Africa-Press – Eritrea. President Joe Biden said Tuesday the US will continue to push for badly needed UN Security Council reforms amid ongoing “gridlock” that has prevented the body from performing its core duties.
Biden told world leaders in an address to the 78th UN General Assembly that his administration “has undertaken serious consultation with many member states” about expanding the Council, and said Washington will “continue to do our part to push reform efforts forward.”
“We need to be able to break the gridlock that too often stymies progress and blocks consensus on the Council. We need more voices, more perspectives at the table,” he said at the international body’s New York headquarters.
“The United Nations must continue to preserve peace, prevent conflict and alleviate human suffering. And we embrace nations stepping up to lead in new ways, to seek new breakthroughs on hard issues,” added Biden.
The US president, in particular, pointed to ongoing tumult in the Caribbean nation of Haiti where he said regional countries have worked to facilitate urgently needed intra-Haitian dialogue, and where the East African nation of Kenya has volunteered to lead a UN security mission.
“The United States is working across the board to make global institutions more responsive, more effective, and more inclusive,” he said.
The address comes as Russia continues to push what Biden called its “illegal war of conquest” against Ukraine, which the US president said has “darkened” the meeting of world leaders with a “shadow of war.”
Biden said the Kremlin alone stands in the way of brokering a peaceful resolution to the conflict. “Russia’s price for peace is Ukraine’s capitulation, Ukraine’s territory and Ukraine’s children,” he said.
“Russia believes that the world will grow weary, and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence,” he said.
“But I ask you this, if we abandon the core principles of the United States to a peace and aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected? If you allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I respectfully suggest the answer’s no,” he added.
He was apparently referring to the UN, not the US.
Turning to the great power rivalry with China that is increasingly defining the global order, Biden maintained that Washington is seeking “to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict,” saying his administration is “for de-risking, not de-coupling from China.”
“We will push back on aggression and intimidation to defend the rules of the road, from freedom of navigation to overflight, to level economic playing field, that has helped safeguard security and prosperity for decades. But we also stand ready to work together with China on issues where progress hinges on our common efforts,” he said.
“Nowhere is that more critical than the accelerated climate crisis,” he added.
On the Middle East, Biden said the US will continue to push for a “just and lasting peace” between Israel and Palestine founded upon the principle of “two states for two people.”
He emphasized that his administration will continue to pursue normalization deals for Israel, and said past agreements have been “delivering positive and practical impacts.”