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the Global Body

In remarks before an informal session of the UN General Assembly on January 16, 2019, Secretary-General Guterres stated that when he spoke in 2018, he had “issued a red alert” for the world. In his comments earlier this year, he indicated that the “Alarm bells are still ringing.”

The problems confronting the international community are significant. From persistent conflict adding to the growing number of displaced persons worldwide, to the unwavering issues of global poverty and hunger, the gap between rich and poor, the ever-present matter of climate change, continuing violations of human rights and the relentless attacks on journalists, when viewed in total these concerns greatly impact the lives of individuals around the world.

The inability of global leadership to address these issues equates to greater mistrust in the institutions of governance, including, as Guterres pointed out, the UN. In this global environment, the work of the UN is more important than ever.

The leader of the global body cited reforms that have been instituted under his guidance to make the UN more responsive to the needs of people. One such measure relates to the issuance of “new delegations of authority to more than 200 heads of UN entities” which he says will “cut red tape and bring decision-making closer to the point of delivery.” He believes these reforms will see a UN in 2019 that will be “working for all.”

A greater point of emphasis will be placed upon Africa as the UN seeks to bolster its partnership with the African Union as both entities strive for lasting peace on the continent, especially in countries like “Mali and the Sahel, South Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.