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Call for reforms echoes at UN as Secretary General urges overhaul

03:15 AM Feb 10, 2024 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
call for reforms echoes at un as secretary general urges overhaul
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New Delhi, Feb 9: The call for institutional reforms resounded strongly from the United Nations headquarters as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pressed for comprehensive changes, starting with a significant overhaul of the Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Speaking at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General highlighting the seismic shift from a unipolar to a multipolar world, emphasised the imperative for revamped, inclusive mechanisms of multilateral governance to mitigate multiplying risks.

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Looking forward, Guterres underscored the significance of the upcoming Summit of the Future in September, emphasizing the importance of initiatives such as the New Agenda for Peace, the SDG Stimulus, and the UN's Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence.

Moreover, he stressed the urgency of aligning institutions with contemporary challenges while upholding fundamental principles such as respect for the UN Charter, international law, and international humanitarian law.

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Peace as the Common Thread

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Reminding of the global landscape's complexities, Guterres emphasized the centrality of peace in addressing multifaceted challenges. He cautioned against complacency, highlighting raging conflicts, geopolitical rifts, and escalating polarization within communities as pressing concerns.

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Acknowledging the gravity of the "existential challenges" ranging from nuclear dangers to the climate emergency and the perils posed by unchecked artificial intelligence, Guterres called for a concerted effort across all fronts, emphasizing the necessity for dialogue between developed and developing nations, rich and emerging economies, and across geographical divides.

 

Outcomes of the Summit of the Future

Discussing his expectations for the Summit of the Future, Guterres expressed the UN's proposals, urging member states to take decisive actions. He articulated hopes for the approval of key aspects of the New Agenda for Peace, advocating for a holistic approach to prevention and crucial measures addressing new weapon technologies and nuclear disarmament.

Additionally, Guterres voiced aspirations for positive reforms within the Security Council and a clear indication of the imperative need for reform in the international financial architecture, stressing the urgency of adapting multilateralism to contemporary realities.

 

Gaza Situation

Addressing the ongoing crisis in Gaza at a press conference in New York, Guterres underscored the imperative for tangible steps towards a two-state solution based on UN resolutions, international law, and previous agreements. He lamented the cycle of bloody hostilities and decades of tensions, emphasizing the urgent need for peace in the region and beyond.

Expressing deep concern over humanitarian access denials and escalating tensions in Gaza and Ukraine, Guterres urged immediate action to alleviate suffering and work towards sustainable solutions in line with international law and UN resolutions.

 

Conflicts in Sudan and Ukraine

Responding to inquiries about conflicts in Sudan and Ukraine, Guterres emphasized the UN's commitment to seeking peaceful resolutions. He emphasized the futility of military solutions and highlighted collaborative efforts with regional and international partners to address the crises.

 

DPRK Missile Launches

Strongly condemning missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and violations of sanctions, Guterres emphasized the imperative of compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions. He also denounced the prolonged captivity of Japanese hostages by the DPRK, calling for their immediate release and information disclosure.

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