Price hikes will bring global ‘winter of discontent’: UN
The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterrescalled for the mobilization of the international community to tackle the cascade of current challenges from all fronts, in anticipation of “a winter of discontent on a global scale”.
“We need to act in all areas,” Guterres declared during the start of the General Assembly, and highlighted the risk of the effects of the rising cost of living and inequality, as well as climate change.
The head of the UN lamented that, faced with “enormous and transcendental” challenges, the international community “is not prepared or is not willing”, and considered that this is not the time for individualities, since “there is no power or group that can, on its own master the situation.”
The population is suffering and the most vulnerable bear the brunt.
In his opinion, conflicts and humanitarian emergencies are spreading “without paying attention to them”, as evidenced by the fact that the UN call to respond humanitarian emergencies drags a deficit of 32 billion dollars, “the largest in history.”
Guterres highlighted in his speech some of the current crises, among which he highlighted the invasion of Ukraine. In this area, he highlighted the importance of the grain export agreement signed between kyiv and Moscow, in which the UN acted as mediator. It was not a “miracle”, but an example of diplomacy.
“The war (in Ukraine) has triggered widespread destruction, with large-scale violations of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights,” said Guterres, who considers “extremely disturbing” the information that points to the discovery of common pits in the Ukrainian town of Izium after the departure of the Russian forces.
The collateral effects of the conflict also extend beyond Ukraine, since it has exacerbated the “World crisis of the cost of living”, according to the former Portuguese prime minister.
The fossil fuel industry is feasting on subsidies & windfall profits while household budgets shrink & our planet burns.
We need to hold the industry and its enablers to account.
— Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 20, 2022
In this sense, he recalled that some 94 countries in which 1.6 billion people live are facing “a perfect storm” in which the rising prices of food and energy, the “crushing” burden of debt and the lack of access to new funds.
In the energy sphere, it established as a premise that “those who pollute must pay”. “The time has come to intervene”, which for Guterres goes through “demanding responsibilities” from the companies of fuels fossil fuels and all those that revolve around its orbit, particularly financial institutions.
“Just as they did with the tobacco companies a few decades ago, lobbyists and industry professionals informative manipulation they have sown harmful disinformation,” he said, referring to the “massive public relations machine” that somehow protects the entire industry.