WASHINGTON, D.C. – As world leaders are gathered in New York this week for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, President Joe Biden delivered a high-stakes speech in his third address to the world body Tuesday, calling on those present to remember the core princples of the U.N. Charter: to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and alleviate human suffering. The president made the case for U.S. leadership in all three.
"The United States seeks a more secure, prosperous, equitable world for all people because we know our future is bound to yours," he announced.
The ongoing war in Ukraine took center stage as the main foreign policy issue Biden addressed.
"Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence. But I ask you this: 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?"
Biden reiterated continued U.S. military and financial aid for Ukraine., and called on other world leaders to ramp up their support.
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy also made an appeal, telling the assembled emissaries, “When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there. The goal of (Russia's) present war against Ukraine is to turn our land, our people, our lives, our resources into weapons against you – against the international rules-based order.”
While the Biden administration's commitment to Ukraine remains steadfast, a recent CNN poll reveals 51 percent of Americans surveyed believe the U.S. "has done enough" to help Ukraine in the fight against Russia, compared to 48 percent who want America to do more.
There's also growing opposition from some members of the G.O.P., although the party's leadership has continued to push back.
Foreign policy expert and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Michael O'Hanlon, told CBN News that if the war continues for another year, debate will likely be about cutting "back" aid, rather than cutting it off completely.
"I think that that might allow for a substantially reduced amount of American assistance by at least half – maybe three fourths – and still allow Ukraine to hold on to the five sixths of its territory that it has today, and protect its government, its capital, the majority of its people, most of its economy. "For now," he added, "Ukraine deserves a fuller fairer chance to take back its land."
President Biden's U.N. speech also touched on climate change, supporting developing countries, and American competition with China.
Biden has a sideline meeting planned for Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanytahu – the first face-to-face meeting since Netanyahu returned to office nearly nine months ago.
The White House says the two will discuss countering and deterring Iran, as well as several other issues focused on shared democratic values.