West News Wire: At the United Nations on Tuesday, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. claimed that the world’s richest people are endangering the world’s poorest people and calling for action on climate change, nuclear weapons, and inequality.
In his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly since taking office in June, Marcos declared that “the time for talk about ‘if’ and ‘when’ has long since passed” in regards to climate change. He also urged industrialized nations to uphold their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support developing nations.
“Climate change’s uneven effects reflect a historical injustice: Those who bear the least responsibility for suffering bear the brunt of it,” Marcos added. This injustice needs to be rectified, and those who can do more right away.
Marcos returned to the theme of the rich-poor divide at multiple points throughout his speech, noting ballooning debt burdens, lack of Internet access and lopsided impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Richer nations immediately received vaccines at the expense of the have-nots,” he said. “Filipino health workers were at the front lines in many countries risking and oftentimes sacrificing their own lives to save those of others.”
Marcos hinted at inequality in the very complex he stood in, pressing for a seat on the Security Council. He said very foundations of the U.N. were being ignored, but offered no elaboration.
“Our very charter is being violated around the world as we speak,” he said.
Among other issues, Marcos called for a reduction in nuclear arms and the creation of regulations governing cyberspace and the weaponization of artificial intelligence.
Marcos was swept into office in a stunning election victory, 36 years after an army-backed “People Power” revolt booted his father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., from office and into global infamy. The elder Marcos was known for tyrannical rule, though his son has rejected labeling him a dictator.