Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Ministerial on Least Developed Countries

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 22, 2022


Thank you, Madam Chair. The United States is honored to be here today in support of the world’s Least Developed Countries, and their partners and friends.

Earlier this month, I spoke in San Francisco, where the UN Charter was originally drafted and negotiated and I emphasized what President Truman said at the beginning of those negotiations – that, “the responsibility of the great states is to serve, and not dominate, the peoples of the world.” That is our focus today, too.

How can we serve the people of the world? How can we combat the global crises of COVID, and climate, and conflict, which we know affect the world’s least developed people? How can we ensure that the least developed countries get more attention, more resources, and support?

The only way forward is one where we work together – bilaterally and multilaterally. We all must do our part to serve, not dominate, the peoples of the world.

Just as important as economic health is actual health. And that’s why global health is one of our main focuses this UNGA. You saw this yesterday, with President Biden’s remarks and announcements at the replenishment conference on the Global Fund. Before the pandemic, the world was making steady progress across health indicators. We invested in health systems, delivered vaccines, and prevented and treated HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.

But COVID-19 shocked our health system, depleted our funds, and it sent us backward. So, we led the global response to COVID-19. We provided, in partnership with COVAX, more than 620 million safe and effective vaccine doses. And we’re not even close to being done. As you’ve seen this UNGA, we are committed to rebuilding the health systems COVID-19 ravaged and we’re replenishing the Global Fund. And we’re working together to prepare for future pandemics.

But we know we can’t do this alone. Other countries have an obligation to step up as well. That’s why Secretary Blinken co-chaired the food security summit, along with the leaders of the European Union, the African Union, and Spain. The Declaration that came out of that summit built on what we started in May, when we brought together partners here in New York to craft a roadmap for global food security. Now, we must push this momentum forward.

Finally, we know that while climate change impacts every nation on every continent, it hurts the world’s poorest the most. In response, President Biden is working with our Congress to quadruple U.S. public international climate finance by 2024 to over $11 billion.

We are committed to working together, through the United Nations. We believe the time has come for a more representative Council, as well, and you heard President Biden talk about that today. This includes support for permanent seats for countries in both Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. That is something we are committed to having further discussions on.

Above all else, we are committed to serving, and not dominating, the people of the world. We are a moral nation. We understand that we are all connected, and we will ensure that the most vulnerable among us are not left behind.

Thank you, Madam Chair.