Peru will declare a national emergency on climate in the country as its commitment to tackling the climate change crisis, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said when addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“Peru has taken on the goal of becoming a country that is carbon neutral by 2050 and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by 30% to 40%, thereby respecting what was projected for 2030. As an expression of its commitment to the health of the planet, my government will declare the national climate emergency,” Castillo said.
Castillo didn’t provide further details about what a national emergency on climate entails. He went on to demand the countries that “pollute the most” to “meet their obligations.”
“Human action without respect for nature has led us to question the viability of the planet fighting climate change calls into question our consciences,” he said, adding that “desertification continues to clear forests, especially in the Amazon, and the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly devastating.”
US President Joe Biden, right, speaks during an Oval Office meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP)
President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued to stress action on climate change in an Oval Office meeting Tuesday after the President’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the day.
“Earlier today I addressed the United Nations General Assembly and I made clear the climate has to be the core area of action for all of us, and as we look ahead to the UK hosted COP26, which I’m really anxious to attend in Glasgow in November,” Biden said.
“Our economies have to work together, including through our build back better world initiative that we launched in Cardiff Bay, and today we’re going to discuss the next steps on all of this and as well as how the US and UK can continue our cooperation in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific and around the world and I want to thank you again Boris for making the effort to be here,” he added.
Johnson thanked the President for America’s cooperation on a number of fronts including lifting a ban on British beef, travel restrictions and most importantly climate change.
“I think the most important thing today has been your speech Joe to UNGA where you made a commitment on supporting the world to adapt to climate change, doubling the American commitment,” Johnson said, calling it fantastic to see the US stepping up and leading on the issue.
Johnson also discussed the new trilateral partnership among the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, saying it “has great potential to benefit the whole of the world with security.”
Asked is Britain was still at “the back of the queue” for a free trade deal, the President said he would talk about trade with Johnson today and they will “have to work that through.” Biden said he does feel very strongly about the Irish Accords and keeping those in place amid Brexit.
“We spent enormous amount of time and effort in the United States. It was a major bipartisan effort made and I would not at all like to see, nor I might add would many of my Republican colleagues, like to see a change in the Irish Accords, the end result having a closed border again,” Biden said, drawing an agreement from Johnson.
Biden also briefly weighed in on the possible extradition of Anne Sacoolas, the US woman accused of killing 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August 2019 while she was driving on the wrong side of the road in England, saying the case is being worked on and he believes there had been a civil settlement reached. He said he doesn’t know the status of the case right now but he would follow up.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the General Assembly on Tuesday. (Mary Altaffer/Pool/AP)
Turkey plans to present the Paris climate agreement to its parliament next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his United Nations General Assembly speech Tuesday afternoon.
“We are among the first countries to have signed the Paris climate agreement, however, we hadn’t yet ratified this agreement due to the injustices related to stated obligations and burden sharing,” he said.
“I would like to announce to the whole world, here from the United Nations General Assembly, the decision we have taken following the progress made within the framework of the agreement … we plan to present the Paris climate agreement for approval to our Parliament next month.”
Participants are committed to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and, if possible, below 1.5 degrees. Each country is responsible for developing their own plans for achieving those goals.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a video screen as he addresses the General Assembly on Tuesday. (Mary Altaffer/Pool/AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country would stop building coal plants abroad, marking a new climate commitment and a shift in policy around its sprawling Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, Xi said the country would also contribute to financial support for developing countries to address the climate crisis.
“China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Xi said, according to a translation tweeted by China’s mission to the UN.
France says it did not change UN plans after submarine deal
From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne
France did not change its United Nations General Assembly plans in light of the submarine deal between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, according to a spokesperson for the Elysee.
“The Foreign Minister was always going to represent France at the UNGA, the submarines deal did not change our plans,” she said.
Why we’re talking about submarines: The French government recently said it was betrayed when Australia pulled out of their existing multi-billion dollar defense deal, agreeing instead to attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new deal with the United States and the United Kingdom.
Australia was concerned the conventional submarines it ordered from France would not meet its strategic needs, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday.
Iranian president says nuclear weapons “have no place” in the country’s defense doctrine
From CNN’s Hira Humayun
In this image taken from video, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi remotely addresses the General Assembly on Tuesday. (UN Web TV/AP)
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi told the United Nations General Assembly that nuclear weapons have “no place” in Iran’s defense doctrine.
“Nukes have no place in our defense doctrine and deterrence policy,” he said in a pre-recorded address Tuesday, adding his country’s strategic policy is to “consider the production and stockpiling of atomic weapons as forbidden.”
Raisi reiterated his criticism of the US for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA.
The US’ attempt to “counter the Iranian people” by violating the JCPOA and taking the “maximum pressure” approach, have “totally failed … However, the policy of maximum tyranny is still on,” he said.
Rasi called for all parties to stay true to the nuclear deal in practice, adding that multiple reports released by the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, have “attested to adherence of Iran to its commitments.”
“However, the US has not yet discharged its obligations which is lifting sanctions,” Raisi said, going on to say that Iran does not trust promises made by the US government.
“The United States mistakenly believed it would render us desperate and devastated, but our perseverance has yielded results and will always do,” he told world leaders.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in addresses the General Assembly on Tuesday. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool/AP)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for the resumption of talks between North Korea and South Korea, and North Korea and the US.
“I call for a speedy resumption of dialogue between the two Koreas, and between the United States and North Korea. I hope to see that the Korean Peninsula will prove the power of dialogue and cooperation in fostering peace,” he said.
