2022-09-28

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PM Jacinda Ardern's warm welcome at United Nations general assembly – Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is confident she will be able to do all she intended during the United Nations general assembly this week, after losing two days off her schedule as a result of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
The likely jetlagged Ardern landed in New York late on Monday night, catching a lift from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and holding a bilateral meeting on his plane.
Ardern changed gears from mourning the British monarch to trying to solve the world’s problems on Tuesday morning, speaking warmly with other leaders, including her Icelandic counterpart Katrín Jakobsdóttir, before the general debate began.
Ardern said she sent Trudeau a text message to arrange the flight and the pair spoke on a range of issues including the war in Ukraine.
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“We were on a plane together for the better part of seven or eight hours, so we did have the opportunity to have a bilateral exactly as you would here on the ground, covering off issues, for instance, like Ukraine, regional issues. Canada’s been making quite a significant contribution to the Christchurch call as well,” she said.
Ardern will on Wednesday co-host a Christchurch Call leader’s summit with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Christchurch Call is a grouping of nations and technology companies committed to ending violent, extremist online content. It was formed by New Zealand and France in the wake of the March 15, 2019, terror attack.
Ardern said it was a “critical piece of work” and that other European leaders had proactively raised the scheme with her, as they were facing “very similar challenges”.
“This is a real centrepiece for New Zealand,” she said. “It’s obviously been operating for several years now, and we continue to make progress on the ambition there.”
The war on Ukraine is billed to overshadow the event, she said.
“It’s having an impact on energy prices, it’s having an effect on food prices, it’s having an effect on a global sense of security and peace. It will dominate because it should dominate – this illegal invasion is having consequences for all of us,” she said.
Heads of state, government and top diplomats from around the world have gathered in New York for the 77th UN general assembly, the first fully in-person meeting since the pandemic began.
António Guterres, general secretary of the UN, opened the meeting with a stark warning for the world, outlining issues and challenges including the climate crisis, diversity crisis, cost of living crisis, and the threats to democracy and the rights of women and girls around the world.
"Our world is in peril and paralysed," he said. "We don’t have the beginnings of a global architecture to deal with any of this."
© 2022 Stuff Limited

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