UN Chief Unveils Roadmap for 2023
UN Secretary-General António Guterres presented his 2023 priorities to the General Assembly on Monday, calling for decisive action on global crises.
In his speech in New York, he urged for swift action on peace, economic rights and development, climate action, diversity, and inclusive societies for both present and future generations.
Guterres offered condolences to the families affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria and mentioned the UN’s efforts to support the response.
He emphasized the importance of transformation in 2023, based on the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“As we look to priorities for this year, a rights-rooted approach is central to achieving our ultimate priority: a safer, more peaceful, more sustainable world,” he said.
The secretary-general said his message for leaders was: “don’t focus solely on what may happen to you today – and dither. Look at what will happen to all of us tomorrow – and act.”
He then outlined how the Member States could transform the society by being guided by the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Guterres said he feared the world was sleepwalking into a wider war and it was doing so with its eyes wide open, and added that, “we must work harder for peace everywhere.”
He also called on nuclear-armed countries to renounce the first use of these weapons, saying their “tactical” use of nuclear weapon is an absurdity.
On development, he said, “it’s time for a new Bretton Woods moment, with a new commitment to place the needs of developing countries at the centre of every decision and mechanism of the global financial system.”
And on climate, he said this year was one of reckoning and was clear that there could be no more baby steps, excuses or greenwashing.
The UN chief said action was possible, however, politicians and decision makers lacked the strategic vision to see beyond the short term.