President Joe Biden called for deep global engagement and a shared future in his first address since taking office before the United Nations Tuesday at the UN’s 76th General Assembly at its headquarters in New York City.
Biden told the room full of leaders the world is at an “inflection point in history” and nations must “work together like never before.” He called this a “decisive” decade for our world that will “quite literally determine our futures.”
“We will choose to build a better future—we, you and I,” said Biden near the close of his roughly 30-minute address. “We have the will and capacity to make it better, but ladies and gentlemen we can’t afford to waste any more time.”
Biden spoke to several global issues like climate change, the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, terrorism, and advancements in new technology.
In the evening prior to the speech, Biden had met for the first time in a one-on-one sit-down with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres who, in an interview with AP on Saturday, urged the United States and China to fix their “completely dysfunctional” relationship.
“We need to avoid at all cost a Cold War that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” said Guterres.
In his speech, Biden did not name the Chinese regime directly, but said “the United States will compete and compete vigorously,” later adding, “but we are not seeking, say it again, not seeking a new Cold War, or a world divided into rigid blocks.”
The speech came days after Beijing responded to a newly announced trilateral defense agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia by accusing the United States of aggravating an arms race and perpetuating an “outdated Cold War mentality.” Chinese officials also accused Australia of being a “running dog” of the United States and that it should “prepare for the worst.”
While the Biden administration insists the new defense pact, called AUKUS, is “not aimed or about any one country,” many view it as a response to increasingly assertive actions taken by Chinese vessels in the South China Sea and the major expansion of China’s nuclear missile silo fields.
By Nick Ciolino