Secretary-General's Address to the General Assembly

Secretary-General_General AssemblyUN Secretary-General, António Guterres. ©UN

 

I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples.

“We the peoples”, and the United Nations, face grave challenges.

Our world is in trouble.  People are hurting and angry.  They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing. 

The global economy is increasingly integrated, but our sense of global community may be disintegrating.

Societies are fragmented.  Political discourse is polarized.  Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide.

We are a world in pieces.  We need to be a world at peace.

And I strongly believe that, together, we can build peace.  We can restore trust and create a better world for all.

I will focus today on seven threats and tests that stand in our way.  

For each, the dangers are all too clear.  Yet for each, if we act as truly united nations, we can find answers.

First, the nuclear peril.

The use of nuclear weapons should be unthinkable.  Even the threat of their use can never be condoned.

But today global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War.

The fear is not abstract.  Millions of people live under a shadow of dread cast by the provocative nuclear and missile tests of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Within the DPRK itself, such tests do nothing to ease the plight of those who are suffering hunger and severe violations of their human rights.

I condemn those tests unequivocally.

I call on the DPRK and all Member States to comply fully with Security Council resolutions. 

Last week’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2375 tightens sanctions and sends a clear message regarding the country’s international obligations.

I appeal to the Council to maintain its unity.

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