Secretary-General Addresses General Debate, 73rd Session

Secretary-General Addresses General Debate, 73rd Session


Your Excellency Madam President of the General
Assembly, Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our world is suffering from a bad case of “Trust Deficit Disorder”. People are feeling troubled and insecure. Trust is at a breaking point. Trust in national institutions. Trust among states. Trust in the rules-based global order. Within countries, people are losing faith
in political establishments, polarization is on the rise and populism is on the march. Among countries, cooperation is less certain
and more difficult. Divisions in
the Security Council are stark. Trust in global governance is also fragile,
as 21st-century challenges outpace 20th-century institutions and mindsets. We have never had a true system of global
governance, much less a fully democratic one. Still, across many decades, we established
solid foundations for international cooperation. We came together as united nations to build
institutions, norms and rules to advance shared interests. 2
We raised standards of living for millions, forged peace in troubled lands and —
indeed — avoided a third world war. But none of this can be taken for granted. Today, world order is increasingly chaotic. Power relations are less clear. Universal values are being eroded. Democratic principles are under siege. The rule of law is being undermined. Impunity is on the rise, as leaders and states
push the boundaries at home and in the international arena. We face a set of paradoxes. The world is more connected, yet societies
are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many
people are turning inward. Multilateralism is under fire precisely when
we need it most. Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen, It is true that we are moving in the direction
of a multipolar world. But multipolarity will not, in itself, guarantee
peace or solve global problems. A century ago, Europe was multipolar. A balance of power was deemed
sufficient to keep rivals in check. It was not. Without strong multilateral frameworks for
European-wide cooperation and problem-solving, the result
was a grievous world war. Today, with shifts in the balance of power,
the risk of confrontation may increase. 3
In assessing the Peloponnesian War in ancient Greece, Thucydides said, and I
quote, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that
made war inevitable.” This is what the political scientist Graham
Allison calls the “Thucydides Trap”. But in his book “Destined for War”, reviewing
many examples of rivalry in the past, he concluded that conflict is never
inevitable. Indeed, with leadership committed to strategic
cooperation and to managing competing interests, we can avoid war and
steer the world onto a safer path. Individual leaders have the duty to advance
the well-being of their people. But it runs deeper. Together, as guardians of the common good,
we also have a duty to promote and support a reformed, reinvigorated
and strengthened multilateral system. We need renewed commitment to a rules-based
order, with the United Nations at its centre and with the different institutions
and treaties that bring the Charter to life. And we need to show the added value of international
cooperation by delivering peace, defending human rights and driving
economic and social progress for women and men everywhere. That is why I am so committed to reform, and
to making the United Nations more effective in responding to the needs
and aspirations of “we the peoples”. In the face of massive, existential threats
to people and planet — but equally at a time of compelling opportunities for shared
prosperity — there is no way forward but collective, common-sense action
for the common good. This is how we rebuild trust. Excellencies,
In my address last year, I highlighted seven challenges. One year on, they
remain sadly unresolved. There is outrage at our inability to end the
wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. 4
The Rohingya people remain exiled, traumatized and in misery, still yearning
for safety and justice. Palestinians and Israelis are still locked
in endless conflict, with the two-state solution more and more distant. The threat of terror looms, fed by the root
causes of radicalization and violent extremism. And terrorism is ever more interlinked with
international organized crime and the trafficking of people, drugs
and arms. The nuclear peril has not eased, with non-proliferation
at serious risk. Nucleararmed
States are modernizing their arsenals. A new arms race could be
triggered, and the threshold for their use lowered. We have seen outrageous uses of chemical weapons,
in full impunity despite their ban. Protections against dangerous biological weapons
are weak. Inequality is undermining faith in the social
contract and is a clear obstacle to the achievement of the Sustainable Development
Goals. Tensions over trade are
on the rise. Migrants and refugees continue to face discrimination
and demagoguery in the context of clearly insufficient international
cooperation. And in this year marking the 70th anniversary
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the human rights agenda is losing
ground and authoritarianism is on the rise. As the politics of pessimism spreads, we must
guard against self-fulfilling prophecies. Those who see their neighbors as dangerous
may cause a threat where there was none. Those who close their borders to regular migration
only fuel the work of traffickers. And those who ignore human rights in combatting
terrorism tend to breed the very extremism they are trying to end. Excellencies,
