UNSG Antonio Guterres highlights global inequality, failure in controlling climate change

F.P. Report

LAHORE: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday outlined significance of the participation of youths in the 21st Century at the global stage.

Addressing a students’ gathering titled “Role of the Youth in UN of the 21st Century” at a private university in Lahore, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasised on having dialogues between institutions, and importantly, that the curriculum needs to be changed to address future challenges.

The UN chief asserted that decisions were needed to be taken concerning the adverse affects of climate change, and youths were required to obtain awareness about the new technology.

“My generation has failed in many aspects but has failed essentially in three basic questions that will determine the future unless we are able to change course and I don’t believe we will be able to change course if the youth has not much stronger intervention in the way we build our future,” he said.

“We failed in climate change, we failed in making globalisation work for all and we are failing in making that new technologies will inevitably be a force for good because we are opening too much space for new technologies to be a threat for the way our societies live,” he added.

“Globalisation has not been working for all, many people were left behind and we have seen an increase in the levels of inequality and […] this is today a threat to social cohesion of our societies, and it is something that is one of the factors of this squirt that we feel all over the world and that is expressed in (forms) of demonstrations (…) which are shaking the basis of political systems in so many countries,” he maintained.

UNSG Antonio expressed regret over inequality at the global stage while presenting an example of possession of veto powers by only five members of the UN Security Council.

He affirmed that bringing equality between individuals and countries “is not an easy process” and takes a long time.

Earlier today, in a tweet, Mr Guterres acknowledged that Pakistan was among the top contributors to the UN peacekeeping mission.

Guterres took to Twitter, and stated: “It was inspiring to meet some of the brave women and men who are #ServingForPeace around the world. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!”

Today, the UN chief will also attend an event on Pakistan’s polio vaccination campaign, and will visit Sikhism’s holy site of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Kartarpur. He will also visit Badshahi Mosque and Shahi Qilla in Lahore.

Responding to a question, the spokesman said the UN chief will not be visiting the disputed Kashmir region during this trip. He is set to return to New York on Wednesday.

The UN chief is on a four-day visit to Pakistan, and attended an international conference on Afghan refugees.

While addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Guterres said: “One of the main purposes of my visit is to spotlight the real Pakistan, with all its possibilities and potential.”

The two-day conference in Islamabad is a recognition of Pakistan’s “tremendous generosity” in hosting millions of refugees from Afghanistan over four decades, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric had said during a regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday.

Mr Guterres also met Prime Minister Imran and other high-level government officials, his spokesman said. The UN Secretary General also met President Arif Alvi yesterday.