Leaders to UN: If virus doesn't kill us, climate change will
In a year of cataclysm, some world leaders at September 2020's annual United Nations meeting are taking the long view, warning: If COVID-19 doesn't kill us, climate change will. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)JOHANNESBURG – In a year of cataclysm, some world leaders at this week’s annual United Nations meeting are taking the long view, warning: If COVID-19 doesn't kill us, climate change will. Meanwhile, the U.N. global climate summit has been postponed to late 2021. That hasn’t stopped countries, from slowly sinking island nations to parched African ones, from speaking out. World powers cannot shirk their financial commitments to fighting climate change during the pandemic, Remengesau said, even as economies are battered.
'Are people to be left to die?' Vaccine pleas fill UN summit
Many world leaders at this week's virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. Many world leaders at this week’s virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. “Are people to be left to die?” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, a COVID-19 survivor, said of the uncertain way forward. This week's speeches make clear that such questions have existential meaning. But whether this week’s impassioned speeches at the U.N. will make any difference, Madhi said, is still “difficult to tell."
World leaders criticize haphazard response to pandemic
Member state flags fly outside the United Nations headquarters during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. This year's annual gathering of world leaders at U.N. headquarters will be almost entirely "virtual." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)TANZANIA – World leaders gathering remotely Wednesday criticized a haphazard global response to a microscopic virus that has unleashed economic havoc and taken nearly 1 million lives in its march across the globe. In the words of Kazakhstan’s president, it was “a critical collapse of global cooperation.”“Our world has been turned upside down,” said Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo. Switzerland's President Simonetta Sommaruga, one of the few women leaders to speak, said the pandemic “has caused untold suffering in the world," with the most vulnerable hit hardest.
At UN, island nation of Palau speaks to interconnected world
(UNTV via AP)TANZANIA – As one of the smallest countries on earth, the Pacific island nation of Palau doesn't always get to command the world's attention. He also pressed environmental issues and made the point that no nation is an island unto itself in the international system, especially during a pandemic. While Palau has been free of the virus, “we are certainly not free of the consequences of this pandemic,” Remengesau said by video at a global gathering gone virtual because of the scourge. Palau, like the U.S., is one of only 15 states with official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory. Palau also recently made almost all its coastal waters a marine sanctuary, where no fishing or mining is allowed.