11:28 GMT21 October 2020
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    World leaders have a unique opportunity to address a vast audience via videolink on issues of their choice related to progress, peace and security, the COVID-19 pandemic, and international law, among other topics.

    Sputnik is live from New York City where world leaders are taking part in the first virtual meeting of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75) on Wednesday.

    This year's debate is being held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed over 960,000 people globally. Despite lockdown measures, the UN has reportedly suggested that world leaders can personally visit the organisation’s headquarters in New York if they wish to.

    During the morning session, US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the leaders of Turkey, Jordan, the Philippines, France, Iran, and other states are expected to speak.

    Later, during the afternoon session, Latin American leaders, as well as those of Angola, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and other countries, will be speaking. 

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    • 00:13

      Turkey Should Learn to Respect Sovereignty of Other Nations - India's Representative to UN

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations, India's permanent representative to the United Nations, T S Tirumurti, said in response to remarks made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the UN on the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

      "We have seen remarks by President of Turkey on Indian UT of Jammu & Kashmir. They constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply," Tirumurti said on Twitter.

      According to The Hindu newspaper, Erdogan earlier said in UN general debate remarks via a recorded video message: "The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue. Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu-Kashmir further complicated the problem."

    • 00:12

      Venezuelan President Maduro Supports Putin's Idea to Hold Conference on Vaccines

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro supported the idea of ​​Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold an online conference for states interested in producing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

      "I agree with President Putin's proposal, and Venezuela joins the call on the UN General Assembly [to hold the conference] to discuss the sole issue - the coronavirus vaccine," Maduro said on national television in a broadcast available on the president's Twitter.

    • 20:25

      S. African President Calls on Int'l Community to Support Stimulus for Africa Amid Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in his speech to the 75th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday urged the international community to support a stimulus package for Africa amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

      "It is in the spirit of this New Global Deal, that we call on the international community and our international partners to support the rollout of a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries. This will enable African countries to not only mitigate the health impacts of COVID-19 but to aid us in the immense task of rebuilding our shattered economies," Ramaphosa said in a broadcast address, as quoted by the presidential website.

      He also called for lifting sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan so that they could properly face the pandemic.

      "We also call for the suspension of interest payments on Africa’s external and public debt," the president added.

      The pandemic has crippled national economies of many countries across the globe, especially those, like many of the African ones, that lack financial resources and robust social and political institutions to weather the current crisis. South Africa alone is projected to see its gross domestic product plummet by 8 percent this year due to the virus.

    • 19:24

      Chilean President Says Int'l Community Can Defeat COVID-19 Only by Multilateral Solutions

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said in his message to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that the international community could defeat the COVID-19 pandemic only by using collaborative approach and multilateral solutions.

      "What can we do at the global level to effectively and efficiently tackle this pandemic and emerge stronger than ever? Only collaborative and multilateral solutions will allow us to overcome this crisis and to emerge from it with new strengths standing on our feet once again. This pandemic, which has no respect for borders, nationalities or etnicities, has underscored the need to strengthen the national cooperation and governance," Pinera stated.

      According to the Chilean president, countries should share diagnostic skills, coordinate the opening and closing of borders, and join forces to quickly gain access to an effective and safe vaccine.

      Pinera added that the Chilean health authorities conducted more than 3 million COVID-19 tests that was equivalent to over 15 percent of the country's population.

    • 18:11

      Emmanuel Macron: US Maximum Pressure Policy on Iran is Not Working

      French President Emmanuel Macron

      Macron: Europe 'Will Not Compromise' With Washington on Iran Sanctions

      French President Emmanuel Macron called for a "modern new consensus" on tackling global challenges in his speech to the 75th UN General Assembly on 22 September.
      Read more
    • 18:09

      Rouhani Says US Cannot Impose Negotiations or War on Iran

      UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United States cannot impose either negotiations or war on Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during his speech at the 75th UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

      "The United States can impose neither negotiations, nor war on us," Rouhani said. "Life is hard under sanctions, however, harder is life without independence."

      On Monday, US envoy Eliot Abrams said the United States will expand sanctions against Tehran until the country is ready to come back to the negotiating table. Abrams comments came the same day the US unveiled new sanctions targeting Iranian nuclear scientists and states, persons or entities that violate the arms embargo on Iran.

