The New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio has pulled out of virtual world cities summit hosted by the Kingdom Saudi Arabia.
De Blasio who announced his decision on Monday September 28, 2020, cited Saudi’s human rights abuses as his excuse.
The Urban 20 summit (U20) is meant to run from 30 September to 2 October, which de Blasio pointed out was the anniversary of the murder of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Mayor de Blasio said, “The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how crucial it is for cities across the world to work together while standing up for what’s right. We cannot lead the world without speaking out against injustices.”
He added that “We must stand united for combating climate change, advancing peace and protecting human rights. I urge my colleagues in other global cities to join me in withdrawing from this year’s U20 summit and demanding progress.”
The U20 summit is a meeting of the world’s most powerful industrialised cities.
Several other city leaders have been urged by human rights activists to ditch the conference.