UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged world leaders attending the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to come up with solutions to global challenges.
Guterres made the call at a news conference on Wednesday in New York, ahead of the gathering of 193 Member States for the UN General Assembly High Level Week starting on Monday, Sept 18.
“This is not a time for posturing or positioning.
“Action is what the world needs,” he said.
He defined the gathering as “one of a kind moment” to both assess the state of world affairs but also “act for the common good.”
“This is not a time for indifference or indecision. This is a time to come together for real, practical solutions.
“It is time for compromise for a better tomorrow. Politics is compromise. Diplomacy is compromise. Effective leadership is compromise.”
He reflected on the thousands of deaths in Morocco and Libya in recent days.
“The United Nations is mobilising to support relief efforts. We will work in any and every way we can with partners to help get emergency assistance to those who so desperately need it,” the secretary-general said.
Fresh from key international summits in Nairobi, Jakarta and New Delhi – plus a visit to Havana on Thursday to meet leaders of the G77 group plus China, he said UNGA78 was convening for high level meetings amidst huge challenges.
He cited the intensifying climate emergency, new conflicts, the cost of living, and soaring inequality.
“People are looking to their leaders for a way out of this mess. Yet in the face of all this and more, geopolitical divisions are undermining our capacity to respond.
“A multipolar world is emerging. Multipolarity can be a factor of equilibrium, but it can also lead to escalating tensions, fragmentation and worse,” Guterres said.
“To cement this new and complex world order, there need to be strong and reformed institutions based around the UN Charter and international law.
“I know reform is fundamentally about power – and there are many competing interests and agendas in our increasingly multipolar world.”
He laid out the stall for next week’s key summits, on climate, investment for development, health challenges and specific regional crises.
Next week begins with a two-day meeting on how best to “rescue” the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in Paris eight years ago, on the road to the ambitious 2030 deadline.
The UN chief, however, reiterated his appeal to those Heads of State and Government bound for New York.
“If we want a future of peace and prosperity based on equity and solidarity, leaders have a special responsibility to achieve compromise in designing our common future for our common good.
“Next week in New York is the place to start,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 78th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Sept. 6 with the inauguration of a new President, Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago, who will take on the mantle for the next 12 months.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu will address the Assembly on Sept. 19.