Biden set to deliver 1st UNGA speech as president


The United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) annual debate is set to kick off with Joe Biden’s first speech as president of the U.S.

Tuesday’s session would also include speeches by leaders from Brazil, Iran, Turkey, France and Switzerland, among others.

Unlike in 2020, when many of the contributions to the general debate took the form of speeches sent on video, numerous leaders have flown to New York, although with far smaller delegations than in the past.

Other contributions by representatives of the 193 member states would again be provided online.

Several events were also due to be held on the sidelines, including a high-level online summit on distributing vaccines against COVID-19 more fairly, which Biden was due to host on Wednesday.

The President is expected to make the case for “rallying allies and partners and institutions to deal with the major challenges of our time,” a senior administration official said.

Like in almost every aspect of his foreign policy, China will loom large, and Biden will warn in his speech against the world devolving into a new Cold War that divides the globe into spheres of influence.

Conflict, too, will be in focus, chiefly the situation in Afghanistan.


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