Published On: Sat, Feb 10th, 2018

UN Chief Guterres: Warns Against Rising Inequality Worldwide

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By Janet Ekstract
UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke out on “engagement and empowerment” as two major goals at the inaugural Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.
The U.N. chief stated that engagement and empowerment are the two major driving forces that can transform Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into positive results for everyone across the globe and urged all sectors of society to get involved to make this a priority.
He also emphasized that efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development need urgent action not just government programs and diplomatic efforts.
Mr. Guterres called for a unified mobilization within civil society, academia and the private sector in order to achieve these goals and locate the resources to do so.
The secretary-general sounded a major alert regarding widespread inequality throughout the world and said the feeling of being “left behind” damages the motivation of entire regions, communities and individuals as well as within governments and massive organizations like the U.N.
He reiterated that when trust is absent then instability is not far behind.
A “fair globalization” is the goal that the U.N. chief stressed and reminded dignitaries and guests that as long as unplanned urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity and massive movement of people as well as soaring population growth and climate change persist – that global security will remain fragile and negative impacts could multiply to extraordinary proportions.
One of the most pervasive issues Guterres mentioned is financing, which is critical to ensure sufficient resources to meet the SDGs and the sustainable development agenda. The U.N. chief stressed once again that the international community must do a more detailed job of eliminating widespread financial fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and illicit flows of capital.
Mr. Guterres reminded everyone that in Africa, these type of activities account for more than total official development aid (ODA) that comes into the continent.
He pressed for SDG implementation that responds to not only past issues but future ones, in order to create favorable conditions that will allow people to adapt to new scenarios.
The secretary-general also met with former U.N. chief Ban Ki Moon and all former Secretaries-General and the president of the U.N. General Assembly who all met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee-Nak-yon.
Before leaving Seoul, the U.N. delegation visited the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games where they had an opportunity to greet a number of Olympic athletes including Cheyenne Goh, the first Singaporean to ever qualify for the Olympic Winter Games. Mr. Guterres expressed his encouragement and good luck to Chinese and EU Olympic competitors as well.
This year’s Olympic Games in Seoul mark a new opening and the spirit of hope that Mr. Guterres has echoed in his recent remarks about looking ahead and working toward a new global order with increased equality and fresh opportunities across the board.

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