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Live Reporting

Edited by Emma Owen and Marianna Brady

All times stated are UK

  1. Thank you for joining us

    Emma Owen

    In Washington DC

    That's it from the live team covering the UN General Assembly today. But the meeting is continuing, with countries continuing to address delegates for most of the rest of the week.

    We'll cover the bigger developments on our website - they'll be collected together here. Our main story on today's meeting is here.

    Later in the week we expect US President Biden to host Ukrainian President Zelensky at the White House here in Washington DC - it goes without saying that we'll have eyes on that for you.

    Today's contributors were Jacqueline Howard, Chloe Kim, Mike Wendling, Bernd Debusmann, along with Madeline Halpert, James Landale, Sarah Smith and Nada Tawfik in New York.

  2. World leaders warn about inequality, AI and more

    We'll be closing up this live page soon.

    Clearly, the war in Ukraine and climate change have dominated the speeches today, but world leaders used their 15-or-so minutes on the podium to highlight other issues as well.

    • Several leaders highlighted global inequality. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said debt was holding developing nations back from improving living standards and tackling climate change. It was a theme also picked upon by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who said: "It's easy to come here every year to make the same promises and not deliver on those promises.”
    • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa focused his speech on the "increasingly remote" possibilities of attaining the UN's Agenda 2030 – a set of development goals that were outlined eight years ago.
    • And US President Joe Biden warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence. "We need to be sure to use these tools as opportunity and not as weapons of oppression," he said.
  3. With COP28 looming, leaders focus on climate change

    Nada Tawfik

    At the UN General Assembly

    The authorities in Hawaii are still counting the cost of wildfires in Maui

    Away from Ukraine, we've been hearing a lot about confronting climate change in today’s speeches and that’s because there’s a real sense of urgency given recent wildfires, droughts and flooding across the world.

    Timing is also a factor with the COP28 climate conference around the corner. This high-level week comes off the back of the hottest summer on record, but the Secretary General Antonio Guterres says leaders aren’t feeling the heat and actions are falling abysmally short.

    To keep global warming to no more than the critical tipping point of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialized levels, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

    But according to the World Economic Forum, currently, less than a 1% decrease is predicted under current commitments.

    Tomorrow there will be a climate ambition summit and only “first movers and doers” will be allowed to speak.

  4. Zelensky's pitch was aimed squarely at wavering countries

    James Landale

    Diplomatic correspondent

    President Zelensky was clear and brutal in his analysis.

    Russia, he said, was weaponizing food shortages, energy, even nuclear power. It was committing genocide by abducting children from occupied parts of Ukraine. And he warned against “shady deals” to try to end the war on unfair terms.

    So far, so straightforward.

    But his key point was to warn the international community that the outcome of the war would affect them all. Russia’s goal, he said, was to turn Ukraine into “a weapon against you, against the rules based international order”.

    The peace formula that he has been outlining for months was, he said, not just for Ukraine, but also the rest of the world.

    So the pitch was clear and aimed squarely at countries - many of them in the Global South - which have thus far stayed on the side lines.

    Western powers have been rushing around the UN trying to address those countries’ wider concerns about development issues and climate change.

    But President Zelensky’s argument was just about security. If Ukraine wins, then the rest of the world will be better protected from suffering similar aggression.

  5. Zelenksy's address: In brief

    Emma Owen

    Live reporter

    The delegates in the conference hall are continuing to hear speeches from other leaders. They'll be hearing from Guatamala, Hungary, Switzerland, Egypt and Krygyzstan. And that's just before the afternoon session officially begins.

    It's fair to say though, that the main interest was in Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky. So here's a brief summary of what he had to say.

    • Russia's invasion of his country is a grave threat to the whole world and Russia should have no right to hold nuclear weapons.
    • President Putin is weaponising everything from food, to energy, to nuclear power. Moscow's occupation of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant - Europe's biggest - had turned it into a "dirty bomb".
    • Russian forces were guilty of mass kidnappings of children from Ukraine, and they were being taught to hate their home country.
    • Discussions about the way forward should be open, and the fate of Wagner leader and former Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin highlights the perils of doing deals with Russia.
  6. Zelensky recieves ovation after speech

    Madeline Halpert

    at the UN General Assembly

    Zelensky at UN

    Zelensky receives about 30 seconds of applause from his fellow delegates as he finishes his speech.

    And that concludes one of today's main events - many reporters and leaders file out of the assembly hall as he exits the stage.

  7. 'Evil cannot be trusted - just ask Prigozhin' - Zelensky

    Zelensky spoke next about his peace formula, which he says will end the war in Ukraine.

    There is also a peace summit in the works, he says, and invited his audience to attend once confirmed.

    He says unity should be discussed openly, not behind closed doors.

    "Evil cannot be trusted, just ask Prigozhin," Zelensky said, referring to the former head of a private military group who mounted a mutiny against Putin and died in an airplane crash two months later.

    Zelensky ends his speech with hopes that Russia's war will be the last in the world, saying "Slava Ukraini" as he left the stage.

  8. Zelensky: Beware the weaponisation of AI

    Zelensky continues his speech by listing other lethal threats, beyond nuclear weapons.

    “We see towns, we see villages in Ukraine, wiped out by Russian artillery,” he says. “We know the possible effects of spreading war into cyberspace.”

    “Thank God people have not yet learned how to use climate as a weapon,” he continues, before listing several recent natural disasters.

    Then he brings his speech back to the conflict in his country.

    "When all of this is happening, one unnatural disaster in Moscow decided to launch a big war and kill tens of thousands of people," he says. "We must stop it."

