US President Joe Biden addressed the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Tuesday morning, September 19, calling for world leaders to take action on climate change and to support Ukraine.
In his remarks, Biden connected climate change to the heat waves in the United States and China, flooding in Libya, drought in Africa and wildfires in southern Europe. “Together, these snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate-proof the world,” he said.
Biden also called on other nations to stand against Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. “If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” he said. “We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.” Credit: US Department of State via Storyful
JOE BIDEN: We also stand ready to work together with China on issues where progress hinges on our common efforts. Nowhere is that more critical than accelerating the climate crisis than the accelerating climate crisis. We see it everywhere, record-breaking heat waves in the United States and China, wildfires ravaging North America and Southern Europe, a fifth year of drought in the Horn of Africa, tragic, tragic flooding in Libya.
My heart goes out to the people of Libya that's killed thousands, thousands of people. Together, these snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate proof the world. For one day, for one day, my administration, the United States has treated this crisis as an existential threat from the moment we took office, not only for us, but for all of humanity.
Certain principles of an international system are sacrosanct, sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights. These are the core tenets of the UN Charter, the pillars for peaceful relations among nations without which we cannot achieve any of our goals. That has not changed, and that must not change.
Yet, for the second year in a row, this gathering dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflicts is darkened by the shadow of war, an illegal war of conquest brought without provocation by Russia against its neighbor Ukraine. Like every nation in the world, the United States wants this war to end. No nation wants this war to end more than Ukraine. And we strongly support Ukraine and its efforts to bring about a diplomatic resolution that delivers just and lasting peace, but Russia alone, Russia alone bears responsibility for this war.
Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately. And it's Russia alone that stands in the way of peace because the Russia's price for peace is Ukraine's capitulation, Ukraine's territory, and Ukraine's children. Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence, but I ask you this, if we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?
If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I would respectfully suggest the answer is no. We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow. That's why the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and their freedom.