Blinken: America will lead with our values

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about priorities for administration of US President Joe Biden in the Ben Franklin room at the State Department in Washington, DC on March 3, 2021. (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about priorities for administration of US President Joe Biden in the Ben Franklin room at the State Department in Washington, DC on March 3, 2021. (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States will embrace its role as a world leader and rally international partners to take on pressing global challenges.

In his first major speech, March 3, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration’s foreign policy will reflect American values, including a commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and a belief in the dignity of every individual.

“At our best, the United States is a country with integrity and a heart. That’s what makes us proud to be Americans and why so many people around the world have given everything to become Americans,” he said.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis span borders, Blinken said America will collaborate to solve problems. “Not a single global challenge that affects your lives can be met by any one nation acting alone,” he said.

The challenges ahead include building a stronger and more inclusive global economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and countering rising authoritarianism around the world through a commitment to open government. “I take heart from the fact that we’re dealing with our struggles out in the open,” Blinken said. “It’s painful. Sometimes it’s ugly. But it’s how we make progress.”

U.S. foreign policy will also tackle the following challenges:

  • Stopping COVID-19 and strengthening global health security: No one will be fully safe until most of the world has immunity, Blinken said, adding that the United States will support vaccination efforts worldwide.
  • Combating climate change: The United States is working to strengthen global efforts toward net-zero global emissions by midcentury or before. It will also help vulnerable countries increase resilience and adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.
  • Building a humane and effective immigration system: America is stronger thanks to hardworking immigrants, Blinken said. While securing its borders, the United States will seek to address reasons why people leave their home countries.
  • Safeguarding technology: While artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other technologies may revolutionize our lives, they also may be subject to misuse. The United States will ensure technologies protect privacy and make the world safer.
  • Managing the relationship with China: Using its technological, economic and military power, China’s government can seriously challenge the stable and open international system. The United States stands against human rights violations in Xinjiang and threats to democratic processes in Hong Kong.

To advance these priorities, the United States must revitalize its international partnerships, Blinken said, describing America’s alliances as a “unique asset.”

“We get so much more done with them than we could without them,” he said. “So we’re making a big push right now to reconnect with our friends and allies, and to reinvent partnerships that were built years ago.”