United States President Biden at the United Nations General Assembly

September 21, 2022
A photo of the United Nations headquarters in New York

In the last year, our world has experienced great upheaval …

United States President Joe Biden speaking at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The President continued the first line of his address to the United Nations General Assembly: "… a growing crisis in food insecurity; record heat, floods, and droughts; COVID-19; inflation; and a brutal, needless war — a war chosen by one man, to be very blunt."

In Pres. Biden's address, he immediately denounced Russia's invasion of Ukraine (within the first 30 seconds of his speech), saying it has "shamelessly violated the core tenets of the UN Charter" — the founding document of the U.N., an international organization "committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights." Pres. Biden emphasized the U.S.' commitment to the U.N. Charter and its values.

Here are a few points Pres. Biden discussed in his speech:

  • In discussing "competition" between the U.S. and China, Pres. Biden said: "We do not seek conflict. We do not seek a Cold War," continuing that the U.S. "will be unabashed in promoting our vision of a free, open, secure and prosperous world …"
  • Pres. Biden also stressed the importance of not allowing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and said "diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome." He also clearly stated the U.S. will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
  • Pres. Biden's remarks condemning Russia's war in Ukraine came after Russian Pres. Putin announced a partial mobilization of Russian reservists to fight in the war, a "deeply unpopular step that sparked protests in Russia," The Associated Press reports. Pres. Biden said, "Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russian aggression," and called on all nations to stand against Russia's "brutal, needless war."
  • Pres. Biden also discussed human rights violations, and addressed the recent death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman who reportedly died after violent arrest for not properly wearing a hijab (head covering common for Islamic countries.) This has sparked protest in Iran; Pres. Biden said: "… we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights."

Here are a few excerpts from Pres. Biden's address:

"With as many as 193 million people around the world experiencing acute — acute food insecurity — a jump of 40 million in a year — today I’m announcing another $2.9 billion in U.S. support for lifesaving humanitarian and food security assistance for this year alone."

"When individuals have the chance to live in dignity and develop their talents, everyone benefits. Critical to that is living up to the highest goals of this institution: increasing peace and security for everyone, everywhere."

"So let’s stand together to again declare the unmistakable resolve that nations of the world are united still, that we stand for the values of the U.N. Charter, that we still believe by working together we can bend the arc of history toward a freer and more just world for all our children, although none of us have fully achieved it. We’re not passive witnesses to history; we are the authors of history. We can do this — we have to do it — for ourselves and for our future, for humankind."

Remarks by President Biden Before the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (The White House)

Biden: Russia 'shamelessly violated' UN Charter in Ukraine (The Associated Press)

United Nations General Assembly 2022 (SmartHER News)

by Jenna Lee,