The summit was compelled on-line this yr as a result of pandemic and the 14-day quarantine rules in New York Metropolis. Covid-19 loomed closely over the primary day of the occasion. As an alternative of assembly in particular person, UN officers, presidents and prime ministers despatched pre-recorded speeches to mark the event.US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and a set of strongmen together with China’s Xi Jinping, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Russia’s Vladimir Putin all spoke early on Tuesday. UN Secretary Normal António Guterres known as the well being disaster “our personal 1945 second” — a reference to World Conflict II — and described Covid-19 as “a poisonous virus shaking the democratic underpinnings in lots of international locations.”Guterres’ remarks touched on rising world poverty and fractured diplomatic relations, and warned of the more and more bitter standoff between the China and the US, whose diplomatic relationship he stated was shifting “in a really harmful course.””Our world can not afford a future the place the 2 largest economies cut up the globe in a Nice Fracture — every with its personal commerce and monetary guidelines and web and synthetic intelligence capacities,” he stated.Guterres additionally steered a New International Deal to resolve the disaster, constructed on a multilateral method. However Tuesday’s session typically highlighted an absence of unity between UN members, with tensions notably obvious between the US and China.Trump praised his personal dealing with of the pandemic within the US, and touted his function in facilitating peace agreements between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel, saying that extra peace agreements could be coming shortly.He used a part of his time to assault China, calling the coronavirus the “China virus” and urging the UN to carry Beijing accountable for the pandemic. He accused Beijing of “permitting flights to depart China and infect the world” and of “nearly controlling” the World Well being Group.WHO Communications director Gabby Stern responded on Twitter, writing, “@WHO has 194 Member States; nobody gov’t controls us.”In a direct problem to multilateralism, the US President additionally stated world leaders ought to every put their very own international locations first. “For many years the identical drained voices proposed the identical failed options pursuing world ambitions on the expense of their very own individuals, however solely if you maintain your personal residents will you discover a true foundation for cooperation,” Trump stated. He added, “As president, I’ve rejected the failed approaches of the previous, and I’m proudly placing America first, simply as you have to be placing your international locations first. That is okay. That is what you have to be doing.”Talking proper after President Xi’s pre-recorded message, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jan rejected Trump’s “baseless accusations.” Later on the Chinese language Mission in New York, he described the US handing of the pandemic as “an entire failure” and stated that China would formally reply to Trump’s accusations later within the week.Xi, for his half, pointedly expressed his nation’s dedication to pursuing “open and inclusive growth,” to constructing an open world financial system, and upholding the multilateral buying and selling regime “with the WTO because the cornerstone.””We must always say no to unilateralism and protectionism,” Xi stated.Xi additionally introduced that China goals to see CO2 emissions “peak” earlier than 2030, and to attain carbon neutrality by 2060. In distinction to Trump, Russia’s Putin praised the UN, saying that over the a long time it had “been ably fulfilling its mission of defending peace, selling sustainable growth of the peoples and continents and offering help in mitigating native crises.” “This huge potential and experience of the UN is related and serves as a stable foundation for shifting forward,” he stated.In the meantime, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro used his message to accuse international brokers of overhyping fires within the Amazon. Flames are at the moment raging within the Amazon for a second consecutive yr, and deforestation has elevated since Bolsonaro took workplace.”We’re victims of probably the most brutal misinformation marketing campaign concerning the Amazon and the Brazilian wetlands,” Bolsonaro stated.One other conflict, this time in Europe, took heart stage when Turkey’s Erdogan spoke. The Turkish chief known as for a regional convention to deal with tensions within the Japanese Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece, and accused Greece of inflicting issues within the area.Keep away from ‘vaccinationalism,’ UN pleadsVaccines had been additionally on a number of leaders’ minds, after Guterres’ opening deal with urged UN member states to keep away from nationalism in terms of curbing the pandemic.A number of leaders touted their nation’s vaccine candidates as a possible resolution.Putin stated the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine was “dependable, secure and efficient.” Moscow drew criticism when it permitted Sputnik V earlier this summer season earlier than conducting Part three scientific trials. Ha added that he could be wiling to offer the vaccine to UN staffers. “Russia is able to present the UN with all the mandatory certified help; particularly, we’re providing to offer our vaccine, freed from cost, for the voluntary vaccination of the workers of the UN and its places of work,” he stated.China’s Xi stated Beijing’s vaccines could be a “world public good” as soon as developed and famous that there have been a number of in Part three scientific trials.He added that if a vaccine was developed, it might be “offered to different growing international locations on a precedence foundation.” Although nationwide leaders stayed dwelling, the UN’s iconic Meeting Corridor was not fully empty this week — one diplomat per nation is allowed to introduce their chief’s speech.On the sidelines, largely digital conferences will even happen on subjects together with local weather change, biodiversity, and Lebanon.CNN”s Richard Roth and Laura Dolan contributed to this report.