76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly commences | Daily News

76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly commences

US President Joe Biden urged world leaders to get together to overcome the key challenges faced by the world today by defeating COVID-19 pandemic.

The US President made this remark while addressing the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly commenced at 6.30 pm yesterday on Sri Lanka time at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The visiting Heads of State were warmly welcomed by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres. The Session commenced after the Heads of State including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa participated in a tea party hosted by the Secretary-General.

The theme of this year's General Assembly is, "Building resilience through hope - to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations." The US President said that they are ready to lead on all the greatest challenges faced currently —from COVID to climate, peace and security, human dignity and human rights. Instead of continuing to fight wars, Biden said the US is focusing on devoting its resources to the challenges that hold the keys to the world's collective future.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Abdulla Shahid, the President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, delivered their speeches during the first session. Addressing the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Guterres said the time has come for the world to wake up. "We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction. Our world has never been more threatened. Or more divided," the Secretary-General said.

He also said, "A majority of the wealthier world vaccinated. Over 90 percent of Africans are still waiting for their first dose.

This shows that we passed the science test but we are getting an F in Ethics." UN General Assembly's President Abdulla Shahid pointed out in his speech that, "We have plenty of challenges, but for just a moment, let us celebrate all that we have achieved in the past two years.

"In record time humanity has developed multiple viable vaccines for COVID-19. Scientists and researchers from dozens of countries collaborated on a remarkable feat of human ingenuity. The largest vaccine roll-out in the history of humankind is currently underway," Shahid said and highlighted the importance of continuing the vaccination programme even amidst flaws.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to address the General Assembly at around 9.30 pm on Sri Lanka time today (22), the second day of the General Assembly.

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