US President Joe Biden used his first address before the UN General Assembly to declare that the world stands at an “inflection point in history” and must move quickly to act on the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuse.
Amid growing tensions with China, Mr Biden also declared the US was “not seeking a new Cold War”.
Without mentioning China directly, Mr Biden acknowledged increasing concerns about rising tensions between the two nations.
But he said: “We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs”.
The president noted his decision to end America’s longest war last month, in Afghanistan, and set the ground for his administration to shift US attention to intensive diplomacy.
He said he was driven by a belief that “to deliver for our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world”.
“We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan,” Mr Biden said. “And as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world.”
At a virtual Covid-19 summit Mr Biden is hosting on Wednesday, leaders will be urged to step up vaccine-sharing commitments, address oxygen shortages around the globe and deal with other critical pandemic-related issues.
The president is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House.