Zambia, Sudan and Cameroon are just a few of the nations that United States President Joe Biden mentioned during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, as world leaders gathered in person after last year’s virtual UNGA because of the COVID crisis.
Speaking on the values of democracy, Biden noted they live in the struggles of activists everywhere, from Belarus and Burma to Venezuela.
“It lives in the young people of Zambia who harnessed the power of their vote for the first time, turning out in record numbers to denounce corruption and chart a new path for their country,” Biden said. His speech was quickly welcomed by newly elected Zambian leader Hakainde Hichilema, also set to speak on Tuesday.
“This is our first step in actualizing the much needed international support to address the many challenges facing Zambia,” said Hichilema, who defeated Edgar Lungu in Zambia’s August elections. He traveled with a small delegation to New York in order to keep costs down and his overall anti-corruption message at the forefront.
Biden also praised the women of Sudan who “withstood violence and oppression to push a genocidal dictator from power.” His remarks came amid reports of an attempted coup in Sudan, though Biden did not speak directly to Tuesday’s incident.
He also affirmed the rights of LGBTQI people everywhere, including Cameroon.
Biden’s message, though, focused on climate action and COVID. The U.S. will host a global COVID-19 summit on Wednesday with Biden expected to announce new commitments on vaccination as well as economic recovery.