5 It is our common duty to reverse these trends
and resolve these challenges. We need to move ahead based on facts, not
fear — on reason, not illusion. Prevention must be at the centre of all we
do. This session of the General Assembly is a
real opportunity for progress. To mention just one example, I welcome the
strong show of support for my Action for Peacekeeping Initiative – which
has been endorsed by 148 states and organizations. It aims to help our missions succeed in today’s
protracted and volatile contexts. But today I want to concentrate on two epochal
challenges which, since last year, have taken on surpassing urgency: climate
change and the new risks associated with advances in technology. Let me take them each in turn. Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, the direct existential threat of climate change. We have reached a pivotal moment. If we do not change course in the next two
years, we risk runaway climate change. Climate change is moving faster than we are
– and its speed has provoked a sonic boom SOS across our world. According to the World Meteorological Organization,
the past two decades included 18 of the warmest years since record-keeping
began in 1850. This year, for the first time, thick permanent
sea ice north of Greenland began to break up. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere is the highest in 3 million years – and rising. 6
Making matters worse, we — as a community of world leaders — are not doing
enough. We must listen to the earth’s best scientists. We must see what is
happening before our eyes. We need greater ambition and a greater sense
of urgency. We must guarantee the implementation of the
Paris Agreement. It has immense potential to set us on the
right course, but its targets — which represent the bare minimum to avoid the worst
impacts of climate change — are far from being met. I am concerned that recent negotiations in
Bangkok towards implementation guidelines ended without sufficient progress. The next Conference of Parties, COP24 in Poland
in December, will be a key moment. It must be a success. As I said recently, we cannot allow Katowice
to remind us of the divisions among Member States
that paralyzed Copenhagen. The good news is: technology is on our side. Clean energy is more affordable and competitive
than ever. If we pursue the right path, climate action
could add $26 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Green economy policies could create 24 million
new jobs. More and more companies and investors are
finding that green business is good business. Far from being a fundamental threat to the
economy, climate action is generating new industries, new markets, more
jobs and less dependency on fossil fuels. The real danger is not the threat to one’s
economy that comes from acting. It is,
instead, the risk to one’s economy by failing to act. Governments need to be courageous and smart. That means ending trillions of dollars in
subsidies for fossil fuels. It means establishing an adequate price for
carbon. 7
It means stopping investments in unsustainable infrastructure that lock in bad
practices for decades to come. Our future is at stake. Nothing is immune — climate change affects
everything – and everything can be undermined. Keeping our planet’s warming to well
below 2 degrees is essential for global prosperity and the security of nations. That is why, next September, I will convene
a Climate Summit to mobilize action and finance. We will bring together countries and cities,
the real economy and real politics, business, finance
and civil society, to focus on the heart of the problem. The Summit will take place one year before
countries have to enhance their national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement. Only a significantly higher level of ambition
will do – and the Summit will be an opportunity for leaders and partners to
showcase their ambition. For this to be possible, we must act today. The world needs you to be climate champions. Excellencies,
Let me now turn to new technologies and what we can do to uphold their
promise and keep their perils at bay. And there is great promise. Scientific progress has helped to cure deadly
diseases, feed growing populations, drive economic growth and connect
businesses, communities, families and friends across the world. Rapidly developing fields such as artificial
intelligence, blockchain and biotechnology have the potential to turbocharge
progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Artificial Intelligence is connecting people
across languages, and supporting doctors in making better diagnoses. Driverless vehicles will revolutionize
transportation. But there are also risks and serious dangers. 8
Technological advances may disrupt labour markets as traditional jobs change
or disappear, even as the number of young job-seekers continues to grow. Retraining
will be needed at previously unimaginable scales. Education must
adapt, from the earliest grades. The very nature of work will change. Governments may have to consider stronger
social safety net programmes, including, possibly, universal basic income. At the same time, technology is being misused
by terrorists and for sexual exploitation and abuse. Organized criminal networks lurk on the dark
web, profiting from encryption and near-anonymous cryptocurrency payments
to traffic in people and illegal goods. Some reports estimate that cybercrime is now
putting $1.5 trillion in the pockets of cybercriminals annually. Malicious acts in cyberspace – such as disinformation
campaigns — are polarizing communities and diminishing trust
