UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underlined the need for "effective and inclusive" multilateralism that functions as an instrument of global governance when needed, lamenting that multilateral instruments such as the Security Council have teeth but "show little or no appetite to bite." As the world body on Friday commemorates the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter, the founding document of the Organisation, Guterres said there is a need to re-imagine the way nations cooperate.

"We need a networked multilateralism, bringing together the UN system, regional organisations, international financial institutions and others. And we need an inclusive multilateralism, drawing on the indispensable contributions of civil society, business, cities, regions and, in particular, with greater weight given to the voices of youth," Guterres said at a virtual press conference Thursday.

Underling that in the 21st century, governments are no longer the only political and power reality, he said "we need an effective multilateralism that can function as an instrument of global governance where it is needed." He pointed out that the problem is not that multilateralism is not up to the challenges the world faces. "The problem is that today's multilateralism lacks scale, ambition and teeth. And some of the instruments that do have teeth, show little or no appetite to bite, as has recently been the case with the difficulties faced by the Security Council," he said.

Guterres underscored that the international community must give multilateralism the capacities to confront current challenges, not only to meet immediate needs, but to enable future generations to meet theirs.

The UNSC has been strongly criticised for its inaction and lack of leadership in dealing with the COVID19 pandemic and its failure to adopt even a single resolution on the global health and humanitarian crisis caused by the outbreak.

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