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President Biden speaks at the UN

September 21, 2023

Biden Calls on World Leaders to Stand with Ukraine Against Russia

Ask students: What is the United Nations General Assembly? Where and When does the General Assembly meet? Who gave speeches to the Assembly?


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The annual United Nations General Assembly met Tuesday as the world and many nations are facing myriad issues. During a speech Tuesday morning, President Joe Biden sought to reassure underdeveloped countries that the U.S. will help them through these tough times. But his most forceful words were reserved for Russia, and its war against Ukraine.

For a transcript of this story, click here (this is an abbreviated transcript; we are going to upload full transcript shortly).

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Discussion Questions

  • What is the United Nations General Assembly?
  • Where and When does the General Assembly meet?
  • Who gave speeches to the Assembly that were described in this story?
  • How defending Ukraine help benefit the U.S., according to Biden?
  • Why should the world help defend Ukraine against Russia, according to Biden? Do you agree? Explain.

Focus Questions

  • What reasons did Biden give for supporting Ukraine that you found persuasive?
  • What do you think are some benefits or costs that weren't brought up in the speech?
  • Media literacy: What else would you want to know about the UN General Assembly meeting? Why do you think the NewsHour chose to highlight these parts of Biden's speech?

Extension Activity

In addition to Biden's speech, watch the story on the speech given by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

  • Discuss: What were some similarities in the two speeches? What were some areas of difference? How do you think these differences might represent differences in goals between the U.S. and Ukraine?
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Lesson Plans on International Politics

Find more resources on international politics and how they relate to your students with our free collection of preK-12 lesson plans and teaching resources.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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