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Prince Harry says world ‘witnessing a global assault on democracy’

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, says the world is “witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom,” calling for action at what he dubs a “pivotal moment.”

The 37-year-old British royal family member delivered a fiery address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

Harry called the current moment a “time of global uncertainty and division, when it’s all too easy to look around and feel anger or despair.”

“How many of us feel battered, helpless in the face of the seemingly endless stream of disasters and devastation?” Harry asked.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Harry called 2022 a “painful year in a painful decade.”

Harry — who in 2020 stepped down along with his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, as a full-time working member of the royal family and moved to California — called out “a few weaponizing lies and disinformation at the expense of the many.”

Saying the United States is seeing a “rolling back of constitutional rights,” Harry told the General Assembly, “We are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom — the cause of Mandela’s life.”

“As we sit here today, our world is on fire … again,” Harry said.

The climate change crisis, he said “will only grow worse unless our leaders lead, unless the countries represented by the seats in this hallowed hall make the decisions — the daring, transformative decisions — that our world needs to save humanity.”

“These decisions may not fit with the agendas of every political party. They may invite resistance from powerful interests. But the right thing to do is not up for debate, and neither is the science,” said Harry, who as a member of the royal family was expected to maintain political neutrality.

“This is a pivotal moment — a moment when multiple converging crises have given way to an endless string of injustices,” Harry said during his keynote speech.

Harry urged leaders and the public to model their response to the world’s catastrophes after Mandela, who became South Africa’s first democratically elected leader after being imprisoned for 27 years during apartheid. Mandela died in 2013.

“We can do what Mandela did every, single day behind that 7.9 foot prison cell on Robben Island and every day outside of it, too. We can find meaning and purpose in the struggle.”

“We can wear our principles as armor,” the father of two said.

“We have an obligation to give as much, if not more, than we take. And never shudder in the face of darkness. The hope is the fuel that courage requires,” he said.

“Let’s seek out what we have in common, empower all people to reclaim our democracy,” Harry said, “and harness the light of Mandela’s memory to illuminate the way forward.”

Tags Climate change Prince Harry Prince Harry

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