UN Secretary-General Urges Direct Engagement of Parliamentarians in Addressing Global Issues

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During a gathering of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the crucial role of parliaments in addressing global challenges. Drawing from his personal experience as a former parliamentarian, Guterres stressed the responsibility of representing people and working towards their aspirations. He highlighted that parliaments serve as vital links between national and global spheres and can significantly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through legislation and spending decisions.

Guterres expressed concern over the dominance of older men in parliamentary settings and emphasized the need for increased representation of women and young individuals. Recognizing the paradoxes faced by the world today, such as interconnected issues with fragmented responses, a growing yet slowing economy, and both inequality and advancements resulting from globalization and technological progress, he underscored the importance of rebuilding trust in governments, political establishments, and international organizations.

The Secretary-General advocated for an inclusive and networked multilateralism, emphasizing the necessity of global responses to global challenges. He called for close cooperation among inter-governmental institutions, including the World Bank, the African Union, the Arab League, as well as collaboration with the business community, civil society, academia, and parliaments.

Guterres outlined key “tests” for international cooperation, including climate change, migration, growing populism and nationalism, and emerging technologies. He urged the demonstration of the benefits of multilateralism and the UN to address the concerns of people worldwide. The Secretary-General also shared plans for a Climate Summit in September to mobilize action and ambition, as well as ongoing efforts to leverage new technologies while mitigating risks and to prevent conflicts and hate speech.

In conclusion, Guterres sought the support of parliamentarians as partners in advancing common global goals. He called on legislative branches and political leaders to contribute to good governance, oversight, partnership building, and funding allocation in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, safe migration, women’s empowerment, conflict prevention, and countering hate speech.

Overall, the UN Secretary-General’s address highlighted the imperative for parliamentarians to actively engage in addressing global issues and work collaboratively towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.

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