Climate change, coronavirus and multilateralism have headlined the 76th Session of the UN General AssemblyImage: EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS
UN General Assembly: 'World must wake up'
September 22, 2021
The US and China came out in favor of dialogue and diplomacy as Turkey announced it would sign the Paris Agreement. South Korea called for US talks with the North. DW summarizes key moments from the UN General Assembly.
The US and China discuss efforts for peace
Climate change, dispute resolution and global hunger key issues
South Korea calls for US to speak with the North on nuclear weapons
Taliban ask for a voice at the UN General Assembly
Turkey to join the Paris Agreement by November climate meet
UN leader hits out at space travel amid global hunger
NATO, European countries give their take on French submarine fallout
These live updates are now closed.
Afghan health system gets UN funds
The UN said it had released $45 million (€38.4 million) in emergency funds to help prevent Afghanistan's healthcare system from collapsing.
Martin Griffiths, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement that "medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan," before adding, "essential health-care workers are not being paid."
The country's healthcare system has been in crisis since the Taliban swept into power last month, complicating aid deliveries and leaving many health facilities understaffed.
No French offer to leave Security Council
Contrary to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday, France said it has no plans to relinquish its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in exchange for the creation of a European army.
"No, France has not offered to leave its seat on the United Nations Security Council. It belongs to France and it will remain so," the office of President Emmanuel Macron said.
Skepticism of United States
US President Joe Biden's call for "relentless diplomacy" would be seen skeptically by US allies in Europe even if the submarine crisis has not erupted right before the General Assembly as US relations with many countries are still tense following the US withdrew troops from Afghanistan, according to DW correspondent Teri Schultz.
"We cannot overemphasize the impact that the evacuation debacle had on the trust that allies and partners are putting in the United States right now," she said. "President Biden's speech may have run better earlier in his presidency than it does today."
With US relations to both Russia and China, Biden will continue to need European allies in the coming years of his presidency, Schultz added.
Skepticism among allies as Biden promises 'relentless diplomacy' – DW's Teri Schultz
NATO leader urges 'big picture' focus
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told AP news that its members needed to focus "on the big picture" during an interview on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Stoltenberg did not want to take sides in the French submarine deal cancellation.
Instead, he urged the defensive treaty's members to "stand together and to continue to modernize and adapt NATO" to new problems.
Stoltenberg said a proposal to create a European standby force of about 5,000 troops should not be "something that happens outside NATO."
Merkel: 'A European army can be a good supplement to NATO'
"Any attempt to weaken the trans-Atlantic bond between Europe and North America will not only weaken NATO, it will divide Europe," he said. "We have one set of forces, and we have to make the most available for NATO."
"The more we're able to stabilize countries without deploying thousands of troops in combat missions, the better," added Stoltenberg.
France disgruntled at meeting change
A meeting of top diplomats from France, Germany, Britain and the US planned for Wednesday fell through due to an ongoing difference of opinion over a new US-UK-Australian security pact.
The meeting, set to take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, was one of three planned get-togethers between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Le Drian responded by accusing US President Joe Biden's administration of "unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality and not respecting your partner."
Although the US State Department claimed the reason for the meeting cancellation was scheduling issues, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was due to "disgruntlement on the French side."
Maas said he "can understand" the French reaction and that "some things... need to be straightened out before we can sit together in this format."