Shaheen Statement on Biden Address to United Nations General Assembly

September 21, 2022

Shaheen is Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation & Co-Chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s address to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly:

“President Biden’s address to the United Nations General Assembly came at a pivotal time for the United States and global community as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in response to shared security threats. Russia’s unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine puts its freedom in danger and poses a threat to democracies around the world. China’s gross human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and escalating aggression against Taiwan also underscore the urgent need to prioritize policy and partnerships to counter Xi Jingping’s increasing hostility in the Pacific. President Biden’s resolve to confront these challenges, and his purposeful decision to deliver that message to both Russia and China with their U.N. delegates present, reaffirms the U.S. commitment to hold bad actors to account, wherever they may be. I appreciate that President Biden has placed importance on our alliances in addressing our shared security challenges – our partnerships will be critical in pushing back the assault on democracy. As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, I stand ready to help him deliver on those priorities,” said Shaheen.

She continued, “In addition, we have other significant issues that must be addressed on a global scale: the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s all-out assault on women and girls’ rights demands our attention and response. The global food security crisis, created by Putin, has also underscored the critical convening responsibility of the United Nations to secure the basic rights and needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The United Nations can and should play a role to help address these concerns. The security and humanitarian challenges we face today are great, but the strength of our partnerships and alliances are greater.” 

As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Shaheen led a bipartisan delegation to the United Nations in April 2022 to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the ongoing assault on the rights of Afghan women and girls. As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which Shaheen re-started with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) in 2018, Shaheen recently led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the NATO Summit in Spain, in addition to stops in Finland and Sweden in support of their NATO membership aspirations. Shaheen and Tillis also led a bipartisan coalition of 80 lawmakers in a joint statement of support and a letter to President Biden, calling for Finland and Sweden’s swift accession into NATO. The Senate overwhelmingly approved Finland and Sweden’s accession protocols in August, which were soon after signed into law. Shaheen is also a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and leads action in the U.S. Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s belligerence, which threatens the stability and security of Eastern Europe and NATO allies. Shaheen led a bipartisan congressional delegation to the Western Balkans in April to reaffirm U.S. support for democracy, security and economic prosperity in a region vulnerable to Russian influence. Legislation co-led by Shaheen to speed up military assistance to Ukraine and Eastern European nations was signed into law. In February, Shaheen led a successful bipartisan effort with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of Ukraine. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration. Before the Shaheen-Portman congressional delegation visit to Ukraine in January, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June.