Stewart Patrick, senior fellow and head of the Global Order and Institutions Program at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The American leader “earned easy praise last year as the ‘anti-Trump,'” Patrick claimed, promising that “America was back.” This year calls for more. The liberal, rules-based international order is in disarray, having been hammered by Russian aggressiveness, Chinese aspirations, authoritarian attacks, a slow epidemic recovery, accelerating climate change, misgivings about the U.N.’s significance, and nagging concerns about American tenacity.

The president is also engaging in some politics in addition to diplomacy. The event this year takes place fewer than seven weeks before the critically important midterm elections in the United States. Biden spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser for around 100 attendees shortly after landing in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The event collected about $2 million, and he is scheduled to host another fundraiser on Thursday before leaving for Washington.

His speech on Wednesday came just after Ukrainian forces retook control of substantial areas of land close to Kharkiv. However, despite the fact that Ukrainian troops have won several battles, Russia’s economic sanctions are having a terrible negative impact on most of Europe. A significant drop in Russian oil and gas production has caused energy costs to soar, inflation to soar, and a rising possibility that Europe may enter a recession.

Additionally, the attempts of Biden’s administration to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement look to be coming to a dead end.

In exchange for Iran agreeing to destroy a large portion of its nuclear programme and open its facilities to in-depth international inspection, the Obama administration mediated a deal that was later cancelled by Trump in 2018. Iran received billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

No progress with Iran is anticipated during the General Assembly, according to Sullivan, but Biden will emphasise in his address that a solution is still possible “if Iran is prepared to be serious about its duties.” He noted that, outside of this week’s discussions, administration officials will contact with other 2015 pact signatories.

After two years of lowered activity owing to the epidemic, this year’s U.N. meeting is returning to being a full-scale, in-person affair. Prerecorded addresses were given by leaders in place of the live event in 2020; live and recorded speeches were combined in 2019. On Wednesday night, a leaders’ event was scheduled to be hosted by Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

Although Chinese President Xi Jinping decided not to attend the U.N. conference this year, his nation’s actions and intentions will be a major topic of discussion during the leaders’ meetings.

The U.N. human rights office expressed worry last month about potential “crimes against humanity” targeting Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim ethnic groups in western China. Beijing has slammed what it called a Western effort to thwart China’s growth and promised to halt collaboration with the office.

China’s leadership claimed on Monday that Vice President Biden had broken U.S. promises by saying that American soldiers would protect Taiwan if Beijing sought to invade the self-governing island. However, China made no mention of potential reprisal.

After the interview, the White House declared that American policy toward Taiwan, which China claims as its own, had not changed. This policy states that Washington desires a peaceful resolution of Taiwan’s status but leaves open the possibility of sending U.S. military in the event of a Chinese invasion.

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