among States. And more and more people are getting their
information from news or social media feeds that echo their views, reinforce
tribalism and assure people that they are right and the other side is wrong. The digital revolution is also being used
to discriminate against women and reinforce our male-dominated culture. Indeed, there is a deep gender gap in access
to digital technologies, widening the digital divide. We must dismantle obstacles and create opportunities
for women, ensure equality fand change on-line and toxic corporate
cultures. The technology sector
must open up and become more diverse – not least for its own benefit. With technology outracing institutions, cooperation
between countries and among stakeholders will be crucial, including
Member States, the private sector, research centres, civil society and academia. There are many mutually beneficial solutions
for digital challenges. We
urgently need to find and apply them. At the United Nations, we are harnessing technologies
in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are creating innovation labs, including
in 9
my office. And in July I established a High-Level Panel
on Digital Cooperation, a dialogue platform for all key
actors. Excellencies,
The impacts of new technologies on warfare are a direct threat to our common
responsibility to guarantee peace and security. The weaponization of artificial intelligence
is a growing concern. The prospect of weapons that can select and
attack a target on their own raises multiple alarms — and could trigger new
arms races. Diminished oversight of weapons has implications
for our efforts to contain threats, prevent escalation and adhere to
international humanitarian and human rights law. Let’s call it as it is. The prospect of machines with the discretion
and power to take human life is morally repugnant. Heaven forbid, any new war could very well
include with a massive cyberattack not only targeting military capacities, but
also critical civilian infrastructure. I am encouraged by the ten possible guiding
principles elaborated in Geneva last month by the Group of Governmental Experts
on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems. More work on these issues, aimed at building
trust between and within nations, will be needed if we are to ensure responsible
use of new technologies. I urge you to use the United Nations as a
platform to draw global attention to these crucial matters and nurture a digital
future that is safe and beneficial for all. Excellencies,
Despite the chaos and confusion of our world, I see winds of hope blowing
around the globe. Just days ago, I witnessed the signing of
a historic peace agreement between the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea in Saudi Arabia
10 Soon after, the presidents of Djibouti and
Eritrea met in Jeddah to launch a peace process. Eritrea and Somalia have established diplomatic
relations. And in the same region, in the context of
a summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the two rival leaders
in South Sudan have finally signed a peace agreement. I am hopeful that these efforts will continue
to be consolidated so that the people of the Horn of Africa can finally turn
the page on war and conflict. The courageous initiative of the Singapore
Summit between the leaders of the United States and the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, along with the recent meeting of the two Korean leaders in
Pyeongyang, offers hope for the possibility of a full and verifiable denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula in a context of regional security. In my recent visit to Colombia, I was impressed
by the peoples’ strong commitment to peace, now reaffirmed by President
Duque. In Central Asia, I personally witnessed strengthened
cooperation after Uzbekistan went through a peaceful political
transition. Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia have taken a major step towards resolving their differences. Our peacekeeping mission in Liberia ended
a decade-and-a-half of work this year following the country’s first peaceful
democratic transition, adding to peacekeeping successes elsewhere in West Africa. The approval of compacts on refugees and migration
represents another sign of hope, even if there is still a long way to
go to reconcile full respect for the rights of people on the move with the legitimate
interests of states. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted
out of extreme poverty across the world over the past three decades, and
we averted looming famine in four countries in the past two years. Armenia’s young people were at the heart
of that country’s peaceful political transition earlier this year – showing the
potential of youth to use their voice to advance democracy. 11
And the drive for gender equality is gaining ground, amid a growing awareness
of pervasive discrimination against women and girls, from violence, harassment
and exploitation to unequal pay and exclusion from decision-making. The United Nations must lead the way in pursuit
of gender equality. For the
first time in United Nations history, there is full parity in our Senior
Management Group and among Resident Coordinators leading country teams
around the world. We are firmly committed to equality and empowerment
everywhere. Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen, As our late Secretary-General, Kofi, once
reminded us: “We share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United
Nations”. Our future rests on solidarity. We must repair broken trust. We must reinvigorate our multilateral project. And we must uphold dignity for one and all. Thank you.

