UN General Assembly latest: Ukraine war dominates opening day as Guterres warns world is ‘in great peril’


Mayor tore up Russian flag after Ukraine retakes northern Kharkiv

Russia’s war in Ukraine dominated the first day of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as world leaders gathered in person for the summit three years later in New York.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the 77th meeting was held at a time when the world was in “great danger” and “paralysis” due to war, climate chaos, hatred, poverty and inequality. World leaders condemned the Russian invasion.

France’s Emmanuel Macron has called Moscow’s war a return to “imperialism” while rejecting the position of a neutral country.

“They were wrong, they made a historic mistake,” he said. “Those who remain silent today are, in a way, complicit in the cause of new imperialism.”

German Chancellor Olaf Schultz has said Russian President Vladimir Putin will only abandon his “imperial ambitions” if he admits he cannot win the war.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the credibility of the United Nations was threatened by the incursion by Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council.

Jordanian and Qatari leaders raised Palestinian conflict. Russian Presidents and Chinese President Xi Jinping, notable absentees, will send their foreign ministers to the conference.

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World leaders condemn Russia’s war

World leaders have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a UN meeting in New York, and Turkey has expressed its willingness to broker peace between the two countries.

German Chancellor Olaf Schultz has said that if Putin admits he cannot win the war, he will only abandon his “imperial ambitions” that could destroy Ukraine and Russia.

“This is why we will not accept any peace that Russia demands, and this is why Ukraine must be able to withstand Russian attacks,” Mr Scholz said in his first speech to the UN General Assembly.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the conference that the credibility of the United Nations was in jeopardy due to the invasion of Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, and the UN Security Council needed to be reformed.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of the ideals and principles of the UN Charter… Such behaviour should never be tolerated,” Mr Kishida said.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has tried to mediate with the Kremlin since Russia’s February 24 invasion, called on Moscow to return occupied territory in Ukraine.

“We believe that wars will never be won, and that there will be no losers in a fair peace process,” he said.

“We have always stressed the importance of diplomacy in resolving disputes.”

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UN chief calls for windfall tax on fossil fuel companies

The UN Secretary-General has called on all developed countries to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.

António Guterres said the levy funds should be redistributed to countries suffering losses and damage from the climate crisis, and to people struggling with higher food and energy prices.

“The fossil fuel industry is enjoying hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits, while household budgets are shrinking and our planet is burning,” he told the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

“The polluter must pay.” His remarks came after Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, made clear his opposition to windfall taxes.

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Welcome to The Independent The 77th UN General Assembly Live Blog.



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