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World Leaders Return to UN, Face Many Escalating Crises
By Staff, Agencies
World leaders will be back at the United Nations for the first time in two years on Tuesday with a formidable agenda of escalating crises to tackle, including the still raging COVID-19 pandemic and a relentlessly warming planet.
Other pressing issues are rising US-China tensions, Afghanistan's unsettled future under its new Taliban rulers and ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region.
Last year, no leaders came to the UN because the coronavirus was sweeping the globe, so all their addresses were pre-recorded.
This year, the General Assembly offered leaders a choice of coming to New York or remaining online, and more than 100 heads of state and government decided to appear in person in the General Assembly hall.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, who opens the week-long event, "will pull no punches in expressing his concern about the state of the world, and he will lay out a vision to bridge the numerous divides that stand in the way of progress," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
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