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Biden, UN Chief Guterres discuss 'strengthened UN-US partnership'

Biden also noted his deep concern for escalating violence in Ethiopia

biden_guterres UN Secretary Genera Antonio Guterres | AP; US President-elect Joe Biden | AFP

US President-elect Joe Biden and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres have discussed the need for a "strengthened partnership" between Washington and the world organisation to address many urgent global issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and upholding peace and security.

Biden spoke with Guterres over the phone on Monday and according to a readout of the call, the president-elect thanked Guterres for his congratulations on winning the US presidential election.

"They discussed the need for a strengthened partnership between the United States and the United Nations on urgent global issues, including combatting COVID-19 and building resilience to future public health challenges, confronting the threat of climate change, addressing humanitarian need, advancing sustainable development, upholding peace and security and resolving conflicts; and promoting democracy and human rights, the readout issued by the Biden-Harris Transition team said.

Biden also noted his deep concern for escalating violence in Ethiopia and the risk it poses to civilians.

According to the readout of the phone call issued by the Secretary General's spokesman, Guterres was pleased" to speak with Biden to extend his personal congratulations to the President-elect.

The Secretary-General underscored the essential role played by the enduring close co-operation between the United States and the United Nations.  

Guterres looks forward to working with the President-elect and his team to building on our partnership to address the many urgent issues facing the world today, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, upholding peace and security, promoting human rights, and addressing humanitarian needs, the readout from the UN said.

President Donald Trump has been highly critical of the United Nations, withdrawing the US from key UN agencies and agreements and cutting funding to UN bodies.

Under the Trump Administration, Washington has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organisation (WHO), pulled out from the Paris Climate Agreement, the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), besides ending funding to the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees.

Biden has pledged that his administration would rejoin the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. 

On November 4, the US formally withdrew from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a decision originally announced three years ago.

Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it, Biden had tweeted.

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