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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