Live updates: UN General Assembly

United Nations — Latest on the opening day of the annual high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (all times EDT):

The ruling emir of Qatar expressed his determination in front of the eyes of the world at the United Nations General Assembly that he will welcome all World Cup fans without discrimination for the world football tournament.

The small country, driven by energy exports, has spent $200 billion on infrastructure and related World Cup projects since winning the bid to host the five-week tournament. About $6.5 billion of that was spent on building eight stadiums for the World Cup, which starts in November.

Qatar hopes the event will generate billions of dollars for tourism. Leaders also hope people will dispel misconceptions about Qatar.

Qatar is a conservative Muslim society, but will allow football fans to drink in designated areas outside existing hotel bars at the tournament. He also insists that same-sex couples will be welcome.

In his remarks at the United Nations, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thanif referred to a verse in the Holy Qur’an which states that God created people as races and tribes to know each other.

Millions of South Asian migrant workers have worked to build roads, transit systems, high-rise towers and stadiums for the tournament. Some workers have died. Qatar has made significant reforms to its labor laws in recent years, but advocacy groups say authorities have arrested and deported workers who protested pay delays.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has called for an end to the war on drugs, calling it “irrational”.

The leftist president, who took office last month, urged world leaders to “think less profit and more love.”

As a major drug-producing country, Colombia has been ravaged by drug-related violence.

Petro also proposed to the United Nations General Assembly to write off countries’ debts in exchange for forest protection.

Russia’s war in Ukraine is the conflict in the former Soviet bloc that has captured much of the world’s attention.

But a recent flare-up on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan briefly took center stage at the United Nations on Tuesday.

Kyrgyz President Siddir Zaprov was the seventh world leader to address the first day of the general debate. He used his allotted time on the dais to describe the regional conflicts arising from the collapse of the Soviet Union. At least two dozen people have been killed in the fighting.

The clashes began last week, with each side blaming trade while the origins of the dispute remain unclear. Last year, at least 55 people were killed near the border after a dispute over water rights and Tajikistan’s installation of surveillance cameras.

Zaprov identified Tajikistan as the instigator, saying his country was “deeply saddened by the unjust armed aggression” and was ready to negotiate without giving up “a centimeter of its land”.

Tajik authorities have in turn accused Kyrgyzstan of aggression, including the destruction of a mosque and the targeting of a school. Last weekend, leaders of the two countries met at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan and agreed to work to stop the fighting.

A minister from Tajikistan will speak at the end of the summit.

Kyrgyzstan is a close ally of Russia, which Zaprov called “our biggest strategic ally” in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. Zaprov did not mention the Ukraine invasion during his speech to the UN General Assembly.

NEW YORK — British Prime Minister Liz Truss says she wants to work more closely with Britain’s allies as the world enters an “increasingly secure era.”

Truss, who took office just two weeks ago, is meeting with fellow leaders including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron in New York before addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. The gathering was dominated by talk of the war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis.

With an increasingly aggressive Russia and an aggressive China, Truss said on Tuesday, “we need to work together with our allies.”

But the new British leader will have to build bridges with key allies who were separated by Britain’s exit from the European Union. Biden has expressed concerns that Brexit could destabilize peace in Northern Ireland, and EU leaders are angry at the UK government’s combative approach to post-Brexit trade talks.

Ukraine is the main topic on the first day of the session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

World leaders reacted to the news that four leaders of the Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine plan to hold a referendum on becoming part of Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz told reporters that “sham referendums” on Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine joining Russia were unacceptable.

“Ukraine has every right to defend the integrity and sovereignty of the country and its democracy,” Scholes told reporters in New York on Tuesday.

Schulz’s office said he reiterated this position in a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. He said that the results of the referendum will not be recognized.

Erdogan said Turkey would continue efforts to end the war, to find a diplomatic solution that would allow the parties to exit the war “in an honorable manner”.

Senegalese President Macky Sall has told the United Nations General Assembly that Africa should play a greater role in international decision-making.

Saal said on Tuesday that Africa has faced enough of the burden of history, and wants to become a pole of stability and opportunity. The current chairperson of the African Union last year called for the continent to secure a seat in the influential G20 group of countries.

In his remarks at the United Nations, Sal also called for a “fair and equitable energy transition,” noting that more than 600 million Africans in the continent of 1.4 billion still lack access to electricity. .

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is seeking re-election next month, used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly to promote the virtues of his administration.

Bolsonaro’s speech on Tuesday focused heavily on the economy, starting with the welfare program distributed to millions of Brazilians during the pandemic. The program was recently renewed through December. Bolsonaro also emphasized the declining unemployment rate and recession in Latin America’s largest nation.

He also criticized his main rival, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who led all elections to return to the presidency between 2003 and 2010. Bolsonaro pointed to da Silva’s conviction on money laundering and corruption charges.

The far-right leader also defended Brazil’s willingness to negotiate over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling for a ceasefire but eschewing sanctions and economic isolation.

Bolsonaro was the first world leader to speak during the debate on the first day of the UN General Assembly session. US President Joe Biden traditionally delivered the second speech, but due to the funeral of the Queen of England, his time was pushed to Wednesday.

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