Tom Swarbrick 4pm - 6pm
Prince Harry blasts Roe v Wade ruling as 'global assault on democracy and freedom'
19 July 2022, 10:07
The Duke of Sussex has condemned the state of American politics, warning of a "global assault on democracy and freedom" during a speech in New York on Monday.
Prince Harry, speaking at the UN General Assembly to mark Nelson Mandela International Day, told of the dangers of climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, "weaponising lies and disinformation", the war in Ukraine and abortion laws in the US.
He said: "This has been a painful year in a painful decade. We're living through a pandemic that continues to ravage communities in every corner of the globe; climate change wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all; the few, weaponising lies and disinformation at the expense of the many; and from the horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States.
"We are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom - the cause of Mandela's life."
Prince Harry warns of ‘global assault on democracy and freedom’ as he addresses United Nations
It comes after his wife Meghan Markle said the Duke had a "gutteral" reaction to the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade last month.
In a conversation with American feminist activist Gloria Steinem and journalist Jessica Yellin, published in Vogue, she said: "Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families, and communities at large," she said.
"They may target women, but the consequences impact all of us.
"My husband and I talked about that a lot over the past few days. He's a feminist too.
"His reaction last week was guttural, like mine. I know that for so many women right now, there is a sentiment of despair.
"But, again, we have to band together and not wallow. We have to do the work."
It is not the first time the Duke has commented on American politics having previously called on American voters to "reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity" during the "the most important election of our life".
The Duke, who was joined by the Duchess of Sussex at the conference, also spoke about his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales' meeting with the former South African leader in March 1997, and how he "sought solace" in Africa following her death.
Speaking about issues in Africa, the duke urged politicians across the world to "lead" despite "resistance from powerful interests".
Harry and Meghan arrived at the UN event smiling and holding hands, giving no response to a US reporter's question about biographer Tom Bower's latest book Revenge: Meghan, Harry And The War Between The Windsors.
Speaking about Diana, Harry said: "On my wall, and in my heart every day, is an image of my mother and Mandela meeting in Cape Town in 1997.
"The photo was presented to me by the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose friendship and inspiration were their own treasured gift. My wife and I had the honour of introducing our four-month-old son to him back in 2019.
"When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out was the joy on my mother's face; the playfulness, cheekiness, even... pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity.
"Then I looked at Mandela. Here was a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, asked to heal his country from the wreckage of its past and transform it for the future.
"A man who had endured the very worst of humanity - vicious racism and state-sponsored brutality. A man who had lost 27 years with his children and family that he would never get back."
Harry said he has "always found hope" in Africa, a continent where he "found peace and healing".
He added: "It's where I've felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife."