UN chief at the G20: end mistrust to help on climate, vaccines
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres challenges G-20 leaders to overcome “dangerous levels of mistrust” between them to urgently and jointly tackle climate change and vaccine inequalities with the world in development
ROME – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on G-20 leaders to overcome “dangerous levels of mistrust” between themselves and between developed and developing countries in an attempt to avoid a “climate catastrophe” and close an “immoral gap” on global vaccine distribution and pandemic recovery assistance.
Guterres spoke to reporters in Rome on the eve of the Group of 20 summit, whose members represent 80% of global GDP.
“Let’s be clear, there is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver,” he warned. He said current official government commitments “still condemn the world to a calamitous 2.7 degree Celsius rise” in global temperatures.
The UN chief expressed his skepticism about recent pledges, saying “we are still preparing for a climate catastrophe”.
“We are seeing dangerous levels of mistrust among the great powers,” said Guterres, calling it an obstacle to the “massive mobilization of political will” that he deems vital to successfully deal with climate change.
He also cited worrying mistrust “among members of the G-20. Between developed and developing countries – including emerging countries.
Thus, for the UN leader, “the most important objective of this G-20 summit must be to restore confidence – by addressing the main sources of mistrust – rooted in injustices, inequalities and geopolitical divisions “.
He did not name any country by name. But later, responding to reporters’ questions, he acknowledged that the emissions reduction efforts of China and Russia, whose leaders will not be attending the G-20 in person, were crucial to successfully tackling the problem. global warming and other climate issues.
Guterres also urged emerging economies “to go the extra mile to achieve effective global emission reductions during this decade.”
Guterres blamed geopolitical divisions for obstructing a global vaccination plan to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic
“Coordinated global action has taken precedence over vaccine hoarding and vaccine nationalism,” he said, scathing in his criticism of a situation where people in the wealthiest countries are receiving a third dose of vaccine, while only 5% of Africans have been fully immunized.
He also lambasted the way pandemic financial aid is being used to stimulate recovery. Guterres said that while advanced economies invest nearly 28% of GDP in stimulus efforts, for middle-income countries that percentage drops to 6.5. For the least developed countries, it is 2%.
“The recovery is amplifying inequalities. It’s immoral, ” Guterres said.
He urged the G-20 countries to do more to alleviate the debt of developing countries. “Countries should not be forced to choose between servicing the debt or servicing their people,” Guterres said.
The UN chief called on G-20 leaders to keep their commitments to provide $ 100 billion each year to developing countries for climate finance.
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