In his address at the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern about the mounting global challenges and geopolitical tensions facing the world. He emphasized the critical importance of international cooperation in addressing these issues, stating that the planet is becoming unhinged and that leaders seem incapable of coming together to respond.
Guterres highlighted several existential threats, including climate change and disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, and stressed the need for effective multilateral institutions in a multipolar world. He pointed out that the current institutions, built in the aftermath of World War II, have not evolved enough to reflect the changing global landscape. Without meaningful reforms, the alternative is “further fragmentation.”
The Secretary-General warned of deepening divides between economic and military powers, as well as between developed and developing countries. He also raised concerns about a potential fracture in economic and financial systems, trade relations, and technological strategies. Guterres emphasized that action, rather than mere words, is needed to tackle these challenges and adopt necessary reforms.
However, the absence of leaders from the four veto-wielding nations on the UN Security Council—China, Russia, France, and Britain—has drawn criticism from developing countries. The G77, a group of developing nations, has called for greater attention to the UN’s sustainable development goals, which are currently off-track and unlikely to be achieved by the 2030 deadline.
In his address, Guterres painted a grim picture of the world, citing the rainfall and dam collapses in the Libyan city of Derna as a “sad snapshot” of the state of affairs. He stressed the need to address the climate emergency, escalating conflicts, technological disruptions, and the global cost-of-living crisis, which is exacerbating hunger and poverty.
The Secretary-General’s impassioned plea for reform and multilateral cooperation serves as a stark reminder that a fragmented world is ill-equipped to tackle the complex challenges it faces. Urgent action and compromise are needed to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for all.
Source: United Nations General Assembly