New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio pulled out of Saudi’s virtual world cities summit, citing Saudi’s human rights abuses.
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 continued: “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.
Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.
Western intelligence agencies have found that the responsibility for the murder of Khashoggi was Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Eight men have been put on trial and handed prison sentences for their role in the killing.