Comments from President Biden and United Nations Secretary-General Guterres ahead of the bilateral meeting

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Intercontinental New York Barclay
New York, New York

6:42 p.m. EDT

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Secretary-General, for taking the time to meet me at the beginning of this year’s United Nations High Level Week. It is a pleasure to meet your key collaborators. And I want to thank you for your continued leadership of the United Nations during the pandemic, as well as for addressing a whole host of global crises and challenges.

The strong partnership between the United States and the United Nations is based on shared values ​​and principles. And right now, these bonds are more important than ever.

America is back. We believe in the United Nations and its worth. Because of the challenges we face today in ending COVID-19 and tackling the gravest threat to humanity we have ever seen, the entire climate crisis we are going through, only global solutions can do to meet it no country – no ten countries can do it.

And the Secretary-General and I share a strong commitment to the principles of human freedom and dignity on which the UN was founded.

I went back and read the charter again. I remember – we sometimes forget what the founding principles were – not you, but we – the world. Every UN member state is also obliged to comply with these fundamental obligations – which we have all entered into. The enormity of the task is already before us, and it is real. But the vision of the United Nations has never lacked ambition – and neither has our constitution. But ambition counts.

Today, governments continue to work to work together in a system based on international law to ensure just prosperity, peace and security for all. And that is just as valuable and necessary today as it was 76 years ago.

So I look forward to speaking to the meeting tomorrow – what a great honor it will be – and having our meeting today.

Thank you for this opportunity.

SECRETARY GENERAL GUTERRES: Thank you very much, Mr President. And I must say that I am very pleased to have this opportunity to meet you, as you have clearly reaffirmed the United States’ strong commitment to the United Nations and to multilateralism – a multilateralism that we are also reforming, more effective and more consistent with the need to solve the world’s dramatic problems.

On the other hand, I would like to say that cooperation between the United States and the United Nations is a fundamental pillar of the work of the United Nations. The United States, with its strong commitment to human rights; his strong commitment to peace and security in the world; its strong commitment to development and collaboration; and now, with your leadership, a very strong commitment to climate change, the United States is a fundamental pillar of what we do.

And I want to assure you, Mr President, that we want to deepen this cooperation. We are very pleased with the coordination with the mission, with which we work very, very well. And you can be absolutely certain that we share the same values, the same concerns and the same commitment to the people of this world, especially the most vulnerable and those who have been more than dramatically affected by both COVID and the climate, and other challenges that we face together.

Thank you very much, Mr President.

THE PRESIDENT: I ​​think we have a great opportunity to do a lot of good. Thanks very much.

6:46 p.m. EDT


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