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Post Afghanistan, US Starting 'Era of Relentless Diplomacy': Joe Biden at UNGA

The US president started his address by acknowledging the fracturing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world.

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World
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of US  President Joe Biden.&nbsp;</p></div>
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United States President Joe Biden gave his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, 21 September, stressing on the need for 'serious and relentless' diplomacy.

Speaking in New York, he stated, "We are not seeking a new Cold War, where the world is divided... US is ready to work with any nation that pursues peaceful resolutions... because we have all suffered consequences of our failures," indicating the tumultuous US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

Amid escalating tensions with China, he said, as per ANI:

"We are facing the threat of terrorism today, we have ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this war, we are opening doors of relentless diplomacy... No matter how challenging the problems we face, the US will deliver the best."
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The president went on to say, "US is not the same country it was when attacked on 9/11, 20 years ago. Today, we are better equipped and more resilient and countering the propaganda."

Speaking more about countering terrorism, he added, "We know the bitter sting of terrorism. Last month, we lost 13 American heroes and many Afghan civilians in the heinous terrorist attack at Kabul airport."

He also noted that the UN security council's resolution for supporting the people of Afghanistan, and laying out the expectations from the Taliban.

"We all must advocate the rights of women, girls to pursue their dreams free of violence and intimidation" he said.

Stressing on the need to demilitarise the Korean peninsula, Biden iterated:

"The US remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. We seek serious and sustained diplomacy to pursue complete demilitarisation of the Korean peninsula."

'Our Grief is a Reminder of Common Humanity'

The US president started his address at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by acknowledging the fracturing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and underlined that over 4.5 million people have died across the world.

"Each death is an individual heartbreak, but our grief is a reminder of common humanity and to act together," Biden stated, as per news agency ANI.

The president also spoke on the deepening QUAD partnership to tackle challenges related to health security, climate change and emerging technologies, ANI reported.

"Arms can't defend COVID-19 or future variants, collective science and political will, can. We need to act now, expand access to treatment to save lives around the world. For future, we need need to create a new mechanism to finance global health security," Biden asserted.

He went on to underline, "US military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first."

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'Moving in the Wrong Direction': UN Secretary General

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also addressed the Assembly, cautioning against divisions and increasing inequalities.

"We are on edge of an abyss and moving in the wrong direction," he stated.

Expounding on the 'greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes', he said:

"COVID-19 pandemic, super-sized glaring inequalities, climate crisis is pummeling the planet and causing upheavals from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Yemen. A surge of mistrust and misinformation is polarising people and paralysing societies. Human rights are under fire, science is under assault."

Underlining the urgency of the climate crisis, he went on to say, "We're seeing warning signs in every continent, climate-related disasters everywhere in the world. The climate scientists tell us that it's not too late to keep alive the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement, but the window is rapidly closing."

UNGA President Abdulla Shahid, meanwhile, acknowledged the 'monumental undertaking' of humanity amid the pandemic and said, "In record time, humanity has produced multiple viable vaccines for COVID-19. Scientists and researchers from dozens of countries collaborated on a remarkable feat of human ingenuity. Largest vaccine roll-out in history of mankind is currently underway."

He added, "While certainly not without flaws, it is monumental in its undertaking. For these accomplishments alone, we should be proud."

(With inputs from ANI.)

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