Biden aims to enlist allies in tackling climate, COVID and more

New York, September 21 (BNA): President Joe Biden planned to use his first address to the United Nations General Assembly to reassure other nations of American leadership on the world stage and to call on allies to move quickly and cooperatively to address the burning issues. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights violations.

Biden, who arrived in New York Monday night to meet Secretary-General Antonio Guterres before Tuesday’s speech, gave full endorsement of the body’s importance and ambition at a difficult moment in history, according to the Associated Press.

The president, in brief remarks at the start of his meeting with Guterres, returned to his mantra that “America is back” – a phrase that has become a presidential acronym intended to sum up his promise to take a very different position with allies than his predecessor, Donald Trump.

“Nowhere has the vision of the United Nations been lacking in ambition more than our Constitution,” Biden said.

But the president was facing a healthy amount of skepticism on the part of allies during his week of high-level diplomacy. The first months of his presidency included a series of difficult moments with friendly nations expecting greater cooperation from Biden after four years of Trump’s “America first” approach to foreign policy.

Eight months into his presidency, Biden was at odds with allies about the chaotic end of the US war in Afghanistan. He has faced disagreements over how to share coronavirus vaccines with the developing world and over pandemic travel restrictions. There are questions about how best to respond to China’s military and economic moves.

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Biden also finds himself in the midst of a new diplomatic row with France, the United States’ oldest ally, after announcing plans – along with Britain – to supply nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. The move is expected to give Australia improved capabilities to patrol the Pacific amid growing concern about the increasingly aggressive Chinese military tactics, but it upended at least a $66 billion French defense contract to sell diesel-powered submarines to Australia.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday that there was a “crisis of confidence” with the United States as a result of the incident.

Prior to Biden’s arrival, EU Council President Charles Michel had harshly criticized the Biden administration for leaving Europe “out of the game in the Indo-Pacific” and for ignoring key elements of the transatlantic alliance – transparency and loyalty – in withdrawing from Afghanistan and declaring a US-UK-Australian alliance.

Despite those differences, Biden had hoped to use his Tuesday speech to the General Assembly as well as a series of one-on-one and larger meetings with world leaders this week to demonstrate the importance of American leadership on the world stage.

“There are points of disagreement, including when we disagree with decisions that other countries make, and decision points when countries disagree with the decisions that we make,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “But the biggest point here … is that we are committed to these alliances, and that always requires work from every president, from every global leader.”

In an interview before his meeting with Biden, Guterres told the Associated Press he was concerned about the “total dysfunction” of the US-China relationship and that it could lead to a new Cold War. The administration did not agree with the assessment, Psaki said, adding that the relationship between the United States and China “is not one of conflict but a competitive one.”

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In his speech on Tuesday, Biden planned to focus heavily on the need for world leaders to work together on the COVID-19 pandemic, fulfill previous commitments to addressing climate change, avoid emerging technology issues and solidify trade rules, according to White House officials. She said.

Biden was expected to launch new plans to aid global vaccination efforts and talk about the United States’ plan to meet its share of financial commitments the United States and other developed countries made in 2009 to help poor countries adopt clean energy technology, the aid that was due. to begin annually last year, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the president’s remarks.

Before his departure, the Biden administration announced plans to ease restrictions on overseas travel to the United States starting in November. The United States has imposed significant travel restrictions on non-US citizens from Europe since the start of the pandemic, an issue that has become a point of contention in transatlantic relations.

The White House said Monday that the new rules will allow foreigners to enter if they have evidence of vaccination and test negative for COVID-19.

Biden plans to limit his time at the United Nations due to coronavirus concerns. He was scheduled to meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison while in New York before moving diplomacy the rest of the week to default settings and Washington.

At the virtual COVID-19 summit hosted by Biden on Wednesday, leaders will be urged to step up commitments to share vaccines, address hypoxia around the world, and address other issues related to the pandemic.

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The president is also scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday at the White House, and has invited the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan – part of the Pacific alliance known as the “Quartet” – to Washington on Friday. In addition to gathering Quartet leaders, Biden will sit in one-on-one meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.


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