Biden’s impassioned speech at UN applauded by Zelensky
President Volodymr Zelensky made his first in-person address to the United Nations since Vladimir Putin’s invasion – after questioning why “Russian terrorists” were allowed to attend.
In a speech to 200 world leaders, the Ukrainian leader said Russia was continuing to “weaponize” food by targeting vessels carrying grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
He said: “While nukes remain in place, this mass destruction is gaining momentum. The aggressor is weaponizing many other things and those things are used not only against our country but against all of yours as well.
“There are many conventions that restrict weapons but there are no real restrictions on weaponization.
READ MORE: Vladimir Putin branded ‘second Hitler’ by Volodymyr Zelensky as WW3 fears erupt
“Let me give you an example, the food since the start of the full-scale war. The Ukrainian ports have been blocked by Russia, until now our ports remain a target for missiles and drones and it is clear Russia’s attempt to weaponize the food shortage on the global market in exchange for recognition for some if not all of the captured territories.”
But he said his country was working hard to maintain safe grain exports to the rest of the world.
He also accused Putin of weaponizing energy, not just oil and gas but also nuclear energy, by turning power plants into potential ‘dirty bombs’.
He further accused Russia of ‘kidnapping’ hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children.
“Those children in Russia are taught to hate Ukraine,” he said.
“This is clearly a genocide. Each decade, Russia starts a new war. It has almost swallowed Belarus.”
He added that whole settlements in Ukraine were now being wiped out by Russia.
“The aggressor must be restrained,” Mr Zelensky added.
Joe Biden, speaking regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, stressed that Russia alone is to blame for the conflict and renewed America’s committment to continue aid to Ukraine.
He said: “If we abandon the core principles of the United Nations to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they’re protected? If you allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” Biden asked.
“I’d respectfully suggest the answer is: no.”
He called for global cooperation to tackle worldwide issues to ensure a more hopeful and prosperous future.
He said: “The United States seeks a more secure, more prosperous and equitable world for all people because we know our future is bound to yours.
“Let me repeat that again: We know our future is bound to yours.”
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Prior to Biden’s speech, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listed numerous “existential threats” the world is facing, from the climate crisis to artificial intelligence.
“Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are mounting. And we seem incapable of coming together to respond.”
“The world has changed. Our institutions have not.” He added: “We cannot effectively address problems as they are if institutions don’t reflect the world as it is. Instead of solving problems, they risk becoming part of the problem.”
General Assembly President Dennis Francis, a diplomat from Trinidad and Tobago, called on world leaders to use the “unique and truly global platform” of the GA to coordinate a worldwide response.
Francis said: “Such a common, coordinated approach is needed now as much as at any point in our history.
“War, climate change, debt, energy and food crises, poverty and famine – these crises are directly impacting the lives and well-being of billions of people around the world.”
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