“Our planet is in tremendous crisis,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in his opening statement on Tuesday. World leaders gathered in New York City for the annual General Assembly.
“Deeper divisions are emerging. Inequalities are expanding, “added said. “And difficulties are expanding more.”
The annual meeting of high-level diplomats in the General Assembly is the first to take place in an entirely in-person format since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And the first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an international conflict that sparked calls for the U.N. to be reformed and raised concerns about whether it can still fulfill its stated purpose “to maintain peace and security worldwide.”
In his Tuesday speech, Guterres referred to these cracks and said they undermine the organization’s efforts.
He said, “We are stuck in tremendous global dysfunction. “The global community is neither prepared nor eager to take on our day’s significant, dramatic issues. As a result, our planet’s destiny and humanity’s very future are at risk from these catastrophes. Our world is in danger and has been immobilized.”
He claimed that teamwork was essential for overcoming such significant obstacles.
He encouraged, “Let’s work together, as a coalition of the globe, as the United Nations.”
Hunger is Coming
Although a large portion of Guterres’ address was dedicated to describing the issues the world is now experiencing, he aimed to reassure the audience that the U.N. is still capable of coming up with answers.
A photograph of the Brave Commander ship, which Guterres referred to as “an symbol of promise and hope,” was shown on large projectors in the room.
The ship, which was the first to leave Ukrainian ports since the beginning of Russia’s invasion and was carrying grain and the blue and white flag of the United Nations, traveled along Black Sea trade routes to deliver its much-needed cargo to the Horn of Africa as a result of an agreement that Guterres played a crucial role in brokering.
“It may be considered a maritime miracle. Actually, this is an example of multilateral diplomacy “He said that the several ships that followed in Brave Commander’s footsteps are proof of what can be achieved via teamwork.
Guterres warned that another food crisis was on the horizon due to a fertilizer shortage. And saying that while the current problems can be attributed to distribution issues. The world’s hunger may soon result from not having enough to go around.
However, that safe passage deal allows grain exports to alleviate the global food crisis.
The worldwide fertilizer shortfall, he said, “will swiftly turn into a global food crisis if nothing is done immediately.”
The secretary-general hinted at the next significant U.N. effort, a plan to export parts for Russian fertilizer via Ukraine.
“It is crucial to keep reducing any barriers that are still in the way of Russian fertilizer exports and the ammonia that goes into them. Sanctions are not imposed on these items, and we are making progress in eradicating their unintended consequences “added Guterres.
Separately, the U.N. claims that it is “pursuing all measures” to increase fertilizer production, but time is running short.
The body’s trade negotiator suggests that to prevent shortages before the timeframe for the northern hemisphere’s planting season expires. They should be resolved in October and November.