After two years of virtual meetings due to the pandemic, the headquarters of United Nations in New York once again this year hosts its great annual event It is the first since Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine in February, a conflict that has once again underlined the need for reform of the Security Council but it is also intensifying pressing global issues also aggravated by the climate crisis and the pandemic such as hunger and poverty.
As of Tuesday, when the debate in the General Assembly begins, the speeches, but given the dimension of the challenges and risks, more than words are needed. These are some of the keys to the world that the conclave addresses.
Poverty, hunger, energy crisis and inflation
After the pandemic dragged 77 million people around the world into poverty, 71 million added to that list between March and June of this year. The World Food Program has calculated that 323 million of people will suffer”severe food insecurity” by the end of 2022, more than double what it was before the pandemic.
The food crisis has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, as has the energeticand the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has proposed raising taxes on the record profits fossil fuel companies are making from rising oil and gas prices. And the two crises come at a time of widespread inflationary pressures that, like the growing housing Crisis, it is hitting the poorest people and communities the hardest.
As the Portuguese pointed out, the majority of developing countries They also do not have fiscal space or access to financial resources to guarantee basic services for its population. In addition to fueling the potential of social instabilityl, hex economic divergencebefore which the Portuguese urges to undertake a great reform of the financial systempresents the risk of reopen the global divide between north and south at the precise moment in which the confrontation between East and West.
Despite the fact that this year more money has been given to the UN to deal with crises than ever before, it is insufficient and the organization, with humanitarian aid funding gap, you have to go to your Central Emergency Response Fund to deal with crises in 11 countries, from Myanmar to Mali via Pakistan, shaken by floods, or Somalia, threatened by famine, which is also looming over Yemen, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
geopolitics and war
The war in Ukraine has marked the last months of the UN and will also mark the appointment this week in New York. Last Wednesday Guterres recalled that “it would be naif” think you are closer to a peace agreement and said that “options are minimal right now“, so the focus will be on look for specific developmentshow to expand grain and fertilizer exports of Russia and Ukraine to alleviate the food crisis in Africa and other low-income countries, ensure decent treatment of prisoners of war or guarantee the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
The war in Ukraine (whose president, Volodymyr Zelenski, will intervene by video after overcoming Russia’s protests to do so), is not the only point of geopolitical friction in a long list, where the Tension between the United States and China continues recently increased by Taiwan. But the world is also waiting for an agreement to be reached to reactivate the multilateral pact by which Iran promised to leave his military nuclear program and that broke Donald Trump. And you should also set the fragile truce in Yemencontinue directing how to work with afghanistan under taliban control or deal with the situation Sahel.
Guterres has been very blunt in denouncing what he considers “a global response to the climate crisis clearly inadequate“. Shortly after returning from flood-ravaged Pakistan, he stressed “the betrayal and injustice at the heart” of that response and advanced that he plans to use the conclave to urge richer countries to commit to more ambitious targets reduction of emissions as well as to give more aid to the poorest countries to adapt to climate change.
rights and freedoms
The UN concludes this Monday a special session on education with a high level summitwho although he will have absences for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, seeks transform and adapt education systems. But it will also be essential for Guterres that attention be paid this week to issues such as the human rightsthe worrying rollback of the rights of women and girls or the populism.
“The solidarity conceived in the UN Charter is being devoured by the acids of nationalism and self-interest, for a scandalous disdain for the poorest and the most vulnerable, politicians who play on the worst instincts of the people for partisan gain, for prejudice, discrimination, misinformation and hate speech that pit people against each other, by a global financial system that penalizes those who have less, and by fossil fuel corporations that are killing the planet to accumulate profits,” he denounced.