It’s that time of year where we pause to take account of the year that was. Indeed, 2022 brought seismic change on the world stage, from saying goodbye to titans like Queen Elizabeth II to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. We saw the brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the courage of the Iranian people rising up to protest for their rights. Historic achievements like the signing of the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement and the ceasefire between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) . Here are just a few highlights of where diplomacy delivered in 2022 from Secretary Blinken’s annual year-end press availability.
We rallied the world to ensure Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine remains a strategic failure for Moscow.
Since February 24, we’ve brought together dozens of allies and partners to promote security, economic and humanitarian support to the Ukrainian people as they stand up for their country’s democracy, its sovereignty, and its independence. Our collective support – including now an additional $1.85 billion in U.S. military assistance the President announced yesterday – has enabled Ukraine’s fighters to go on the counter-offensive, liberating their people, retaking more of their territory.
We worked with allies and partners to impose the strongest-ever sanctions and export controls on President Putin and those enabling his war of aggression – significantly diminishing the Russian military’s access to funds, to goods, to technologies that are critical to the war effort. By any measure, the Russian war machine is in dire straits. U.S. diplomatic leadership has been indispensable in building and maintaining this unity of purpose and also this unity of action. Meanwhile, we brought our diplomatic muscle to bear on isolating Russia at the United Nations and other international organizations, and to reaffirming global support for the core principles of the UN Charter that President Putin is trying to shed.
A tough winter lies ahead for Ukrainians, as President Putin pursues his new strategy of trying to freeze Ukrainian men, women, children, the elderly to death. We’re working with the G7 and other allies and partners to repair, to replace, and defend Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, including bolstering its advanced air defense through precision systems like the Patriot missile battery that President Biden announced yesterday.
We accelerated strategic convergence with our allies and partners on the challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China.
We set out an affirmative approach for a free and open Indo-Pacific that draws on the views of many of our partners inside and outside the region, and that has in turn informed their own strategies. Together with the European Union we strengthened our complementary toolkits on key challenges posed by the PRC, from economic coercion to human rights. We’ve deepened our cooperation on investment screening and export controls of sensitive and emerging technologies.
We’re united in our commitment to preserve peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and we continue to raise concerns and take joint action around the PRC’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, the erosion of freedom of speech and the press in Hong Kong.
We’ll continue to manage this relationship responsibly, building on the candid and productive discussion President Biden and President Xi had in Bali. And we’ll continue to pursue cooperation on issues that demand that the United States and China work together – for the good of our people, but also for the good of people around the world.
We expanded economic opportunity and prosperity—at home and abroad—by working with inclusive coalitions to address common challenges. And we led global efforts to respond to food, pandemic, energy, and economic challenges.
In 2022 alone, we contributed $11 billion in humanitarian and food security assistance. We hosted a Food Security Ministerial and summit with the African Union and the European Union to marshal the resources needed to save lives in the immediate, but also to help countries build their own capacity for resilient, sustainable agricultural production.
We made significant strides in ending the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – providing nearly $20 billion for the global response, distributing more than 670 million doses of safe, effective vaccines to over 115 countries. We launched and led the Global Action Plan, which brought together dozens of countries to get shots in arms, to bolster health supply systems, to combat misinformation and disinformation.
On climate, we leveraged historic investments at home and abroad to accelerate the clean energy transition and adapt to the effects of a warming climate. This is not just our responsibility; we also see it as a once-in-generations opportunity to create good-paying jobs for Americans.
We demonstrated the catalytic potential of American diplomacy and American leadership to advance the cause of peace, working with and in support of partner-led initiatives, and worked tirelessly to bring unjustly detained Americans home.
We brokered a historic agreement between Israel and Lebanon to resolve their long-standing maritime boundary dispute. We supported African-led talks that led to the cessation of hostilities between Ethiopia and Tigrayan forces. We helped bring about a framework agreement to put Sudan back on the path toward civilian-led democracy. We helped secure – and later extend – a truce in the Yemen conflict.
And we brought home unjustly detained Americans from Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Burma, Afghanistan, Haiti, and other countries. We will keep working every single day to bring home Americans who are wrongfully detained around the world, while taking steps to deter and prevent this abhorrent practice going forward.
As we look ahead to 2023, we will continue to use all of our diplomatic tools to drive these priorities, and many others – including maintaining our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, particularly those who supported the U.S. mission there over 20 years, as well as to stand up for the rights of women and girls.