Moon also reiterated his call for a declaration to mark the end of war on the Korean Peninsula.
“More than anything, an end-of-war declaration will mark a pivotal point of departure in creating a new order of reconciliation and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula,” he said, suggesting the two Koreas with the US or the two Koreas with the US and China “declare that the war on the Korean Peninsula is over.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Koreas simultaneous admission into the United Nations, he added.
2:31 p.m. ET, September 21, 2021
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi remotely addresses the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 21, 2021 in New York. Eduardo Munoz/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took aim at the United States in a blunt pre-recorded speech Tuesday afternoon, invoking two moments that he said “made history” this year: the Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6, and Afghan civilians seen falling from American evacuation planes last month in Kabul.
In the light of such scenes, Raisi called for the US to refrain from trying to influence the world, saying the world no longer cares about “America First” or “America’s Back” — a jab at both President Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.
“Freedom does not fit in the backpacks of soldiers coming from outside the region,” he added.
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly since becoming president, Raisi also attacked the US for keeping sanctions on Iran, amid stalled negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
“We want only what is rightfully ours. All powers must stay true to the nuclear deal in practice,” he said.
Biden met with Iraq’s president on sidelines at UN
From CNN’s Jason Hoffman
John Minchillo/Pool/Getty Images
President Biden met with Iraq’s President Barham Salih on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the White House announced Tuesday in a readout of the meeting, saying the two “discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship and deepening cooperation on regional diplomatic initiatives.”
“President Biden stressed the U.S. commitment to Iraq’s long-term stability and the leaders reaffirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, rule of law, and efforts to hold credible and transparent elections this October. He lauded recent initiatives such as the Baghdad Regional Summit and the historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq earlier this year as an important symbol of Iraq’s contributions to regional stability and interfaith tolerance,” the readout said.
The meeting was not listed on Biden’s schedule released by the White House.
1:11 p.m. ET, September 21, 2021
Eduardo Munoz/Pool/Getty Images
Colombian President Iván Duque called on free and fair elections in Venezuela to address the “millions of Venezuelans fleeing the narco dictatorship and infamy,” and outlined the steps his government has undertaken to address the issue.
“The work with the United Nations and the office of Dr. Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees, has shown great progress, such as providing temporary protection status to more than one million two hundred thousand Venezuelan migrants living in our country,” Duque said during his UNGA speech Tuesday.
“We undertake this challenge not being a rich country and at an enormous fiscal cost. The situation requires that through the donor conferences that have been established, we now need to see the disbursements of the commitments of the international community, and I urge you to do that,” Duque asked.
Duque said his government’s goal is to naturalize the 1.8 million Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia.
With the temporary protection status, Venezuelans can legally work in Colombia and earn the same amount as a Colombian citizen would, according to a government statement from August.
Duque also addressed the talks between the government of Nicolás Maduro and Venezuelan opposition taking place in Mexico City, saying “those talks do give some hope” but the only effective solution to “the worst migration crisis affecting the planet” is holding a free and transparent presidential election that involved international observation as soon as possible.
“Any solution that perpetuates the shameful dictatorship and allows the regime to gain time will only exacerbate the humanitarian disaster that our continent is experiencing. The end of the dictatorship is the only viable way to move forward for the well-being of the Venezuelan people, it should, above all, be the purpose of international action,” he said.
1:14 p.m. ET, September 21, 2021
Timothy A. Clary/Pool/Getty Images
Colombian President Iván Duque on Tuesday called for the fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Today, I call upon the international community to strengthen multilateralism in the area of health and to make progress in the fair distribution of vaccines, delegates,” Duque said during his address at the United Nations General Assembly, calling out what he called “shortcomings in multilateralism” in a coordinated response “during the most critical times.”
“The divides existing between nations with regard to the process of vaccination are unprecedented. While some nations are acquiring additional doses for six or seven times the size of their population and are also announcing third booster shots, others have not even been able to inject one single dose of hope in their population,” he said.
The equitable distribution of the Covid-19 “is our moral duty,” he said, adding that Colombia is making progress in the national vaccination plan “to cover as the minimum 70% of our citizens.”
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Biden met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations.
The two leaders touted the US-Australian relationship just days after the announcement of their new partnership drew the ire of France.
“The United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia. Our nations have stood together for a long, long time, and we can rely on one another, and that’s really reassuring. And we’re grateful for our partnership and what we’ve accomplished together over 70 years,” Biden said as he kicked off the meeting, calling Morrison a “friend.”
He said they would be discussing a free and open Indo-Pacific, conversations that will continue with the first in-person Quad leaders meeting Friday at the White House with leaders from India and Japan.
Biden said Australia is working “in lockstep” with the US on challenges including Covid-19, climate change, and defending democracy, reiterating his view that the world is at an “inflection point.”
Morrison thanked Biden for his leadership and touted the US-Australian partnership, saying the two nations have always stood together to pursue freedom.
“So, Mr. President, I want to thank you for your leadership and your focus on the Indo-Pacific region. There’s no doubt – you get it,” Morrison said.
Biden told Morrison the two had a “lot of work to do” as the spray concluded. He did not respond to shouted questions.
Some background: Biden’s comments come following tension between European leaders and the White House over a scuppered submarine deal. The French government has been seething since last week, when Australia abandoned a huge deal to buy conventional submarines from France. Instead, the US and UK announced they would help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new security pact called AUKUS.
The move has opened a new fissure in the Western alliance and sparked growing public criticism from other European officials.