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UN chief warns global leaders: The world is in ‘great peril’

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The head of the UN says leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must address conflicts and climate catastrophes, growing poverty and inequality, and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine. He warns that the world is in “great peril” and that urgent action must be taken.

In speeches and statements before the leaders’ summit on Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres alluded to the “immense” job of dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic and rescuing the world, which is “actually on fire.” He also mentioned the “lack of access to money for poor nations to recover — a catastrophe not seen in a generation” that has resulted in a loss of ground for women’s rights, education, and health.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s annual high-level international conference, Guterres will provide his “state of the world” address.

It would be “a serious, meaningful, and solutions-focused report card” for a world “where geopolitical differences are putting us all at danger,” according to Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the U.N.

Dujarric told reporters on Monday that there would be “no sugar-coating in his speech, but he will offer grounds for optimism.”

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has sparked a worldwide food crisis and exposed rifts among key nations to a degree not seen since the Cold War.

Casts a cloud over the 77th General Assembly gathering of world leaders. This is Europe’s first major war since World War II.

Yet the most recent speakers’ list includes approximately 150 state and government leaders.

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That shows that, despite the fragmented nature of the world, the UN continues to be the primary forum for presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, and ministers to meet, exchange opinions, and, ideally, make progress on the issues on the global agenda.

Many people place Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on top of that list since it not only imperils the independence of that country’s smaller neighbor but also sparks worries of a nuclear meltdown at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in the country’s now-Russian-occupied southeast.

Many nations’ leaders are working to keep Europe peaceful and avert a more significant conflict. However, diplomats do not anticipate any significant developments this week.

A food crisis, particularly in developing nations, as well as inflation and a rise in the cost of living in many other countries, have been brought on by the loss of significant grain and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, these topics are top priorities.

At a conference on Monday to promote the 2030 U.N. objectives, including eradicating extreme poverty, ensuring all children get a decent education, and achieving gender equality, Guterres said it is “tempting to put our long-term development ambitions to one side” due to the world’s numerous urgent threats.

However, the head of the U.N. said that specific issues could not wait, citing the need for action on the climate disaster, universal health care, complete equality for women and girls, and education.

He urged investment in public and commercial sectors and, most importantly, peace.

There have been last-minute issues with the high-level conference due to the passing of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her burial, which held in London on Monday and attend by many international leaders.

To cope with changes in travel schedules, event schedules, and the logistically challenging speaking schedule for global leaders, diplomats, and U.N. employees have been working overtime.

Due to the epidemic, the general assembly, often known as the General Debate, was wholly virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021.

The 193-member General Assembly will again limit its debates to in-person addresses, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy being the lone exception.

The assembly decided last Friday to allow the Ukrainian president to record his speech despite opposition from Russia and a few allies because of circumstances beyond his control, including the “ongoing foreign invasion” and military hostilities that require him to perform his “national defense and security duties.”

Since no other nation offered to speak first in the early General Assembly sessions, Brazil has customarily done so for more than 70 years.

The second speaker is usually the president of the United States, who is speaking on behalf of the host nation for the UN.

Joe Biden’s address has been move to Wednesday morning since he will be at the funeral for the queen. President Macky Sall of Senegal is anticipate to replace Biden.

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