Amidst growing geopolitical tensions, a senior White House Official has stressed the Biden administration’s continued support for Germany, Japan and India to be made permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
The statement follows US President Joe Biden’s address to the UN General Assembly, where he stressed the need for a ‘more inclusive’ UN and his support for “permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean”.
During his address, President Biden spoke sharply about two permanent members of the UNSC, Russia and China.
Addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden slammed Russia for having “shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter”.
Whilst stressing his sustained solidarity with Ukraine, he emphasised that:
“The United States is also working closely with our allies and partners to impose costs on Russia, to deter attacks against NATO territory, to hold Russia accountable for the atrocities and war crimes”.
He also warned that “if nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for. Everything”.
On China, the American President struck a more measured tone stating;
“As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader. We do not seek conflict. We do not seek a Cold War. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner”.
Whilst highlighting his continued commitment to the “One China” policy, Biden raised alarm over continued Chinese aggression
“Today […] they’re making irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons. China is conducting an unprecedented, concerning nuclear buildup without any transparency”.
In an interview on Sunday, Biden maintained that America would “defend” Taiwan if the island was attacked, in a way that went beyond its assistance to Ukraine.
He maintained in his speech that the “United States will be unabashed in promoting our vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world”.
Adding that “what we have to offer communities of nations: investments that are designed not to foster dependency, but to alleviate burdens and help nations become self-sufficient; partnerships not to create a political obligation, but because we know our own success — each of our success is increased when other nations succeed as well”.
His statement growing concerns of Chinese investment in countries across Asia and Africa and growing political influence within these regions. Sri Lanka is often cited as a textbook example of Chinese “debt diplomacy”.
Biden further stressed the need for UNSC member states to “refrain from the use of veto, except in rare and extraordinary situations, to ensure that the Council remains credible and effective”. According to UN records, the UNSC has vetoed more than 200 different proposals since its founding.
Richard Mills, U.S. deputy ambassador, has noted that the US is “extraordinarily troubled by Russia's pattern of abusing its veto right over the past decade," citing resolutions it vetoed ranging from referring Syria to the International Criminal Court, protesting Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and demanding Russia immediately halt its invasion of Ukraine.