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UN chief sees unprecedented test to multilateralism in upcoming General Assembly session

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-09-13 09:33
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at the closing plenary of the 76th session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on Sept 12, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday saw an unprecedented test to multilateralism in the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly.

"The coming session will continue to test the multilateral system like never before. And it will continue to test cohesion and trust among member states," he told the closing plenary of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

The 77th annual session of the General Assembly begins on Tuesday.

"The road ahead will be challenging and unpredictable. But by using the tools of our trade -- diplomacy, negotiation and compromise -- we can continue supporting people and communities around the world. We can pave the way to a better, more peaceful future for all people. And we can renew faith in the United Nations and the multilateral system, which remain humanity's best hope," he said.

Guterres thanked Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, as president of the 76th session of the General Assembly, for his vision and leadership.

"With enormous skill, he led this assembly during these unprecedented times, bringing fresh vision to issues like gender equality, climate action and the unique perspective of small island states," he said.

Guterres also highlighted ferocious conflicts that are putting millions of lives in jeopardy, deepening poverty and inequality that continues to impede recovery and development, a morally bankrupt global financial system that penalizes developing countries and blocks their path to sustainable recovery, and a climate emergency that is literally "setting our planet on fire."

The 76th session of the General Assembly was marked by a series of deepening challenges: rising prices, the erosion of purchasing power, growing food insecurity and the gathering shadows of a global recession; a global pandemic that refused to be defeated and the emergence of another health emergency in monkeypox; and deadly heatwaves, storms, floods and other natural disasters.

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