NEW YORK: Countries around the world virtually came together to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations amid unprecedented times.
Some 170 heads of state and government are making video statements during the week-long meeting of the General Assembly.
Speaking virtually to the world leaders, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says countries must do everything to avoid a new Cold War. He said the world needs a global ceasefire to stop all conflicts by the end of 2020 so that they can fight the pandemic. He said they are moving in a very dangerous direction.
The U-N chief said the world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture. He said a technological and economic divide risks inevitably which is turning into a geostrategic and military divide, and we must avoid these at all costs.
He said they have seen when countries go in their own direction, the virus goes in every direction. The U.N. chief said they must act in solidarity.
Addressing the general debate, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions regarding the pandemic. He said the Chinese government and the World Health Organization falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
Trump said they will distribute a vaccine and will defeat the virus. He said we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation and peace as we pursue this bright future.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan proposed a regional conference to address tensions over maritime boundaries. He said issues like Iran’s nuclear programme would be resolved under the international law through dialogue and diplomacy.
Erdogan said Turkey’s primary preference was to solve disagreements justly and in an appropriate way through negotiations but futile attempts to exclude Turkey from plans in the eastern Mediterranean could not succeed.
Speaking to the session, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that Beijing will continue to share anti-epidemic experience with other countries and actively participate in the relevant international scientific research to trace the origin of the Covid-19 and ways of its transmission.
Xi said countries around the world should put the people and their lives first. He said we will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialog.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said the World Health Organization should be strengthened to coordinate the global response to the coronavirus pandemic and proposed a high-level conference on vaccine cooperation.
He said they are ready to share experience and continue cooperating with all states and international entities.