KATHMANDU – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said Nepal has long been a friend to the international system and a steadfast champion of multilateralism, peace and developing countries’ interests.
In his address to the joint session of the federal parliament at New Baneswor-based parliament building on Tuesday, the UN chief stressed on the dire need of revitalization and reforms in the system. Noting that the world is in a state of flux and is moving towards multi-polarity, he said, “A multipolar world provides new opportunities for leadership and balance on the global stage”.
The UN Secretary-General said this new dynamic however requires strong multilateral institutions to maintain peace. “History shows us that. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Europe was multipolar, but without strong multilateral institutions, it descended into war that engulfed the world. That is not a risk we can take”.
Underlining the need of strong international institutions that reflect the realities of today, Guterres said the developing countries must have far greater representation in international institutions. He called for reform of the outdated United Nations Security Council and proposed measures to reform the global financial architecture – so that it better represents developing countries and responds to their needs.
“These proposals are gaining real traction – at this year’s United Nations General Assembly and beyond.”. The United Nations Summit of the Future next year is an important chance to push further progress, he noted, adding, “I count on Nepal’s support to help make the change we need a reality.”. The UN chief argued that multilateralism must both reflect the world, and respond to it which he means creating the institutions and tools we need to address new threats, and to seize new opportunities. “Technology can solve problems and spur development. It can entrench divisions and inflame inequality”, he said, adding that today it is doing too little of the former and too much of the latter.
He called for a global response to the technologies that are changing the world at astonishing speed in a way to harness them for the good of humanity. The UN high-level body on Artificial Intelligence comprising experts from G77 countries will report this year, so member states can consider global governance options for artificial intelligence, he said in his address. “We must also bring the benefits of technology to all, and ensure that in a new technological era, no one is left behind. That is the purpose of the Global Digital Compact the United Nations has proposed”. It aims to bring together governments and industry to ensure that technology works for all, and accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals, he mentioned. “As a steadfast champion of multilateralism, peace and developing countries’ interests, Nepal will be a vital ally at the Summit”, the UN Secretary added.