      Rouhani stressed that political freedom at home is vital for Iran.

      "We as the oldest democracy in the Middle East are proud of our people determining their destiny and will not trade domestic freedom with foreign interference," he added.

      Washington said that it would enforce the reinstatement of international anti-Iranian sanctions, despite no backing for it at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

      The international conventional arms embargo is set to expire next month after the UNSC rejected a US proposal to prolong it. Now the US considers it in place indefinitely after it initiated the snapback sanctions mechanism of the Iranian nuclear agreement. Other key council members, including Russia and European nations, rejected the move, claiming that the Americans lost legal rights for it after they left the JCPOA deal with Iran in 2018.

    • 16:18

      Putin: Removal of Sanctions Can Help Boost Global Economy, Reduce Unemployment Rates

      Russia's President Vladimir Putin is seen during his video address to the United Nation's General Assembly in Moscow, Russia September 22, 2020. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

      Sanctions, COVID-19 Pandemic, Struggle for Global Stability: Key Takeaways From Putin's UNGA Speech

      In a video message to the 75th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the UN Security Council “should be more inclusive of the interests of all countries as well as of the diversity of their positions”.
      Read more
    • 15:19

      COVID-19 Will Not Be Last Global Crisis, World Should Prepare for Bigger Challenges, Xi Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last crisis to confront humanity, so the international community should unite to prepare for even bigger global challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his speech at the UN General Assembly.

      "At present, the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, as it goes through profound changes never seen in a century. Yet, peace and development remained the underlying trend of the times and people everywhere crave even more strongly for peace development and win-win cooperation. COVID-19 will not be the last crisis to confront humanity, so we must join hands and be prepared to meet even more global challenges," Xi stated.

      "At the moment, several COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are in Phase III of clinical trials. When their development is completed and they are ready for use, these vaccines will be made a global public good and will be provided to other developing countries on a priority basis," the Chinese president added.

    • 14:14

      Erdogan Calls for Reform of Multilateral Organisations, Including UN

      "There is a need for the reform of multilateral organisations, in particular the United Nations. We have seen how ineffective the existing global mechanisms have been during this crisis [the COVID-19 pandemic]. This was so much true that it took weeks even months for the Security Council, the most fundamental decision-making body of the United Nations, to include the pandemic on its agenda. At the beginning of the pandemic, a scene emerged that countries were left on their own," Erdogan said addressing the 75th United Nations General Assembly.

      According to the Turkish leader, the fate of humanity cannot be left at the mercy of a limited number of countries.

      "The world is bigger than five fists ... In order to prevent the loss of reputation of international organisations we must first review our mentality, institutions and rules," Erdogan added.

    • 14:11

      Trump: US Intends to Deliver More Peace Deals With Israel 'Shortly'

      “We intend to deliver more peace agreements shortly and I have never been more optimistic for the future of the region,” Trump said. “There is no blood in the sand, those days are hopefully over.”

      On 15 September, the UAE and Bahrain officially reconciled with Israel by signing US-brokered peace deals at a ceremony in the White House.

      "These groundbreaking peace deals are the dawn of the new Middle East," Trump said. "By taking a different approach we have achieved different outcomes, far superior outcomes. We took the approach, and the approach worked."

      US President Donald Trump added the UN must focus on addressing global issues like terrorism, ethnic cleansing of minority religious groups, trafficking and other problems.

      "If the United Nations is to be an effective organisation it must focus on the real problems of the world," Trump said during remarks at the White House. "This includes terrorism, the oppression of women, forced labour, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities."


    • 14:10

      UN 'Must Hold China Accountable for Their Actions' Regarding Coronavirus Pandemic, Trump Says

      U.S. President Donald Trump reacts during his speech while campaigning at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio, U.S., September 21, 2020

      Trump: UN 'Must Hold China Accountable for Their Actions' Regarding Coronavirus Pandemic

      Having accused China of being behind the initial dangerous spread of the novel coronavirus, the US axed its funding of the World Health Organisation, which Washington claimed was acting pro-China.
      Read more
    • 14:04

      Bolsonaro Defends His Environmental Policies and Handling of Pandemic

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