Biden meets UN Security Council, pledges global engagement

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden met virtually Thursday with the U.N. Security Council and reaffirmed his determination to restore America’s global leadership and re-engage with global institutions including the United Nations, the U.S. Mission said Thursday night.

Biden also stressed the need for the U.N.’s most powerful body to take action on crises including in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Libya, Syria and Yemen, a mission statement said.

Council diplomats said many of the 15 ambassadors spoke or asked questions during the hour-long meeting, including China’s U.N. envoy, Zhang Jun, but not Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

The U.S. mission said Biden reiterated “the importance of working with global partners and through multilateral institutions to end the pandemic, improve global health security, and ensure that our nations drive an equitable and sustainable economic recovery.”

Biden, who was joined by Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry, announced that the United States intends to formally join the United Nations’ Group of Friends on Climate and Security, the mission statement said.

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer also attended the meeting and briefed council members on regional security issues, it said.

The Security Council has for years been invited to the White House during the U.S. presidency of the Security Council, but this meeting was virtual because of the pandemic. The council presidency rotates monthly and U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield started presiding at virtual council meetings on March 1, days after taking up her new job.

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