UN General Assembly
UNITED NATIONS (AP) —
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that the ability of terrorism and climate change to reach across borders proves the need for leaders to respond with global solutions.
Ardern's remarks Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly gathering appeared to be an argument against the trend toward isolationism in many countries.
Ardern recounted how her own country responded to a mass shooting at mosques this year by changing gun laws and showing solidarity. But she said that she could not alone guarantee to a little boy who approached her in the wake of the tragedy that he would be safe because in a "borderless and technologically connected world," acts of hate are not "neatly confined behind boundaries."
Ardern noted that island nations in the Pacific on the front lines of climate change know that that challenge is "completely and utterly in other people's hands."
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson barely mentioned Brexit in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, but he couldn't resist a dig at his political opponents.
In an idiosyncratic address about the promise and dangers of technology, Johnson drew upon the Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and was condemned to have his liver pecked out by an eagle day after endless day.
Johnson quipped that it was a bit like Brexit, "if some of our members of Parliament have their way."
Johnson is in a standoff with British lawmakers who want to prevent him taking Britain out of the European Union at the end of October even if there is no divorce deal.
Britain's prime minister avoided addressing the troubles facing him and instead used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to warn about the perils of technology.
But he says that with the right approach, humanity can deliver itself to a brighter future.
In an oddly energetic speech Tuesday night, Boris Johnson said he was "profoundly optimistic" about technology's future — if humanity finds "the right balance between freedom and control."
But it was what he didn't say that echoed most. No mention of the court ruling that he had violated the law by closing Parliament. Only a quip about Brexit. No direct mention of the politics that some say are threatening his premiership and undermining his influence as the British leader.
Japan's prime minister wants to meet the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
Shinzo Abe says he's "determined to meet Kim Jong Un myself face to face, without attaching any conditions."
He says he wants Japan to normalize relations with North Korea "as well as settling the unfortunate past."
Japan and North Korea are uneasy neighbors. Japan colonized Korea in the years before war split it into two nations, and numerous issues from Japan's close relationship to the United States to the abductions of Japanese citizens over many years have kept relations tense.
Abe says he supports U.S. President Donald Trump's approach "by which two leaders talk candidly with each other and try to talk about the issues at hand and see a bright future ahead."
French President Emmanuel Macron says the conditions have been created for a "rapid restart of negotiations" between the United States and Iran on its nuclear program and regional security.
Macron spoke after meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Macron told reporters Tuesday night that meetings this week had laid the groundwork for the negotiations to start again. He said it would now be up to the U.S. and Iran to "seize on those conditions."
He said that a meeting in person this week between Trump and Rouhani would be both "useful and desirable." France had tried to arrange such a meeting, but one now looks less and less likely this week.
The U.S. pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year.
Poland's president is championing his country's record on combating climate change after taking heat from France, whose leader recently suggested climate activists should "go protest in Poland."
President Andrzej Duda used part of his U.N. General Assembly speech Tuesday to highlight Poland's climate plans. They include reducing carbon emissions from households and public transportation.
Duda said Poland emphasizes "a solidarity-based and just" transition to a low-carbon-emission economy, with input from "all social groups."
He didn't mention French President Emmanuel Macron's comments to reporters Sunday that heavily coal-dependent Poland was among countries blocking his efforts to get an EU commitment to reaching carbon neutrality in 2050.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski responded Monday that Poland was trying hard to cut carbon emissions and that Macron should stop "lecturing."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged President Hassan Rouhani to make "progress" in securing the release of dual nationals held in Iran.
Johnson said that previous conversations between the two leaders had been "productive but so far inconclusive and I think we still have a lot of progress to make."
Britain is trying to secure the release of U.K.-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Tehran for more than three years.
Johnson is accused by some of worsening her situation by incorrectly saying when he was Britain's foreign minister that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists.
The two leaders met after Britain, France and Germany blamed Iran for this month's attack on Saudi oil facilities.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who in the past has denounced the U.N. as weak and incompetent, is praising the United Nations "as an institution with more potential than virtually any institution I can think of."
He told world leaders "I think we've been doing a great job on the peace aspect of it."
The American president made the comments in a toast at a luncheon Tuesday hosted by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, whom he congratulated for doing an "incredible job."
Trump's comments followed his address to the annual General Assembly gathering in which he said the future belongs to "patriots" — not to "globalists," the foundation of the U.N.
Guterres made a toast to the U.N.'s hosts — the United States and New York — and to Trump, a New Yorker, saying all leaders must "create together an Earth on which we all can live in peace and in prosperity."
The leaders dined on salad, grilled Wagyu beef tenderloin and chocolate ganache mousse with wines from France and Argentina in the Delegates Lounge, facing a line of flags of the 193 U.N. member nations.
As president-elect, Trump derided the U.N. as "a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time."
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is warning of possible war between his country and India over what he called India's brutal actions in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Khan told reporters at the U.N. General Assembly in New York that the population of Kashmir has become "8 million people in an open jail."
India has placed a curfew and other restrictions on people in its part of Kashmir since downgrading the region's special semi-autonomous status on Aug. 5.
Khan says he fears there will be a massacre in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted and is urging the world to act quickly to prevent bloodshed or war.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, and each controls a portion of it.
French President Emmanuel Macron is appealing to world leaders to bring back the "courage" to make peace, especially in the Middle East.
He urged the United States, Iran and countries in the region to resume negotiations.
Macron said the target of negotiations should be that Iran never develop or acquire nuclear weapons, a solution to the conflict in Yemen, a regional security plan that includes securing navigation, and finally the lifting of economic sanctions.
