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World leaders return to U.N. with focus on pandemic, climate

CoronavirusSep 19, 2021 06:21PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The United Nations headquarters is seen during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly high-level debate, which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, U.S., September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -World leaders are returning to the United Nations in New York this week with a focus on boosting efforts to fight both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which last year forced them to send video statements for the annual gathering.

As the coronavirus still rages amid an inequitable vaccine rollout, about a third of the 193 U.N. states are planning to again send videos, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers for the remainder are due to travel to the United States.

The United States tried to dissuade leaders from coming to New York in a bid to stop the U.N. General Assembly from becoming a "super-spreader event," although President Joe Biden will address the assembly in person, his first U.N. visit since taking office. A so-called U.N. honor system means that anyone entering the assembly hall effectively declares they are vaccinated, but they do not have to show proof.

This system will be broken when the first country speaks - Brazil. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a vaccine skeptic, who last week declared that he does not need the shot because he is already immune after being infected with COVID-19.

Should he change his mind, New York City has set up a van outside the United Nations for the week to supply free testing and free shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccine.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Reuters that the discussions around how many traveling diplomats might have been immunized illustrated "how dramatic the inequality is today in relation to vaccination." He is pushing for a global plan to vaccinate 70% of the world by the first half of next year.

Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa. Biden will host a virtual meeting from Washington with leaders and chief executives on Wednesday that aims to boost the distribution of vaccines globally.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Guterres pointed to Biden's efforts and an International Monetary Fund proposal https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/imf-says-ending-covid-19-pandemic-possible-cost-some-50-billion-2021-05-21 to create a $50 billion vaccine program for poorer countries as "positive signs" rich countries were starting to tackle vaccine inequity.

"But let's be clear: all this is too little, too late," he added.

Demonstrating U.S. COVID-19 concerns about the U.N. gathering, Biden will be in New York only for about 24 hours, meeting with Guterres on Monday and making his first U.N. address on Tuesday, directly after Bolsonaro.

His U.N. envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Biden would "speak to our top priorities: ending the COVID-19 pandemic; combating climate change ... and defending human rights, democracy, and the international rules-based order."

Due to the pandemic, U.N. delegations are restricted to much smaller numbers and most events on the sidelines will be virtual or a hybrid of virtual and in-person. Among other topics that ministers are expected to discuss during the week are Afghanistan and Iran.

But before the annual speeches begin, Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will start the week with a summit on Monday to try and save a U.N. summit - that kicks off in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 31 - from failure.

As scientists warn that global warming is dangerously close to spiraling out of control, the U.N. COP26 conference aims to wring much more ambitious climate action and the money to go with it from participants around the globe.

"It's time to read the alarm bell," Guterres told Reuters last week. "We are on the verge of the abyss."

World leaders return to U.N. with focus on pandemic, climate
 

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Comments (11)
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 19, 2021 7:52PM ET
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UN is where scams are created
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Sep 19, 2021 7:04PM ET
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Pandemic and Climate change which is cyclical are the two marxist topics for the globalists one world govt theory that involves the UN playing the global role with the IMF, BIS and World Bank working with the WEF/Schwab, Gates, Soros, Rockefeller Foundation. All corrupt traitorous enterprises/private individuals.
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Sep 19, 2021 6:56PM ET
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Lol what pandemic? It’s been almost 2 years now give it up
Miles Mathewson
Miles Mathewson Sep 19, 2021 6:34PM ET
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A year went by and they will still talk about Chinese virus? Gosh.
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Sep 19, 2021 2:27PM ET
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Yes. They really care about your health and safety.
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin Sep 19, 2021 1:58PM ET
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UN is a joke. Waste of money fir any country than puts money into it. All bark no ******* If it had power, north korea would be democratic by now
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 19, 2021 9:20AM ET
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Oh brother.  Here we go again.  What a joke these people are.  Remember everyone if you don't agree with them about everything then you are a club-footed Neanderthal uneducated prone to violence Trump supporter.  Jajaja.  Who falls for this besides millennials who think it will get them a free ride in life?
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Sep 19, 2021 8:58AM ET
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Yup discuss the topics that are used to control the populaces. Sounds bout right
William Chan
William Chan Sep 19, 2021 7:30AM ET
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The foreign dignitaries get to go on an honor system while the peons in NY need to show a passport to get a hotdog. What a joke.
Roald Smits
Roald Smits Sep 19, 2021 7:18AM ET
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all propaganda, vaccine passports for fake pandemic, forced climate lockdowns, communism, poverty coming, agenda 2030..
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 19, 2021 4:34AM ET
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Let it warm up so northerners will stay in the north, easy fix
 
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