UN chief opens General Assembly with call for climate and Covid-19 action

UN chief opens General Assembly with call for climate and Covid-19 action

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres kicked off the world body’s annual assembly on Tuesday with a call for tougher action on climate change and Covid-19, as world leaders prepared to head to the diplomatic gathering in New York, Trend reports citing The Nation.

The UN chief said this year’s General Assembly comes “at a moment of great challenge and division”, amid slow progress on cutting heat-trapping gas emissions and overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.

The world body's annual high-level week begins next week, when US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other statesmen are set to speak in person in Manhattan at the General Debate of the UN’s 193 members.

“As Covid-19 and climate change are proving every day, challenges and threats are borderless,” said Mr Guterres at the formal opening of the UN General Assembly — known as the UNGA — on Tuesday.

“They affect us all.”

He said vaccines and treatments for tackling Covid-19 were being hoarded by the rich and called for a faster roll-out of shots to stop a pandemic that has claimed more than 4.5 million lives globally.

The secretary general also called for big economies to raise their ambitions for cutting emissions of planet-heating gases like carbon dioxide and methane to stop rising temperatures that drive fires, floods and other disastrous weather.

“We need countries to commit and live up to bold climate targets at Cop26 in Glasgow,” he said, referring to key climate talks in the Scottish city in November.

“The war on our planet must end.”

The White House confirmed on Monday that Mr Biden would travel to UN headquarters to deliver his address to the world body in person on September 21.

The president is expected to frame US foreign policy goals following last month’s chaotic exit of American and Nato forces from Afghanistan after a 20-year deployment as the Taliban swept back to power.

Mr Biden’s speech is likely to present a contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, but US allies are wondering whether the US is a reliable global leader as China becomes richer and stronger.

A provisional list of speakers, which a UN official shared with The National, suggests Mr Biden will speak on the same morning as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Scores of world leaders are expected to visit UN headquarters throughout the week of speeches and private sit-downs despite fears that it would become a Covid-19 superspreader event.

Also coming are members of the hit seven-piece South Korean pop outfit BTS, who say they want to push the UN’s agenda for developing poor economies, reports say.

Many others will deliver speeches via pre-recorded videos. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi are understood to be sending videos for the UN to screen in its domed assembly hall.

Aside from the general debate, presidents, prime ministers and princes will take part in high-level events on energy, climate change, racism, and conflicts and tension in the Middle East and other regions.

Last year’s assembly took place mostly online due to the pandemic.

The size of each country’s delegation has been cut back this year amid fears that diplomats will spread Covid-19 while in the US. Masks are mandatory and countries have been asked to slim down their usually large entourages.

Mr Guterres, who was elected to a second five-year term in June, says he favours in-person meetings because world leaders find it easier to make compromises and cut deals when they look each other in the eye.

The UNGA opening session began on Tuesday with the election of Abdulla Shahid as president of the General Assembly, a ceremonial role.

Mr Shahid, a former foreign minister of the Maldives, said he wanted to offer “hope” in a divided world.

“In these terrible times of the pandemic, we have seen humanity at its best,” Mr Shahid said in a statement.

“We have seen that in the grave sacrifices of the front-line workers, we have seen the doctors, the nurses, the many, many ordinary individuals who have put their lives in harm’s way to help others. That is hope. That gives hope to humanity.”

