US President Joe Biden signs order to return US to Paris Agreement, WHO, ends Muslim travel ban

The new US President has halted the construction of Trump's border wall with Mexico by terminating the administration's national emergency declaration that helped fund the building of the wall. 

Created On: Jan 21, 2021 13:20 ISTModified On: Jan 21, 2021 13:20 IST
President Biden signs Executive Order

Newly sworn-in US President Joe Biden signed almost 15 executive orders from the Oval Office on the first day of his administration to undo his predecessor Donald Trump's key policies over the last four years. 

Within hours of taking the oath of office, President Biden recommitted the US to battling the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and climate crisis. He said that the executive actions will help change the course of the COVID crisis, combat climate change in a way they had not done before, advance racial equity in support of underserved communities and rebuild economies.

He said that there is no time to start but today and added that there is a long way to go, as these are just executive actions and they will need legislations for a lot of things they are planning to do. 

President Joe Biden reverses Trump's policies: Key Highlights

• The first executive order signed by President Joe Biden was on COVID-19, aimed at boosting the federal response to the coronavirus crisis. The order mandates masks to be worn and social distancing be kept on Federal property.

• The second-order signed by President Biden commits support to underserved communities.

• The third order recommits the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, from which former President Trump had formally withdrawn the US in 2020. 

• The new President also halted US withdrawal from the World Health Organisation and recommitted to fight alongside the international body. 

• President Biden also ended Trump's Muslim travel ban, which blocked travel to the US from several predominantly Muslim and African countries.

• He also halted the construction of Trump's border wall with Mexico by terminating the administration's national emergency declaration that helped fund the building of the wall. 

• He also revoked the presidential permit that was granted to the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Several environmentalists had been protesting against the project since over a decade.

• Biden has also signed an order to strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. 

• He has also signed an executive order, revoking the Trump administration's plan to exclude non-citizens from the census count. 

• He has also revoked a Trump executive order that demanded aggressive action to find and deport unauthorised immigrants.

US to rejoin 2015 Paris Climate Agreement

• As the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden signed an executive order on January 20, 2021 to rejoin the Paris accord. 

• The order read, "I, Joseph R Biden Jr, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the Paris Agreement, done at Paris on December 12, 2015, do hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America." read the order.

• President Biden said that "we are going to combat climate change in a way we have not done so far." 

• The signing of the executive order means that the US will be a member of the accord in 30 days. 

• The new president has ordered federal agencies to begin reviewing and reinstating over 100 environmental regulations, which were revoked by former president Donald Trump. 

• Former President Trump had withdrawn the US from the Paris climate agreement in 2017. 

• The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius, and preferably limit it to 1.5° Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. 

• It was adopted by 196 countries at Conference of the Parties COP 21 in Paris in December 2015 and signed on April 22, 2016.

US to rejoin WHO 

• President Joe Biden informed United Nations Director-General Antonio Guterres on January 20, 2021 about the US' decision to re-join the World Health Organisation, undoing the former President's plan to withdraw the US from the body. 

• President Biden said that the United States intends to remain a member of the World Health Organization and will be a part of WHO's fight against the coronavirus.

• He added saying that WHO plays a crucial role in the world's fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security and that the US will continue to be a full participant and a global leader in confronting such threats and advancing global health and health security.

• Former President Donald Trump had pulled out the US from the WHO  in July 2020 after criticising its handling of COVID-19 and accusing the body of covering up the outbreak, which emerged in China in 2019. 

• The US had also backed out of a joint global effort led by the WHO to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine to cure coronavirus. The decision would have come into effect from July 6, 2021 but now will stand revoked. 

Biden ends Trump's Muslim travel ban

• President Joe Biden also ended his predecessor's 'Muslim travel ban', which blocked travel to the US from several Muslim-majority nations. 

• He has directed the state department to restart the visa process for individuals from affected countries and come up with ways to address the harm caused to those who were stopped from coming to the US due to the ban. 

• The Muslim travel ban was implemented during Trump's first week in office in 2017 and it restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

• Though had faced several legal challenges, the US Supreme Court had upheld the final version of the measure in 2018.

• Till recently, the ban restricted citizens from 12 nations - Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Somalia, Tanzania, North Korea and Sudan from obtaining US visas. 


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