For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 20 world leaders have appeared directly at the UN General Assembly.
New York — Racism, the climate crisis, and the deteriorating division of the world will be central to the United Nations on Wednesday, the day after the UN Secretary issues a harsh warning that “we are on the edge of the abyss.” ..
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 20 world leaders attended the UN General Assembly directly on the first day of the annual high-level conference. The atmosphere was dark, angry, and miserable.
China’s President Xi Jinping warned that “the world has entered a new era of turmoil and change.” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said: And Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada declared:
Speakers at the opening of the nearly week-long conference on Tuesday killed nearly 4.6 million people and hampered unified global action to end the still raging COVID-19 pandemic. Condemned equality and deep division. Confront the climate crisis that threatens the earth.
COVID-19 and climate are certain to remain the most important issues for heads of state and government. But Wednesday’s UN agenda first spotlights the 20th anniversary of the controversial UN World Congress on racial discrimination in Durban, South Africa, dominated by clashes and the legacy of slavery over the Middle East. increase.
The United States and Israel have elected Israel for criticism and left during the meeting over a resolution that compared Zionism to racism. This clause was eventually withdrawn. Twenty countries boycott Wednesday’s memorial and join more countries “to continue the fight against racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism,” according to the presidential conference of major American Jewish organizations. Prompted.
Following the commemorative ceremony, the Head of State will once again begin giving an annual speech in the vast General Assembly Hall. Speakers include King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
Perhaps the most severe assessment of the current global crisis came from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who opened his state of world speech by sounding an “alarm” that “the world must wake up.”
“Our world has never been more threatened or divided,” he said. “We are facing the greatest chain of crisis in our lives.”
“We are at the edge of the abyss — and we are heading in the wrong direction,” the Secretary-General warned.
Guterres addresses COVID-19, “Climate Warning Bell … Ringing at the Pitch of Heat”, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, and the turmoil beyond hindering peace, and “the surge of distrust and false information.” He pointed out the “super-large and obvious inequality”. It polarizes people and paralyzes society. “
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the pandemic is a reminder that “the whole world is part of a large family.”
“But the solidarity test we took made us miserably fail,” he said. “It is shameful for humankind that vaccine nationalism is still practiced in different ways,” and poor people in developing countries and societies “literally left to their destiny in the face of a pandemic.” ..
Regarding the climate crisis, Erdogan said that those who have caused the most damage to nature, air and water, and “and those who have abused natural resources,” should make the greatest contribution to the fight against global warming. Stated.
“Unlike the past, climate change treats humanity quite equally, so we can’t afford the luxury of saying,’I’m strong, so I won’t pay the invoice,’” said a Turkish leader. “Our duty for all of us is to take action against this enormous threat while sharing a fair burden.”
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has discovered something positive from the COVID-19 crisis.
“The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, but it also provided us with the opportunity to learn, adapt and improve things,” he said.
Two of the most notable speeches on Tuesday were given by US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In an Associated Press interview on Saturday, Guterres warned that if China and the United States do not repair their “fully dysfunctional” relationship, the world could enter a new, perhaps more dangerous Cold War. “Unfortunately, there are only conflicts today,” he said.
The Secretary-General maintained the theme in his speech on Tuesday, stating: Geopolitical strategy. This is a recipe for trouble. “
Biden said in a UN speech that the United States was not going to be divisive or confrontational.
“We are not looking for a new Cold War or a world divided into strict blocks,” he said. “The United States is ready to step up to common challenges and work with any country seeking a peaceful solution, despite intense disagreements in other areas.”
Speaking later, Xi said that disputes between countries “need to be dealt with through dialogue and cooperation.”
“The success of one country does not have to mean the failure of another,” Xi said. “The world is big enough to accommodate the common developments and progress of all nations.”
Traditionally, the first country I spoke to was Brazil. Brazilian President Jail Bolsonaro has rejected criticism of dealing with the pandemic and has promoted recent data showing less deforestation in the Amazon. He said he was trying to counter the image of Brazil in the media, promoting Brazil as a g
reat place to invest and praising the pandemic welfare program that helped avoid the worsening recession last year.
Bolsonaro said his government had successfully distributed the initial dose to the majority of adults, but did not endorse the vaccine passport or force anyone to inject it. He said several times last week that he remained unvaccinated.
“By November, everyone who chooses to be vaccinated in Brazil will be present,” Bolsonaro told the General Assembly.
Brazilian health minister Marcelo Kiroga, who was with Bolsonaro, later tested positive for the coronavirus and remained quarantined in the United States, the government said. Quiroga got the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine in January.
Bolsonaro said he was infected with COVID-19 last year and has remained unvaccinated several times last week. He said taking a shot was a personal, medical decision.
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