Joe Biden, the President of the United States, intended to use his first address before the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) to encourage other countries of American leadership on the world stage and urged allies to move swiftly and cooperatively to tackle the festering issue of the coronavirus pandemic, human rights abuses, and climate change.
On Monday evening, the president reached New York to meet with Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General, ahead of his Tuesday’s address, and he offered a full-throated authorization of the relevance and ambition of the body at a difficult moment in history. Biden returned to his mantra that “America is back” – a phrase meant to condense his promise to take an intensely different tack with associates than former president Donald Trump.
As I said during tonight’s meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres: global challenges require global solutions. We believe in the United Nations and its value. And at this moment, our bond — based on common values and principles — is more important than ever. pic.twitter.com/H7G1GAXopQ
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 21, 2021
President Biden said that the vision of the UN has never been short on the drive, any over the U.S. Constitution. However, Biden was facing a strong measure of skepticism from partners during his week of top diplomacy. The initial months of his presidency included a series of tough moments with friendly countries that were expecting more cooperation from the president following four years of his predecessor’s “America first” approach to foreign policy.
The U.S. Intended to Help Australia to Buy Nuclear-Equipped Submarines
First eight months of his presidency, President Biden has been out of synchronization with associate nations on the chaotic ending to the United States war in Afghanistan. In addition, the president faced differences over how to go about sharing COVID-19 vaccines with the emerging world and over outbreak travel restrictions. Moreover, the president finds himself in the middle of a fresh diplomatic dispute with France, the oldest ally of the United States, after announcing strategies – along with the United Kingdom – to equip Australia with nuclear submarines.
The move expected to provide Australia enhanced capabilities to patrol the Pacific Ocean because of the mounting concern about the increasingly violent tactics of the Chinese military, but it overturned a French defense agreement having worth around $66 billion to sell diesel-driven submarines to Australia. On Monday, Jean-Yves Drian, the French Foreign Minister, said there was a crisis of trust with the United States due to the episode.
Before the U.S. president arrival, European Union Council President Charles Michel strongly criticized the Biden government for leaving Europe out of the game in the Indo-Pacific region and overlooking the fundamental elements of the trans-Atlantic alliance – loyalty and transparency – in the pullout from Afghanistan and the announcement of the United States-United Kingdom-Australia alliance. Despite such differences, the U.S. president hoped to use his address to the General Assembly (GA) along with a series of person-to-person and high-level meetings with world leaders this week to establish the case for American leadership on the global stage.
Dysfunctional U.S-China Relationship
Ahead of his meeting with the U.S. President, Secretary-General told the Associated Press that he was worried about the entirely dysfunctional United States-China relationship, leading to a new cold war in the world. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the government disagreed with the assessment of Guterres and added that both countries’ relationship was one not of dispute but competition.
President Biden planned to heavily emphasize the need for global leaders to work in collaboration with each other on the coronavirus pandemic, meet previous obligations to handle climate change, prevent emerging tech issues and stabilize trade rules, according to the statement of White House officials. Additionally, the president expected to release the latest plans to assist the international vaccination effort and to talk about the American plan to meet its part of financial commitments that the United States and other developed countries made in 2009 to help poorer countries adopt clean energy technology, according to a senior governmental official.
Up ahead of his departure, the Biden government announced plans to relax foreign travel restrictions to the United States at the start of November. Furthermore, the United States has mainly restricted travel by non-American travelers coming from Europe since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, this matter becomes a point of dispute in trans-Atlantic relations. However, the new rules will allow outsiders if they have a vaccination proof and a negative coronavirus test, the White House announced Monday.
The American president planned to reduce his time at the UN amid COVID-19 concerns. Biden was to meet with Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, while in New York before shifting remaining diplomacy of the week to virtual and Washington settings.