Rutte emphasizes Covid vaccines, climate change and Afghanistan situation in UN address
Prime Minister called attention to the three crises the world is facing during the UN General Assembly conference: the fight against the coronavirus, the impact of the climate crisis and the situation in Afghanistan. It is essential for countries to join hands to face these crises, Rutte said.
Although it seemed in spring as if the end of the pandemic was in sight, the Delta variant quickly changed that perspective. That is why the production of vaccines must be increased as quickly as possible and the injections must be distributed fairly around the world. “The reality is that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” the prime minister told the UN General Assembly.
The past year has made it clear that climate is “no longer a theoretical doomsday scenario, but stark reality”, according to Rutte. The Netherlands has also been affected, he said, referring to the extreme rainfall this summer. “Every part of the world experienced extreme weather and devastating natural disasters that are clearly the result of climate change caused by humans.”
Rutte also drew attention to Afghanistan where after 20 years of Western intervention the Taliban have regained power since last month. Although positive steps have been taken in the country in recent years, “the hard reality is that we must now stop that commitment”. In response to the question if everything has been for nothing Rutte said.
“We must be mindful of the Taliban’s track record. Whatever happens, we will continue working to push developments in Afghanistan in the right direction, however difficult that may seem right now", the Dutch prime minister said.
On Saturday evening, Rutte will meet with UN General Secretary António Guterres and a number of world leaders.
Reporting by ANP