Category: UN General Assembly (Page 1 of 2)

Boris Johnson to UN: ‘The adolescence of humanity is coming to an end’.

In his speech to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that ‘it is time for mankind to grow up and take responsibility for the damage we are inflicting on the planet’.

Boris Johnson said: “The human species is nearing the end of the adolescent phase of its evolutionary lifespan“.

He referred to November’s COP26 UN climate conference, which he is hosting in the Scottish city of Glasgow, as the moment to show that mankind is capable of learning and maturing.

Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage that, long before a million years (of humankind) are up, we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable, not just for us but for many other species”, said the Prime Minister of the UK.

Business as usual, warned the UK leader, will see temperatures going up by more than 2.7 degrees or more by the end of the century, with disastrous consequences, because of human action.

“Our grandchildren”, he said, “will know that.. we missed our cue, and they will ask what kind of people we were to be so selfish and so short-sighted”.

Looking ahead to COP26, Mr. Johnson described the climate conference as a opportunity to grow up, a metaphorical “16th birthday party for humanity”, at which the world can celebrate a coming of age, and “blow out the candles of a world on fire”, according UN News.

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UN chief: “Restore trust and inspire hope” to UN General Assembly.

With humanity on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction, the world must wake up“, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his keynote address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres called for greater action in areas such as climate policy, gender equality and closing the gap between rich and poor.

“This is our time.

A moment for transformation. 

An era to re-ignite multilateralism. 

An age of possibilities,” the UN Secretary-General told world leaders and ambassadors.      

“Let us restore trust. 

Let us inspire hope.

And let us start right now.”

Amid “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes”, which include the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, and upheaval in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Mr. Guterres singled out one disturbing image as indicative of the present moment, citing “the picture we have seen from some parts of the world of COVID-19 vaccines…in the garbage.

Expired and unused”.

“On the one hand, we see the vaccines developed in record time, a victory of science and human ingenuity.

On the other hand, we see that triumph undone by the tragedy of a lack of political will, selfishness and mistrust.”

For the UN Secretary-General, the fact that most wealthier countries are vaccinated, while more than 90 per cent of Africans are still awaiting their first dose, was “a moral indictment of the state of our world” and “an obscenity”, according UN News.

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UN chief: “Paris climate deal could go up in smoke without action”.

Unless wealthy nations commit to tackling emissions now, the world is on a “catastrophic pathway” to 2.7-degrees of heating by the end of the century, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned on Friday.

This is far beyond the one to 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, agreed by the international community as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The UN chief’s remarks came after the UN’s climate agency (UNFCCC) published an update on national climate action plans (officially known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) submitted by the 191 countries which signed Agreement.

The report indicates that while there is a clear trend that greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced over timenations must urgently redouble their climate efforts if they are to prevent disastrous global heating in the future.

Not enough

The document includes updates to the NDCs of 113 countries that represent around 49% of global emissions, including the nations of the European Union and the United States.

Those countries overall expect their greenhouse gas emissions to decrease by 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. 

“This is an important step,” the report points out, but insufficient, as highlighted by Mr. Guterres at Friday’s Forum of Major Economies on Energy and Climate, hosted by the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

“We need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century

It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities”, he emphasized.

70 countries indicated their embrace of carbon neutrality goals by around the middle of the century.

If this materializes, it could lead to even greater emissions reductions, of about 26% by 2030, compared to 2010, the report explains, according UN News.

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UNGA 76th session started, President calls on member states to embrace hope.

The United Nations General Assembly on opened its 76th session on Tuesday, with the UNGA president Abdulla Shahid and the UN chief Antionio Guterres imploring member states to embrace hope.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be the most challenging period the world has seen since the Second World War, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday, as the 75th session of the General Assembly gave way to the new, deepening inequalities, decimating economies and plunging millions into extreme poverty

Passing on the gavel to the new UN General Assembly president, António Guterres saluted his predecessor: “Throughout this difficult and historic moment, we have all been fortunate to rely on the leadership of His Excellency, President Volkan Bozkir”. 

The UN chief credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritizing a sustainable recovery, rooted in the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries and communities as they rebuild systems shattered by the pandemic. 

83 heads of state expected to attend 76th session of UN General Assembly.

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The new President of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid highlights hope.

The incoming President Abdulla Shahid of the UN General Assembly says that hope is desperately needed for those billions around the world struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, devastation, and strife.

The General Assembly is the only body which has the 193 countries represented and this body, when it speaks unanimously, when it decides on a matter, that is the international conscience,” Abulla Shahid said, ahead of the 76th General Assembly session, which starts on 14 September.  

He added that on issues such as climate change and equitable access to vaccines, he would “never give up hope that humanity will rise to the occasion.”  

Mr. Shahid also spoke about the importance of these issues and his overall presidency for his home country of the Maldives, which he serves as foreign minister, an island nation with a population of around 530,000 people

He will now represent a United Nations body that speaks on behalf of nearly 7.9 billion people

In an interview to UN News he quoted: “Investing in multilateralism is what we should do now. 

COVID-19 has once again shown us now that multilateralism is the only way forward.

The best investment in multilateralism is investing in young people“.

