US President Joe Biden Wednesday spoke to the UN General Assembly. Biden used the forum to sharply criticize Russia’s war in Ukraine and tout his administration’s accomplishments.
Biden began his remarks by telling the assembled world leaders:
Let us speak plainly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force. Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.
The president made reference to Russia’s alleged atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine, specifically noting the recently uncovered mass graves in Izyum. According to Biden, the war in Ukraine is about “extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people.” He also warned of upcoming referendums in Russia-occupied territory, calling them “sham” elections and “an extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter.”
Biden also used his speech to celebrate the United States’ commitment to human rights and report his administration’s achievements in climate legislation, global health, food access, technology and security. He specifically noted solidarity with “the brave women of Iran” who are currently protesting the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.
In a 2021 report, Amnesty International said Biden’s human rights achievements “in policy and practice were mixed,” citing immigration and asylum policies as weak points.