- Leaders of at least 145 countries are scheduled to attend, with some notable exceptions: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will be absent.
- A “large portion” of Biden’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday will be devoted to the war in Ukraine.
- This will be the first time that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the UN summit in person since the war began.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (left) and US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (right) look on as President Joe Biden speaks about the government’s response and recovery efforts on Maui, Hawaii, and the ongoing response to Hurricane Idalia, in the Roosevelt Room of his office. The White House in Washington, D.C., August 30, 2023.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, where he plans to promote democracy and call for increased support for Ukraine.
For Biden, it is another opportunity to promote the ideas of diplomacy and democracy against those of aggressive authoritarian regimes, as he did at the recent G20 summit earlier this month.
“[Biden] “He will demonstrate to the world the steps he and his administration have taken to advance the vision of American leadership built on the premise of working with others to solve the world’s most pressing problems,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. Friday briefing.
Leaders of at least 145 countries are scheduled to attend, with some notable exceptions: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will be absent, meaning four of the five countries that hold permanent seats on the UN Security Council will not attend. .
The absence of China and Russia gives Biden an opportunity to strengthen relations between the United States and smaller developing countries.
Biden is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a key leader in the Global South who has also been a supporter of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Lula said that the United States and other Western countries were working to prolong the war with their defense support.
The president will also meet with leaders of the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the first time a US president has done so jointly. He will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first time they have met since the prime minister won re-election last fall.
This will be the first time that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the UN summit in person since the war began in February 2022. He delivered a pre-recorded speech to the body at last year’s session.
“President Biden looks forward to hearing President Zelensky’s perspective on all of this and emphasizing to the world, to the United States and to the American people his commitment to continuing to lead the world in supporting Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said that “a large portion” of Biden’s speech will be devoted to the war in Ukraine.
“He’s going to talk about the basic fact that the UN Charter… talks about the basic proposition that countries cannot attack their neighbors and steal their lands by force,” Sullivan said, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “This was also a proposal that was at the heart of the G20 statement last weekend.”
Biden’s message of support for Ukraine is complicated by the fact that a handful of hard-line Republicans in Congress actively oppose increased funding.
The White House is seeking an additional $24 billion in aid for Ukraine, which it hopes will be passed along with a continuing resolution to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue. The measure has bipartisan support in the Senate, but is stuck in the House, where some members, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, have said they will not support any additional aid.
GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a precarious position on the Ukraine issue, as his slim majority puts him at the whims of every member of his caucus. The Conservatives rejected McCarthy’s proposal last week to tie Ukraine aid to additional border funding.
Zelensky will travel to Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet Biden at the White House and speak with lawmakers. Unlike his visit in December, Zelensky will not address a joint session of Congress. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Zelensky would be “very persuasive.”
“Zelensky is a great speaker,” Turner told CBS News on Sunday. “He really makes the case better than anyone else.”
It is a position that the White House agrees with.
He added: “He has proven over the past 18 or 19 months that there is no one who better defends his country and his people, and the urgent and continuing need for countries like the United States and our allies and partners to step up their efforts.” “To provide the necessary tools and resources that Ukraine needs,” Sullivan said.
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