New York: Expressing his deepest condolences over the recent earthquake in Morocco and floods in Libya, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressing the media ahead of the 78th session UN General Assembly beginning next week described the session as the “greatest G of all, namely G-193”. He expressed his deepest condolences and full solidarity with all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco and the massive floods in Libya.
He said the UN was mobilising support relief efforts and “we will work in any and every way we can with partners to help get emergency assistance to those who so desperately need it.” Having attended a number of gatherings of various groupings of world leaders, Guterres said “but next week begins the greatest G of all – the G-193 – the High-Level Week of the General Assembly.“
He described the General Assembly meeting as “one-of-a-kind moment each year for leaders from every corner of the globe to not only assess the state of the world – but to act for the common good.” Saying that what the world needs now is action, he said “we will be gathering at a time when humanity faces huge challenges – from the worsening climate emergency to escalating conflicts, the global cost-of-living crisis, soaring inequalities and dramatic technological disruptions.”
Guterres said that people were looking to their leaders for a way out of this mess. Stating that a multipolar world is emerging, he said ”multipolarity can be a factor of equilibrium. But it can also lead to escalating tensions, fragmentation and worse.” He felt that in order to bring this multipolar world together, there was need for a strong, reformed multilateral institutions, anchored in the United Nations Charter and international law.
Appealing to world leaders, he said that this was not a time for posturing or positioning, not a time for indifference or indecision but a time to come together for real, practical solutions. He said that it was a time for compromise for a better tomorrow.
“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,” he said.
Replying to a wide range of questions from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Black Sea grain deal to the international conferences, the UN Secretary General said “we should not use the UN as a scapegoat for the failures of Member States in respect of the Charter. So this was the context in which I said what I said. What can the UN do? The UN can, first of all, assert its principles. There is a voice that the UN can – and I’m talking about the Secretary-General of the UN in particular – the Secretary-General of the UN needs to be able to be the defender of the Charter and of international law, and the UN has a convening power that in some circumstances manages to bring together parties to a conflict or actors that are relevant in order to be able to overcome divisions and in order to be able to get to solutions.”
Stating that it is very difficult to make Member States come together when the level of divisions is as high as it is, he said “but we will do everything we can to raise our voice and we’ll do everything we can to convene with our mediation efforts, in order to help create conditions for addressing the dramatic crisis that we are facing at the present moment.”