United Nations, 20 September (EFE). — UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened Tuesday the annual meeting of leaders in the General Assembly with a stark warning about the situation in a world that is becoming increasingly fragmented, unequal and unable to solve the big problems that affect everyone.
“The world is in danger and paralyzed,” Guterres told the heads of state and government gathered in New York, from whom he demanded cooperation and urgent action to stop the consequences of wars, against the food crisis and against climate change.
The head of the UN insisted that the great world challenges cannot be solved alone or with alliances of countries, but a great “world coalition” is needed.
“We have a winter of global discontent on the horizon. There is an intense cost-of-living crisis. Confidence is crumbling. Inequality explodes. Our planet is on fire. People are suffering and the most vulnerable are the most vulnerable,” he warned.
In a lengthy speech, Guterres touched on all the major current international issues, starting with the food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and threatening to provoke a major famine in several countries.
Guterres stressed the need to fix problems with fertilizer supplies, for which the UN is trying to facilitate exports from Russia, exports not subject to international sanctions but reduced since the start of the conflict.
“There is enough food in the world this year, the problem is distribution. But if the fertilizer market does not stabilize, next year the problem may lie in the food supply itself,” he warned.
About the war in UkraineGuterres said the Russian invasion caused “widespread destruction with massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”, claimed thousands of lives, forced millions of people to flee their homes and affected billions of people around the world.
In addition, he recalled, the conflict exacerbates the international divide and today there are “enormous threats to global peace and security” and “nuclear sword rattling”, which only exacerbate instability.
“There is no cooperation. There is no dialogue. There is no collective solution to problems,” he lamented, calling for the creation of new mechanisms to resolve this division.
Guterres also addressed the economic crisis and the effects of runaway inflation, especially in the most vulnerable countries.
“About 94 countries with 1.6 billion people, mostly in Africa, are experiencing a real storm: the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, rising food and energy prices, unsustainable debt burdens, skyrocketing inflation and lack of access to finance. ,” he said.
In response, he called on the G20 — the group that brings together the most powerful economies — to deliver a big stimulus package to ease this crisis and save the Sustainable Development Goals.
Guterres’ speech marked the beginning of the UN General Assembly, before which some 150 heads of state and government will address this week.
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