President calls for an end to sectarian persecution
World leaders gather on Monday for the UN Climate Change Summit in New York amid warnings from scientists about the need for more drastic measures to curb global warming..
The event, which will feature some 60 presidents and prime ministers, will run all day and will cover topics such as the transition from coal to renewable energy, disaster prevention and mitigation and impact, and funding for climate change efforts..
US President Donald Trump did not plan to attend the summit, and his appearance came as a surprise. Earlier on Monday, he attended a UN event on religious freedom and the oppression of religious minorities, especially Christians. Speaking at a forum on religion, the president said: «Our Founding Fathers understood that there is no right more important for a peaceful, prosperous and virtuous society than the right to one’s own religious beliefs.».
«About 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where religious freedom is threatened, restricted or even prohibited, – continued the president. – The United States calls on countries around the world to end religious persecution. Stop crimes against believers. Free the prisoners of conscience. Abolish laws restricting religious freedom. Protect the vulnerable, defenseless and oppressed».
Trump stressed that he considers protecting religious freedom one of his highest priorities as president..
«America will always be the mouthpiece for victims of religious persecution, – he assured. – We must all work together to protect communities of all faith».
«True tolerance implies respect for the right of all people to freely express their religious beliefs», – added the president.
«We call on governments around the world to respect the eternal right of everyone to follow their convictions, live by the laws of their faith, and praise the Lord», – Trump said.
Upon arriving at the General Assembly, Trump met with reporters and was asked how seriously he took the impeachment threat over a complaint from an intelligence officer. The complaint allegedly referred to the president trying to persuade the Ukrainian leader to launch an investigation into his political rival, a Democrat.. «Completely frivolous», – the president answered.
Trump will later hold talks with the leaders of Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea..
During his speech, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the importance of climate change and called on world leaders «make concrete plans» and not be limited «nice words».
On the eve of the climate summit, the UN presented a report from the World Meteorological Organization, indicating the acceleration of atmospheric pollution with carbon dioxide, rising sea levels, warming global temperatures and melting ice.
According to the report, the period from 2015 to the end of 2019. promises to become «warmest of any equivalent period on record». The global average temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees since the pre-industrial era.
President Trump speaks at the United Nations event on religious freedom – 09/23/2019
The Paris Climate Agreement, which has been ratified by 186 countries, calls for measures to ensure that the global temperature does not rise by more than 2 degrees, but ideally remains within 1.5 degrees. To do this, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The United States, which is one of the first in terms of pollution, under Donald Trump announced its withdrawal from the agreement. At the same time, the country is taking environmental measures at the state, local and private sector levels..
The report notes that meeting temperature targets requires «triple ambition».
In addition to climate change, the key topics of the annual General Assembly session include tensions between the United States and Iran, conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Kashmir, as well as growing inequality and intolerance..
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