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
French business activity weaker than expected in September
French business activity weaker than expected in September
Boeing lifts China jet demand estimate over two decades to $1.47 trln
Boeing lifts China jet demand estimate over two decades to $1.47 trln
Oil prices rise on tight supply, renewed risk appetite
Oil prices rise on tight supply, renewed risk appetite
Loading Bars
Azerbaijan to approve long-term strategic plan for economic dev't
French business activity weaker than expected in September
Georgia increases export of hazelnuts
Iran-Turkey Strategic Relations Committee to hold meeting in Tehran
Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy talks recent business support applications (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan plans to create 1,500 MW new generation capacity from renewables
Era Enerji applies for Turkish Energy Ministry's oil, gas exploration license
OIC-IPHRC to prepare report on human rights violations committed by Armenia during occupation of Azerbaijani lands
Iran implements plan for development of Yaran oil field
Georgia, Latvia express readiness to further deepen economic co-op
Boeing lifts China jet demand estimate over two decades to $1.47 trln
IFC eyes to help Georgia’s financial sector unlock new areas
Saudi Arabia lends support to Turkmenistan on construction of TAPI gas pipeline
Another int'l delegation visiting Baku to investigate crimes of Armenia in previously occupied Azerbaijani territories
Japanese TEPCO to implement first investment project in Georgia
US wants to be united with European allies to ensure secure gas supply - Jennifer Granholm
Iranian currency rates for September 23
Oil prices rise on tight supply, renewed risk appetite
Iran to develop Yadavaran oil field
Central Bank of Iran announces amount of currency sold at NIMA exchange rate
Iran's Razavi Khorasan Province faces decline in water resources
Azerbaijani servicemen wrap up another orienteering competition (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Turkmen Petronas Carigali announces tender for oil operations insurance
S. Korea to invest $35.8 million in hydrogen tram tech
2,693 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Georgia sees economic growth over last few years - EU
Georgia reveals number of mortgage loans issued in country
UAE economy to grow 2.1 percent this year
S.Korea's export grows 22.9 pct in 1st 20 days of September
Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes
Chip dearth forecast to have limited impact on automakers' profit
Under pressure, U.S. donates half billion more COVID-19 vaccine doses to world
Azerbaijani FM meets with Secretary General of Council of Europe
Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Poland discussed strategic partnership
Federal Reservecan't protect economy in event of U.S. default - Fed chair
US House committee recommends imposing sanctions against key Russian officials
Biden and Macron agree to meet next month in push to repair ties
Turkey reports 28,168 daily COVID-19 cases
Working group on strategic communications to be created within GUAM
Turkey sees growth in value of electrical product exports to France
Azerbaijani chess team wins 5th round of European Cup
UN chief calls for efforts to build on momentum against racism
Russia to resume flights to Djibouti, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, Peru on Oct 5
Macron to send envoy back to US, France says after Biden call
Iran, Ireland FMs discuss bilateral ties in NY
First micro-bank to appear on Georgian financial market
Standard and Sensitive Ratings Agency sees positive growth trend in Uzbek Uzmetkombinat's securities
Azerbaijan discloses top 10 importers of its oil products in 2021
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
House of Azerbaijan opens in Austrian Salzburg (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan confirms 1,356 more COVID-19 cases, 2,651 recoveries
Georgia shares data on projects implemented in country's agricultural sector
Device for increasing productivity of bee colonies successfully tested in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Bulk of loans issued in Azerbaijan fall on household sector - Central Bank
Int'l community should put pressure on Armenia to abandon revanchist approach - FM
Tbilisi sees increase in number of real estate transactions
Georgian wine company expands production
Azerbaijan's money supply in manat notably up for 8M2021
Armenia attempts to prevent progress by obstructing negotiations – Azerbaijani FM
Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers cancels distance learning requirement
Azerbaijan leads among CIS countries in terms of vaccination rates
OSCE MG co-chairs plan to meet with Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs in NY
Azerbaijan records slight decrease in mortgage lending from local banks
Kazakhstan eyes preserving co-op with EBRD on basis of renewable energies
Turkish servicemen arrive in Azerbaijan for "Indestructible Brotherhood-2021" joint exercises (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan meets significant part of Georgia's electricity needs
Kazakhstan increases exports of machine-building products
Iran increases exports to Russia
Azerbaijan and Turkey to establish joint innovation, technology centers
Iran's exports to Turkmenistan soar
Azerbaijani, Belarusian military specialists hold meeting regarding medical provisions (PHOTO)
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rising
International Bank of Azerbaijan opens tender to buy ATM cassettes
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale September 25
Turkmenistan's Turkmengaz opens tender for purchase of general equipment
Azerbaijan's Azerpambig extends tender to purchase tractor spares
Kazakhstan decreases production of some precious metals
Uzbekistan reveals number of vaccinated citizens as of September 22
Covid-19: India warns of compulsory quarantine for Brits in vaccine travel spat
India is completely 'atmanirbhar' in missile technology: DRDO chief
Iran’s KPRC to launch new plants
UNGA: EAM Jaishankar talks Afghanistan, Indo-pacific with counterparts
PM Modi congratulates Justin Trudeau on election win
Transition to net-zero can affect inflation in 3 ways
Georgia sees increase in revenues from international tourism
Turkmen president proposes to create ‘Central Asia - Caspian region’ co-op zone
Trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for 8M2021 revealed
Parliament proposes to bring back historical toponyms on Azerbaijan's liberated lands
State Customs Committee discloses TOP-5 trade partners of Azerbaijan
Norway sovereign wealth fund backs FedEx CEO pay
LUKOIL Uzbekistan extends tender for supply of catalysts
Azerbaijan's GoldenPay sees increase in turnover
Turkey share data on car transportation between Iskenderun, Saudi Arabia's Jeddah ports
Azerbaijani president to make speech via video at 76th session of UN General Assembly
Increased LNG supply competition reduces attractiveness of cross-border gas pipeline projects
Azerbaijan Investment Holding to supervise International Bank of Azerbaijan - presidential decree
Nar provides school supplies for first graders of schools in Tartar and Fizuli (PHOTO)
Tamiz Shahar OJSC transferred to management of Azerbaijan Investment Holding - presidential order
Azerbaijan Investment Holding to manage Azer-Turk Bank following presidential decree
How may non-renewal of GME transit agreement affect European gas market?
All news