G20 should lead on climate & sustainable development goals: UN secretary-general Guterres

New Delhi, (UNI) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged G20 leaders to show leadership on priority areas – climate and sustainable development goals – and called for reforms in the global financial architecture and the UN Security Council.

“I have come to the Summit with a simple but urgent appeal; we must come together and act together for the common good,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference here in Delhi ahead of the two-day G20 Summit, Guterres welcomed India’s focus on One Earth, One Family, One Future.

“This phrase inspired by the Maha Upanishad finds profound resonance in today’s world: not just as a timeless idea but as an indictment of our times. Because if we are indeed one global family – we today resemble a rather dysfunctional one,” he said.

Guterres hoped that India’s presidency of the G20 will help lead to the kind of transformative change the world so desperately needed.

“Divisions are growing, tensions are flaring up, and trust is eroding, which together raise the spectra of fragmentation, and ultimately, confrontation. This fracturing would be deeply concerning in the best of times, but in our times, it spells catastrophe,” he said.

He said the world was now in a “difficult moment” of transition. “The future is multipolar – but our multilateral institutions reflect a bygone age. The global financial architecture is outdated, dysfunctional, and unfair. It requires deep, structural reform. And the same can be said of the United Nations Security Council,” Guterres said.

He urged G20 leaders to show leadership on two priority areas climate and sustainable development goals.

“I have put forward a Climate Solidarity Pact in which big emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions; and wealthier countries support emerging economies to achieve this. And earlier this year, I presented a plan to super-charge these efforts through an Acceleration Agenda,” Guterres added.

“It calls on developed countries to reach net-zero as close as possible to 2040, and emerging economies as close as possible to 2050. Phase out coal by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 in all others. End all licensing or funding of new fossil fuel projects. Bring affordable electricity to everyone on earth while simultaneously reaching net-zero electricity by 2035 in developed countries and 2040 elsewhere,” he said.

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