UNGA Under Way

President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid speaks at the UNGA. New York City, September 21, 2021. Image: Liao Pan/China News Service/Getty
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President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid speaks at the UNGA. New York City, September 21, 2021. Image: Liao Pan/China News Service/Getty

COVID-19 and the climate took center stage as the United Nations General Assembly opened up yesterday, under an honor system vaccination requirement for in-person attendees.
 
Nevertheless, it was Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro—who reportedly isn’t fully vaccinated—who spoke first, defending his country’s COVID-19 response, CIDRAP reports.
 
Next up was US President Joe Biden who, responding to critiques of his global leadership, emphasized a “collective future.”
 
Making good? Today the White House is hosting a global COVID-19 summit focused on ramping up countries’ commitments to global vaccination efforts and other pressing challenges, The Hill reports.
 
Other highlights:

  • Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova urged countries to “decouple economic growth from the degradation we have been causing to the planet,” according to PassBlue.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plugged a soon-to-come “national” vaccine called Turkovac.

 
Special guest appearance: In their third UNGA gig, Korean supergroup BTS combined a video performance with a live speech about climate change, digital community, vaccines, and youths’ role in setting the global agenda, NPR reports.
 
Watch for: 


Related: 

Brazil’s health minister tests positive for Covid after meeting maskless Johnson – The Guardian

Mistakes from the COVID-19 response must not be repeated in future pandemic planning – MSF

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