The high-level debate at the 78th United Nations General Assembly began yesterday with great media anticipation and a first day full of important speeches. Traditionally, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was the first to open the debate. His stance on the invasion of Ukraine was very controversial and he was accused of being too lenient towards Russia. Perhaps that is why he did not want to get too “wet” when it comes to condemning the war. And sitting in front of him, very attentive and with a serious expression, was the Ukrainian head of state himself, Volodymyr Zelensky, who intervened in the debate for the first time since the beginning of the war in his country.
At the beginning of his speech, the Brazilian president, who recently came to power, recalled his first appearance on the same podium 20 years ago, when he said that “his words should serve to develop common ways of living together.” A multilateralism that is now more necessary than ever to end “inequalities,” despite the “lack of political will on the part of those who lead the world to end them.” For Lula, “Inequality is the source of all threats facing humanity”, from climate change to famine, which was also “the central theme of my speech two decades ago.” The President recalled that “hunger today affects 735 million people who go to sleep tonight not knowing whether they will have something to eat tomorrow”.
The Brazilian head of state, who is planning a meeting with Zelensky on the sidelines of the big debate, recalled that “we have reached half of the 2030 Agenda without having achieved even half of the set goals,” and “voluntarily” added a new one Add: Reduce food poverty. He called it Brazil’s Zero Hunger Plan. He also spoke of his country’s great commitment to climate change, to which the President of the United States, Joe Biden, also dedicated a few words, who did not hesitate to repeat that “this meeting will be overshadowed for another year” war in Ukraine,” of this “Only Russia is responsible”. “Russia has the ability to end this war immediately,” the American president announced, criticizing the “price” that Moscow has set for ending the conflict, which is “the surrender of Ukraine, the territory of Ukraine and the children of Ukraine “provides. .
“Russia believes the world will grow tired and allow Ukraine to be mistreated without consequences,” Biden said.
“Unity can prevent wars,” Zelensky began his long-awaited speech. “Many seats” in the hall will be empty in the future if Russia emerges from the war as the victor, because wherever the “aggressor” state passes, it leaves behind “dust, ashes and ruin.” The Ukrainian president announced that he would present to the UN Security Council today a maximalist peace plan designed to end not only the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but all wars. “It’s not all about Ukraine,” he emphasized.
“For the first time we have the opportunity to end a war on the conditions of the attacked nation,” the President of Ukraine added. In this sense, Zelensky said that Kiev was preparing a global peace summit to which it had invited “all those who are not ready to tolerate Russia’s aggression.”
The Ukrainian leader said he was “aware of attempts to reach shady (peace) agreements behind the scenes.” He did not name names or elaborate on his suspicions, but insisted that “you can’t blame the devil.” can trust.”
As world leaders put the world to order behind closed doors, several Iranian protesters gathered near the United Nations headquarters in New York, many of them carrying their country’s flag, and various demands were made: “What do we want?” A regime change in Iran. They waited patiently in the late afternoon when it was their turn to speak. Ebrahim Raisiwho had carried out a prisoner exchange with Washington just 24 hours earlier.
Their screams joined protests against climate change, which was the central theme of that first day and is expected to remain so for the rest of the days. The Colombian leader, Gustavo Petro, who was the third speaker this year, said that “the climate crisis has shown its teeth, costing thousands of lives and warming the land and seas,” referring to the “chimneys of the north,” which are The blame for the terrible weather events facing the world has been questioned. This first day collected the words of some of the leaders most interested in the international framework. Participants also had the opportunity to listen to the Cuban leader, Miguel Diaz Canel who assured that he “will continue to strengthen democracy and its socialist model”. “We will never give up the right to defend ourselves.” After Lula had criticized the US blockade of Cuba minutes earlier, the Cuban head of state again questioned the blockade policy on the island. He assured that “there is not a single measure or action by Cuba that could harm the United States, its commercial activity or its social fabric.”