At the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly (UN) on Saturday (25/9), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was very important that Afghanistan not be used to spread terrorism globally.
He also called on world leaders to help the country’s minority groups, including women and children.
The Taliban took power in Afghanistan last August after the United States (US) decided to withdraw all its troops from the country, 20 years after the US and its allies began the war against the terrorist group al-Qaida in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“It is important to ensure that Afghan territory is not used to spread terrorism and perpetuate terrorist attacks,” Modi said.
“We must also be aware that no country should abuse the difficult situation in Afghanistan as a tool to achieve personal interests,” added Modi, clearly referring to Pakistan, which lies between Afghanistan and India.
Modi’s call to protect women in Afghanistan comes amid indications that the Taliban are restricting women’s rights since they seized the Afghan capital, Kabul despite recent statements that they are willing to relax restrictions on women and girls. Most women were barred from appearing in public under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 1996-2001.
India’s prime minister, who is competing with China for influence in Kashmir and in the Indian Ocean region, also cited the need to protect the oceans from the “race for expansion and isolation.”
Pidato PM Barbados
Other speakers at Saturday’s general assembly included leaders from Russia, Ethiopia and Haiti.
On Friday (24/9), the Prime Minister of Barbados delivered a moving speech before the general assembly. In his speech, he asked who would stand up for people around the world and take the much needed action.
“In the words of Robert Nestor Marley, who will rise and stand?” said Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to the world leaders present, quoting the famous Jamaican singer. “Who will rise up and stand up for the rights of mankind?”
He presented a long list of world challenges, including inequality in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, unemployment, transportation problems and climate change. He said that the solution to all of that was in the hands of the international community. It’s just that leaders are tired of seeing all those problems year after year without change, he added.
“If we can have the intention to send humans to the Moon and solve the problem of male pattern baldness, as I’ve said many times, we can solve simple problems like letting our people eat affordable prices and making sure we have a mode of transportation,” he said.
The number of female leaders was low this week, about a tenth of the total number of speakers. It highlights the barriers for women, both in developed and developing countries, to be able to occupy high positions in government.
The climate crisis is an urgent theme that has been repeatedly raised this week. South Sudan’s Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior said the crisis had affected the lives of some 800,000 people.
De Mabior said “heavy rains” resulted in the worst flooding in 60 years that drowned villages, towns and livestock. “Therefore, I call on the international community to help save the lives of more than 5.5 million people who need humanitarian assistance,” he added.
While much of the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on New Zealand has not been as severe as others, as its leaders have been proactive in stemming the spread of the virus.
The country has recorded just over 4,000 cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the pandemic globally. New Zealand has also been actively campaigning for a national vaccination programme.
“We have put our trust in the actions of our neighbors and foreigners – to wear masks, keep our distance, get vaccinated and support others to do the same, and we live with the consequences,” the Prime Minister said. New, Jacinda Ardern.
“It is my honor as a leader to witness the practical application of New Zealand values to this challenge.”
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, said that “the United Nations remains our best hope” in pursuing a collaborative and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
On the sidelines of the annual session, UN Secretary-General Antònio Guterres announced a new $400 Billion commitment to increase access to clean and renewable energy for the millions of people living in “energy poverty” around the world.
“Investing in clean and affordable energy for all will improve the well-being of billions of people,” said Guterres, calling it “the most important solution to preventing climate catastrophe.” [rd/ft]