President Joe Biden reprimanded Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine and announced major developments in U.S. responsiveness to humanitarian issues and world hunger in his address to the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly.
The U.N. General Assembly’s 77th session commenced on Sept. 13, where 193 member states convened in New York to address the wide array of world development in the last year. Biden issued his address to the member states on Sept. 21.
“We see attacks on schools, railway stations, hospitals, war on centers of Ukrainian history and culture. In the past, even more horrifying evidence of Russia’s atrocities and war crimes; mass graves uncovered in Izyum, bodies– according to those who excavated those bodies– showing signs of torture. This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state… and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people,” President Biden exclaimed.
He further detailed the war crimes committed by Russia and the need for members of the U.N. Security Council– such as China, France and the United Kingdom – to “uphold and defend the U.N. Charter and refrain from using the veto, except in rare extraordinary situations.”
The Charter of the United Nations acts as the constitution of the organization and establishes an international law of obligations of the member states and critical procedures in order to conduct the affairs of the U.N. properly. President Biden then conveyed the necessity of core values within the U.N. and how the United States will build relationships with other nations upholding a similar common ground.
“I reject the use of violence and war to conquer nations or expand borders through bloodshed, to stand against global politics through fear and coercion, to defend the sovereign rights of smaller nations as equal to those of larger ones. To embrace basic principles like freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and arms control…that is the common ground upon which we must stand. If you are still committed to a strong foundation for the good of every nation around the world, then the United States wants to work with you,” he said.
Some, such as Kimberly Jean-Joseph, a junior political science major at Howard University, thought the president’s speech had good intentions.
“When [President Biden] addressed the U.N. Council about how Putin is attacking the sovereignty of Ukraine – of it being an actual legitimate nation – [President Biden] set the United States’ intentions very well, in my opinion, on what he wanted the U.S. to do and what he wanted the U.N. to do as a collective,” Jean-Joseph said.
President Biden’s address also announced $2.9 billion in support for humanitarian aid and food security assistance by working with nongovernmental organizations like World Food Program, the U.N. Children’s Fund and Call to Action, while also declaring $4.5 billion to strengthen food security through U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future Initiative.
The U.S. Congress also recently approved a continuing resolution that allocates $12.3 billion for Ukrainian war response efforts. However, a day afterwards, Russia announced plans to annex more territories in Ukraine.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett