President Biden used his first address before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to declare that the world stands at an "inflection point in history" and must move quickly to address the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and human rights abuses. Some highlights, via the AP and the Wall Street Journal:
- Cold War: Without mentioning China directly, Biden acknowledged increasing concerns about rising tensions between the two nations. But he said, "We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs."
- Afghanistan: "We've ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan," Biden said. "And as we close this period of relentless war, we're opening a new era of relentless diplomacy of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world."
- Cooperation: Biden urged global unity on "ending this pandemic; addressing the climate crisis; managing the shifts in global power dynamics; shaping the roles of the world on vital issues like trade, cyber, and emerging technologies; and facing the threat of terrorism as it stands today."
- Pandemic's lesson: "Our shared grief is a poignant reminder that our collective future will hinge on our ability to recognize our common humanity and to act together," said Biden, adding that the next decade "will quite literally determine our futures."
- A duty: "All the major powers of the world have a duty, in my view, to carefully manage their relationships so they do not tip from responsible competition to conflict," he said.
- Quick assessment: Biden delivered a "measured address notable mostly for its contrast to the boastful tone and sour reception accorded President Donald Trump," writes Anne Gearan at the Washington Post.
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