Addis Ababa, September 19/2023(ENA) “Reform or rupture” said Guterres today, calling for multilateralism to be remade for the 21st century.
Only determination and compromise can rescue a world that is becoming “unhinged”, Secretary-General António Guterres said delivering a stark message to leaders gathered in New York.
Reform the multilateral system and come together for the common good, he stressed.
The 78th UN General Debate is underway in New York in the presence of heads of state and government from most of the UN’s 193 member states.
For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic more than 3 years ago, the heads of state and government from most of the UN’s member states are meeting in the iconic General Assembly Hall for their annual week of debates.
In his opening address to the General Assembly, Secretary General Guterres said that “the world has changed. Our institutions have not. We cannot effectively address problems as they are if institutions do not reflect the world as it is. Instead of solving the problems, they risk becoming part of the problem.”
The secretary general delivered annual report on the work of the organization ahead of the Assembly’s annual General Debate.
UN General Assembly President, Dennis Francis said on his part global unity and solidarity are needed in the face of myriad crises that threaten to reverse decades of development gains and resign millions to poverty.
Francis underscored the assembly’s role as a unique and truly global platform for debate, dialogue, and problem-solving through multilateral diplomacy.
“This year our imperative is clear: To unite the nations, to be united in conviction of common purpose and in solidarity of joint action,” he said.
According to him, a common approach is needed as much as at any point in history since the international community confronts conflict, climate change, debt, energy and food crises, and poverty and famine.
The challenges are rolling back decades of hard-won development gains, thus condemning millions to lifelong intergenerational poverty and hardship, the assembly president stated.
Appealing to a common humanity, Francis implored leaders to make “full and effective use” of the General Assembly as the global forum to ignite change.
“Let us listen and learn. Let us rebuild trust and re-ignite global solidarity. And let us find common ground to address the challenges we face.”
The UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week kicked off on Monday with a summit to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to create a more equitable and greener future for all people and the planet by 2030.
Due to the cascading global crises and lack of financing, the 17 goals are in jeopardy, with more than a billion people still living in poverty.