On February 4, 2021, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken welcomed President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris to the U.S. Department of State. The official visit began with remarks to State Department personnel and concluded with an address on the vision for U.S. foreign policy under the Biden-Harris Administration.
In an introduction to the President and Vice President, the Secretary stated: “I can say without fear of contradiction that in the history of the presidency, no one has brought as much foreign policy experience to the job as Joe Biden. Wherever he goes, he’s been a champion for American leadership and a defender of American values. And in Kamala Harris he has a Vice President, we have a Vice President, with a long track record of standing up for the security of the American people and an abiding commitment to using diplomacy to advance our interests and defend our values around the world.”
Thank you President Biden for sharing your vision to make America a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security globally. Under @POTUS and @VP's leadership, we’re ready to reinvigorate @StateDept to pursue a foreign policy that delivers for the American people. pic.twitter.com/nor6FiHddj
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 4, 2021
On diplomacy, Secretary Blinken remarked: “At this moment of unprecedented global challenge, it’s more important than ever that the United States show up and lead, because the world simply doesn’t organize itself to solve big problems, and the well-being of the American people hangs in the balance.”
The Secretary continued: “We need diplomacy to get the pandemic under control worldwide, to save American lives and livelihoods. We need diplomacy to address the climate crisis, to protect communities across our country. We need diplomacy to check the rise of authoritarianism, to prevent the spread of dangerous weapons, to shore up democracy, to defend human rights – all of which makes the world more stable and free, and all of which protects the security and prosperity of the American people.”
“America is back. America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.” — President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Following Secretary Blinken’s introduction, President Biden began his speech on America’s place in the world: “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s. American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States and the determination of Russia to damage and disrupt our democracy.”
President Biden discussed current challenges: “We must meet the new moment accelerating global challenges from the pandemic to the climate crisis to nuclear proliferation — challenging the will only to be solved by nations working together and in common. We can’t do it alone.”
“America’s alliances are our greatest asset, and leading with diplomacy means standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies and key partners once again.” — President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
On diplomacy, President Biden continued: “We must start with diplomacy rooted in America’s most cherished democratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law, and treating every person with dignity.”
During the remainder of his remarks, the President discussed topics of international concern including the coup in Burma, demonstrations and arrest of Aleksey Navalny in Russia, confronting and cooperating with China, reengaging with international organizations, climate change, and protecting LGBTQI+ rights. You can read President Biden’s full speech here.
Visit the White House website to read more about the Biden-Harris Administration and keep up to date on the latest news. You can also follow President Biden on Twitter @POTUS and the White House on Twitter @WhiteHouse.
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