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Afghanistan Crisis, Covid & Relations With China: 10 Key Takeaways from Joe Biden's Speech at UNGA

News18 logo News18 21-09-2021 News Desk
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Afghanistan Crisis, Covid & Relations With China: 10 Key Takeaways from Joe Biden's Speech at UNGA © Provided by News18 Afghanistan Crisis, Covid & Relations With China: 10 Key Takeaways from Joe Biden's Speech at UNGA

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) since taking office. During his address, he spoke about the long-term vision for the global community, defended the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, “additional commitments” on Covid-19, climate change, and relations of the United States with China among other issues.

Biden opened by addressing the challenge and loss facing the world from Covid-19 and he appealed to delegates to address climate change.

Here are the 10 highlights from Joe Biden’s speech at UNGA General Debate in New York:

1. The United States will announce “additional commitments” on fighting Covid-19 when the White House hosts a summit on the pandemic on Wednesday. The commitments would be announced “as we seek to advance the fight against Covid-19 and hold ourselves accountable around specific targets on three key challenges — saving lives now, vaccinating the world, and building back better.”

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2. The United States does not seek a “new Cold War,” in a reference to relations with China. “The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to share challenges even if we have intense disagreement in other areas,” Biden told world leaders in New York.

3. America is “opening a new era of relentless diplomacy” following the end of the war in Afghanistan. Biden also said the United States would be prepared to use force “if necessary” but that military power must be a “tool of last resort.”

4. A sovereign and democratic Palestinian state is the “best way” to ensure Israel’s future. “The commitment of the United States to Israel’s security is without question,” Biden said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

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5. The United States would return to the Iranian nuclear deal in “full” if Tehran does the same. Biden said the US was “working” with China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany to “engage Iran diplomatically and to seek a return to” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which America left in 2018. “We’re prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same,” he added.

6. The US would “double” its contribution to climate finance. “This will make the United States a leader in public climate finance,” Biden told world leaders in New York, saying he would work with Congress to achieve the goal.

7. Biden told delegates he will outline how the US intends to work with partners and allies to help lead the world toward a more prosperous future for all people. This statement comes after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a new deal with Australia and the United Kingdom that has angered France, one of America’s oldest European allies.

8. We elevated the QUAD partnership with India, Australia and Japan, to take on challenged related to climate and emerging technology, said Biden.

9. The world today is not the world of 2001. The US is not the same country. We know how to retaliate effectively. We have full range of tool available. We work together with our partners to dismantle terror infrastructure, he said in a veiled attack on the Taliban and other terrorists organisations in the world.

10. The US will invest $100 billion in developing nations to tackle climate change.

(with inputs from AFP)

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