United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2022.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images
UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered a grim assessment of global affairs Tuesday in the opening address of the annual high-level meeting in New York City.
“Our world is in danger and paralysis,” Guterres told world leaders attending the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which returned in person this week for the first time in three years.
“We are stuck in a massive global dysfunction,” he said, adding that the international community was “not ready or willing to meet” the challenges it faces, including climate change, poverty and war.
Guterres added that “the Charter of the United Nations and the ideals it represents are in danger and we have a duty to act.”
Notes come in the form of Europe is facing perhaps its biggest military conflict since World War IIWhich exposed divisions among the major powers over how to deter Russia, support Ukraine, and mitigate the consequences of the war.
In February, Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine after nearly five months of a gradual military build-up along the borders of their former Soviet neighbor.
Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has lasted more than 200 days, has exacerbated a global food crisis already strained by climate challenges and disruption to supply chains. The conflict claimed the lives of more than 6,000 civilians and reduced the once industrious Ukrainian cities to rubble.
A street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022. The besieged Ukrainian city may now face a deadly cholera outbreak, NBC News quotes local officials as saying.
Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images
“Geopolitical divisions undermine the work of the Security Council, undermine international law, undermine people’s trust and belief in democratic institutions, and undermine all forms of international cooperation,” Guterres told leaders seated in the green and gold-clad General Assembly hall.
“We cannot continue like this,” he added.
In addition to the Russian war in Ukraine, Annan urged world leaders to address the looming climate crisisGender inequality and extreme poverty. It has pushed leaders to invest in policies that promote peace around the world.
“Trust is crumbling, inequalities are exploding, and our planet is burning,” Guterres said.
“Let us act as one, as an alliance of the world, like the United Nations.”
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