United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the world is “going in the wrong direction”, urging countries to act and take urgent measures to fight COVID-19 and climate change.
He said in a press conference that Covid-19 represents “an alarm and we are in a deep sleep “.
In a speech before the General Assembly meetings, which begin in New York on September 21, Guterres regretted that vaccine-producing countries were not in able to increase production to reach the goal of vaccinating around 70% of the world population by the first half of 2022.
“The pandemic has demonstrated our collective inability to cooperate and make common decisions for the common good, even in the face of an immediate global emergency that threatens our lives,” he added.
Guterres has rejected requests to postpone the main UN climate summit known as COP26, to be held in Scotland in November.
Climate activists had asked for the summit to be postponed due to the inequity in the distribution of vaccines, the outbreak of the Covid epidemic and logistical difficulties in organizing the event.
“Delaying the Kobe summit is not a good thing – said Guterres -. There have been several postponements. The matter is very urgent”.
Guterres urged the US and China to make greater efforts to combat climate change, stating: “We need stronger participation from the US, in particularly to finance climate-related development issues (…) We also need further efforts from China in terms of mitigation of emissions “.
“We understand that there are problems in relations between the United States and China, but these problems should not enter in conflict with the need for the two countries to do whatever it is in their power to ensure the success of the ‘COP26’ summit, “he said.
On 21 September, on the eve of the General Assembly, Guterres is organizing a closed-door climate summit with about forty participants, in order to further mobilize as COP26 approaches.
“The choices we make, or don’t make today, can lead to a new break or a new turn towards a greener, better and safer future,” he noted.
Guterres felt that “now is the time to restore global solidarity and find new ways of working together for the common good”, speaking of the importance of creating an emergency platform. in case of a new global crisis, creating a position for the United Nations sent for generations future or hold a “world summit on the future” in 2023.
He stressed that the results of this summit “could address issues such as universal social protection, universal health coverage, adequate housing, education for all and decent work, within the framework of a more equitable and united global economy”, in so that this is “possible everywhere”.
“It is time to think long term, to give more to the young and to the generations future”, he said.
Guterres reiterated his call for a “global vaccination plan” to tackle Covid-19, stressing the need to take “urgent and bold measures to address the triple crisis (represented by) climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution that is underway. destroying the planet “. However, these calls have not yet been heard.
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