The United Nations chief issued a dire warning to leaders around the world on Tuesday, insisting that international cooperation was vital, declaring that the planet was becoming unhinged due to growing global challenges and geopolitical tensions, and warning that “we seem unable to Let’s work together to deal with it.”

Secretary-General António Guterres addressed presidents and prime ministers, monarchs and ministers at the opening of a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, laying out the “existential threats” facing the world, from climate change to disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence.

“Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are getting tougher. We seem unable to come together to respond,” Guterres told those who govern the world. He said that the United Nations and the way countries cooperate must continue to evolve to adapt to the requirements of the times.

“The world has changed. Our institutions have not,” Guterres said before the opening of the UN General Assembly’s general debate. “We can’t effectively solve problems if institutions don’t reflect the world as it is. Instead of solving the problem, they run the risk of becoming part of the problem.”

This is happening. Guterres said the world is undergoing a “chaotic transformation” and is rapidly moving from a brief “unipolar” period (dominated by a single power, the United States) to a multipolar world with multiple centers of power. This is positive in many ways, he said.

Promote an effective “multipolar” world

Guterres said that a multipolar world requires strong and effective multilateral institutions, where all countries work together to solve world challenges. But not enough has changed in the current institutions built on the ashes of World War II, including the United Nations with its powerful Security Council and major global financial institutions.

Guterres said that if these institutions do not reform to reflect today’s world, the alternative is not to maintain the status quo but to maintain the status quo. This is “further fragmentation.” He added: “Either reform or rupture.”

Guterres warned that divisions are deepening between economic and military powers, between developed and developing countries, and between Western and Eastern countries.

He said: “We are stepping closer to a huge rupture in the economy, financial system and trade relations, which threatens a single, open network. (1) There are differences in technology and artificial intelligence strategies, and there may be conflicts in security frameworks.”

He said the world now needs action – not just more words – and compromise to address the world’s challenges and adopt necessary reforms.

There are many leaders, but key figures are missing

This year’s week-long U.N. high-level meeting is the first full gathering of world leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel, with 145 leaders scheduled to deliver speeches. This number reflects numerous crises and conflicts.

But U.S. President Joe Biden, who spoke shortly after Guterres, became the only leader of the five powerful veto-wielding nations on the U.N. Security Council to address the 193-member General Assembly for the first time in years. people.

China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Putin, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Rishi Sunak will all be absent from the United Nations this year.This should put Ukrainian President Zelensky takes center stageLater Tuesday, when he takes the convention podium for the first time, Biden will receive special attention for his views on China, Russia and Ukraine.

Guterres harshly criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, telling world leaders it was “evidence” that countries were violating their UN Charter peace commitments and their mandate to guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states.

This year’s week-long gathering is the first full gathering of world leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel, with 145 leaders scheduled to speak. This number reflects numerous crises and conflicts.

The absence of the leaders of the four nations on the Security Council has prompted complaints from developing countries who want major global players to listen to their demands – including providing funds to start closing the widening gap between the world’s haves and have-nots.

The Group of 77, the U.N.’s main group of developing countries with 134 members including China, has lobbied hard to have this year’s global gathering focus on the 17 U.N. goals adopted by world leaders in 2015. These targets are well behind the 2030 half-term expiration date.

At the two-day summit, Guterres pointed to the grim findings in the U.N. report to kick-start action to achieve the goals. He said that 15% of some 140 specific targets to achieve the 17 goals are on track. Many are heading in the wrong direction and none of the goals are expected to be achieved within the next seven years.

He tells of ‘sad snapshot’ of world

In his State of the Union address, Guterres described the heavy rains and dam collapse in the Libyan city of Derna as “a sad snapshot of the state of our world.” Thousands of lives have been lost – victims of years of conflict, climate chaos, leaders near and far who have failed to restore peace, and all this “indifference”.

He says the world needs to cope The worsening climate emergency, Escalating conflicts, “enormous technological disruption” and a global cost-of-living crisis leading to increased hunger and poverty.

At the two-day summit, Guterres pointed to the grim findings in the U.N. report to kick-start action to achieve the goals. He said that of the approximately 140 specific goals to achieve the United Nations’ 17 “sustainable development goals”, 15% are on track. Many are heading in the wrong direction and none of the goals are expected to be achieved within the next seven years.

The goals are broad and include ending extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring every child has access to quality secondary education, achieving gender equality and making significant progress in combating climate change – all of which are to be achieved by 2030.

The report says that at the current rate, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030, 84 million children will not even be able to attend primary school – and it will take 286 years to achieve gender equality.

Leaders from the 193 UN member states unanimously adopted a political declaration acknowledging that the goals “are at risk”. But a dozen times in different ways it reaffirmed leaders’ commitment to achieving the goals, reaffirming their personal importance.

The declaration lacked specific details, but Guterres said he was “deeply encouraged” by its commitment to improving developing countries’ access to “the fuel they need to make progress on the sustainable development goals: finance.” He noted that it supports at least $500 billion in annual stimulus to advance these goals, aimed at offsetting challenging market conditions facing developing countries.

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Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press chief United Nations correspondent, has been covering international affairs for more than 50 years.

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