  9. Kidnapping of children is a genocide - Zelensky

    Video content

    Video caption: Zelensky: Thousands of children abducted by Russia

    Zelensky now talks about Ukrainian children who have been taken to Russia.

    He says in the past terrorist groups have kidnapped children, but in the Ukraine war, the kidnapping and deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia is Putin's government policy, something never seen before.

    "There are tens of thousands of children we know have been kidnapped by Russia," Zelensky says, and "we are trying to get children back home, but time goes by. What will happen to them?"

    "Those children in Russia are taught to hate Ukraine and all ties with their families are broken. This is clearly a genocide," he says.

  10. Food has become a weapon, says Zelensky

    There are treaties against weapons, the Ukrainian president says, but no real restrictions against weaponising things like food.

    "Since the start of the full-scale war, the Ukrainian ports have been blocked by Russia," he says. "Our ports on the Danube River remain the target for missiles and drones."

    Zelensky says Russia is using food supplies to pressure other countries to recognise captured Ukrainian territory as Russian, and he thanks those countries who have bought Ukrainian grain to resist those efforts.

  11. Zelensky condemns Russia's nuclear weapons

    Zelensky begins his speech on the topic of nuclear war.

    He says the 20th century taught us not to deploy weapons of mass destruction, and to promote complete nuclear disarmament.

    But Russia still has nuclear resources and "has no right" to hold nuclear weapons, he says.

    Video content

    Video caption: Zelensky questions Russia's right to nuclear weapons
  12. Zelensky receives warm welcome

    Madeline Halpert

    At the UN General Assembly


    Delegates have just filed in to the hall to hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who received a loud round of applause from the room.

    Reporters have packed several rows in the gallery to catch a glimpse of Zelensky’s speech.

    Zelensky is now addressing the crowd.

  13. Calm assembly hall before Zelensky speaks

    Madeline Halpert

    At the UN General Assembly

    I’m in the General Assembly hall awaiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech.

    Right now Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedow is addressing a relatively quiet and sparsely populated assembly hall.

    Zelensky is expected to take the stand next, likely to bring in a flock of reporters in the gallery above.

    UN General Assembly hall
  14. President Zelensky has two tasks at the UN

    James Landale

    Diplomatic correspondent

    President Zelensky

    The Ukrainian president is due to speak soon.

    Zelensky has received a warm welcome, but he wants more than hugs and handshakes from the delegates in New York.

    First: He wants to encourage existing allies to maintain their military support despite the slower than expected counter offensive against Russian forces.

    Second: He wants to use the opportunity to engage with world leaders who’ve not taken sides in the war and want it to end because it’s hurting their economies.

    So Ukraine’s president will attend a separate summit on the UN’s beleaguered development targets that many countries think are being side tracked by the war.

    And he’ll set out what he described as a concrete proposal to help the UN defend the principle of territorial integrity - and improve its ability to thwart aggression.

    In recent months, the UN has struggled to do either thing. Last night Zelensky questioned why there was still a place on the security council for what he called “Russian terrorists”.

  15. Qatar and South Africa focus on peace and development

    Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
    Image caption: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

    We've just heard from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    Al Thani's remarks were wide-ranging, touching upon a host of regional issues including Lebanon's economy, conflicts in Libya and Yemen, racism, the environment and what he termed "heavy-handed and draconian" Israeli measures in the Gaza Strip.

    He also lauded Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup as a "model" for future tournaments.

    Ramaphosa largely focused his speech on the "increasingly remote" possibilities of attaining the goals of the UN's Agenda 2030, which he said has been "diverted by the scourge of war" and other disasters.

    These wars, he said, "can and must be overcome", including both in Africa and in Ukraine.

    He also called on the international community to do more to support peace efforts and "silence the guns on the African continent" in places such as Sudan and the Horn of Africa.

  16. It's time to correct global inequalities - Portugal

    Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa speaks at the UN

    Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has thrown his support behind the President of the UN General Assembly's plea for nations to make the most of the opportunities the UN presents.

    "It's easy to come here every year to make the same promises and not deliver on those promises," Rebelo de Sousa said.

    "Year after year we lose time," he continued, adding the time has come for members of the UN to deliver on peace, co-operation and correcting global inequalities.

  17. WATCH: Erdogan says UN Security Council not a guarantor of world security

    Video content

    Video caption: Erdogan: Security Council not a guarantor of world security
  18. Turkey to 'step up' diplomacy in Ukraine war

    Erdogan speaks at the UN

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will "step up" efforts to end the war.

    He said that since the start of the war, Turkey has been working to keep talks going between Russia and Ukraine, but now will up the efforts "on the basis of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity".

    Erdogan and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky are scheduled to meet while the pair are in New York for the UN summit.

  19. Turkish President thanks UN for earthquake response

    Erdogan speaks at the UN

    The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is speaking now, and has thanked the assembled world leaders for their "friendship" during the earthquake that struck in February this year.

    "It is impossible for us to forget the sincerity of the international community in responding urgently to our appeal for help," Erdogan said.

    Efforts are under way to rebuild the cities that were razed by the quake, he said.

  20. Putin totally underestimated Nato allies, says Stoltenberg

    Outside the assembly hall, there is a large media pack grabbing interviews with delegates.

    The BBC spoke to Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said Russia's violations went against the core and fundamental principles of the international organisation.

    "The courage of the Ukrainian people has impressed the whole world," he said.

    You can watch his interview below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Stoltenberg: 'Putin totally underestimated Nato allies'