- Leaders from at least 145 countries are scheduled to attend, with some notable exceptions: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will be absent.
- A “substantial section” of Biden’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday will be dedicated to the war in Ukraine.
- This will be the first time that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally attends the UN summit since the war began.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (R) look on as President Joe Biden speaks about the government’s response and recovery efforts on Maui, Hawaii, and the ongoing response to Hurricane Idalia, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, August 30, 2023.
Saul Loeb | AFP | fake images
President Joe Biden will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, where he plans to promote democracy and advocate for greater support for Ukraine.
For Biden, it is another opportunity to promote the ideas of diplomacy and democracy against those of aggressive autocracies, as he did in the recent Summit of the Group of 20 earlier this month.
“(Biden) will lay out to the world the steps he and his administration have taken to advance a vision of American leadership that is based on the premise of working with others to solve the world’s most pressing problems,” said Biden’s national security adviser. the White House. Jake Sullivan said at a briefing on Friday.
Leaders from at least 145 countries are scheduled to attend, with some notable exceptions: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will be absent, meaning that four of the five countries holding permanent seats on the UN Security Council will not attend. They will be present. .
The absence of China and Russia gives Biden an opportunity to promote ties between the United States and smaller developing nations that attend the U.N. but are not invited to other international functions.
Biden is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, a key leader in the Global South who has also been a supporter of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Lula has argued that the United States and other Western nations are prolonging the war with their defense support.
The president will also meet with the leaders of the five Central Asian nations: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, marking the first time a U.S. president has done so jointly. He will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first time the two have met since the prime minister won re-election last fall.
This will be the first time that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally attends the UN summit since the war began. He gave a prerecorded speech to the body at last year’s session.
“President Biden looks forward to hearing President Zelenskyy’s perspective on all of this and reaffirming for the world and for the United States, for the American people, his commitment to continue to lead the world in supporting Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
A “substantial section” of Biden’s speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday will be dedicated to the war in Ukraine, Sullivan said.
“It will speak to the fundamental fact that the United Nations Charter… speaks to the basic proposition that countries cannot attack their neighbors and steal their territory by force,” Sullivan said, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “That was also a proposal that was at the center of the G-20 statement last weekend.”
Biden’s message of support for Ukraine is complicated by the fact that a handful of hardline Republicans in Congress actively oppose increased funding.
The White House is seeking $24 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, which it hoped would be approved along with a continuous resolution keep the government open while budget negotiations continue. The measure has bipartisan support in the Senate but is stalled in the House, where some members, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., have said they will not support any additional aid.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a precarious position on the Ukraine issue, as his slim majority leaves him at the whims of every member of his caucus. Conservatives opposed McCarthy’s proposal last week to combine aid to Ukraine with additional border funding.
Zelenskyy will travel to Washington, D.C. on Thursday to meet with Biden at the White House and speak with lawmakers. Unlike his visit in december, Zelenskyy will not intervene in a joint session of Congress. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Zelenskyy will be “very, very persuasive.”
“Zelenskyy is a great spokesperson,” Turner said on CBS News on Sunday. “He really presents the case better than anyone.”
It’s a position the White House agrees with.
“He has demonstrated over the course of the last 18 or 19 months that there is no better advocate for his country, for his people, and for the urgent and continuing need for countries like the United States and our allies and partners to step forward to provide the necessary tools and resources that Ukraine needs,” Sullivan said.