UN Secretary-General Calls for “Effective” Multilateralism to Resolve Conflicts

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, called, on Monday, for “effective” multilateralism in order to resolve conflicts around the world and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Intervening before the Security Council (SC), Guterres stressed that an effective multilateral response is imperative to prevent and resolve conflict, manage economic uncertainty, salvage Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and address challenges to global norms against the use and possession of nuclear weapons.

During a meeting on multilateralism chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council for April, Guterres pointed out that the multilateral system is under greater strain in light of the multitude of crises occurring in several parts of the world.

“Tensions between major Powers are at a historic high. So are the risks of conflict, through misadventure or miscalculation,” noted the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, adding that the conflict in Ukraine aggravated the “global economic dislocation” triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are witnessing a deepening climate crisis, soaring inequalities, a rising threat from terrorism, a global pushback against human rights and gender equality, and the unregulated development of dangerous technologies,” stressed Guterres.

In this regard, Guterres added that all these global challenges can only be solved by respecting international law, adhering to global commitments, and adopting appropriate frameworks of multilateral governance.

Guterres further called on member states to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter.

“The principles enshrined in the UN Charter and reinforced in the Declaration on Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States are bulwarks against uncertainty and fragmentation,” stated Guterres , citing several principles, namely the respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States, the non-interference in the affairs of other States, the elimination of all forms of discrimination, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

In a similar context, the United Nations (UN) official stated that a majority of UN Member States acknowledge that the Security Council (SC) would benefit from reforms to adapt to today’s geopolitical reality, noting that the same applies to the Bretton Woods institutions that, according to him, do not reflect the reality of the current global economy.“It is time to deepen cooperation and strengthen multilateral institutions, to find common solutions to common challenges,” concluded Guterres.

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