The world is in 'great peril', warns UN chief Guterres

The world is in 'great peril', warns UN chief Guterres

09/20/2022

The world is in ‘great peril’ with global superpowers split over Putin’s Ukraine invasion, the planet ‘literally on fire’ from climate catastrophes and Covid persisting, warns UN chief Guterres

  • Guterres asked world leaders to tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes
  • The 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders starts Tuesday 
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda for many leaders 

The United Nations Secretary General has warned that the world is in ‘great peril.’

In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders’ meeting on Tuesday, Antonio Guterres asked leaders around the world to tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda for many of the world leaders in the 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders.

In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders’ meeting on Tuesday, Antonio Guterres asked leaders around the world to tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes

Guterres has also ask for fighting against increasing poverty, inequality and to address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.

It not only threatens the sovereignty of its smaller neighbour but has raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe at Europe’s largest nuclear plant in the country’s now Russia-occupied southeast.

The loss of important grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia has triggered a food crisis, especially in developing countries, and inflation and a rising cost of living in many others. 

Guterres has also asked for fighting against increasing poverty, inequality and to address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The head of the United Nations says leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality — and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This year, the 193-member General Assembly returns to only in-person speeches, with a single exception — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda for many of the world leaders.

Guterres cited the ‘immense’ task not only of saving the planet, ‘which is literally on fire,’ but of dealing with the persisting Covid-19 pandemic. 

He pointed to ‘a lack of access to finance for developing countries to recover – a crisis not seen in a generation’ that has seen ground lost for education, health and women’s rights.

Guterres will deliver his ‘state of the world’ speech at Tuesday’s opening of the annual high-level global gathering. 

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it would be ‘a sober, substantive and solutions-focused report card’ for a world ‘where geopolitical divides are putting all of us at risk.’  

‘There will be no sugar-coating in his remarks, but he will outline reasons for hope,’ Dujarric told reporters Monday.

The 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders convenes under the shadow of Europe’s first major war since World War II — the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a global food crisis and opened fissures among major powers in a way not seen since the Cold War.

Nearly 150 heads of state and government are on the latest speakers’ list. 

That’s a sign that despite the fragmented state of the planet, the United Nations remains the key gathering place for presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and ministers to not only deliver their views but to meet privately to discuss the challenges on the global agenda – and hopefully make some progress.

Leaders in many countries are trying to prevent a wider war and restore peace in Europe. 

The 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders convenes under the shadow of Europe’s first major war since World War II — the conflict between Russia and Ukraine

 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a global food crisis and opened fissures among major powers in a way not seen since the Cold War.

Diplomats, though, aren’t expecting any breakthroughs this week.

At a meeting Monday to promote U.N. goals for 2030 — including ending extreme poverty, ensuring quality education for all children and achieving gender equality — Guterres said the world’s many pressing perils make it ‘tempting to put our long-term development priorities to one side.’

But the U.N. chief said some things can’t wait — among them education, dignified jobs, full equality for women and girls, comprehensive health care and action to tackle the climate crisis. He called for public and private finance and investment, and above all for peace.

The global gathering, known as the General Debate, was entirely virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic, and hybrid in 2021. 

Guterres cited the ‘immense’ task not only of saving the planet, ‘which is literally on fire,’ but of dealing with the persisting Covid-19 pandemic

He pointed to ‘a lack of access to finance for developing countries to recover – a crisis not seen in a generation’ that has seen ground lost for education, health and women’s rights. Picture shows a view of a burnt area in the Amazon rain forest in the region of Candeias do Jamari, Rondonia state, northern Brazil, on September 2, 2022

This year, the 193-member General Assembly returns to only in-person speeches, with a single exception — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Over objections from Russia and a few allies, the assembly voted last Friday to allow the Ukrainian leader to prerecord his speech because of reasons beyond his control — the ‘ongoing foreign invasion’ and military hostilities that require him to carry out his ‘national defense and security duties.’

By tradition, Brazil has spoken first for over seven decades because, at the early General Assembly sessions, it volunteered to start when no other country did.

The U.S. president, representing the host country for the United Nations, is traditionally the second speaker. 

But Joe Biden is attending the queen’s funeral, and his speech has been pushed to Wednesday morning. Senegalese President Macky Sall is expected to take Biden’s slot. 

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