UN chief appeals for cooperation to address ‘world in peril’

Antonio Guterres tells opening of the 77th UN General Assembly that the world must work together to tackle issues from climate change to conflict.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres with piles of aid for Pakistan behind him
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a 'world in peril' from multiple threats [File: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for solidarity and cooperation to address a “world in peril”.

Guterres made the appeal at the opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.

“We face a world in peril across our work to advance peace, human rights and sustainable development,” Guterres said, citing conflicts and climate change, a “broken global financial system”, poverty, inequality, hunger and divisions.

“Addressing common challenges will require continued solidarity as we demonstrate the great promise and potential of this organisation,” he said ahead of the start of the UNGA’s high-level event.

Next week, dozens of heads of state and government from around the world will take turns speaking at the UNGA in New York.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been granted a visa to travel to the annual gathering with half the delegation Moscow requested, a Russian diplomatic source has told the Reuters news agency.

Moscow had asked Washington for 56 visas, according to a September 2 letter to Guterres from Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya. The Russian diplomatic source said the United States had approved 24 visas.

Under the 1947 UN “headquarters agreement,” the US is generally required to allow access to the UN for foreign diplomats. But Washington says it can deny visas for security, terrorism and foreign policy reasons.

The UN said earlier this month that it was discussing the issue of Russian visas with the US.

The relationship between the US and Russia has ruptured since Moscow invaded neighbouring Ukraine in February.

The high-level meeting of the UNGA begins on September 20.

While there are currently no changes to the schedule, several leaders are expected to attend the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, which takes place on September 19.

That has created some uncertainty about the proceedings, but the UN has said a summit on education scheduled for Monday will go ahead as planned. Some 90 leaders had previously confirmed their attendance.

The UN chief will not travel to London for the queen’s funeral, his spokesperson said.

Source: News Agencies