UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly:
Mexico has proposed that India and the Vatican lead a U.N.-backed dialogue to seek a peace treaty between Russia and Ukraine, an effort that has not been well received by Kyiv.
Mexico has condemned Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, but also maintained that the sanctions against Moscow and arms shipments to Ukraine have only made the conflict worse.
Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard cited the U.N. Security Council on Thursday for a failure to avoid the conflict and to stop it.
“We cannot close the door on political dialogue or diplomatic negotiation,” Ebrard said. “Current international tensions will not be resolved through force.”
Mexico has said it will do whatever necessary to help organize talks but thinks the U.N. and others should take the lead on them.
Even before the formal presentation at the U.N. on Thursday, Mexico’s proposal had been criticized by Ukraine.
Last week, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, accused Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of putting forward a Russian plan and using the war for his own public relations.
“Is your plan to keep millions under occupation, increase the number of mass burials and give Russia time to renew reserves before the next offensive?” Podolyak wrote.
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi says vaccine equity must remain a priority for developing countries since many have failed to meet World Health Organization targets for COVID-19 vaccinations.
“This underscores the urgent need to continue promoting vaccine equity through international solidarity, as well as addressing vaccine hesitancy by countering disinformation and raising awareness about the science regarding the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines,” Masisi told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.
The WHO had called for countries to fully vaccinate 70% of their populations by mid-2022. While Masisi said that Botswana has enough shots to vaccinate all eligible people, only 61% are fully vaccinated in the southern African nation.
Niger’s president is warning that climate change is helping to fuel Islamic extremism in Africa’s Sahel region.
Mohamed Bazoum said prolonged droughts brought on by global warming are “threatening the practice of pastoral farming” in West Africa. That's causing many young shepherds to turn instead to extremist groups.
“Terrorism operating the Sahel today is linked to the living conditions for certain communities where the environment has been significantly affected by climate change,” Bazoum told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.
While thanking France, the United States and Germany for their help in fighting the insurgency, Niger’s leader also decried a persistent lack of international funding.
Niger has seen scores of deadly attacks on civilians over the past year near its border with Mali, where extremists have long been active. France recently relocated its troops from Mali to Niger following a deterioration in relations with Mali's leader, Col. Assimi Goita, who took power in a coup two years ago.
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