As is tradition, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, was the first country President to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly’s debate.
Lula noted in his address that Brazil is returning to democracy and the international fold after the departure of predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.
“If today I returned in the honourable capacity as President of Brazil, it is thanks to the victory won by democracy in my country,” he said.
“Democracy ensured that we overcame hate, misinformation and oppression,” he added.
Lula disclosed that Brazil is the forefront of the energy transition, and that 87% of the country’s electrical power comes from clean and renewable sources.
He iterated that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been reduced by 48%, adding that there are 50 million South Americans living in the Amazon.
“The whole world has always talked about the Amazon – now the Amazon is speaking for itself,” Lula remarked.
In addition, Lula opined that the war in Ukraine “exposes our collective inability” to enforce the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
“We do not underestimate the difficulties in achieving peace, but no solution will be lasting if it is not based on dialogue. I have reiterated that work needs to be done to create space for negotiations.”Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
As the host country, U.S President Joe Biden spoke after Lula.
Biden emphasized that the U.S seeks “a more secure, more prosperous and equitable world for all people” because its future is bound with the rest of the world.
“No country can meet the challenges of today alone,” he said.
Also, Biden expressed support for the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as they push against recent coups in Niger and Gabon.
“We will not retreat from the values that make us strong. We will defend democracy, our best tool to meet the challenge that we face around the world,” he said.
Furthermore, Biden mentioned the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The U.S President stated, “Russia alone stands in the way of peace because Russia’s price for peace is Ukraine’s capitulation, Ukraine’s territory. Russia will grow weary, allowed to brutalize Ukraine without consequence.”
“But ask you this: if we abandon the core principles of United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that there are protected if you allow Ukraine to be carved up? Is the independence of any nation secure?
“I’d respectfully suggest the answer is: no.”Joe Biden
Biden also renewed Washington’s commitment to support Kyiv against the Russian invasion.
For the first time in years, Biden is the only leader of the UN security council’s five permanent members to attend the UN general assembly this week.
The leaders of China, Russia, India, France, and the UK have all decided to skip the gathering.
Colombian President Urges International leaders To Focus On Other Wars Too
After Biden, Colombian President Gustavo Petro Urrego mounted the podium.
Petro pointed out that world powers are focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine while ignoring international law violations by Israel against the Palestinians.
“What is the difference between Ukraine and Palestine? I ask. Is it not time to bring an end to both wars, and other wars too, and make the most of the short time we have to build paths to save life on the planet.”Gustavo Petro Urrego
The Colombian President called for two peace conferences to end the both conflicts.
After the Colombian President was King Abdullah II of Jordan.
He stated amongst other things that the Middle East will continue to suffer until the world helps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Polish President Andrzej Duda was next to address the group. He also called for an end to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“This brutal, brutal war must end, and not be converted into a frozen war. This can only be done by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.”Andrzej Duda
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel followed after Duda and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan followed suit.
The respective leaders of Portugal, Qatar, South Africa and Turkmenistan will deliver the speeches before it gets to President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s turn.