United Nations Headquarters New York, New York, September 21, 2022
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, my fellow leaders, in the last year, our world has experienced a great upheaval: a growing crisis of food security; record heat, floods and droughts; COVID-19; inflation; and a brutal, unnecessary war – a war chosen by one man, to be very blunt.
Let’s speak clearly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, tried to remove a sovereign state from the map.
Russia shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter – none more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking their neighbor’s territory by force.
Again, just today, President Putin made open nuclear threats against Europe and reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.
Now Russia is calling — summoning more soldiers to join the battle. And the Kremlin is organizing a fake referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely serious violation of the U.N. Charter.
This world should see these outrageous acts for what they are. Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia, and no one but Russia sought conflict.
In fact, we warned it was coming. And with many of you, we’ve worked to try to avoid it.
Putin’s own words make his true purpose unmistakable. Just before he invaded, Putin claimed – and I quote – Ukraine was “created by Russia” and never had, quote, “true statehood”.
And now we see attacks against schools, railway stations, hospitals, wa- — against centers of Ukrainian history and culture.
In the past, even more terrible evidence of Russia’s atrocities and war crimes: mass graves discovered in Izyum; bodies, according to those who exhumed those bodies, showing signs of torture.
This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that shouldn’t — that should chill your blood.
That is why 141 nations in the General Assembly united to unequivocally condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine. The United States has provided massive levels of security assistance and humanitarian aid and direct economic support for Ukraine – more than $25 billion so far.
Our allies and partners around the world have also stepped up. And today, more than 40 countries represented here have contributed billions of their own money and equipment to help Ukraine defend itself.
The United States is also working closely with our allies and partners to impose costs on Russia, to prevent attacks on NATO territory, to hold Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes.
Because if nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequence, then we risk everything this institution stands for. Everything.
Every victory won on the battlefield belongs to the brave Ukrainian soldiers. But this past year, the world was tested as well, and we did not hesitate.
We chose freedom. We chose sovereignty. We have chosen principles that every party to the United Nations Charter adheres to. We stood with Ukraine.
Like you, America wants this war to end on fair terms, on terms we all signed up for: that you cannot seize a nation’s territory by force. The only country standing against this is Russia.
So, we – each of us in this body who is determined to uphold the principles and beliefs that we pledge to defend as members of the United Nations – must be clear, firm and unwavering in our decision.
Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression. Period.
Now, it is no secret that in the contest between democracy and autocracy, the United States – and I, as President – advocate a vision for our world that is based on the values of democracy.
America is determined to defend and strengthen democracy at home and around the world. Because I believe that democracy remains humanity’s greatest instrument for dealing with the challenges of our time.
We are working with the G7 and peers to demonstrate that democracies can deliver for their citizens but also deliver for the rest of the world.
But as we encounter today, the UN Charter – the very basis of the UN Charter of a stable and just rules-based order is under attack by those who want to tear it down or distort it for their own political advantage.
And the Charter of the United Nations was not only signed by democracies of the world, it was negotiated between citizens of dozens of nations with very different histories and ideologies, united in their commitment to work for peace.
As President Truman said in 1945, the UN Charter – and I quote – is “proof that nations, like people, can declare their differences, can face them, and then can find common ground on which to stand.” End of quote.
That common ground was so simple, so basic, that today 193 of you – 193 member states – willingly accepted its principles. And defending those principles for the UN Charter is the task of every responsible member state.
I reject the use of violence and war to conquer nations or expand borders through bloodshed.
Stand against a global policy of fear and coercion; to defend the sovereign rights of smaller nations equal to those of larger ones; embrace basic principles such as freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and arms control – no matter what else we may disagree on, that is the common ground on which we must stand.
If you are still committed to a strong foundation for the good of every nation around the world, then America wants to work with you.
I also believe that the time has come for this institution to become more inclusive so that it better meets the needs of today’s world.
Members of the UN Security Council, including the United States, must consistently support and defend the UN Charter and refrain from using the veto, except in rare, extraordinary situations, to ensure that the Council remains credible and effective.
That is why the United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the Council. This includes permanent seats for those nations we have long supported, and permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The United States is committed to this vital work. In each region, we sought new, constructive ways to work with partners to advance common interests, from elevating the Quad in the Indo-Pacific; to signing the Los Angeles Declaration of Migration and Protection at the Summit of the Americas; to joining a historic meeting of nine Arab leaders to work towards a more peaceful, integrated Middle East; to host the US-African Leaders Summit in — this December.
As I said last year, the United States is ushering in an era of relentless diplomacy to address the challenges that matter most to people’s lives – all people’s lives: dealing with the climate crisis, as the previous speaker [sic] – speaker spoke to; strengthen global health security; feeding the world – feed the world.
We made that a priority. And one year later, we are fulfilling that promise.
