UNITED NATIONS, United States, September 22 ------ World leaders called for solidarity to tackle global challenges in their speeches to the General Debate of the UN General Assembly.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that threats to freedom and peace must be overcome through solidarity and fearless commitment to the framework of universal global norms consolidated over the years within the UN system. The theme of this year’s General Debate, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” encapsulates the gravity of the global crisis, which underscores the solemn role of the United Nations, he said. “The first step in our journey to seek answers that will help us through these turbulent times begins with solidarity and deference to the universally accepted global norms, as well as the UN system established over the past decades,” said Yoon. To tackle the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations must play a central role in bringing the community of nations together to decisively step up their support for countries with limited fiscal space and technical expertise.
In pursuit of the global agenda for decarbonization, countries with leading green technologies must work to share new and renewable energy technologies with other countries. In the era of digital sophistication, one of the most urgent tasks for the global community and the United Nations is promoting global cooperation to narrow the digital divide which exacerbates polarization between nations. “As we seek answers to the global crisis we are faced with, the viability of the UN system and the universal global norms architecture is under test,” he warned. “Any attempt to turn away from the UN system and universal norms will divide the global community into blocs, further compounding the crisis and turmoil.” The international community must vigorously endeavor to share responsibility and join forces, whenever necessary, to resolve the challenges it faces, he said. “Once again, I call upon global citizens and leaders of the world for their resolute and enduring support for the UN system and universal global norms as we seek answers in this watershed moment.”
Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos said climate change is the greatest threat affecting nations and peoples. There is no other problem so global in nature that requires a united effort led by the United Nations. The effects of climate change are uneven and reflect a historical injustice: those who are least responsible suffer the most. This injustice must be corrected, and those who need to do more must act now. “We call on industrialized countries to immediately fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, provide climate financing and technology transfer for adaptation for the most vulnerable and developing countries, to lead by example,” he said. Widening geopolitical polarities and sharpening strategic competition are transforming the international political landscape, said Marcos.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said one of the biggest lessons learned in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was the importance of international solidarity in solving global problems. In the 21st century, when material and technological means have reached the highest level, it is impossible to explain why one-fifth of the world’s population is still suffering from hunger and poverty, he said. The only way to shed a light of hope on this grim picture humanity is facing is to strengthen international cooperation and solidarity through a fair and just approach, he said. Türkiye will continue to increase its efforts to end the conflict in Ukraine, he said. “We need a dignified way out of this crisis. And that can only be possible through a diplomatic solution, which is rational, fair and applicable.”
In his speech, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called for an end to the Ukraine conflict through negotiation and dialogue. “We advocate an immediate cease-fire, the protection of civilians and noncombatants, the preservation of critical infrastructure to assist the population and the maintenance of all channels of dialogue between the parties in conflict. These are the first steps toward achieving a solution that is long-lasting and sustainable,” he said. Brazil supports all efforts to reduce the economic impacts of this crisis. But it does not believe that the best way is to adopt unilateral and selective sanctions that are inconsistent with international law. These measures have harmed economic recovery and threatened the human rights of vulnerable populations, including in European countries, he said.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, said his country is fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its international and global dimensions. Yet his country calls for an immediate cease-fire, as the conflict will have to stop anyway. Perpetuating the crisis will only increase the number of casualties, he warned.
Wavel Ramkalawan, president of Seychelles, said his country’s stance on the peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy is universally recognized. Seychelles strongly supports the call of the chair of the African Union and the chairperson of the African Union Commission urging the parties concerned to establish an immediate cease-fire and to resume negotiations in order to preserve the world from the consequences of planetary conflict and to find a permanent and mutually acceptable solution to the Ukraine conflict, he said.