Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on President Biden’s Address to the UNGA

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressional Representative to the United Nations and Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, released the following statement in reaction to President Biden’s first speech to the United Nations General Assembly:

“President Biden demonstrated his commitment to restoring the United States’ leadership and respectability on the world stage. I was pleased to see his continued support for closing the chapter on the longest war in our history and turn our attention to diplomacy. President Biden and I agree: we must reimagine our foreign policy and national security to equitably invest in diplomacy and development, just as we do defense. Our budget for diplomacy is a fraction of our budget for defense -- It’s time for that to change. 

“This administration reminded our global partners that America’s domestic priorities align with our priorities abroad. Let’s be clear: we are a part of a global community. Our prosperity at home has an impact on our allies around the world. To be at our strongest, we must make meaningful investments in addressing our own challenges, like eradicating systemic racism and addressing its impact throughout our society. Institutional racism is a global crisis and addressing it on our own soil will go a long way toward addressing it across the globe.

“This is a key inflection point in history. As President Biden laid out today, this new chapter will be defined by working with allies and partners to solve problems that can't be solved by military force and that require the cooperation of nations around the world, private sector leaders, nongovernmental organization, and international institutions.  I’m hopeful that President Biden’s words signal a future with more investment in the priorities he outlined, including pandemic response and preparation, infrastructure revitalization, addressing the climate crisis, and much more.”