The general debate of the 73rd session of UN general assembly kicked off on September 25 at UN headquarters in New York. Attended by 128 heads of state and government and dozens of senior representatives, the debate focus on how to address the major threats and challenges the world is facing today. The potential and virtual impacts of climate change are of great concern to delegates from many countries.
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the rapid pace of climate change is sending a dangerous signal to humanity. Many heads of states expressed similar views. French President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech that France will no longer reach commercial agreements with countries that do not respect the Paris agreement on climate change. Peruvian President Biscala says climate change and extreme weather events have "put us in a particularly vulnerable position." Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto stressed that complying with the Paris Agreement could help to avert or reduce the scourge of climate change. President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has urged strict implementation of the Paris Agreement or her country will disappear from the land. However, not only low-lying islands but also alpine countries both face the problem. Kyrgyzstan's President says climate change is having an increasing impact on the country's glaciers and water resources.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says collective action based on common sense is the only way forward at a time of grave global challenges. Leaders have an obligation to promote and support multilateral institutions. “We need to commit ourselves to build a rules-based world order centered on the United Nations and to achieve peace, protect human rights and advance economic and social progress through international cooperation,' he said.