UNGA78: UN chief rejects absence of key leaders, says nations must deliver on climate and development pledges

“This is not one Vanity Fair. This is a political body in which governments are represented, he said UN News in an exclusive interview.

“What matters is that [countries] is represented by someone who can [rise to] the present moment,” he said, adding, “So I’m not too worried about who’s coming. What I’m worried about [about] making sure that the countries that are here … are ready to make the necessary commitments to do so Goals for sustainable development which unfortunately does not go in the right direction, a reality.”

Here, Mr. Guterres emphasized the need to reform the current “unfair, dysfunctional and outdated” global financial system to ensure the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

He recalled his 500 billion SDG Stimulus proposals to support developing countries to ensure they have the resources they need to achieve the SDGs.”

Action against climate change

The UN chief further said that his 2023 Climate Ambition Summit will allow countries, businesses and civil society to step up their efforts to reign in runaway climate change.

In a notable departure from standard practice where countries are front and center, this summit will provide a platform for what the Secretary-General referred to as “frontliners”, those most committed to climate action and who can share best practices.

“We are moving towards a global temperature increase of 2.6-2.8°C by the end of the century,” he warned, stressing the urgency of returning to the goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5° C above the pre-industrial level.

“It is still possible with political will – but much needs to be done,” Mr Guterres stressed.

Pushing for peace in Ukraine

As for the ongoing war in Ukrainereiterated the Secretary-General that the central objective is to secure peace, which is just and consistent with United Nations Charter and international law.

However, he cautioned against undue optimism, acknowledging that current conditions may not favor “serious dialogue” on peace.

“I think the parties are far from that possibility at the moment, but we will never, never stop our efforts to ensure that peace comes to Ukraine,” he stressed.

Focus on public health

Mr. Guterres also spoke about the unprecedented three ministerial-level talks next week global public health: pandemic preparedness, universal health coverage and tuberculosis.

“Universal health coverage is an essential goal of the UN,” he said, adding that “it not only requires the UN system to function, but also requires financial systems to be much fairer than they are today.

Mr. Guterres also emphasized that “one of the things that I think is essential is to increase the resources and the power of the World Health Organization.”

Full transcript of the interview follows.

Leave a Comment