‘Let’s not hate each other too much,’ Duterte tells UN amid geopolitical tensions
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called on all nations on Wednesday to “not hate each other too much” amid ongoing geopolitical tensions and a COVID-19 pandemic.
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte stressed the need for stability as the world grapples to address the health crisis.
“Mr. President, just as we needed stability and confidence because of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions continue to rise. Escalating tensions benefit no one. New flashpoints heighten fears and tend to tear peoples apart,” Duterte said. “When elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled flat.”
The President also expressed hope that these tensions would not turn into a real war.
“Given the size and military might of the contenders, we can only imagine and be aghast at the terrible toll on human life and property that shall be inflicted if the word war deteriorates into a real war of nuclear weapons and missiles,” Duterte said.
“I therefore call on the stakeholders in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East and Africa: If we cannot be friends as yet, then in God’s name, let us not hate each other too much. I heard it once said, and I say it to myself in complete agreement,” he added.
It was Duterte’s first time to address the UN since assuming office in 2016.
During his 20-minute speech, which was pre-recorded at Malacañang, the President touched on various issues like peace and security, human rights, and the maritime dispute over the South China Sea.
He was 12th out of 14 world leaders to address the UN General Assembly’s first block of high-level general debates.
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