Since the day I came to office, we have led with a bold climate agenda. We rejoined the Paris Agreement, convened major climate summits, helped deliver critical COP26 agreements. And we helped get two-thirds of the world’s GDP on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
And now I’ve signed historic legislation here in the United States that includes the largest, most important climate commitment we’ve ever made in our country’s history: $369 billion toward climate change. That includes tens of billions in new investments in offshore wind and solar, doubling down on zero emission vehicles, increasing energy efficiency, supporting clean manufacturing.
Our Department of Energy estimates that this new law will reduce US emissions by one gigaton per year by 2030, while unleashing a new era of economic growth powered by clean energy.
Our investments will also help reduce the cost of developing clean energy technologies worldwide, not just the United States. This is a global game changer – and none too soon. We don’t have much time.
We all know that we are already living in a climate crisis. No one seems to doubt that after this past year. We meet – we meet – much of Pas- – as we meet, much of Pakistan is still underwater; it needs help. Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa is facing an unprecedented drought.
Families face impossible choices, choosing which child to feed and wondering if they will survive.
This is the human cost of climate change. And it’s growing, not shrinking.
So, as I announced last year, to meet our global responsibility, my administration is working with our Congress to deliver more than $11 billion a year in international climate finance to help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.
The main part of this will be our PEPFAR [PREPARE] plan, which will help half a billion people, and especially vulnerable countries, adapt to the effects of climate change and build resilience.
This need is huge. So let it be the moment when we find within ourselves the will to turn back the tide of climate demast [sic] – devastation and unlock a resilient, sustainable, clean energy economy to preserve our planet.
On global health, we’ve delivered more than 620 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 116 countries around the world, with more available to help meet countries’ needs — all for free, no strings attached.
And we work closely with the G20 and other countries. And the US helped lead the shift to establish a ground-breaking new Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response at the World Bank.
At the same time, we continued to move the ball forward on tackling global health challenges.
Later today, I will host the Seventh Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. With bipartisan support in our Congress, I pledged to contribute up to $6 billion to that effort.
So I look forward to welcoming a historic round of pledges at the conference resulting in one of the largest global health gatherings ever held in all of history.
We are also facing the food crisis head on. With as many as 193 million people around the world experiencing acute — acute food insecurity — a jump of 40 million in a year — today I’m announcing an additional $2.9 billion in U.S. support for life-saving humanitarian and food security assistance for this year alone.
Russia, meanwhile, is pumping out lies, trying to blame the crisis — the food crisis — on sanctions imposed by many in the world because of the aggression against Ukraine.
So let me be absolutely clear about something: Our sanctions explicitly allow — explicitly allow Russia the ability to export food and fertilizer. No limitation. It is Russia’s war that is making food insecurity worse, and only Russia can end it.
I am grateful for the work here at the U.N. — including your leadership, Mr. Secretary General — setting up a mechanism to export grain from the Black Sea ports in Ukraine, which Russia has blocked for months, and we must ensure that it is extended.
We strongly believe in the need to feed the world. That is why the United States is the largest supporter of the World Food Program in the world, with more than 40 percent of its budget.
We lead support — we lead support of UNICEF’s efforts to feed children around the world.
And to take on the larger challenge of food security, the United States introduced a Call to Action: A Roadmap to Eliminate Global Food Insecurity – to eliminate global food insecurity, which more than 100 nation-member states have already supported.
In June, the G7 announced more than $4.5 billion to strengthen food security around the world.
Through USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, the United States is expanding innovative ways to get drought- and heat-resistant seeds into the hands of farmers who need them, while distributing fertilizer and improving fertilizer efficiency so farmers can grow more while using less.
And we call on all countries to refrain from banning food exports or hoarding grain while so many people are suffering. Because in every country in the world, no matter what else divides us, if parents can’t feed their children, nothing – nothing else matters if parents can’t feed their children.
As we look to the future, we work with our partners to update and create rules of the road for new challenges we face in the 21st century.
We launched the Trade and Technology Council with the European Union to ensure that key technologies — key technologies are developed and managed in a way that benefits everyone.
With our partner countries and through the U.N., we support and strengthen the standards of accountability – responsible state behavior in cyberspace and work to hold accountable those who use cyber attacks to threaten international peace and security.
With partners in the Americas, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific, we are working to build a new economic ecosystem while — where every nation — every nation gets a fair shot and economic growth is resilient, sustainable. , and divided.
That is why the United States advocated a global minimum tax. And we will work to see it implemented so major corporations pay their fair share everywhere – everywhere.
It was also the idea behind the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which the US launched this year with 13 other Indo-Pacific economies. We are working with our partners in ASEAN and the Pacific Islands to support a vision for a critical Indo-Pacific region that is free and open, connected and prosperous, secure and resilient.
Together with partners around the world, we work to secure resilient supply chains that protect everyone from coercion or control and ensure that no country can use energy as a weapon.
And while Russia’s war is rolling [sic] — disrupting the global economy, we are also calling on major global creditors, including the non-Paris Club countries, to transparently negotiate debt forgiveness for inferior countries to prevent wider economic and political crises around. the world
Instead of infrastructure projects that generate huge and huge debt without delivering the promised benefits, let’s meet the enormous infrastructure needs around the world with transparent investments – high-standard projects that protect the rights of workers and the environment – keyed to the needs of the communities that they serve, not the contributor.
