UN chief says people are looking to leaders for action and a way out of the current global 'mess'
United Nations: Leaders of a world fractured by war, climate change and persisting inequality gathered under one roof Tuesday to hear the UN chief summon them to take united action on humanity's huge challenges and to start delivering their own assessments on the most global of stages.
"Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are mounting. And we seem incapable of coming together to respond," Antonio Guterres told the people who run the world's nations. He said that the United Nations and the ways that countries cooperate must evolve to meet the era.
"The world has changed. Our institutions have not," Guterres said before the opening of the UN General Assembly's General Debate. "We cannot effectively address problems as they are if institutions don't reflect the world as it is. Instead of solving problems, they risk becoming part of the problem."
He said the world needs action now not merely more words to deal with the worsening climate emergency, escalating conflicts, "dramatic technological disruptions" and a global cost-of-living crisis that is increasing hunger and poverty.
This year's week-long session, the first full-on meeting of world leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel, has 145 leaders scheduled to speak. It's a large number that reflects the multitude of crises and conflicts.