‘We raised standards of living for millions. We forged peace in troubled lands and – indeed – we avoided a third world war. But none of this can be taken for granted. Today, world order is increasingly chaotic.  Power relations are less clear.

He lamented that, universal values are being eroded, while democratic principles are under siege, and the rule of law is being undermined, just as he equally pointed out that impunity is on the rise, as leaders and states push the boundaries, both at home and in the international arena.

Hear him further, ’We face a set of paradoxes. The world is more connected, yet societies are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many people are turning inward. Multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most.

The World body scribe noted that, it is true that we are moving in the direction of a multipolar world, but pointed out that multi-polarity will not, in itself, guarantee peace or solve global problems, recalling that  century ago, Europe was multipolar. 

‘A balance of power was deemed sufficient to keep rivals in check. It was not.  Without strong multilateral frameworks for European-wide cooperation and problem-solving, the result was a grievous world war. Today, with shifts in the balance of power, the risk of confrontation may increase’.

He emphasized that with leadership committed to strategic cooperation and to managing competing interests, we can avoid war and steer the world onto a safer path, adding that, individual leaders have the duty to advance the well-being of their people.

‘But it runs deeper.  Together, as guardians of the common good, we also have a duty to promote and support a reformed, reinvigorated and strengthened multilateral system.  We need commitment to a rules-based order, with the United Nations at its center and with the different institutions and treaties that bring the Charter to life’.

‘And we need to show the added value of international cooperation by delivering peace, defending human rights and driving economic and social progress for women and men everywhere. That is why I am so committed to reform, and to making the United Nations more effective in responding to the needs and aspirations of “we the peoples”.

‘In the face of massive, existential threats to people and planet — but equally at a time of compelling opportunities for shared prosperity — there is no way forward but collective, common-sense action for the common good. This is how we can rebuild trust’.

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