The World Government Movement wishes  Abdulla Shahid the best with his duty as 76th President of the UN General Assembly.

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UN chief: $1 billion pledge a ‘quantum leap’ in commitment to Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday hailed significant international financial support pledged to the people of Afghanistan following a meeting in Geneva, which nearly doubled the initial $606 million flash appeal for the country.

“Today, we have already heard clearly more than $1 billion in pledges, it represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people,” said Mr. Guterres.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths confirmed in his closing remarks to the meeting that more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid in total had been promised, incorporating both Monday’s appeal, and the regional response.

A ‘lifeline’ for Afghans

The funding will throw a lifeline to Afghans who lack those services; to the small children that Henrietta Fore of UNICEF spoke of, who face the risk of acute malnutrition.

And to the many women and girls who could lose their access to reproductive health services, and much more,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN humanitarian affairs office.

In an encounter with journalists on the sidelines of the high-level ministerial meeting, the UN Secretary-General noted that the fact that nearly 100 Member States had taken part in helping Afghanistan,

This in addition to more than 30 regional and international organisations, underscored that the crisis in Afghanistan remained a crucial issue for the global community, according UN News.

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Pope Francis to G20: “peace is a universal right”.

Pope Francis sends a message to participants in the G20 Interfaith Forum, and urges religious leaders to pursue peace for all peoples and to serve truth.

The G20 Interfaith Forum runs from 12-14 September in the Italian city of Bologna, and is meant to promote healing from the Covid-19 pandemic and the many conflicts lacerating the world.

Religious leaders taking part in the annual event seek to engage with the agenda of the G20, a forum for international economic cooperation amongst the world’s 20 largest economies.

Pope Francis sent his greetings to participants in the Interfaith Forum on Saturday evening.

Pope Francis praised the forum’s goal of sharing ideas and hopes through interfaith dialogue and the promotion of religious freedom.

He said the role of religions is essential in overcoming war and hatred, since “true religion consists in adoring God and loving our neighbor.”

“More than putting something on display, we are called to show the fatherly presence of the Heavenly God through our harmony on earth,” he said, according Vatican News.

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UN chief Antonio Guterres urges: “time to think big about future international cooperation”.

Celebrating the United Nations 75th anniversary last year, prompted major internal discussion about its future, and a new direction away from the post-World War Two consensus of its early days.

These reflections have resulted in Our Common Agenda, a landmark new report released on Friday by the UN Secretary-General, setting out his vision for the future of global cooperation.

Antonio Guterres launched the report at a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Friday, prefacing his remarks with a scathing overview of the parlous state of a world he described as being under enormous stress, and warning that the world risks a future of “serious instability and climate chaos”.

From the climate crisis to our suicidal war on nature and the collapse of biodiversity, our global response is too little, too late”, declared the UN Secretary-General.

Unchecked inequality is undermining social cohesion, creating fragilities that affect us all.

Technology is moving ahead without guard rails to protect us from its unforeseen consequences.”

The UN chief went on to describe the extensive consultations that fed into its development, a listening exercise that led the UN to the conclusion that enhanced multilateralism is seen as the way to deal with the world’s crises.

This approach would herald a new era for multilateralism, in which countries work together to solve global problems; the international system works fast to protect everyone in emergencies; and the UN is universally recognized as a trusted platform for collaboration, according UN News.

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President of the UN General Assembly: “world remains far behind solving biggest global challenges”.

The President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, told reporters on Thursday, that the world is “far behind in being able to solve the greatest global challenges and achieve the SDGs.” 

Volkan Bozkir was speaking in New York at his final press conference in the top job, steering the agenda of the world body amidst an extraordinary year, dominated by COVID-19

Abdulla Shahid, from the Maldives, is taking over the role for the 76th session at the end of the month. 

The last year, said Mr. Bozkir, “only highlighted that the preventive tools and mechanisms available with the UN are in desperate need for review.” 

The United Nations cannot be a follower of crisis.

It must be a preventive body, it must deliver earlier action to prevent, or prepare for, crises in the first place,” he added.  

Lastly, he left some recommendations to his colleagues and his successor.  

He believes there’s a need to streamline and deepen the work of the UN General Assembly

For him, “success is not measured by the number of meetings we have, but by their quality, their format, their impact”, according UN News.

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United Nations marks first International Day for People of African Descent.

The United Nations on Tuesday celebrated the enormous contributions the African diaspora has made in every field of human endeavour, marking the first-ever International Day for People of African Descent.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a greater commitment to advance the promise of equality, justice and dignity for all, in his inaugural message.    

“It is a long overdue recognition of the profound injustices and systemic discrimination that people of African descent have endured for centuries, and continue to confront today,” the UN Secretary-General said. 

“And it is an urgent call to action for everyone, everywhere, to commit to rooting out the evil of racism.” 

More than 200 million people in the Americas alone identify as being of African descent. 

Millions more are located worldwide outside the African continent. 

Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, or as more recent migrants, they are among some of the poorest and most marginalized groups, the UN said. 

Last December, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing the International Day

The objective was “to promote greater recognition and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies, and to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of people of African descent”. 

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