US President Joe Biden has accused Russia of wanting to destroy Ukraine's right to exist. "This war is simply about wiping out Ukraine's right to exist as a state. And Ukraine's right to exist as a people," Biden said in his speech at the general debate at the UN General Assembly in New York. "Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe in, this should make your blood run cold."
Russia must be held accountable for war crimes in Ukraine. There was "more appalling evidence" of Russian atrocities and war crimes, the US President said. The US worked closely with its partners to hold Russia accountable.
Violation of UN Charter
In his speech, Biden also accused Russia of a "shameless" violation of the UN Charter: "A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has invaded his neighboring country and has tried to wipe the sovereign state from the map." In doing so, he violated the cornerstones of the UN Charter, the set of rules of the United Nations.
Biden strongly condemned the nuclear threats from Russia, North Korea and other countries. "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," he warned. But there are worrying trends and Russia is making "irresponsible threats". China is pursuing an "unprecedented rearmament". North Korea continues to "blatantly violate UN sanctions". Biden added: "We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon." Diplomacy is the best way to achieve that.
Security Council in need of reform according to Biden
The US President was also open to reforming the United Nations Security Council. The most powerful UN body must remain credible and effective. "For this reason, the United States also supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the council." Countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean would need permanent seats on the Security Council.
The United States had recently surprised with the push to reform the 15-member Security Council. Germany has been in favor of reform for years and hopes to have more influence on the body. There, the five permanent members USA, Russia, China, France and Great Britain have the right of veto and can thus block all actions. This became visible again and again during the Ukraine war. Above all, Russia and China are seen as opponents of reform.