FILE- UN Secretary-General António Guterres FILE- UN Secretary-General António Guterres

'we need concrete commitments, not fancy speeches': Guterres

Mon, Sep. 23, 2019
CAIRO – 23 September 2019: “I told leaders not to come with fancy speeches, but with concrete commitments, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday during a press conference about the 74th UNGA.

Guterres addressed many global issues, saying that the world is at a critical moment on several fronts – the climate emergency, rising inequality, an increase in hatred and intolerance, as well as an alarming number of peace and security challenges.

“Tensions are rising everywhere. We are losing the race against climate change. Our world is off-track in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added. Implicitly, UN Secretary-General Guterres said, “We see trade wars and real wars.” Also, he talked about the spread of hate speech and deadly weapons.

As tensions flair up in the Gulf after the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil facilities, Guterres warned that people always pay the highest price. “This is the moment to cool tensions, and nowhere is that more important than in the Gulf,” he stressed.

"This is also the time to promote dialogue and pave the way for political solutions from Libya to Yemen, from Syria to Israel-Palestine, from Afghanistan to South Sudan,” Guterres added.

"With the very high number of world leaders coming to the United Nations, we have a chance to advance diplomacy for peace...I told leaders not to come with fancy speeches, but with concrete commitments," Guterres reiterated.

The focus of next week's meetings will be sustainable and inclusive development, as well as climate change, which threatens everyone and everything, according to Mr. Guterres.

"I went to the Bahamas a few days ago. The level of devastation was unlike anything I have ever seen. Hurricane Dorian was indeed Hurricane Hell. And, unfortunately, extreme weather events will only produce more hellscapes for more people. That is what science has been telling us all along.

I expect there will be an announcement and unveiling of a number of meaningful plans on dramatically reducing emissions during the next decade, and on reaching carbon neutrality by 2050," Guterres stated.

He also pledged to showcase promising initiatives to move away from coal, putting a price on carbon, stopping subsidies for fossil fuels, and cutting the pollution that damages our health.
 
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