UN chief calls for new type of multilateralism to address global challenges

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

United Nations, (Asian independent) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a new type of multilateralism to address global challenges.

In a virtual speech for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the first meeting of the UN General Assembly on Sunday, Guterres said 97 per cent of respondents to a UN-sponsored global survey called for improved global cooperation to find multilateral solutions to today’s global challenges, Xinhua news agency reported.

“While the need for international cooperation continues, we must expand our idea of what that means,” he said.

“In our interconnected world, we need a networked multilateralism, so that global and regional organisations communicate and work together towards common goals. And we need an inclusive multilateralism, based on the equal representation of women, and taking in young people, civil society, business and technology, cities and regions, science and academia.”

He stressed the need to transform the global system into a global partnership with justice and equality, including gender equality, being the prerequisites.

Women’s leadership and equal participation are key ways to address global challenges. The past year has highlighted the effectiveness of women’s leadership, adding to evidence that gender-balanced decision-making leads to stronger climate agreements, greater investment in social protection, longer-lasting peace, and more innovation, he said.

He also emphasized the role of young people in this process.

“Today, it is often young people who are showing courage and demanding courage from the rest of us… Young people can and do change the world.”

Guterres saw a growing momentum for change, from grassroots activists, young people and civil society, and from businesses, cities, regions, and governments in the UN General Assembly.

“Together, I am confident that we can emerge from Covid-19 and lay the foundations for a cleaner, safer, fairer world for all, and for generations to come.”

The first session of the UN General Assembly was convened on January 10, 1946, in London.