Biden praises Ruto’s willingness to lead UN security support mission

President William Ruto.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

UN Headquarters, New York

President William Ruto has been praised for his willingness to lead a United Nations-backed security support mission.

During his address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Joe Biden called on countries to embrace peace and prevent conflict, emphasising the importance of global cooperation and unity.

“I thank Kenya’s President William Ruto for his willingness to serve as lead nation of UN-backed security mission. I call on security councils to authorise the mission now since the people cannot wait any longer,” he said.

Mr Biden reiterated that the United Nations, the global body, must step up for new ways to seek breakthroughs adding that the United States' future is tied to other nations.

"The United States seeks a more secure, more prosperous, more equitable world for all people because we know our future is bound to yours," the president said at UNGA. "Let me repeat that: We know our future is bound to yours. And no nation can meet the challenges of today alone." 

President Biden sought to rally the world behind his vision of a global order that tackles major crises like climate change, public health and food security collectively while standing firm against international aggression, most notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"We strongly support Ukraine in its efforts to bring about a diplomatic resolution that delivers just and lasting peace. Russia alone bears responsibility for this war. Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately. And it's Russia alone that stands in the way of peace because the Russians' price for peace is Ukraine's capitulation, Ukraine's territory and Ukraine's children," Mr Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the assembly and thereafter meet President Biden at the White House on Thursday. 

“If we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? Peace must prevail and we stop conflict,” he said.

“Let’s deliver progress for everyone.”

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion is a struggle for the whole world.

“We cannot differentiate the Ukrainian people’s struggle from the struggle for respect for the United Nations Charter,” he said.

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway and more than 140 world leaders are expected to address the delegates and discuss pressing world issues.

The General Debate, one of the UN’s most anticipated annual events, offers a platform for leaders to address issues of international concern through 15-minute speeches.

President Ruto is expected to make his speech on Thursday, he will also participate in side events including the high-level meetings. Already, Dr Ruto has attended high-level UN meetings on sustainable development goals where countries were taking stock of how far they are in achieving the goals and challenges.

Also, the President will attend a dialogue on financing development and another on climate ambition summit.

This year’s SDG Summit marks the halfway point to the 2030 deadline for implementing the Goals.

Several side events will be held including what leaders must do to prevent the next pandemic crisis hosted by Pandemic Action Network, bringing together current and former heads-of-state and governments and other stakeholders to lay out a 2024 action-oriented agenda to build a pandemic-resilient future for all. 

Also on the side is the discussion on the future of health rights, and overcoming pharma monopolies and the commercialisation of healthcare. 

There will also be a UN High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPPR) aimed at giving countries a forum to discuss how to prevent and prepare for pandemics.

The outcome will be a declaration that aims at mobilising political will at the national, regional and international levels to ensure equity through governance and accountability as well as building capacity and harnessing timely, sustainable and innovative financing and investment.

On Thursday, a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage convenes countries and stakeholders to accelerate progress toward health for all. The delegates will then on Friday review the achievement of TB targets set out in the 2018 Political Declaration of the first General Assembly high-level meeting on TB.

“Stakeholders will identify gaps and solutions to accelerate progress towards ending the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030 and ensuring equitable access to prevention, testing, treatment and care.”