UN chief Guterres says world 'in great peril', demands immediate action

UN chief Guterres says world 'in great peril', demands immediate action

Shafaq News / UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres projected a gloomy picture of a world in "great peril" on Wednesday as he demanded immediate action on many fronts, from climate change to raging conflicts.

At a news conference ahead of the General Assembly's high-level meeting that starts next week, he said: "Our world is blighted by war, battered by climate chaos, scarred by hate, and shamed by poverty, hunger, and inequality; conflicts and unrest continue to rage."

The global response to these "dramatic challenges" have been paralysed by the "geostrategic divides (that)are the widest they have been since at least the Cold War", he said.

immediacy of the problem through catastrophic floods in Pakistan.

"I have just returned from Pakistan, where I looked through a window into the future: A future of permanent and ubiquitous climate chaos on an unimaginable scale," he said.

"What is happening in Pakistan demonstrates the sheer inadequacy of the global response to the climate crisis, and the betrayal and injustice at the heart of it," he said.

But he blamed the G20 countries, which includes developing countries like India, Indonesia and South Africa.

"G20 countries are responsible for 80 per cent of emissions," he said, adding: "If one-third of G20 countries was under water today, as it could be tomorrow, perhaps they would find it easier to agree on drastic cuts to emissions."

However, targeting the G20, which is made up of both major developed and emerging countries, skirts the greater responsibility of the major greenhouse emitters by disregarding the per capita emissions.

For example, the per capita carbon dioxide emission in tonnes is 1.8 for India, and 2.3 for Indonesia compared to 6.1 for the Euro area, Portugal for 4.3 and 14.7 for the United States, according to World Bank figures for 2019.

Guterres appealed to international financial institutions and to nations "not to lose one moment in providing Pakistan with the financial resources that are necessary for the gigantic tasks" ahead for its recovery.

(Business Standard)

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