Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared the United Nations to a “retired superhero” while speaking at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, saying the organization was not aggressive enough in addressing some of the world’s biggest crises, The Associated Press reported.
Zelensky said those international crises, including air pollution, climate change, poverty and hunger, were not being met with adequate global might, relegating the U.N. to a shadow of what it once was.
“The world simply is throwing all those misfortunes into a big bag, and it’s now already ripping at the seams,” Zelensky, who is also a former comedian, told world leaders, the AP reported. “The U.N. is like a retired superhero who’s long forgotten how great they once were.”
Instead, he said that when world leaders came together each year, “it’s as if we were voting to award some sort of a ‘Global Misfortune of the Year’ prize," though he acknowledged that the U.N. had achieved some successes, including the creation of UNICEF to help children and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
He also blasted world leaders who are not doing enough to assist the international community in helping vaccinate other countries.
“We are all in one boat, but access to lifeboats is given first to first-class passengers,” said Zelensky, whose country’s vaccination rate is barely over 10 percent, according to the AP.
He noted that it was “one thing is to share objectives and quite another is to share vaccines.”
He also urged countries to push back harder on Russia's annexation of Crimea — a geopolitical fight that has cost the lives of 14,000, the AP noted.
The remarks come during the Ukrainian president's third appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, the first of which was while he was embroiled in the political fallout from a call with then-President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE asking him to investigate Joe BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE and his son.