UN Secretary-General: Prioritizing action for sustainable development

Warning of the unprecedented challenges and risks that the international community faces in 2023, ranging from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, climate change to financial and economic issues, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Member States to seize the moment and act before it is too late. These are also priority tasks that countries must attend to for a peaceful and developed world.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo: UN)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo: UN)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' speech to the United Nations General Assembly addressed the 2023 priorities for United Nations.

According to UN Secretary-General Guterres, conflict and instability will continue in some countries and regions in 2023. The world is facing the risk of a larger-scale war because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The prospects for peace keep diminishing. The chances of further escalation and bloodshed keep growing. In Palestine and Israel, the two-State solution is growing more distant by the day. In Afghanistan, deadly terrorist attacks continue. In Haiti, gang violence is holding the entire country hostage.

The issue of hunger eradication and poverty reduction is also a priority. Guterres called on countries to make new commitments to placing the dramatic needs of developing countries at the centre of every decision and mechanism of the global financial system; A new determination is needed to ensure developing countries have a far greater voice in global financial institutions. According to the head of the United Nations, there is also a need for new debt architecture that encompasses debt relief and restructuring for vulnerable countries, including those middle-income ones in need.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the world is facing urgent risks.

The climate crisis is having serious consequences on human life and this is a problem the world cannot afford to hesitate on any longer. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said "We must end the merciless, relentless and senseless war on nature. It is putting our world at immediate risk of hurtling past the 1.5°C temperature increase limit and is now moving towards a deadly 2.8°C.". Humanity is taking a sledgehammer to our world’s rich biodiversity — with brutal and even irreversible consequences for both people and planet. Our ocean is choked by pollution, plastics and chemicals.

Faced with this urgent situation, the world's two urgent priorities are cutting emissions and achieving climate justice.

Regarding the priority of the climate change response and finance for climate, Secretary-General Guterres laudedVietnam and a number of countries that have joined the Just Energy Transitions Partnerships, considering it one of the most effective initiatives to advance this important goal.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations called on the international community to strengthen coordination of action and efforts to find creative solutions for sustainable development as well as preventing and resolving conflicts.


In the context of a complicated and volatile world situation, with multi-dimensional challenges from the the prolonged effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, great power competition, conflicts in many regions, poverty and discontent and the impacts of climate change, the United Nations Secretary-General called on the international community to strengthen coordination of actions, efforts to find innovative solutions to promote sustainable development and prevent and resolve conflicts within the framework of the United Nations Charter and international law for the benefit of future generations.

Guterres' speech was considered by the press as "United Nations Message of the Secretary-General". That is, "eyes wide open", and "act decisively before it is too late".

According to the head of the largest multilateral organization on the planet, it is time to change the approach to peace by recommitting to the UN Charter, putting human rights and dignity first, and taking prevention as the focus. The United Nations expects member states to act urgently to achieve the goals of sustainable development, for a world of peace, stability and prosperity.