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Biden urges nations to back sovereignty, Ukraine at UN assembly

President Biden said the U.N. charter calls for sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries, including Ukraine.
Biden urges nations to back sovereignty, Ukraine at UN assembly
Posted at 9:52 AM, Sep 19, 2023

In prepared remarks before the United Nations General Assembly, President Joe Biden blasted Russia for allegedly shredding longstanding arms control agreements amid its battle with Ukraine. 

The comments were part of a nearly 30-minute address to the United Nations that also addressed climate change, expanding financing of developing nations through the World Bank and expanding membership in the U.N. Security Council. 

Listening to President Biden's speech was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who will join President Biden in Washington, D.C., later this week. 

President Biden tried to make the case to the U.N. as a number of nations have remained neutral in their support of the battle in Ukraine. 

"Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence.  But I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the U.N. Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected?" President Biden asked. "If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? The answer is no. We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow."

SEE MORE: UN warns its sustainable development goals aren't on track for 2030

Russia continues to occupy several eastern regions of Ukraine despite efforts by Ukraine to reclaim some of its territory. 

“That is why the United States together with our allies and partners around the world will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity — and their freedom," the president said. 

This marked the second year in a row President Biden has tried to rally support for Ukraine at the General Assembly. Senior administration officials told reporters that it was important for the president to reaffirm the United States' support for the U.N. charter and how it applies to sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries, including Ukraine. 

Biden implies U.S. can't meet challenges alone

With climate change a major topic at this year's General Assembly, President Biden told world leaders no nation can meet global challenges without help. 

One example of a global challenge is climate change. The president noted recent wildfires throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as flooding in Libya that killed thousands. 

"Together, these snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate-proof our world. From day one of my administration, the United States has treated this crisis as the existential threat that it is, not only to us, but to all of humanity," he said. 

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