He told the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting Tuesday that the recent attacks on key Saudi oil facilities risk serious conflict with regional consequences and that courage is needed to build peace.
France has blamed the attacks on Iran.
Macron disagreed with U.S. President Donald Trump's dismissal of multilateralism, saying it's possible to combine patriotism with "multilateralism based on real cooperation that strives to produce concrete results."
Qatar became the second country Tuesday to call for Sudan to be taken off the United States' list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
The remarks by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani came in a speech before world leaders gathered at the United Nations, and echoed earlier ones by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Sudan has been on the U.S. list since 1993, and Khartoum says getting off it is crucial to rebuilding the country after years of sanctions. Weeks ago, Sudan formed the first civilian-led government since the military ousted former President Omar al-Bashir in April.
"We are confident that the Sudanese people are capable of moving beyond this sensitive transitional phase," al-Thani said.
The Obama administration began a process to take Sudan off the list. The procedure was put on hold when mass protests erupted in December against longtime al-Bashir.
South Korea's president is calling for economic engagement with rival North Korea in return for progress on nuclear disarmament.
Moon Jae-in, who favors reaching out to the North, also told leaders Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly that his nation "will guarantee the security of North Korea. I hope North Korea will do the same for South Korea."
Moon says that mutual security assurances would then allow faster nuclear disarmament and peace on the Korean Peninsula, which is still technically in a state of war.
He called for an "international peace zone" between the divided Koreas with U.N. offices and other international groups stationed there.
Despite a string of summits between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim, there's a lingering standoff on how to get the North to abandon its nuclear and missile program.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to amplify a call to get neighboring Sudan off the United States' list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism.
El-Sissi told world leaders Tuesday that taking Sudan off the list would help the country tackle economic problems and reclaim what he called "the place it deserves among the international family."
Sudan has been on the U.S. list since 1993. Khartoum says getting off it is crucial to rebuilding the country after years of sanctions.
The Obama administration began a process to take Sudan off the list. The procedure was put on hold when mass protests erupted in December against longtime President Omar al-Bashir. The military ousted him in April.
New Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok recently said he'd discussed the issue with the Trump administration.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his speech before world leaders at the United Nations to remind them of the humanitarian cost of Syria's civil war.
The world must "never forget" the world's "baby Aylans," Erdogan said as he held up the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who died in 2015 while trying to reach Turkey's shores.
The image of the child's lifeless body prompted outrage and drew the world's attention to the plight of refugees.
Erdogan called for an end to the nearly nine-year-old civil war and said that many of the 3.6 million asylum seekers residing in Turkey are Syrian. The number of Syrian children born in Turkey has reached half-a-million.
He also used his speech to remind the world about the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul last year.
President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a crowd of several hundred protesters outside the United Nations that he supports regime change in Iran.
"I am speaking in my individual capacity. I am for regime change. Down with the tyrants in Iran. Down with the ayatollah and the mullahs and all the crooks," he told the crowd, referring to Iran's clerical leadership.
The rally on Tuesday, organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities, took place a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is set to deliver his remarks before the U.N. General Assembly.
It's one of several high-profile anti-Iranian government events taking place on the sidelines of the U.N. gathering this week.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is dismissing what he says are media lies about fires in the Amazon and says the rain forest is not being devastated.
Bolsonaro told a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations Tuesday that many fires occur naturally in the forest during dry weather, though he did also acknowledge some are intentionally set.
Satellite data from the Brazilian Space Agency has shown a sharp increase in deforestation and forest fires in the past year. In August, the agency issued an alert that fires in the Amazon had increased 84% in the first seven months of this year, compared with the same period in 2018.
Reports of the fires drew widespread attention — and condemnation of the Bolsonaro administration's policies on the environment.
Bolsonaro said: "The Amazon is not being devastated nor is it being consumed by fire as the media misleadingly says."
The U.N. General Assembly president is telling world leaders they must prioritize taking action "for poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion."
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande told the annual U.N. gathering on Tuesday that achieving the goals requires cooperation in financing and in sharing experience.
"Without doubt, the challenges posed by health pandemics, terrorism, displacement, climate change, as well as illiteracy and poverty will not be resolved by individual countries as they all require focused cooperation to stem," he said.
The former Nigerian ambassador said "poverty and food shortages around the world have been exacerbated by climate change," warning that the repercussions of not tackling climate change endangers the future of the world.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning global leaders of the looming risk of the world splitting in two with the two largest economies, the United States and China, creating rival internets, currencies, financial rules "and their own zero sum geopolitical and military strategies."
The U.N. chief said in his "state of the world address" Tuesday to the General Assembly's annual gathering of heads of state and government that the risk "may not yet be large, but it is real."
He said "we must do everything possible to avert the Great Fracture" and maintain a universal economy in a multipolar world.
Guterres painted a grim picture of a deeply divided and anxious planet facing a climate crisis, "the alarming possibility" of a Gulf conflict, spreading terrorism spreading and rising inequality.
World leaders are convening at the annual U.N. General Assembly. They're grappling with climate change, regional conflicts and a potential dispute in the Middle East that could impact the entire planet.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will open the proceedings. He'll be followed immediately by the traditional first speaker — Brazil, represented by its new president, Jair Bolsonaro — and the United States, represented by President Donald Trump.
The United Nations was designed to promote a multilateral world. But it has struggled in the face of increasing unilateralism by nations that favor going it alone.
The event unfolds against the backdrop of flaring tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis say Iran was responsible for an attack earlier this month on two oil facilities, which Iran denies.
The Iran protests item was amended to correct that the rally was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities.