World leaders will speak for a sixth and final day at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the assembly, followed by officials from the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and Syria, among others.
The annual event, held in a hybrid format due to the coronavirus pandemic, has seen new commitments to meet climate change goals and to address vaccine inequality, as well as a stark warning from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of a world “on the edge of abyss”.
Here are all the latest updates:
1 hour ago (14:31 GMT)
Afghanistan envoy withdraws from UNGA debate
Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN has pulled out of delivering an address to world leaders at the General Assembly.
Ghulam Isaczai, who represented president Ashraf Ghani’s government that was overthrown last month, was due to defy the Taliban, who have requested with a speech but his name was removed from the list of speakers for Monday.
“The country withdraws its participation in the general debate,” Monica Grayley, a spokeswoman for the assembly’s president, confirmed to the AFP news agency, adding that Afghanistan’s mission to the UN had not given a reason for the withdrawal.
Read more here.
1 hour ago (14:09 GMT)
Belarus foreign minister says migrant crisis on western border ‘fabricated’
The Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei told the UNGA that Western European countries have “fabricated” a migrant crisis along its western border.
The statement comes after Poland’s prime minister accused Russia and Belarus of a “mass organised, well-directed action” that has created a wave of migrants on the border in recent weeks. The migrants are seen as retaliation for EU sanctions on Belarus.
Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has also accused Minsk of using the migrants and asylum seekers in “revenge against Lithuania, Latvia and Poland for supporting independent democratic forces, the movement for change in Belarus”.
Polish security forces block migrants stuck on the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland. [File: Czarek Sokolowski/The Associated Press]
2 hours ago (13:39 GMT)
Bennett says Iran seeks to dominate Middle East under ‘nuclear umbrella’
Naftali Bennett, in his first address as Israeli prime minister, gave a fiery condemnation of Iran, saying the Islamic Republic wants to rule the Middle East under a “nuclear umbrella”.
Bennett accused Tehran of crossing all “red lines” when it comes to its nuclear programme. That comes as the European powers are working to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table on the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran’s foreign minister on Friday estimated talks would start again “very soon”.
The prime minister, who did not address Palestine by name during his speech, instead referred to the normalisation of ties between Israel and several Arab countries under the US-brokered Abraham accords “rays of light”.
“We’re gaining new friends in the Middle East and Beyond,” he said.
3 hours ago (12:42 GMT)
Israel’s Bennett meets UAE, Bahrain officials
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has promised to continue to strengthen ties after meeting with Bahraini Foreign Minster Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalifa Shaheen Almarar on Sunday, his office said, before his address to the UN in which he is expected to urge action against Iran’s nuclear programme.
Israel has trumpeted its new diplomatic relations with the UAE and Bahrain, brokered by Washington last year, as having helped create a regional bulwark against their shared foe, Iran.
Tehran denies pursuing atomic weaponry. It has been negotiating with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that curbed its uranium enrichment in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Iran’s foreign minister on Friday estimated talks would start again “very soon”, but gave no specific date.
A summary of September 25’s UNGA session is here.