USA

Nations focus on conflict, new and old concerns at UN


At the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, leaders from around the world continued to call for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and many condemned President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons.

“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine – a scourge that reflects a brutal mentality of conquest and empire,” said Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of the small island nation of Fiji. “No matter how powerful, no matter how small, Fiji is not afraid to doom a nation at war.”

“We in the Pacific who have experienced the horror of the nuclear fallout totally denounce the threat of Mr. Putin’s use of nuclear weapons,” he added.

“What country that claims to be a liberator is threatening to annihilate the very civilians it claims to liberate?” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden asked about Putin’s nuclear weapons threats. “This war is based on a lie.”

The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean, said the war in Ukraine has not only unleashed death and horrors, but plunged the world into economic, food and energy crises.

Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip Joseph Pierre addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2022, at UN headquarters.

“The world could have been spared this humanitarian and economic agony, if once again countries and their leaders had respected and adhered to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” said Philip Pierre.

Russia will have the opportunity to address the international community on Saturday, when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov takes the podium.

During a meeting on the situation in Ukraine on Thursday at the UN Security Council, Lavrov did not address Putin’s military mobilization or nuclear threats. Regarding the referendums which began on Friday in the occupied regions of Ukraine, he said they were the consequence of “Russian-phobic” statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who he said told people who feel Russians to go to Russia.

Climate threat

Several small island nations have spoken of another war – against climate change.

“Climate change is an existential threat to people and our desire for international peace and security,” Tonga Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku said.

He said it should be on the agenda of the UN Security Council – something Russia’s permanent member vetoed last December.

Tonga's Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku arrives to address the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters, September 23, 2022.

Tonga’s Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku arrives to address the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters, September 23, 2022.

“It threatens our territorial integrity, our lands, our water, our health, our infrastructure, our food security, our biological diversity, our livelihoods and our ecosystems,” he said.

“This is a war we are losing in every community, city and country of every size,” said Bainimarama of Fiji. “But the small states, the least accountable, stand to lose the most. Yet we are not heard.

Pakistan, which is recovering from catastrophic monsoon floods that submerged a third of the country, has warned of the impact of global warming.

“Life in Pakistan has changed forever,” said Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

“When global warming is tearing apart entire families and an entire country at such ferocious speed, it’s time to ask why, and to ask not what can be done, but what needs to be done,” he said. he declares.

Asian tensions

The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, whose country signed a security pact with China in May, has complained of being “vilified” for it.

“This decision was taken through democratic processes by a democratically elected government,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said.

Relations between the Solomon Islands and the United States cooled after it signed the pact with Beijing and informed Washington in late August that it imposed a moratorium on all navy ships passing through its ports. Washington has expressed concerns that China may deploy military forces to the islands.

FILE - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, October 9, 2019.

FILE – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, October 9, 2019.

Sogavare told the General Assembly that his country had a foreign policy of “friends of all and enemies of no one” and would not be “forced” to choose sides.

He urged all countries to be “sensitive and not to inflame tensions” over the Taiwan Strait.

“Any miscalculation could threaten international peace and security and could have disastrous consequences for world trade,” he said.

Foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific quad – Japan, Australia, India and the United States – met on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Friday. They said in a joint statement that they “strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo” in the region.

Protracted conflict

The assembly also heard Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The 87-year-old leader spoke for nearly 50 minutes, expressing frustration over his people’s struggles with the Israelis and decades of failure to find a two-state solution.

“Where can we build our independent state that will live in peace with its neighbors? Abbas asked. “We want to live in peace with them! With Israel. Where will we establish our independent state to live in peace with them?

He said the contiguous Palestinian land on which to build this state was disappearing as Israeli settlements grew.

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022.

FILE – Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022.

Israel’s prime minister addressed the assembly the day before.

“Despite all the obstacles, even today a large majority of Israelis support the vision of this two-state solution. I am one of them,” Yair Lapid said.

It is the first time since becoming Prime Minister that he publicly supports a two-state solution.

His only condition, he said, is that there must be clear security guarantees for Israel.

“We have only one condition: that a future Palestinian state be peaceful,” he said on Thursday.

The annual General Assembly debate continues with Australia, China, Egypt and Ethiopia among the countries that will take the podium.

USA voanews

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button