President to the UN Assembly: Where scientists succeeded, politics is still failing

Zuzana Čaputová recalled the words Pope Francis addressed to Slovak youth during his recent visit to Slovakia.

In this photo taken from video, Slovakia's President Zuzana Čaputová remotely addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters.In this photo taken from video, Slovakia's President Zuzana Čaputová remotely addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters. (Source: AP/TASR)

We are in a much better place than a year ago, said President Zuzana Čaputová during her video appearance at the 76th UN General Assembly.

“Vaccines offer a clear path out of the pandemic,” she noted. “But where scientists have succeeded – in sequencing the virus or producing safe vaccines – politics is still failing.”

The president also criticised the uneven distribution of vaccines and inclusiveness, but the main focus of her speech was on how to save the planet.

Future generations will suffer if we do not stop global warming

“Previously, the Earth was whispering but now it is screaming that it cannot hold us any longer, that humankind is a burden too heavy to carry,” Čaputová noted. “Saving the planet is not a promise we make today for our successors to implement it later. We have hesitated for so long that we have run out of generations of political leaders who can talk but do nothing. This task is upon us today.”

Slovakia will reduce its emissions by 55 percent before 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050, along with the rest of the European Union, she continued. By 2023, coal will no longer be used to produce electricity and heat. In the coming years, Slovakia will spend almost 6 percent of its GDP on economic recovery: one-third will go to our green transition, the president added.

She noted that Slovakia is the biggest car producer per capita in the world. Clean mobility, greener locally developed and produced batteries will decarbonise transport in Slovakia and elsewhere.

“Unless we stop global warming, future generations will suffer,” she added. “Our failure will damage multilateralism and spur violence. Therefore, saving our planet also means upholding a rules-based international order and the rule of law, at home and abroad.”

Recalling the words of Pope Francis

The President made her final point about inclusiveness. She said that we cannot save our planet if we leave out the vulnerable ones – i.e. women, girls and minorities. The silent pandemic of gender-based violence can prove lethal to the health of our societies.

“Our long-term strategies, however brilliant, will become short-lived history if we do not involve young people,” she said.

From our archiveČaputová addressed the UN General Assembly, called for responsible leadership Read more 

Čaputová concluded her speech with the words of Pope Francis, who addressed young people during his recent visit to Slovakia: “Do not be dismayed or yield to those who tell you that nothing will ever change.”

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