THE UNITED NATIONS — The latest news on the opening day of the annual high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (all hours EDT):
The ruling Emir of Qatar has pledged before the eyes of the world at the United Nations General Assembly to welcome all World Cup fans without discrimination to the world football tournament.
Fueled by energy exports, the tiny country has spent $200 billion on World Cup-related infrastructure and projects since winning the bid to host the five-week tournament. Some $6.5 billion has been spent to build eight stadiums for the World Cup, which kicks off in November.
Qatar hopes the event will attract billions of dollars from tourism. The leaders also hope that people will get rid of any misconceptions they may have about Qatar.
Qatar is a conservative Muslim society, but will allow football fans to consume alcohol in designated areas of the tournament, beyond existing hotel bars. He also insists that gay couples will be welcome.
In his remarks to the United Nations, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thaniv quoted a verse from the Holy Quran which states that God created people as races and tribes to know each other.
Millions of South Asian migrant workers worked to build the roads, public transport system, high-rise towers and stadiums for the tournament. Some workers died. Qatar has made major reforms to its labor laws in recent years, but advocacy groups say authorities have arrested and expelled workers who protested wage delays.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has called for an end to the war on drugs, calling it “irrational”.
The leftist president who took office last month urged world leaders to “think less profit and more love”.
As a major drug-producing country, Colombia has been ravaged by drug-related violence.
Petro also proposed to the United Nations General Assembly to cancel the debt of countries in exchange for their conservation of forests.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is the conflict in the ex-Soviet sphere that has absorbed the most world attention.
But a recent outbreak on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border briefly took center stage at the United Nations on Tuesday.
Sadyr Zhaparov, the President of Kyrgyzstan, was the seventh world leader to speak on the first day of the general debate. He used his allotted time on stage to describe the territorial disputes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union. The fighting killed at least two dozen people.
The clashes began last week, with each side accusing each other while the genesis of the conflict remained unclear. Last year, at least 55 people were killed near the border following a dispute over water rights and the installation of surveillance cameras by Tajikistan.
Zhaparov identified Tajikistan as the instigator, saying his country was “deeply saddened by the unwarranted armed aggression” and willing to negotiate without giving up “one centimeter of its land”.
Tajik authorities have in turn accused Kyrgyzstan of aggression, including the destruction of a mosque and the targeting of a school. Late last week, the leaders of the two countries met at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan and agreed to work to stop the fighting.
A minister from Tajikistan will speak towards the end of the summit.
Kyrgyzstan is a close ally of Russia, which Zhaparov described as “our greatest strategic ally” during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. Zhaparov did not mention the invasion of Ukraine during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
NEW YORK – British Prime Minister Liz Truss has said she wants to work more closely with UK allies as the world enters a “more uncertain era”.
Truss, who took office just two weeks ago, is meeting other leaders including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron in New York before delivering a speech to the UN General Assembly Wednesday. The gathering was dominated by discussions of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis it has caused.
Truss said Tuesday with an increasingly aggressive Russia and assertive China: “We need to work more closely with our allies.”
But Britain’s new leader must build bridges with key allies left alienated by Britain’s handling of its departure from the European Union. Biden has expressed concern that Brexit will destabilize peace in Northern Ireland, and EU leaders are angry at the British government’s combative approach to post-Brexit trade talks.
Ukraine is the main topic of the first day of the UN General Assembly in New York.
World leaders have reacted to news that four leaders of Ukraine’s Russian-controlled regions plan to hold referendums to make the territories part of Russia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters that “fake referendums” on joining Russia in Ukrainian areas controlled by Russia were unacceptable.
Scholz told reporters in New York on Tuesday that “Ukraine has every right to defend the integrity and sovereignty of the country and its own democracy.”
Scholz’s office said he reiterated that position during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He said the results of the referendum would not be recognized.
Erdogan said Turkey would continue its efforts to end the war, to find a diplomatic solution that would allow the parties to come out of the war “in an honorable way”.
Senegalese President Macky Sall has told the UN General Assembly that Africa must play a bigger role in international decision-making.
Sall said on Tuesday that Africa has suffered enough from the burden of history and wants to be a hub of stability and opportunity. Sall, the current chairman of the African Union, has called on the continent to have a seat in the influential G20 group of nations.
In his comments to the UN, Sall also urged for a “just and equitable energy transition”, pointing out that more than 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity in a continent of 1.4 billion people. ‘inhabitants.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is seeking re-election next month, used his speech at the UN General Assembly to promote the merits of his administration.
Bolsonaro’s speech on Tuesday focused heavily on the economy, starting with the welfare package handed out to millions of Brazilians during the pandemic. The program was recently renewed until December. Bolsonaro also pointed to a drop in the unemployment rate and disinflation in Latin America’s largest country.
He also took on his main rival, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is leading all the polls to return to the presidency he held between 2003 and 2010. Bolsanaro underlined the condemnation of da Silva for money laundering and corruption.
The far-right leader also defended Brazil’s willingness to negotiate over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling for a ceasefire but waiving sanctions and economic isolation.
Bolsonaro was the first world leader to speak during the debate on the first day of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. US President Joe Biden would traditionally speak second, but his time has been pushed back to Wednesday due to the Queen of England’s funeral.