Racism, climate change and worsening divisions among nations and cultures top UN's agenda

Racism, climate change and worsening divisions among nations and cultures topped the agenda Wednesday as leaders from China to Costa Rica, from Finland to Turkey to the United Nations itself outlined reasons why the world isn’t working as it should — and what must be done quickly to fix it. Said one country’s president: “The future is raising its voice at us,” the Associated Press reported.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year, more than two dozen world leaders appeared in person at the U.N. General Assembly on the opening day of their annual high-level meeting Tuesday. In speech after speech, the atmosphere was somber, angry and dire.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that “the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation.” Finland President Sauli Niinistö said: “We are indeed at a critical juncture.” And Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada declared: “The future is raising its voice at us: Less military weaponry, more investment in peace!”

Speaker after speaker at Tuesday’s opening of the nearly week-long meeting decried the inequalities and deep divisions that have prevented united global action to end the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed nearly 4.6 million lives and is still raging, and the failure to sufficiently tackle the climate crisis threatening the planet.

© Copyright LaPresse