António Guterres, the leader of the UN, has issued a warning that a further escalation in the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine might mean that a “wider war” is on the horizon, as reported by The Guardian.
Extinction of humanity
In a sombre address to the UN general assembly, the secretary-general outlined his top goals for the coming year, focusing on the Russian invasion, the climate disaster, and severe poverty.
He told diplomats in New York, “We have begun 2023 gazing down the barrel of a convergence of difficulties unlike any in our history.”
Guterres observed that, as of last month, the Doomsday Clock was only 90 seconds away from midnight, which is the closest it has ever been to predict the extinction of humanity.
The secretary-general declared that he interpreted it as a cautionary tale.
As he laid off a list of pressing challenges for 2023, he pleaded, “We need to wake up—and get to work.”
Top on the list was Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, which will soon be one year old.
“The chances for peace are getting slimmer. The likelihood of greater bloodshed and escalation is increasing”, he warned.
“I am afraid that the world is stumbling into a bigger conflict. I worry that it is acting with alert eyes.”
Other dangers to world peace were mentioned by Guterres, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Sahel, and Haiti.
“The right to peace would be secured if every country upheld its commitments under the [UN] charter,” he stated.
It’s “time to alter our approach to peace by renewing our commitment to the charter, putting human rights and dignity first, with prevention at the core,” he continued.
More generally, Guterres criticised the “bias” of political and economic decision-makers towards the short term and a lack of “strategic vision.”
The upcoming poll. the following political strategy to maintain power. But also the following economic cycle, or even the stock price the following day.
In addition to being extremely irresponsible, this short-term thinking is also immoral, he continued.
The secretary-general reiterated his demand for a “fundamental overhaul” of global finance, highlighting the importance of acting with future generations in mind.
According to Guterres, “something is fundamentally wrong with our economic and financial system,” which he blamed for the rise in poverty and hunger, the widening wealth gap, and the load of debt on emerging nations.
He continued, “Without major reforms, the wealthiest individuals and nations will keep accumulating wealth, leaving nothing for the people and nations of the global south.”
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Source: The Guardian