Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has called for healing the North-South rift and building a global coalition to act on problems facing the world.
He said on Tuesday at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly, “Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, was right when he said the time is not for war, it is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the East. It is the time, for a collective time, for our sovereign equal states to come together with challenges we face.”
“This is why there’s an urgent need to develop a new contract between the North and the South, (an) effective contract, which is respectful of the (global needs) for food, for biodiversity, for education,” Macron said calling for cooperation between the developed countries of the North and the developing nations of the South.
“It’s no longer time”, he said, “for block thinking but to build a coalition of specific action to reconcile legitimate interests and common goods.”
Much of the problems of the world, whether it is the threat of famine, poverty, terrorism, nuclear proliferation or the conflicts around the world “are caused by divisions between us therefore it is our shared responsibility to help the most fragile to help the most vulnerable to cope with these challenges”, he said.
But often becoming emotional and raising his voice, Macron lashed out against countries staying “neutral” over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accusing them of being “complicit with a cause of a new imperialism”.
He said that “many cherish a feeling of injustice because of the problems of the economy, energy, and other consequences of the war conducted by Russia”.
“I know that there are countries here that have chosen a form of neutrality vis-a-vis this war and who are saying that they’re not aligned,” he said.
“They are wrong, they are making a historic error,” he said.
The non-aligned movement “fought for peace, for the sovereignty of states for the territorial integrity of everybody” but “those who are keeping silent today, actually are in a way complicit with a cause of a new imperialism”, he said.
Macron also criticised countries opposed to sanctions because it may affect them economically.
“Let us not muddle up cause and effect. Who here can defend the idea that the invasion of Ukraine justifies no sanction,” he asked.
He warned, “Consider that the day when something similar with a more powerful neighbour happens to you there’ll be silence from the region from the world (and) who can say that’s the best solution.”
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @arulouis)