President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York City Tuesday, his first major address since taking office.
His debut comes at a time of international crises including fallout over the Afghanistan withdrawal, migrants swarming the southern border, tensions with France, and the pandemic.
World leaders gathered at the U.N. for the first time in two years. Despite mounting crises facing the Biden administration, the president insists America is back.
Biden used his first major U.N. address to reassure the world that American leadership is strong while promising relentless diplomacy.
“As the United States seeks to rally the world to action, we will lead not just with the example of our power but God willing with the power of our example,” he said.
The president hopes to repair relationships with allies after high-profile issues ranging from Afghanistan, a U.S. drone strike that killed civilians, and out of control illegal crossings at the southern border.
While addressing ongoing concerns over COVID, Biden said, “To fight this pandemic, we need a collective act of science and political will. We need to act now to get shots in arms as fast as possible.”
Critics charge that Biden has been out of sync with close allies including France which is angry it was left out of plans to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres contended that “the world must wake up. We are on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction,” he said. “Our world has never been more threatened, or more divided. We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.”
During his speech, Biden did not mention China by name but declared that the United States is not seeking a new Cold War.
“The U.S. is ready to work with any nation who steps up to seek peaceful resolution,” he remarked.
He also wants immediate action on climate change.
“The scientists and experts are telling us that we’re fast approaching a point of no return in a literal sense,” Biden stated.
Some global leaders remain skeptical about America’s promises and are calling the country disloyal.
While some critics say the speech was better than expected but it’s unclear if Biden’s words will win the world’s confidence.
“I don’t think anything in that speech today will convince them the Biden administration is any more prepared or capable than they thought they might be. Other governments in that room and around that world have some serious questions,” said Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation.