US ambassador to the UN sets forth General Assembly agenda

US will push efforts addressing food insecurity, global health and UN reform, says Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, speaks during a press conference at the UN Security Council. AP
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The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Thursday said addressing food insecurity, global health and upholding the values of the world body were among Washington's top priorities for the coming General Assembly.

She spoke on six US commitments, including a promise to try to expand the UN Security Council.

“In a few days, leaders from 193 countries will gather in New York to engage with that machinery to do the hard work of diplomacy and to advance international peace and security,” she said.

“They will do so at a moment when the UN itself faces a crisis of confidence.”

The UN General Assembly, which meets annually, will convene on Tuesday, September 13.

“We will combat global food insecurity, an issue we have been laser focused on since my arrival at the UN,” she said.

“President [Joe] Biden will co host the heads of state level Food Security Summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to advance the road map that over 103 countries have signed on to.”

Working on combating current health crises and future pandemics is a major US priority, Ms Thomas-Greenfield added.

“President Biden will host the seventh replenishment conference for the Global Fund, which focuses on stamping out persistent threats like Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, and preparing for future pandemics,” she said.

The ambassador gave her remarks at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California, where the UN Charter was drafted in 1945. Members from 50 nations gathered at the time to form a charter that legislative bodies in each country had to approve before the UN could officially be formed.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield said that she will “recommit to upholding the UN Charter and seek to shape the future of the UN” at the coming gathering.

It is expected that during this year's assembly, UN members will focus heavily on Russia's war in Ukraine.

“Even as the world is facing the threat of climate change, a pandemic and a global food crisis, one of the permanent members of the Security Council invaded his neighbour,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said.

“Russia violated national sovereignty and territorial integrity, violated human rights and pursue out right war instead of negotiating a permanent member of the Security Council struck at the heart of UN Charter.”

Leaders from around the world will convene for the assembly, which will be held at UN headquarters in New York.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 8:12 PM
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