Does the UN do anything besides insult America?
In his New Year proclamation Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the nations of the world to join together in fighting nationalism, xenophobia, and climate change.
As we begin 2018, I am issuing a red alert for our world. I call for unity – our future depends on it. pic.twitter.com/fWtTa1irM3
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 31, 2017
Guterres stressed urgency for his message by designating it a “red alert.”
“On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal,” he said. “I am issuing an alert—a red alert for our world.”
Guterres recalled his appeal that 2017 be a year of peace. He remarked that “in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse.”
The UN chief maintained, “we can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.”
Guterres mentioned the global threat of nuclear weapons, but did not name rogue actors like North Korea or the Islamic State.
“Impacts of climate change worsened at an alarming rate, inequalities grew, and there were horrific violations of human rights,” the UN head continued. He also asserted that “nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.”
For Gutteres, “unity is the path.” He described the solution to the world’s conflicts as being to “narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”
Gutteres’ comments about “xenophobia” and “nationalism” echo criticism of President Trump, who has been accused of xenophobia for his positions on immigration, terrorism, and refugees.
The UN head’s talk of climate change also brought to mind President Trump’s skepticism of policies intended to prevent climate change–embodied in his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Last month, the United Nations voted to condemn the US’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In return, President Trump threatened to cut funding to the UN nations that voted for the international censure.
Maybe it’s time the president follow through on that threat.