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The Necessary Voice of the Global South

The UN General Assembly meeting left its audience with a sense both of dire urgency and of déjà vu. At the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the UN must prove that it can translate calls for action – particularly those made by developing-country leaders – into real progress.

MADRID – “We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres declared in his speech at the opening of the UN General Assembly’s high-level meeting for leaders of its 193 member countries. When it comes to two of those crises – climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic – it was the leaders of smaller and developing countries, rather than those of the world’s major powers, that had the most compelling stories to tell.