World has never been more threatened or divided: UN chief

World has never been more threatened or divided: UN chief
File Photo of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations: The world has never been more threatened or more divided, and is facing the “greatest cascade” of crises, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told global leaders on Tuesday, sounding an alarm over the COVID-19 pandemic, a climate crisis pummeling the planet and an upheaval in Afghanistan and other nations that is thwarting peace.

Guterres, in his address to the opening of the General Debate of the 76th Session of the General Assembly, said that human rights are under fire, science is under assault and economic lifelines for the most vulnerable are coming too little and too late, if they come at all, and solidarity is missing in action just when the world need it the most.

“I am here to sound the alarm: The world must wake up. We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction. Our world has never been more threatened. Or more divided. We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes,” he said.

The annual high-level week, which had to be held virtually last year due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, returned to a hybrid format this year with over 100 Heads of State and Government as well as foreign ministers and diplomats scheduled to address world leaders in-person from the iconic General Assembly Hall here.

Outlining the crises facing the world today, Guterres said that the COVID-19 pandemic has supersized glaring inequalities, the climate crisis is pummeling the planet, the upheaval from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Yemen and beyond has thwarted peace and a surge of mistrust and misinformation is polarising people and paralysing societies.

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