PRESIDENT Joe Biden has offered to attend the next African Union (AU) summit as part of his administration’s collegiate approach to global affairs in stark contrast to the unilateralist America-first policy of his predecessor Donald Trump.
Between 2017 and 2021, President Trump adopted a unilateralist approach to foreign affairs involving him pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accord and leaving the World Trade Organisation. On January 20 this year, President Biden assumed office and has set about reversing all the unilateralist policies of his predecessor.
Speaking yesterday on the 34th anniversary of the African Union, President Biden assured the continent of US cooperation and expressed the hope that he would physically attend the next AU summit. He added that the US was eager to re-engage with the AU to better support the people of Africa in everything from battling the Covid-19 pandemic to working to address conflicts that are costing lives across the continent.
In addition, President Biden committed himself to attending subsequent meetings. He added that the US would engage in sustained diplomacy, in collaborate with the AU, to address conflicts that are causing deaths across Africa.
President Biden said: “This past year has shown us how interconnected our world is and how our fates are bound up together. That is why my administration is committing to rebuilding our partnership around the world and reengaging with international institutions like the African Union.
“We must all work together to advance our shared vision of a better future, a future of growing trade and investment that advances prosperity for all our nations, a future that advances lives, of peace and security for all our citizens. A future committed to investing in our democratic institutions and promoting the human rights of all people, women and girls, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities and people of every ethnic background, religion and heritage.
“That includes investing more in global health, defeating Covid-19 and working to prevent, detect and respond to future health crisis and partnering the Africa Centres for Disease Control and other institutions to advance health security. Raising our climate ambitions and ensuring developing nations can mitigate and adapt to climate impacts that are already causing pain and engaging in sustained diplomacy, in connection with the African Union, to address conflicts that are costing lives all across the African continent.”
“None of this is going to be easy but the US stands ready now to be your partner in solidarity, support and mutual respect. We believe in the nations of Africa and the continent-wide spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation and through the challenges ahead, although they’re great, there is no doubt that our nations, our people and the African Union are up to this task.”