Strengthening multilateralism ‘only way’ to peaceful world for all: Guterres
The United Nations flag flies at half-mast at UN Headquarters.
Stronger collaboration among countries is the only sustainable path to a peaceful, stable, prosperous world for all, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Friday.
The meeting is taking place at an extremely challenging moment for multilateralism and global governance, with the international order “at risk of coming apart at the seams”, he said, citing challenges that include the climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and new and evolving forms of conflict.
“Strengthening multilateralism – the theme of this session – is not a choice, but a necessity,” Mr. Guterres said in a video message.
“It is the only way to avoid widespread food shortages, deepening climate chaos, and a wave of poverty and destitution that will leave no country untouched”.
The UN chief outlined three areas for urgent multilateral action: the growing climate emergency; the food, energy and finance crisis, and the unequal recovery from the pandemic.
The climate crisis is our number one emergency, he said, warning that the battle to keep global temperature rise to the 1.5-degree goal “will be won or lost” by the end of the decade.
“You represent the major economies – and 80 per cent of global emissions,” he told the Foreign Ministers. “The responsibility for preventing the worst impacts of the climate crisis rests largely on your shoulders”.
‘Renewable energy revolution’
Although global missions need to decline by 45 per cent below 2010 levels in order to meet the 1.5-degree goal, current national climate pledges would result in a 14 per cent increase by 2030.
Describing this as “collective suicide”, the UN chief called for a “renewable energy revolution,” with ending the global addiction to fossil fuels as the top priority.
This means no new coal plants, or expansion in oil and gas exploration, he said. Furthermore, emerging economies must have access to resources and technology to transition to renewable energy.
“Wealthier countries must finally make good on the $100 billion climate finance commitment to developing countries, starting this year. We also need a radical boost for adaptation and early warning systems,” he said.
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