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Biden Tells The U.N. The U.S. Is Embarking On An Era Of 'Relentless' Diplomacy

President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21.
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21.

President Biden gives his first speech to delegates at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday morning, one that the administration says will address an array of issues, including COVID-19, climate change, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and what one official called "vigorous competition" with the nation's competitors.

Biden is set to speak at 10 a.m. ET. You can watch the speech here:

Speaking at the U.N.'s annual gathering of world leaders in New York City, Biden will try to convince a global audience that "America is back," though some allies say he has not kept to his promises of strengthening the United States' traditional alliances.

The U.S.' abrupt withdrawal of military forces and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan came despite urging from Britain that American troops remain longer.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters said that Biden's U.N. speech "will center on the proposition that we are closing the chapter on 20 years of war and opening a chapter of intensive diplomacy by rallying allies and partners and institutions to deal with the major challenges of our time."

France meanwhile last week recalled its ambassador to Washington following the surprise announcement that the U.S. would share nuclear submarine technology with Australia, undercutting a $60 billion deal for diesel subs that France had with the Canberra government.

There have also been concerns that the Biden administration is pushing for COVID-19 booster shots for Americans while much of the world so far lacks enough vaccines to give their citizens a single shot. The White House is holding a virtual summit on COVID on Wednesday.

Before Biden spoke, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres warned that "the world must wake up."

"We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes," he said, citing COVID-19, the climate crisis and "upheaval from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Yemen."

"We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction," Guterres said. "Our world has never been more threatened, or more divided."

Biden will keep his stay in New York brief because of COVID-related concerns. He plans to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison there and hold other meetings later in the week at the White House.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.