Sept. 22 (UPI) — President Joe Biden spent a second day in New York City on Thursday as more world leaders had their opportunity to speak at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, where the top focus so far has been Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Biden spoke on Wednesday and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for creating a dangerous and unstable situation in Eastern Europe. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also took the podium and called for unity against Moscow’s aggression.
On Thursday, newly elected Philippines President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who spoke at the General Assembly on Tuesday, was scheduled for a meeting with Biden at the InterContinental Barclay hotel late in the morning.
Marcos won election in May and resumed the family’s run of power more than two decades after his father, autocrat Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., led the country.
The morning session of the General Assembly began at 9 a.m. EDT and the afternoon session at 3 p.m.
Among the notable speakers on Thursday are Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Yemen President Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Irish leader Micheal Martin, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon and Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon.
In his address Wednesday, Biden blasted Russia for the fighting in Ukraine and called on allies to keep up critical aid and support. He also announced about $3 billion in new aid to address global food insecurity — adding to the $7 billion in U.S. hunger aid that’s already been committed.
Zelensky demanded “just punishment” for Russia for “the murders of thousands of people. Punishment for tortures and humiliations of women and men. Punishment for the catastrophic turbulence that Russia provoked with its illegal war and not only for us Ukrainians but for the whole world.”
On Thursday, Lapid will make his address during a time of widespread unrest in Israel, where the Knesset recently was dissolved so that voters could again participate in national elections — their fifth in four years. Difficulty in forming a coalition government is the reason Israeli leaders keep asking voters to go to the polls.
Lapid is expected to address the Iran nuclear deal, to which Biden has said the United States will return. Israel has been vehemently opposed to the Obama-era agreement, which eases economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for Iran’s promise not to develop nuclear weapons.
Later on Thursday, Biden will visit a FEMA office at the World Trade Center to be briefed on Hurricane Fiona and its impact on Puerto Rico. The storm lashed the U.S. island territory last weekend before moving over the Dominican Republic and heading north toward Bermuda.
Before leaving New York City to return to Washington, Biden will participate in a late afternoon Democratic Party reception.