ASEAN-UN partnership crucial to fighting present challenges: UNSG António Guterres

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António Guterres

Calling the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership more important than ever for fighting present challenges UN Secretary-General António Guterres says that the world faces problems from the climate emergency to a global cost-of-living crisis to raging conflicts to growing poverty, hunger, and inequalities which are aggravated by rising geopolitical tensions.

He adds, “There is a real risk of fragmentation — of a great fracture in world economic and financial systems, with diverging strategies on technology and artificial intelligence and conflicting security frameworks.”

He commended ASEAN for its vital role in building bridges of understanding all over the world.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres was addressing the thirteenth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-United Nations Summit, in Jakarta

“We need it in a world that is increasingly multipolar and that requires strong multilateral institutions to go with it — based on equity, solidarity, and universality,” he says further.

“ASEAN has played an extremely important role as a center that convenes all those that, unfortunately, represent the most dramatic divisions in today’s world and this series of summits is a demonstration of that fundamental convening role of ASEAN,” he noted.

He thanked ASEAN for their steadfast support for multilateral solutions and their contribution of over 5,000 peacekeepers.

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Highlighting the oppression going on in Myanmar he said,” Brutal violence, worsening poverty, and systematic repression are crushing hopes for a return to democracy. The conflict is exacerbating existing inequalities and vulnerabilities faced by women and girls, including sexual violence, forced marriage, and human trafficking.”

He pointed out that “Over 1 million Rohingya remain in Bangladesh, in the world’s largest refugee camp. And, regrettably, the conditions for their safe, voluntary, and dignified return are not yet in sight.” adding “Much more is needed.”

“Tensions remain high from the Korean Peninsula to the South China Sea. I am grateful to ASEAN member States for your pursuit of dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution, rooted in the respect for international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.

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