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UN chief highlights importance of multilateralism

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-12-15 14:30

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers statements on progress made on the penultimate day of COP27, during the COP27 climate summit in Red Sea resort at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Nov 17, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to strengthening multilateralism, and expressed his belief in UN's role in brokering solutions to global challenges.

Addressing a Security Council meeting on multilateralism, Guterres said that strengthening multilateralism to address today's global challenges has been his highest priority since assuming office as secretary-general.

"During the darkest periods of the Cold War, collective decision-making and continuous dialogue in the Security Council maintained a functioning, if imperfect, system of collective security" that has prevented military conflict between major powers, he said.

Despite such progress, the world is still grappling with many of the same challenges as when UN was founded, including inter-state wars, limits to peacekeeping ability, terrorism, and a divided collective security system, Guterres said, also pointing out that "conflict has evolved dramatically."

The UN chief said that he hopes to submit a New Agenda for Peace in 2023, which will speak to all member states and address the full range of new and old security challenges including local, national, regional and international ones.

The New Agenda for Peace will consider how the UN's existing toolbox can be enhanced, among other objectives, Guterres said.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative shows that the United Nations still has a unique and important role in brokering solutions to global challenges, he noted. "We must build on and expand such innovative approaches."

"The challenge ahead is clear. We have an opportunity and an obligation to recall the pledge of the United Nations Charter to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. We must meet that promise with a revitalized multilateralism that is effective, representative and inclusive," he said.

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