52 Comments on "Secretary-General Addresses General Debate, 73rd Session"


  1. United nation is Americans puppet. We Kashmiris are suffering more than 30 years and more than Syrians but this insane department needs money to troll.

    Reply

  2. They want to stablish a fully socialist world by labeling the post ww2 world order as failed and as leading to war, and at the same time they want to inaugurate the brand new meaning for democracy under the flag of multilateralism, at least that is for the opening of the session.

    In other words they pretend to introduce a political concept by stating that when the world order, its rules and regulations for human rights stablished after ww2 fail, the UN also fails and war is then inevitable.
    As world order fails they propose multilateralism under the true and real final meaning of democracy which is the live voice and representation of the many for the rights of the most vulnerable.

    Direct democracy that is when each voice is heard to satisfy a vulnerability leads to the impair of the opposing or contradictory interests among the many voices and their realities as that already has happened in many weak and failing states already. Also that concept of democracy does not assures true development because full transversalism is not the only factor and probably neither the most important when talking about social development.

    Reply

  3. You need better translators. As soon as the guy started translating I lost focus. There was no passion or professionalism in his translation of the speech which was good, but you know something is wrong when you can hear him fiddling with pages in the background.

    Reply

  4. Now UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterees is presenting. No one presidents and prime ministers including Antonio Gutterees are speaking about the worst modern slaves specially the ideal life slave. Only me Abiye Tesfaye worku is facing the ideal life modern slaves.
    What this shows UN itself and some developed nations plan to slave the world in ideal life modern slave ways.
    Life is life. Ideal life is also life. We more violated ideally than physically every second. Your are our both ideal and physical life leaders. Why you afraid to face and to lead our ideal life.
    UN, USA, and some developed nations are playing and encouraging dull and violation games. Dull means against all seinces.
    White ethnic groups in the world want to live your own formula life. Your formula is influencing you not to follow seince and ethics. And you are influencing the world to live your wrong formula life. And we all world people are violated and we all are at least slave mentally. Example, dull and violation games are your wrong formula life.
    The ideal life violation is more in Ethiopia people and bottom level people of the world. He himself Secretary General Antonio Gutterees with USA leaders are abuse me and abuse many people. For whom I tell? I filed in UN. I don't get judgement.
    Please weakup nations in the world to solve the worst modern slave. Developed nations are running to slave the whole world specifically in ideal life. We know their slave chains.We have to break these slave chains.

    UN don't hide any world problems infront of you!

    Black, disable, and slave US American man from Nevada

    Reply

  5. Sexual Orientation and
    Gender Identity Education
    Let Kids Be Kids, not Sexualized Little Adults
    Sexual orientation and gender are important parts of who we are. Learning more about gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation can help us understand ourselves, and the world around us. However, when and how we get exposed to such concepts of traditional and non-traditional genders and sexual orientation is of great importance.
    While all of us would agree that sexual education is important, deciding the age at which such education should be imparted is very crucial. Children grow to make and shape up the society, and thus must be exposed to sensitive issues in a mature environment when they are actually capable of judging these issues and taking decisions.
    Read the rest in the link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1k2b2p2jBftOj2M8zW-HdhYqkMgptMZ6u

    Reply

  6. The only models that predict disasters from co2 require an atmospheric sensitivity of 3°C while actual reads show it to be less than 1°. There is no point in the near future where we will have a disaster if we do not act. Any attempt to force it is nothing more than a money grab. They are aware of the likelihood of a grand solar minimum starting in 2030 and are aware that will destroy any chance that it is man made or that there is anything they can do to grab money and power due to co2. That is why they are pushing for it now.

    The tipping point is where they lose any creditability and that will happen in a few years. They are very aware of that.

    Reply

  7. TO ANTONIO GUTERRES = COURT CASES R PENDING SINCE 1992= EXHAUSTED ALL REMEDIES WITH GOVERNMENT OF INDIA =PRAY HELP–INDIA

    Reply

  8. Lol …..USA should make me Secretary of United nations.
    Poor guys..
    Hard worker
    Even so better than this gentleman

    Reply

  9. I know all the problem they fixing u all bcz u are all in one leaders now not only ure nation us president in all nation they need ure protection us leaders god bless u all and i hope u clean all the nation for the wrong people in the world god bless u all and God bless our mother earth to our next generation

    Reply

  10. Respected his highness. As i inform. Your highness. IHRO. J&k is not doing their job. Intrustedly. Please. I wants. Action. & my FB. Message IHRO is not. Functioned.

    Reply

  11. Respect. His highness. Please. As per the humanitarian being please. Help. Kashmir. Issue for. Our. Wright of. Independence. That will be. Most. Kindness.

    Reply

  12. Obstruction is not the charge to set into REALM. AS ONE ATTEMPT TWON APPLY AND THREE CONSIDER

    Reply

  13. Even further a PRESENTED CONDITION THAT NOT ONLY IMPEADED MY HEALTH AND WELLNESS TO THE EXTRODINARY EXTREME OF MY MARITAL UNION WITH MY HUSBAND I WIL NOT WITHSTAND ANY RESPONSE TO MAKW AN OUTCOME OF GLORY OR FORBEARANCE

    Reply

  14. Education I am with Force of brunt disclaimers not with held.

    They have to live with themselves I have to live with me.

    Reply

  15. United in think not divided they fall. Indivisible is my stance.
    RESPECTFULLY
    One
    Tina marie

    Reply

  16. Ask the American, for the pass 2 decades the western alliance destroyed how many country in the name of democracy.

    Reply

  17. Beautiful speech….but reform U.N under your watch so neglected and productive nations should be recorganised….as members…..equality maintained. Koffi Annan of blessed memory once said" MDG….now ….SDG is a global tools to reduce poverty…nations should key in to implement it" it works in Anambra state ..in Nigeria under Governor peter obi….millions were lifted out of poverty.

    Reply

  18. We will have a national empire we must destroy the religions and unify as a international empire under 1 leader to have peace and stability, we must eradicate all that stand against this step to progress.

    Reply

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