Siento Tu Noticias | Biden at UN to call Russian war an affront to body’s charter

But White House of­fi­cials say the crux of the pres­i­dent’s vis­it to the U.N. this year would be a full-throat­ed con­dem­na­tion of Rus­sia as its bru­tal war nears the sev­en-month mark


Pres­i­dent Joe Biden is ready to make the case to world lead­ers at the U.N. Gen­er­al As­sem­bly that Rus­sia’s “naked ag­gres­sion” in Ukraine is an af­front to the heart of what the in­ter­na­tion­al body stands for as he looks to ral­ly al­lies to stand firm in back­ing the Ukrain­ian re­sis­tance.

Biden, dur­ing his time at the U.N. Gen­er­al As­sem­bly, al­so planned to meet Wednes­day with new British Prime Min­is­ter Liz Truss, an­nounce a glob­al food se­cu­ri­ty ini­tia­tive and press al­lies to meet an $18 bil­lion tar­get to re­plen­ish the Glob­al Fund to Fight AIDS, tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and malar­ia.

But White House of­fi­cials say the crux of the pres­i­dent’s vis­it to the U.N. this year would be a full-throat­ed con­dem­na­tion of Rus­sia as its bru­tal war nears the sev­en-month mark.

“He’ll of­fer a firm re­buke of Rus­sia’s un­just war in Ukraine and make a call to the world to con­tin­ue to stand against the naked ag­gres­sion that we’ve seen these past sev­er­al months,” White House na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty ad­vis­er Jake Sul­li­van said in pre­view­ing the pres­i­dent’s ad­dress. “He will un­der­score the im­por­tance of strength­en­ing the Unit­ed Na­tions and reaf­firm core tenets of its char­ter at a time when a per­ma­nent mem­ber of the Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil has struck at the very heart of the char­ter by chal­leng­ing the prin­ci­ple of ter­ri­to­r­i­al in­tegri­ty and sov­er­eign­ty.”

The ad­dress comes as Russ­ian-con­trolled re­gions of east­ern and south­ern Ukraine have an­nounced plans to hold Krem­llin-backed ref­er­en­dums in days ahead on be­com­ing part of Rus­sia and as Moscow is los­ing ground in the in­va­sion. Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin on Wednes­day an­nounced a par­tial mo­bi­liza­tion to call up 300,000 re­servists and ac­cused the West of en­gag­ing in “nu­clear black­mail.”

Biden is con­fronting no short­age of dif­fi­cult is­sues as lead­ers gath­er this year.

In ad­di­tion to the Russ­ian war in Ukraine, Eu­ro­pean fears that a re­ces­sion could be just around the cor­ner are height­ened. Ad­min­is­tra­tion con­cerns grow by the day that time is run­ning short to re­vive the Iran nu­clear deal and over Chi­na’s saber-rat­tling on Tai­wan.

When he ad­dressed last year’s Gen­er­al As­sem­bly, Biden fo­cused on broad themes of glob­al part­ner­ship, urg­ing world lead­ers to act with haste against the coro­n­avirus, cli­mate change and hu­man rights abus­es. And he of­fered as­sur­ances that his pres­i­den­cy marked a re­turn of Amer­i­can lead­er­ship to in­ter­na­tion­al in­sti­tu­tions fol­low­ing Don­ald Trump’s “Amer­i­ca First” for­eign pol­i­cy.

But one year lat­er, glob­al dy­nam­ics have dra­mat­i­cal­ly changed.

Stew­art Patrick, se­nior fel­low and di­rec­tor of the Glob­al Or­der and In­sti­tu­tions Pro­gram at the Wash­ing­ton think tank Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tion­al Peace, wrote in an analy­sis that Biden’s task this year is “im­mense” com­pared to his first ad­dress to the U.N. as pres­i­dent.

“Last year, the U.S. leader won easy plau­dits as the ‘an­ti-Trump,’ pledg­ing that ‘Amer­i­ca was back,’” Patrick said. “This year de­mands more. The lib­er­al, rules-based in­ter­na­tion­al sys­tem is reel­ing, bat­tered by Russ­ian ag­gres­sion, Chi­nese am­bi­tions, au­thor­i­tar­i­an as­saults, a halt­ing pan­dem­ic re­cov­ery, quick­en­ing cli­mate change, skep­ti­cism of the U.N.’s rel­e­vance, and gnaw­ing doubts about Amer­i­can stay­ing pow­er.”

