Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

United Nations, September 21 (EFE).- The global consequences of the war in Ukraine marked the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

Many leaders have warned of deepening international divisions, economic crises and hunger, exacerbated by Russia’s aggression.

The call for peace came on the first day of the UN’s grand annual meeting, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French Emmanuel Macron played special roles.

Both, though from quite different positions, have become the two main channels of open communication with Moscow and Kiev and have devoted a good portion of their discourse to the conflict.

Erdogan announced that he was going to redouble his efforts to end the war “based on the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine” and called on the entire international community to support these efforts.

Meanwhile, Macron said peace is “only possible” if Kiev “sovereignly” wants it and Russia accepts “in full confidence” that Ukraine’s sovereignty will be “respected, its territory liberated and its security secured.”

French President Emmanuel Macron during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. EFE/EPA/Peter Foley

The French head of state used his speech to ask countries outside the war for a clear position, so as not to be Moscow’s “accomplices” in the attack.

Scholz asked Ukraine for support

Hours later, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, was in charge of warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will only abandon his war and his imperial ambitions if he sees that he cannot win”, which he called for. Support Ukraine in every way.

“President Putin is waging war with only one goal: to occupy Ukraine. Self-determination and political freedom do not count for him. There is only one word for this. It is imperialism plain and simple.

In his first speech before the UN General Assembly, the German leader stressed that “the return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe” but also for the entire peaceful global order.

For this reason, he emphasized that one cannot be “indifferent” to this war and the way it ends, and stressed that Ukraine must be able to defend itself.

In his speech, Scholz also addressed other issues such as the climate crisis and reform of the UN Security Council, where he said Germany was willing to “take on more responsibility” as a permanent member if these changes were agreed.

Strong speech of the Secretary General

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, opened the annual meeting of leaders at the General Assembly with a stark warning about the state of a world that is increasingly fractured, unequal and unable to solve the great problems that affect everyone.

“We have a global winter of discontent on the horizon. There is a severe crisis of livelihood. Confidence is breaking. Inequality is exploding. Our planet is burning. “People are suffering and the most vulnerable are the most.”

The UN chief stressed that great global challenges cannot be solved alone or by coalitions of nations, but a grand “world coalition” is needed.

Ukraine, in focus of the United Nations

About the war in UkraineGuterres alleged that the Russian aggression has wreaked “massive devastation with widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” claiming thousands of lives, displacing millions and affecting billions around the world.

In addition, he recalls that the conflict is deepening international fractures and today there is a “huge danger to world peace and security” and “the rattle of the nuclear saber” that only increases instability.

There is also an economic crisis

Guterres also addressed the impact of the economic crisis and hyperinflation, especially on the most vulnerable countries.

“Some 94 countries – home to 1.6 billion people, mostly in Africa – are facing a perfect storm: economic and social fallout from the pandemic, rising food and energy prices, a crippling debt burden, a skyrocketing inflation and lack of access to finance,” she said.

In response, he called on the G20 – the group that brings together the most powerful economies – for a major stimulus package to address the crisis and rescue the Sustainable Development Goals.

Web version: Mar Monreal

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