UN: President Joe Biden revealed that the United States is engaging in extensive consultations with various nations to shatter the impasse hindering the reform of the UN Security Council and the inclusion of additional permanent members. Addressing global leaders during the high-level annual session of the General Assembly, President Biden emphasized the necessity of overcoming the persistent gridlock that hampers progress and consensus within the Council. He stressed the imperative of incorporating a broader range of voices and perspectives into the decision-making process.
Highlighting the United States' commitment to advancing reform initiatives, President Biden disclosed ongoing, substantive consultations with numerous member states. He pledged continued efforts to propel reforms, identify areas of common agreement, and make meaningful advancements in the forthcoming year. It was a noteworthy recall that, in the previous year's assembly, he had expressed support for augmenting the Council's membership with both permanent and non-permanent positions.
The United States has expressed its endorsement for India, Germany, and Japan to secure permanent membership status, alongside advocating for representation from Africa and the Latin America-Caribbean region.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who preceded President Biden, similarly called for comprehensive reforms within the Council.
The leaders of the other four permanent Security Council members chose to abstain from the high-level meeting, effectively ceding the spotlight to President Biden. He underscored his administration's central focus on bolstering international collaboration, especially with nations in the Global South.
President Biden cited the Quad partnership and the India-to-Europe Economic Corridor as exemplars of global cooperation initiatives his administration is actively pursuing. He expressed the United States' commitment to fostering strong alliances, versatile partnerships, common purpose, and collective action across every corner of the globe to address shared challenges.
In the Indo-Pacific region, President Biden emphasized the elevation of the Quad partnership with India, Japan, and Australia, fostering tangible progress encompassing issues ranging from vaccine distribution to maritime security. He also highlighted the groundbreaking project aimed at connecting India to Europe via the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel, which is expected to stimulate economic opportunities and investments spanning two continents.
Regarding China, President Biden extended an olive branch while also setting clear boundaries. He offered cooperation on issues reliant on joint efforts and affirmed that the United States seeks to manage competition with China responsibly to prevent it from escalating into conflict. He explicitly stated that these partnerships are not designed to contain any particular nation but to contribute to a positive vision for a shared future. However, he cautioned that the United States would firmly respond to aggression and intimidation, upholding established rules in areas such as freedom of navigation, overflight, and equitable economic competition.
President Biden reassured Ukraine of unwavering support in its struggle against Russia's invasion. He vehemently rejected Russia's belief that the international community would grow weary and allow the brutalization of Ukraine without consequences. He underscored the imperative of standing up against such aggression today to deter potential aggressors in the future.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the General Assembly Hall could witness empty seats if Russia's aggression persists. He characterized the current war as an attempt to weaponize Ukraine against the international rules-based order and cautioned countries against clandestine dealings with Russia. Zelensky referenced the fate of Putin's associate, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the private militia Wagner Group, who met a mysterious demise in a plane crash. In a pointed message, Zelensky emphasized the unreliability of dealings with malevolence and encouraged scrutiny of Putin's promises through Prigozhin's fate.