(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
NEW YORK, 19th September, 2023 (WAM) -- UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday emphasised the urgency of addressing the climate chaos, which is breaking new records,“but we cannot afford the same old broken record of scapegoating and waiting for others to move first.”
''We must be determined to tackle the most immediate threat to our future: our overheating planet. Climate change is not just a change in the weather. Climate change is changing life on our planet.
It is affecting every aspect of our work. It is killing people and devastating communities,'' he noted.
''Around the world, we see not only accelerating temperatures, we see an acceleration in sea levels rising – glaciers receding – deadly diseases spreading – the extinction of species –– and cities under threat.''
He recalled the Climate Solidarity Pact, with large emitters leading emission reductions and wealthier nations supporting emerging economies.
Guterres also outlined key immediate steps, including ending fossil fuel subsidies, carbon pricing, and countries fulfilling climate financing promises.
“And to all those working, marching and championing real climate action, I want you to know: You are on the right side of history. I'm with you. I won't give up this fight of our lives,” he said while addressing the opening of the general debate of the UN General Assembly's 78th session.
Presenting his annual report on the work of the Organisation, the Secretary-General stressed the need for modernising the multilateral system to address contemporary issues.
He pointed out that while the world has evolved, international institutions have not kept pace, potentially making them part of the problem rather than the solution.
He made it clear that there is no alternative to reform, stating“It's reform or rupture.”
Guterres reiterated the UN Charter's call for promoting social progress, connecting it with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing the issue of global inequality.
Africa's allocation of more funds for debt interest than healthcare exemplified this inequity, he stressed, stressing the need for immediate steps to advance the SDG stimulus package of US$500 billion annually and alleviate financial burdens on developing and emerging economies.
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