US President Joe Biden addresses the United Nations General Assembly. [Source: Associated Press]
US President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations overnight that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine as he summoned nations around the globe to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.
Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s seven-month invasion, Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians and its efforts to erase Ukraine and its culture “should make your blood run cold”.
He referenced President Vladimir Putin’s announcement yesterday that he had ordered a partial mobilisation of reservists, a deeply unpopular step that sparked protests in Russia. And Biden said Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
He criticised Russia for scheduling “sham referenda” this week in territory it has forcibly seized in Ukraine.
“A permanent member of the UN Security Council invaded its neighbour, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map.
Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the UN charter,” he told his audience.
Biden also highlighted the consequences of the invasion on the world’s food supply, pledging nearly NZ$5 billion in global food security aid to address shortages caused by the war and the effects of climate change. He praised an UN-brokered effort to create a corridor for Ukrainian grain to be exported by sea and called on the agreement to be continued despite the ongoing conflict.
Biden, during his time at the UN General Assembly, met with Secretary-General António Guterres, before his first meeting with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss and a separate huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron.
He was also expected to press nations to meet a NZ$30.8 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, reiterating the US commitment of NZ$10.3 billion to that goal.
But the heart of the president’s visit to the UN this year was his full-throated censure of Russia as its war nears the seven-month mark. One of Russia’s deputy UN ambassadors, Gennady Kuzmin, was sitting in Russia’s seat during Biden’s speech.