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Courage needed to mend today’s global rifts, German leader tells UN Assembly

Addressing world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that in an increasingly interdependent world, “a policy for peace must not stop on our own doorstep.”

He stated, therefore, that the order of the day is not less but more cooperation among countries.

“Today – especially today – we need the courage, creative energy and will to fill in the rifts. Rifts which are deeper than ever.”

A multipolar world

Chancellor Scholz stated that the modern world no longer revolves around just two superpowers, as in the Cold War era, but features multiple centers of power and influence.

“Multipolarity is not a normative category but a description of today’s reality,” he said.

Highlighting the importance of the United Nations in navigating this multipolar world, he said that Organization, based on its Charter’s values, is uniquely positioned to address the aspirations of universal representation and sovereign equality for all nations.

Other groups and blocs, such as the G7, G20 or BRICS, as important as they are for achieving international consensus, do not possess the same universality in their representation as the UN, Mr. Scholz added.

Climate action

In his address, the German leader also underscored the urgency of addressing anthropogenic climate change as one of the world’s most significant challenges.

He emphasized the responsibilities of both developed and developing countries, noting that while industrialized nations bear a significant responsibility in the fight against climate change, many developing countries have also become major contributors to global emissions.

“Instead of waiting for others, we all have to do more together to achieve the Paris climate goals,” he urged, noting also the need for setting clear targets at the upcoming COP28 climate conference, to be held in Dubai.

Reforms needed

Chancellor Scholz also noted the need for reforming multilateral development banks, in light of debt crisis faced by many countries and the need to mobilize resources for crucial global public goods, such as climate action and biodiversity preservation.

Germany, for its part, is actively advocating for these changes and has pledged substantial support, including a groundbreaking 305 million euros investment in the World Bank, expected to unlock over two billion euros in additional loans, he said.

Regarding the United Nations, Mr. Scholz stated that the Organization must adapt to future challenges, including harnessing technological innovations for the common good.

He called for global discussions on the responsible use of artificial intelligence and highlighted the need to enhance the UN’s representation to reflect a multipolar world, especially in the composition of the Security Council.

Peace a dream for many

Chancellor Scholz noted that for many around the world, peace is a distant dream.

“Russia’s war of aggression has caused immense suffering not only in Ukraine. People around the world are suffering as a result of inflation, growing debts, the scarcity of fertilizers, hunger and increasing poverty,” he said, adding:

“Precisely because this war is having unbearable consequences around the world, it is right and proper that the world is involved in the quest for peace.”

 

Full statement available here.

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