Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a significant appearance at the United Nations, while US President Joe Biden issued a stern warning against appeasing Russia’s aggression. Zelensky, dressed in military fatigues, participated in the annual UN General Assembly, marking his first attendance since the war in Ukraine. He listened attentively as Biden called for global solidarity against Russia’s invasion.
Biden expressed concerns that Russia was banking on the world growing weary and allowing it to brutalize Ukraine without facing consequences. He emphasized the importance of upholding the core principles of the UN Charter and preventing the territorial division of Ukraine, asserting that the independence of any nation would be at risk if Ukraine were abandoned.
The US President received applause when he advocated for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but notable world leaders, including those from China, Britain, France, and others, chose to skip this year’s UN session.
Zelensky’s agenda included meetings with leaders less sympathetic to Ukraine’s cause, such as Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who previously attributed blame to Ukraine for the war and criticized Western military aid.
The Ukrainian President is also scheduled to participate in a UN Security Council session on Ukraine, where Russia holds veto power. Zelensky’s UN visit aims to garner international support and address critical issues amid ongoing tensions with Russia.
While the focus at the General Assembly centred on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, developing countries expressed concerns that this focus distracted from other urgent global issues. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the need to address climate change and inequity during his opening speech.
In his address, Biden also highlighted climate-related challenges, underlining the urgent need to reduce fossil fuel dependence and climate-proof the world.
Zelensky’s UN visit will include meetings with key leaders, and he aims to rally international support for Ukraine’s security and stability amidst ongoing tensions with Russia.