The first day of the UN General Assembly has concluded, featuring a total of 37 speeches that collectively lasted for nearly 13 hours. The General Debate is scheduled to continue until September 26th.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned of “phony solutions” in the search for peace in Ukraine during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
“For peace without freedom is called oppression. Peace without justice is called dictatorship. Moscow must finally understand that,” Scholz said, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war.
Ukrainians were “fighting for their lives and their freedom for the independence and territorial integrity of their country, for the preservation of the very principles to which we all committed ourselves in the UN Charter,” Scholz said.
“And it is Russia’s president who can end it (the war) at any time with a single order,” he added.
Scholz backed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ comments about the need for reform of the UN Security Council.
Scholz said the UN must “reflect the reality of a multipolar world” and that has not been the case so far. “Nowhere is this more obvious than in the composition of the Security Council.”
The German leader said that human-induced climate change was the greatest global challenge of our times. He added Germany was fulfilling its pledges on international climate financing.
“From €2 billion in 2014 to €4 billion in 2020, we tripled our contribution last year to €6 billion. This means we are keeping our word,” Scholz said.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who is attending his first UN General Assembly as president, said he was seeking to re-establish constitutional order in Niger following the coup.
The coup in July toppled the West African country’s democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum.
Tinabu said the many coups across Africa since 2020 “does not demonstrate favor towards coup” on the continent. It was “a demand for solution to perennial problems.” He said he was negotiating with Niger’s military leaders.
As chairman of West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS, Tinubu said he seeks “to re- establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region.”
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune also used his speech to demand a return to democracy in Niger. Any attempt at that must be done through political means, Tebboune said.
He warned of “dangerous repercussions on peace and stability” in the region if the threat of force is carried out. “We call for vigilance given the intentions of foreign military intervention.”