President George M. Weah has finally rebuked Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the war is having a harsh impact on Ukraine just as the rest of the world.
The Ukraine-Russia war, which has been raging for nearly 7 months now, dominated the speeches and other discussions at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York with Liberians being the latest to join the condemnation.
However, the ongoing General Assembly is the UN’s first full, in-person leader’s summit since the COVID-19 pandemic and it comes as the war in Ukraine approaches its seventh month, the largest war in Europe since World War II, with thousands killed and millions forced to flee their homes.
Addressing his colleague, President Weah stressed that the invasion of Ukraine is an unwarranted military incursion that has impacted the world, while making known the Liberia’s position on the war.
“Just as the Ukrainian people are enduring the harsh impact of this unwarranted military incursion, the rest of the world is feeling the harsh consequences of economic downturn caused by disruptions in global supply chains, food insecurity, and rising prices of basic goods and services,” he maintained.
“This year’s Assembly [is] taking place at a difficult time in the world, as countries are recovering from the scourge of COVID-19, and also facing other challenges such as the war in Ukraine and climate change, which is having devastating effects on our environment.”
Notably, the Liberian chief executive address followed the same week Putin ordered reservists to report for duty to fight the war in Ukraine — something analysts argued significantly escalated war efforts and the threat of nuclear retaliation.
In the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since Russia’s February 24 invasion, hours before world leaders gathered at the U.N. headquarters, Putin in Moscow announced the partial mobilization of his country’s military, calling up 300,000 reservists and vowing he would consider all options to protect what he considers Russian territory, raising concerns of a nuclear attack.
This action by Putin has been condemned by the US, France, Germany and other world leaders in their UNGA speeches.
And while the Liberian leader speech may not have dwelled much more on the war, it is however significant as its reiterates Liberia’s position on the conflict and reminders the UN of the need to redouble efforts in tackling other critical issues confronting the world and its peoples — with the world being a priority.
Weah noted that the theme of this year’s Assembly, “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges,” is appropriate and meaningful as it reminds world leaders about the current state of the world, while also providing the space for reflection on the multiple challenges that confront mankind today.
“We have the platform to generate the transformative solutions we seek,” President Weah further stressed. “The world is watching, our people are watching; and we must now seize the moment; confront the challenges and collectively endeavor to lift the poor from poverty and hunger, sickness and disease, and ensure progress, development, and prosperity for all.
“We must pursue efforts to make the United Nations more efficient, more effective, more inclusive, more accountable, and more suited for the purpose,” he said.
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