September 20, 2023: President Joe Biden delivered a strong message at the United Nations General Assembly, urging member states to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. He emphasized that failing to do so would violate the UN Charter and set a dangerous precedent for global security.
Biden highlighted Russia’s belief that the international community would eventually tire of the conflict and allow Ukraine to suffer without consequences. He posed a critical question to the assembly, asking whether any member state could feel secure if the UN abandoned its core principles to appease an aggressor. He stressed the importance of standing up to Russia’s aggression to deter potential future aggressors.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was present at the General Assembly for the first time since the war began in February 2022. Biden reiterated the United States’ strong support for Ukraine’s pursuit of a peaceful diplomatic resolution, placing full responsibility for the war on Russia.
Biden also called for the expansion of the UN Security Council, aiming to break the gridlock that often hinders progress and consensus within the council. He emphasized the need for more voices and perspectives at the table.
While Biden received applause for his speech, his call for increased defense funding for Ukraine faces opposition from some hard-line Republicans in Congress.
The White House seeks $24 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, which currently faces hurdles in the House of Representatives despite bipartisan support in the Senate.