World leaders gathered on Wednesday for a second day at the United Nations General Assembly. United States President Joe Biden accused Russia of “shamelessly violating the core tenets” of the U.N. charter. Biden discussed the war in Ukraine, climate change, and nuclear disarmament at the annual meeting, warning that Moscow was launching a “brutal and needless war” in Ukraine and mobilizing a “sham referendum” to annex parts of the territory it occupies.
In remarks to world leaders gathered for a second day at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Biden highlighted Russia’s “shameless violations” of the United Nations charter. Biden said that Russia had initiated a brutal, unnecessary war in Ukraine.#UNGA77 pic.twitter.com/MwNwu81TqT
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The world should view these outrageous acts for what they are. In his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed he had to act in response to a threat. However, no one threatened Russia, and no one except Russia sought conflict,” he said. Moreover, he alluded to the possibility of using nuclear weapons to protect Russia, considering Russia’s threat to use all means at its disposal to defend itself.
Al Jazeera quoted William Courtney saying that Russia appeared willing to escalate the situation. “How would Russia benefit from using a nuclear weapon if employing one?” He inquired.
Ongoing Arms Race between World Countries
Aside from Russia, China is also engaged in an unprecedented arms race, according to the U.S. president, who also stressed that Washington does not seek conflict or a return to the Cold War era. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated earlier in his address that Tehran would not seek nuclear weapons and would be seriously interested in renewing the atomic pact officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015.
In Raisi’s words, “The only thing we wish for is the adherence to commitments we have made,” he said. Under the regime of former President Donald Trump, he demanded guarantees from the U.S. government that they would not abandon the nuclear deal again in the future as they did in 2018.
Violations of Human Rights
In an apparent reference to the recent death of a woman in police custody, Raisi slammed what he called the West’s double standards regarding human rights. In a report from the United Nations headquarters in New York, Al Jazeera’s correspondent James Bays said that Raisi is under tremendous pressure. Demonstrations in Tehran demanded accountability for Mahsa Amini’s death as protesters gathered in front of the U.N. building.
Iranian authorities have reported that Amini passed away in the early hours of September 16, several days after suffering from a stroke and cardiac arrest. After being arrested for wearing the hijab inappropriately, the woman was allegedly beaten to death with a stick. However, the Iranian police denied the allegations. Joe Biden, president of the United States, said Americans “remain united with the courageous women of Iran at the protestors who are staging demonstrations to protect their basic rights.”
Additionally, he explicitly referred to human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese, Myanmar, and Taliban forces. Biden added, “The United States will always uphold human rights and the United Nations Charter’s values throughout the country and across the world.” Although he did not indicate any new peace initiative, the American president reiterated his country’s commitment to establishing a Palestinian state.
Aside from this, Washington also expressed support for expanding the U.N. Security Council to ensure that African and Latin American countries are adequately represented. Russia is one of five permanent members of the U.N. body and has five non-permanent members.
President Biden highlighted the effects of the climate crisis and said his country was prepared to work together to resolve it. It is well known that we are already facing a climate crisis. After this past year, no one seems to doubt it. The majority of Pakistan is under water and in need of assistance,” he added, referring to the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan caused by climate change.
During his primary address to the United Nations General Assembly following winning elections last month, Kenyan President William Ruto echoed Biden’s warning on the effects of climate change. In his remarks, Ruto stated, “the wellbeing of the human race is under threat.”. He noted that “the health of the planet requires urgent attention.”
Three consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in the worst drought in the Horn of Africa since 1981. In Kenya, it is estimated that more than 3.1 million people suffer from severe food insecurity. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General António Ruto condemned the “exclusionist nationalism,” which he said had undermined the prospects for collective action and undermined the resolve of the international community to protect the world’s most vulnerable. Instead, poorer nations should be included in global governance to “build back better” from the bottom up.