Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the U.N.'s first-ever virtual meeting of global leaders Tuesday that the world is facing an "epochal" health crisis, the biggest economic calamity and job losses since the Great Depression, threats to human rights — and the risk of a new Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Iran PressAmerica: In his bleak state of the world speech to the U.N. General Assembly's annual high-level meeting, the U.N. chief said that the coronavirus that "brought the world to its knees" was but "a dress rehearsal for the world of challenges to come," AP reported.

Guterres also predicted — and sought to defuse —  the big drama of the day and the coming years: the confrontation between China and the United States.

“The world needs a global ceasefire to stop all “hot” conflicts, ” said Guterres. “At the same time, we must do everything to avoid a new Cold War. We are moving in a very dangerous direction. Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities. A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs.”

“We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” said Donald Trump in a brief speech that lasted about 7 minutes.  “In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world.  China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.”


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