‘Multilateralism is more important than ever’ highlights António Guterres in annual report
António Guterres, UN Secretary General, released the Annual Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organisation for 2018 this week which measures the progress the organisation has made over the previous year in maintaining peace, protecting human rights and promoting sustainable development.
The report emphasises the importance of multilateralism in meeting the growing challenges of the world.
The report states:
“I started my tenure calling for 2017 to be a year of peace, yet peace remains elusive. Conflicts have deepened, with grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law; inequality has risen, intolerance has spread, discrimination against women remains entrenched and the impacts of climate change continue to accelerate. To address these issues, we need unity and courage in setting the world on track towards a better future.
Mr Guterres praised the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for uniting member states and the civil society with the shared aim of alleviating poverty and building prosperous and peaceful societies.
Mr Guterres and his Deputy Amina Mohammed are leading one of the most comprehensive reforms of the UN development system in decades which aims to strengthen the Organisation’s ability to support member states and drive progress to achieving the SDGs.
The report emphasises that stronger multilateral partnerships must be built with Member States, regional and international organisations and civil society to establish solutions to global challenges.
The report highlights progress and success such as increased labour productivity, access to electricity and strengthened internet governance. However, it also warns that progress is too low and varied to meet the SDGs by 2030.
For example, 30% of people did not have access to safe water and 60% lacked adequate sanitation in 2015. Progress towards the SDGs is also being hampered by conflicts, disasters and climate change which are negatively affecting population.
The message of the Annual Report aligns with a key take-away from the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of 2018 that took place earlier this year. The forum emphasised an urgent need to increase action on areas including energy cooperation, water and ecosystems.
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Image credit: United Nations