Be­yond diplo­ma­cy, the pres­i­dent is al­so do­ing some pol­i­tick­ing. This year’s gath­er­ing comes less than sev­en weeks be­fore piv­otal midterm elec­tions in the Unit­ed States. Short­ly af­ter ar­riv­ing in Man­hat­tan on Tues­day night, Biden spoke at a De­mo­c­ra­t­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee fundrais­er for about 100 par­tic­i­pants that raised near­ly $2 mil­lion, and he’s set to hold an­oth­er fundrais­er on Thurs­day be­fore head­ing back to Wash­ing­ton.

His Wednes­day ad­dress comes on the heels of Ukrain­ian forces re­tak­ing con­trol of large stretch­es of ter­ri­to­ry near Kharkiv. But even as Ukrain­ian forces have racked up bat­tle­field wins, much of Eu­rope is feel­ing painful blow­back from eco­nom­ic sanc­tions levied against Rus­sia. A vast re­duc­tion in Russ­ian oil and gas has led to a sharp jump in en­er­gy prices, sky­rock­et­ing in­fla­tion and grow­ing risk of Eu­rope slip­ping in­to a re­ces­sion.

Biden’s vis­it to the U.N. al­so comes as his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to re­vive the 2015 Iran nu­clear deal ap­pears stalled.

The deal bro­kered by the Oba­ma ad­min­is­tra­tion — and scrapped by Trump in 2018 — pro­vid­ed bil­lions of dol­lars in sanc­tions re­lief in ex­change for Iran’s agree­ment to dis­man­tle much of its nu­clear pro­gram and open its fa­cil­i­ties to ex­ten­sive in­ter­na­tion­al in­spec­tion.

Sul­li­van said no break­through with Iran is ex­pect­ed dur­ing the Gen­er­al As­sem­bly but Biden would make clear in his speech that a deal can still be done “if Iran is pre­pared to be se­ri­ous about its oblig­a­tions.” He added that ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials would be con­sult­ing with fel­low sig­na­to­ries of the 2015 deal on the side­lines of this week’s meet­ings.

This year’s U.N. gath­er­ing is back to be­ing a full-scale, in-per­son event af­ter two years of cur­tailed ac­tiv­i­ty due to the pan­dem­ic. In 2020, the in-per­son gath­er­ing was can­celed and lead­ers in­stead de­liv­ered pre­re­cord­ed speech­es; last year was a mix of in-per­son and pre­re­cord­ed speech­es. Biden and first la­dy Jill Biden were set to host a lead­ers’ re­cep­tion on Wednes­day evening.

Chi­na’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping opt­ed not to at­tend this year’s U.N. gath­er­ing, but his coun­try’s con­duct and in­ten­tions will loom large dur­ing the lead­ers’ talks.

Last month, the U.N. hu­man rights of­fice raised con­cerns about pos­si­ble “crimes against hu­man­i­ty” in Chi­na’s west­ern re­gion against Uyghurs and oth­er large­ly Mus­lim eth­nic groups. Bei­jing has vowed to sus­pend co­op­er­a­tion with the of­fice and blast­ed what it de­scribed as a West­ern plot to un­der­mine Chi­na’s rise.

Mean­while, Chi­na’s gov­ern­ment on Mon­day said Biden’s state­ment in a CBS “60 Min­utes” in­ter­view that Amer­i­can forces would de­fend Tai­wan if Bei­jing tried to in­vade the self-ruled is­land was a vi­o­la­tion of U.S. com­mit­ments on the mat­ter, but it gave no in­di­ca­tion of pos­si­ble re­tal­i­a­tion.

The White House said af­ter the in­ter­view that there has been no change in U.S. pol­i­cy on Tai­wan, which Chi­na claims as its own. That pol­i­cy says Wash­ing­ton wants to see Tai­wan’s sta­tus re­solved peace­ful­ly but doesn’t say whether U.S. forces might be sent in re­sponse to a Chi­nese at­tack.


By AAMER MAD­HANI-As­so­ci­at­ed Press