Thursday, October 28, 2021

Biden vows “relentless diplomacy” on global challenges

United Nations – President Joe Biden in his first address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday called on the world’s countries to firmly address the global issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and celebration of human rights abuses . He condemned the military conflict and insisted the US does not want “a new Cold War” with China.

The president said that halting US military operations in Afghanistan last month, ending America’s longest war, sets the table for his administration to turn its attention to intense diplomacy at a moment when the world is facing crises. There is no shortage.

“In order to do something for our people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world,” he said.

He continued: “We are ushering in a new era of relentless diplomacy by harnessing the power of our development aid to invest in new ways to uplift people around the world.”

Biden offered a strong endorsement of the relevance and ambition of the United Nations at a difficult moment in history, and sought to reassure wary allies of US cooperation after disagreements in recent months.

He also pledged to double US financial aid to help poor countries switch to clean energy and deal with the “merciless” effects of climate change. That means increasing the aid to about $11.4 billion a year. Five months ago that amount doubled to $5.7 billion annually.

As part of the fight against climate change, wealthy countries have for many years pledged to spend $100 billion a year in climate aid, but they are short by $20 billion a year, a new study shows. Biden said his new commitment would help wealthy countries reach their goals.

The $100 billion target is important because there is a dramatic rich-poor nation gap in climate talks. Developing nations and others are reluctant to stop emissions of heat-trapping gases without help from developed countries, which, in the words of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are “the people causing problems.”

Biden is facing a healthy measure of skepticism from allies during his week of high-level diplomacy. The early months of his presidency included a series of difficult moments with the Allies, who were hoping for more cooperation from Biden after four years of Donald Trump’s “America first” approach to foreign policy.

Eight months into his presidency, Biden has fallen out of sync with the allies over the chaotic end of the US war in Afghanistan. They have faced differences of opinion with developing countries about sharing coronavirus vaccines and pandemic travel restrictions. And there are questions about the best way to respond to military and economic moves by China.

After announcing plans to equip Britain with Australia as well as nuclear-powered submarines, Biden found himself in the middle of a new diplomatic dispute with France, the United States’ oldest ally. The move is expected to give Australia a better ability to patrol the Pacific amid growing concern about the Chinese military’s increasingly aggressive strategy, but it also cost Australia at least $66 billion to sell diesel-powered submarines. Retained the French defense contract.

Nation World News Desk
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