That’s why the United States, along with fellow G7 partners, launched a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. We intend to collectively mobilize 600 billion dollars
in investment through this partnership by 2027.
Dozens of projects are already underway: industrial-scale vaccine manufacturing in Senegal, transformative solar projects in Angola, a first-of-its-kind small modular nuclear power plant in Romania.
These are investments that will deliver returns not just for those countries, but for everyone. The United States will work with every nation, including our competitors, to solve global problems like climate change. Climate diplomacy is not a favor to the US or any other nation, and walking away hurts the whole world.
Let me be direct about the competition between the US and China. As we manage changing geopolitical trends, the United States will behave as a rational leader. We are not looking for conflict. We are not looking for a Cold War. We are not asking any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner.
But America will not be ashamed to advance our vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world and what we have to offer communities of nations: investments that are designed not to foster dependency, but to ease burdens and help nations become themselves. -sufficient; partnerships not to create political commitment, but because we know our own success – each of our success increases when other nations succeed as well.
When individuals have the opportunity to live in dignity and develop their talents, everyone benefits. Critical to that is fulfilling the highest goals of this institution: to increase peace and security for everyone, everywhere.
The United States will not waver in our unwavering determination to combat and prevent the continuing terrorist threats to our world. And we will lead through our diplomacy to strive for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
We aim to support peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
We remain committed to our One China policy, which has helped prevent conflict for four decades. And we continue to oppose unilateral changes in the status quo from either side.
We support a peace process led by the African Union to end the fighting in Ethiopia and restore security for all its people.
In Venezuela, where years of political repression have driven more than 6 million people from that country, we urge a dialogue led by Venezuelans and a return to free and fair elections.
We continue to stand with our neighbor in Haiti as it faces political fueled gang violence and an enormous humanitarian crisis.
And we call on the world to do the same. We have more to do.
We will continue to support the UN-brokered truce in Yemen, which has delivered precious months of peace to people who have suffered years of war.
And we will continue to advocate for continued peace negotiations between the Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the Palestinian people. The US is committed to Israel’s security, period. And a negotiated two-state solution remains, in our view, the best way to ensure the security and prosperity of Israel for the future and to give the Palestinians the state that – to which they are entitled – both sides fully respect the equal rights of their citizens. ; both people enjoying the same measure of freedom and dignity.
I should also encourage every nation to recommit to strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime through diplomacy. No matter what else happens in the world, the United States is prepared to pursue critical arms control measures. A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
The five permanent members of the Security Council just reaffirmed that commitment in January. But today, we are seeing disturbing trends. Russia eschewed the Non-Proliferation—–Proliferation ideals accepted by every other nation at the 10th NPT Review Conference.
And again, today, as I said, they make irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons. China is conducting an unprecedented nuclear buildup without any transparency.
Despite our efforts to initiate serious and sustained diplomacy, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to openly violate UN sanctions.
And while the United States is prepared for a reciprocal return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran steps up its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this result. The non-proliferation regime is one of the greatest successes of this institution. We cannot let the world slide backwards now, nor can we turn a blind eye to the erosion of human rights.
Perhaps singular among the achievements of this body stands the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the standard by which our predecessors challenged us to measure ourselves.
They explained in 1948: Human rights are the basis for everything we aim to achieve. And yet today, in 2022, fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world, from the violations of — in Xinjiang detailed in recent reports by the U.N. Office of — United States — reports detailing the United States [U.N.] High Commissioner, to the horrific abuses against pro-democracy activists and ethnic minorities by the military regime in Burma, to the increased oppression of women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who are now demonstrating to secure their basic rights.
But this is what I do know: The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights, and fully contribute to building stronger economies and more resilient societies ; where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their communities; where the LGBTQ+ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted by violence; where citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisal.
The United States will always promote human rights and the values enshrined in the UN Charter in our own country and around the world.
Let me end with this: This institution, guided by the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is at its core an act of undaunted hope.
Let me say it again: It is an act of dauntless hope.
Think of the vision of those first delegates who undertook a seemingly impossible task while the world was still burning.
Think of how divided the people of the world must have felt with the fresh mourning of millions dead, the genocidal horrors of the Holocaust laid bare.
They had every right to believe only the worst of mankind. Instead, they reached for what was best in all of us, and they strove to build something better: enduring peace; mercy among nations; equal rights for every member of the human family; cooperation for the progress of all humanity.
My fellow leaders, the challenges we face today are truly great, but our capacity is greater. Our commitment must be greater still.
So let us stand together to once again declare the unmistakable determination that the nations of the world are still united, that we stand for the values of the UN Charter, that we still believe, working together, that we can bend the arc of history to more free and fairer. world for all our children, although none of us have fully attained it.
We are not passive witnesses of history; we are the authors of history.
We can do this – we must do it – for ourselves and for our future, for humanity.
Thank you for your tolerance, for listening to me. I appreciate it very much. God bless you all. (Applause.)