Today the world can turn the page on darkness and division and face the future together.
I want to wish US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris every success as they begin the work of bringing America back together and offering a beacon of hope for the world, particularly as we see the first ever female Vice President in office.
As Keir Starmer rightly said this afternoon, this inauguration is a “victory for hope over hate and a real moment for optimism in the United States”.
I have no doubt that this optimism and source of hope will reverberate across the world as Biden’s empathic leadership restores balance on the global stage once more and we see the first ever woman Vice President.
And the impact of Biden-Harris leadership on the UK and here in Wales cannot be underestimated. A progressive global leader who embraces internationalism and equality and doesn’t shy away from standing up for his values, rather than one who stokes hatred, division and seeks to trample on the values we hold dear offers a glimmer of hope for us all.
And in these chaotic and unprecedented times, our anchor is our values.
Biden’s determination to restore American leadership abroad by re-joining the World Health Organisation and the Paris Climate Agreement will be paramount to helping tackle shared global threats like Covid-19 and the deeper, graver climate crisis. As the pandemic has shown, the interconnected nature of our world means if one community is threatened we are all threatened. We could not make any meaningful progress to tackle climate change without America’s co-operation. Biden’s commitment for the US to play a leading role on the global stage in tackling the climate emergency signals a brighter, more sustainable future for us all. A future where global leaders put the health of people and planet first.
Trump may have left the Whitehouse, but Trumpism remains. It is now incumbent on all of us to work to rid those forces of division and hatred from our politics and our society wherever we find it. To inspire and create hope. But we must also see our UK Government step up, not only to help repair damage done, but to help lead us to safety.
I wish the US President and Vice President every success and look forward to keeping up with the tradition of welcoming them to Cardiff when it is safe to do so. I am excited for this next chapter in our shared history.