Ending war and addressing existential threats — a global issue

“The central objective of our multilateral system must be peace, which is a prerequisite for sustainable development and the enjoyment of human rights.” He told the leaders of the world Attending a meeting of the world’s largest regional organization in the capital of Kazakhstan.

António Guterres cited numerous conflicts that need ceasefires and lasting peace, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Myanmar and Haiti, as well as from the Middle East to Ukraine, from Sudan to the Sahel.

“Afghanistan needs peace and an inclusive government that respects human rights and is integrated into the international community. All countries should stand together to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a breeding ground for terror again,” he told the council of the SCO, the world’s largest regional security organisation, which includes Belarus, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

With such a wide representation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization The head of the international organization asserted that the United Nations has both the power and the responsibility to promote peace.

Existential Threat

The UN chief stressed that the Astana meeting is taking place amid fierce war, geopolitical divisions, “widespread impunity” and backsliding on a key global goal – sustainable development – sparking skepticism and a crisis of trust.

These global challenges cannot be solved nationally alone. Now is the time to reaffirm our shared commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its heart. be bound by the principles set out in United Nations CharterInternational Law and Universal Declaration of Human RightsThe UN Secretary-General warned that “people are losing faith in multilateralism, citing broken promises, double standards and widening inequalities.”

The UN Secretary-General also stressed the urgent need for collective action against two looming existential threats: the climate crisis and the unchecked rise of digital technologies, particularly AI.

Climate breakdown

UN climate experts confirmed that 2023, while the hottest year on record, could be considered one of the coolest in a rapidly warming future. The Secretary-General warned that the devastating effects of climate change are already evident in melting glaciers, deadly floods, storms, droughts and extreme heat waves that are hitting countries around the world.

“The climate is breaking down,” he said, highlighting the dire consequences for water and food security, development and global stability. He argued that the call to action for ambitious measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate justice must be clear, and that the greatest responsibility must fall on the world’s largest emitters.

Secretary-General Guterres outlined solutions to the global climate crisis and called on all governments to submit new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by next year that are fully aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

These NDCs should include absolute emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2035 and outline a critical global transition plan with key actions such as ending deforestation, tripling renewable energy capacity and reducing fossil fuel production and consumption by at least 30% by 2030. In addition, countries must commit to phasing out coal-fired electricity generation by 2040, the Secretary-General said.

Mobilizing finance for climate change

The Secretary-General stressed the critical role of finance in supporting climate action and called for a strong financial outcome at the World Climate Conference, COP29, in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November. He stressed the need to strengthen the lending capacity of multilateral development banks and mobilize more private capital for climate action. Developed countries should also double their climate adaptation finance and meet their commitments, including by contributing significantly to the new Loss and Damage Fund, he said.

To support these efforts, the Secretary-General called for innovative financial mechanisms, such as carbon pricing and taxes on fossil fuel profits. He called on early adopters to introduce solidarity taxes in sectors such as shipping, aviation and fossil fuel extraction by COP29.

AI: Balancing Promises and Risks

Turning to AI, the second existential threat facing the planet, the Secretary-General highlighted the technology’s transformative potential to accelerate sustainable development, but warned that AI is advancing faster than regulatory frameworks can keep up, exacerbating power imbalances, concentrating wealth in the hands of a few, undermining human rights and increasing global tensions.

To address these challenges, the UN Secretary-General’s AI Advisory Body outlined five priorities: establishing an international scientific panel on AI, initiating a regular policy dialogue to develop common ethics and standards for AI, ensuring governance of the data used to train AI algorithms, and supporting capacity building in developing countries through a Global Fund. Secretary-General Guterres also proposed establishing a compact, dynamic and flexible UN Office for AI to oversee these efforts.

Future Summit

The Secretary-General said that Future Summit The conference will be a turning point in renewing global solidarity and tackling the existential threats facing humanity. “I look forward to welcoming you all in New York in September,” he said, urging leaders of the regional bloc to seize this crucial opportunity for collective action.

The UN Secretary-General attended the SCO top-level meeting during his visit to Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and discussed a wide range of issues ranging from peace and nuclear non-proliferation to sustainable development.

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