US President Joe Biden outlined his vision of the world at the 76th UN general assembly in New York and how he plans to lead America into a new era of diplomacy to solve problems rather than using force.
He gave the UN a thumbs up for promoting multilateralism and warned that the US will seek to counter rising autocracies, while avoiding “a new Cold War.”
He pledged that the US will work with the rest of the world to “defeat Covid-19 everywhere” and raise the question whether the world will meet the threat of challenging climate “or will we suffer the merciless march of ever-worsening droughts and floods, more intense fires and hurricanes, longer heatwaves and rising seas?”
President Biden argued that “we stand at an inflection point in history.”
He pledged that his country “intends to work with partners and allies” to respond to global questions and announced the commitment of his administration to help lead the world toward a more peaceful, prosperous future for all.
“Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are fixing our eyes on devoting our resources to the challenges that hold the keys to our collective future: ending this pandemic; addressing the climate crisis; managing the shifts in global power dynamics; shaping the rules of the world on vital issues like trade, cyber, and emerging technologies; and facing the threat of terrorism as it stands today.”
The US president emphasised multilateralism, saying that “to ensure our own future, we must work together with other partners — our partners — toward a shared future. Our security, our prosperity, and our very freedoms are interconnected, in my view, as never before. And so, I believe we must work together as never before.”
He also reassured allied and warned adversaries.
“Make no mistake: the United States will continue to defend ourselves, our allies, and our interests against attack, including terrorist threats, as we prepare to use force if any is necessary, but — to defend our vital U.S. national interests, including against ongoing and imminent threats.
“But the mission must be clear and achievable, undertaken with the informed consent of the American people and, whenever possible, in partnership with our allies. U.S. military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first, and it should not be used as an answer to every problem we see around the world.”
Biden also pledged more help for developing countries to address the climate crisis and be able to adopt to the new challenges.
He said that this aid “will make the United States a leader in public climate finance. And with our added support, together with increased private capital and other — from other donors, we’ll be able to meet the goal of mobilising $100 bln to support climate action in developing nations.”
He warned that the US reserves the right to respond decisively to cyberattacks that threaten its people, its allies, or its interests.
He also called for new rules for global trade.
“We will pursue new rules of global trade and economic growth that strive to level the playing field so that it’s not artificially tipped in favor of any one country at the expense of others and every nation has a right and the opportunity to compete fairly.”
President Biden reaffirmed his country’s commitment to “stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technological exploitation, or disinformation.”
Cyprus can seek the help of the US in restoring human rights and its territorial integrity from the continuous military occupation of Turkey of the northern part of the island since 1974, provided that the Cypriot government complies with the solution platform set out by the Secretary General.
It is a chance for the US to demonstrate once again that diplomacy works when both parties concentrate on the solution and the future rather than the past and how to exploit the weaker side.
Joe Biden certainly gave a fresh hope for the world and the future. But everyone must do their bit to make it brighter.
Michael S. Olympios is an economist, business advisor, Editorial Consultant to the Financial Mirror