United to preserve democracy. During his first appearance at the podium of the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday morning, US President Joe Biden called for the unity of the international community and the heads of government present at the opening of the 76e General Assembly, to deal with the rise and influence of authoritarian regimes around the world.
At the end of several difficult weeks on the diplomatic front as much as on that of internal affairs in his country, Mr. Biden delivered an expected speech, by which the occupant of the White House tried to restore the international credibility of the States – United. Credibility undermined by four years of Trumpism.
“The future belongs to those who give their people the opportunity to breathe freely, not those who seek to suffocate them with authoritarianism and an iron fist,” said Joe Biden. The world’s authoritarians seek to proclaim the end of the era of democracy, but they are wrong. “
The president also said that the withdrawal of American troops, in the confusion and marking an unresisting return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, embodied the beginning of a “new era”, where “endless wars” will now be replaced by a “Endless diplomacy,” he said. In this era, the United States is committed to using “the full power of [leur] development aid in order to invest in new ways of raising living conditions around the world, ”he added in front of a strewn audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health rules imposed by the international organization to its participants.
This General Assembly was distinguished by the return of speeches by several heads of state made in person to the podium, including the Brazilian populist Jair Bolsonaro, and this, after last year’s meeting held virtually because of the pandemic.
At the opening of this session, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, warned the United States and China against the tensions between the two countries which, according to him, contribute to the degradation of a world already ” on the edge of the abyss ”.
“We are facing the greatest cascade of crises of our life,” he said. I fear that our world is heading towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technological rules, two divergent approaches in the development of theartificial intelligence – and finally two different military and geopolitical strategies, ”he said.
“It’s a recipe for trouble. It would be much less predictable than the Cold War. To restore confidence and inspire hope, we need cooperation, ”he added.
The tense relationship between China and the United States has been strengthened in recent days by the announcement of a new strategic partnership, dubbed AUKUS, between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to counter the China’s growing ambitions in the Pacific region.
This new “Indo-Pacific” partnership, which includes the delivery of nuclear submarines to Canberra, has soured relations between Paris and Washington due to the cancellation of a 60 billion contract for submarines that France was to deliver to Australia. Clear sign of sorrow and weakening of the alliance between the two states: after recalling its ambassadors from Australia and the United States, Paris sent a minimal contingent of diplomats to New York on Tuesday to attend Joe Biden’s speech . The absence of the president and head of diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, contrasted with the protocol of previous years.
Defense of multilateralism
Before the General Assembly, Joe Biden assured that he was not seeking to promote the “cold war” feared by António Guterres and defended his commitment to multilateralism in response to his European allies who accuse him of riding too often alone. .
The United States has also sought to restore its image, tarnished by the Trump years, by announcing the doubling of its aid to developing countries to help them fight global warming. The $ 100 billion Washington target should be met with the contribution of “increased capital from the private sector and other donors,” Biden said.
The American president also pledged to unveil Wednesday, on the occasion of a virtual summit that he will hold, “additional commitments” aimed at accelerating vaccination in countries which are lagging behind in immunization campaigns. In progress.
Note that this campaign is also struggling to achieve its objectives within the United States, where ideological resistance to vaccination is barely 55.4% – against 70% in Canada or 81% in Portugal – of the population is currently fully vaccinated. The 90% target is however now advanced as a means of dealing with the Delta variant.
In a pre-recorded speech, the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raïssi, did not fail to highlight the contradictions of the United States, whose “hegemonic system” has “failed miserably”, said the controversial leader of the United States. ‘State, caught up on the international scene by its past as a torturer.
“This year, two stages made history. January 6, when the United States Congress was attacked by the people, and in August, when the people of Afghanistan were falling from American planes. From Capitol Hill in Kabul, a clear message was sent to the world: the hegemonic system of the United States has no credibility, inside or outside the country, ”he said.
Recall that, under the leadership of Donald Trump, the Republicans have persisted since the last elections in denouncing electoral fraud, without ever providing any proof of it, and under this pretext are modifying the laws in several states in order to limit access to the vote.
This session of the UN General Assembly, in which more than a hundred heads of state and government as well as dozens of ministers physically participate, must continue until next Monday.
With Agence France-Presse