NEW YORK — In this crisis, the world is mired in “colossal dysfunction,” the UN secretary-general said Tuesday, urging leaders to come together in a concerted effort to shine a glimmer of hope for the world.
Antonio Guterres opened the 77th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday with a grim picture of a growing threat — and a world paralyzed and powerless to deal with it.
“The international community is not ready or willing to face the major dramatic challenges of our time,” Mr Guterres said.
The Secretary-General has drawn up a long list of disasters looming over the world: the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, an economic emergency sweeping the developing world, and the spread of nationalism and extremism, to name a few. a little
“But the reality is that we live in a world where the logic of cooperation and dialogue is the only way forward,” Guterres said. No power or group can make decisions alone. No major global challenge can be solved by a coalition of the willing. We need a global coalition.”
ship of hope
Justin Trudeau was one of the leaders seated in the General Assembly’s main session hall to deliver his opening remarks, his first public event on this two-day visit to the United Nations, where the sound of shutters in Ukraine echoes down every corridor.
Mr Guterres spoke of a UN-flagged ship loaded with Ukrainian grain crossing a war zone to the Horn of Africa, where millions of people are starving. He was referring to the Black Sea Grains Initiative, a complex U.N.-brokered deal between Ukraine and Russia, negotiated with Turkish help, that will finally bring food that has long been blocked out of the war-torn region.
“Each ship also carries one of today’s rarest commodities: hope,” Guterres said. We need hope (…) and more. We need action. “
Providing hope in the face of disaster is the reason for the existence of the United Nations, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae also said. But it’s hard when disasters keep happening. “The problem we’re facing is an incredible cascade of crises,” Mr Ray said.
“We have to give hope,” he said. We need to show that we can act to make a difference. And it’s an approach Canadians are taking all over the world. “
Trudeau’s two-day visit to New York began on Tuesday with a bilateral meeting with Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who this year chairs the CARICOM political and economic coalition of 15 Caribbean member states.
The rest of Trudeau’s agenda at the United Nations is packed with meetings on topics close to his heart: climate change, gender equality and sustainable development, among others.
Trudeau participated in a roundtable discussion with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the virtues of inclusive job growth, as well as a call to action to counter the spread of violent extremism online with her New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The event – a “Christchurch Call” summit, a reference to the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 51 people in March 2019 – included a pledge by Mr Trudeau to allocate $1.9 million over three years for technologies that would help the detection. Terrorist content on the Internet.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is never far from the room. “There’s a lot of work to be done, keeping everyone together,” Trudeau said in response to a question about Ukraine when he arrived at UN headquarters on Tuesday morning.
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly acknowledged the challenge of demanding a united front in an institution known for its insular and intransigent ways. But that doesn’t mean it’s not vital, he said.
“Multilateralism is important – more than ever,” Ms Joly said.
The grain initiative is “an example that anything is possible and that the UN matters.” “There is still much to be done to bring peace and stability to the world,” he said.
Trudeau’s two-day agenda in New York also includes promoting the 17 goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Initiative, which the Canadian prime minister co-chairs. These global goals include climate action, eradicating poverty and pollution, gender equality and promoting equitable economic growth.
Mr. Trudeau will also take the opportunity to take part in events in anticipation of meetings at the “COP15” conference on biodiversity, scheduled for December in Montreal.
The prime minister will attend a conference of contributors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Wednesday, to which Canada has pledged $4 billion since 2002. A year alone.
Ambassador Ray argued that Canada is one of the largest per capita contributors to the Fund.
“I know the prime minister is struggling with this question, what more can we do,” he said. The global pressure on us, on all fronts, is enormous (…) So do we feel the pressure? Yes, of course. But guess what? We are used to pressure, we know how to respond and respond.”
The fund helps developing countries curb and cure preventable diseases that are the leading cause of death in many regions – and are once again on the rise.
Mr. Trudeau also plans to meet this week with partners in the Caribbean and other regions to focus on promoting sustainable growth in Haiti.
He will also meet Joe Biden in person at a leadership event hosted by the US president and his wife – their first face-to-face meeting since Washington canceled a program to sell US-made electric vehicles.