Climate change was on the agenda during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising energy and food prices.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and climate change dominated the speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday.

On the first day of the week-long summit, leaders from around the world expressed their concerns about global challenges such as hunger and climate change, exacerbated by inflation and the war’s impact on food and energy prices.

Many leaders condemned the Russian invasion
Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, who appeared literally from Ukraine, blamed Moscow for willingly creating the food crisis.

“Any state that incites famine, that attempts to make access to food a privilege, that attempts to make the protection of nations from famine dependent on the mercy of some dictator — that kind of state deserves the world’s harshest reaction,” Zelensky said.

He blamed the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports and other “immoral actions” for disrupting exports from the country, which is normally a major agricultural producer.

“Russia must take responsibility for this,” he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for reform of the UN Security Council after expressing frustration at the body’s failure to respond to the Russian aggression against Ukraine due to Russia’s veto power as a permanent member.

In his speech, Kishida said, “The foundations of the international system are now violently shaken,” meaning that the United Nations has lost some of its influence in maintaining world peace.

French President Emmanuel Macron called on countries not to remain neutral and instead condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, declaring that the war was a new kind of imperialism.

“Negotiations to end the war can only succeed if Ukraine’s sovereignty is respected, its territory liberated and its security protected,” Macron insisted.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “trying to blackmail the international community with food” by invading Ukraine in February.

“There is no peace without hunger and we cannot fight hunger without peace,” Sánchez added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz slammed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it “imperialism plain and simple” in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Similarly to Macron, he urged not to be passive, highlighting Russia’s nuclear weapons and apparent war crimes in Ukraine.

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