Racism, climate and division are UN top priorities when leaders meet

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cameroon Racism, the climate crisis and the deteriorating division of the world will be central to the UN on Wednesday, the day the UN secretary issued a stern warning that “we are at 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 pathetic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that “the world has entered a new era of turmoil and change.” Finnish President Souli Niinisto said: and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada announced:

Speakers at the opening of the nearly week-long conference on Tuesday hampered unified global action to end the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic that has killed nearly 4.6 million people. Condemned equality and deep division. Face the climate crisis that threatens the earth.


COVID-19 and the climate will certainly remain the most pressing issues for heads of state and heads of government. But Wednesday’s UN agenda first highlights the 20th anniversary of the controversial UN World Congress on Racial Discrimination in Durban, South Africa, which has been dominated by conflict and the legacy of slavery in the Middle East. Growth.

The United States and Israel have singled out Israel for criticism and skipped over a resolution during the meeting comparing Zionism to racism. This section was eventually withdrawn. Twenty countries boycotted Wednesday’s memorial and joined more to “continue the fight against racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism,” according to the presidential convention of major American Jewish organizations. indicated.

Following the memorial ceremony, the Head of State will once again begin delivering the annual speech in the spacious General Assembly Hall. Speakers include Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.


Perhaps the most serious assessment of the current global crisis came from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who opened his position of the world speech to the sound of “alarm” that “the world must wake up.”

“Our world has never been more threatened or divided,” he said. “We are facing the biggest series of crises in our lives.”

“We are at the edge of the abyss – and we are heading in the wrong direction,” warned the Secretary-General.

Guterres addressed COVID-19 as “climate warning bells … ringing on the pitch of summer”, unrest in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, and beyond, and “a surge of mistrust and false information.” He pointed to the “super-large and obvious disparity”. It polarizes people and cripples the society. “

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the pandemic was a reminder that “the whole world is part of one big family.”

“But the test of solidarity we took failed us miserably,” he said. “It is a disgrace to mankind that vaccine nationalism is still practiced in different ways,” and that poor people in developing countries and societies were “literally left to their fate in the face of a pandemic.” ..


Regarding the climate crisis, Erdogan said those who have caused the most damage to nature, air and water, and “and those who have misused natural resources,” should make the greatest contribution to the fight against global warming. where did it go.

“Unlike in the past, climate change treats humanity equally, so we can’t afford the luxury of saying, ‘I’m strong, so I won’t pay the invoice,'” said one Turkish leader. “It is our duty to all of us to act against this huge menace while sharing the proper burden.”

Romanian President Klaus Iohannes has discovered something positive from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, but it has also provided us with an opportunity to learn, adapt and improve things,” he said.

The two most notable speeches on Tuesday were delivered by US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In an Associated Press interview on Saturday, Guterres warned that the world could enter a new, perhaps more dangerous Cold War if China and the United States do not repair their “utterly bad” relationship. “Unfortunately, today there are only conflicts,” he said.


The Secretary-General maintained this theme in his speech on Tuesday, saying: Geopolitical strategy. This is a recipe for trouble. “

Biden said in a UN speech that the United States is not going to be divisive or confrontational.

“We are not looking for a new Cold War or a world divided into tough blocs,” he said. “The United States stands ready to take steps to address common challenges and work with any country seeking a peaceful solution despite intense disagreements in other areas.”

Speaking later, Xi said disputes between the countries “need to be settled through dialogue and cooperation.”

“The success of one country does not mean the failure of another country,” Xi said. “The world is big enough to accommodate the common development and progress of all countries.”


Traditionally, the first country I spoke to was Brazil. Brazilian President Jaile Bolsonaro has dismissed criticism of his handling of the pandemic and promoted recent data showing less deforestation in the Amazon. He said he was trying to counter Brazil’s image in the media, promoting Brazil as a great place to invest and praising the pandemic welfare program that helped avoid a worsening recession last year. had helped.

Bolsonaro said his government has successfully distributed the initial dose to most adults, but has not endorsed the vaccine or forced anyone to inject it. He said several times last week that he remained without vaccination.

“By November, anyone who chooses to be vaccinated in Brazil will be present,” Bolsonaro told the General Assembly.

The government said Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Kiroga, who accompanied Bolsonaro, later tested positive for the coronavirus and remained in the United States. Quiroga received its first shot of the coronavirus vaccine in January.


Bolsonaro said he was infected with COVID-19 last year and had not been vaccinated several times last week. He said getting the shot was a personal, medical decision.

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