‘Our world is in peril,’ UN secretary general warns general assembly

In an alarming assessment, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told world leaders Tuesday that nations are “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction” and aren’t ready or willing to tackle the major challenges that threaten the future of humanity and the fate of the planet.

Speaking at the opening of the General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting, the UN chief pointed to the war in Ukraine, multiplying conflicts around the world, the climate emergency, the dire financial situation of developing countries and recent reversals of progress on such UN goals as ending extreme poverty and providing quality education for all children.

“Our world is in peril — and paralyzed,” Guterres said.

But he said there is hope.

Stressing that co-operation and dialogue are the only path forward, he warned that “no power or group alone can call the shots.”

“Let’s work as one, as a coalition of the world, as united nations,” he urged leaders gathered in the vast General Assembly hall.

After two years of holding the session virtually or in a hybrid format, 157 heads of state and representatives of government are expected to attend the UN General Assembly in person. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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