‘Urgent action needed vs poverty, inequality’

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres. AFP Photo

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General António Guterres on Sunday (Monday in Manila) called for deeper international cooperation to address the global health crisis and reduce poverty and inequality.

“We need deeper international cooperation to address the global health crisis, reduce poverty and inequality, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and avert climate catastrophe,” the top UN official said in his video message on the UN Day for South-South Cooperation, which is celebrated globally on September 12 every year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is the most complex immediate challenge facing our world and it is undermining hard won social, economic and environmental gains,” said Guterres. “In such trying times, the solidarity that underpins South-South cooperation has once again proven vital for developing countries.”

“Throughout the pandemic, countries of the Global South have shared their knowledge and resources to support response and recovery efforts,” the secretary general said.

Guterres called for “building inclusive and resilient societies, empowering women and youth, leveraging digital, greener and bluer initiatives, and expanding sustainable financing.”

Noting that South-South and triangular cooperation offer concrete solutions to these shared challenges, he said that “the United Nations will continue to support these efforts – including through our System-wide Strategy on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development.”

“As the world seeks to ramp up Covid-19 response and recovery and tackle the existential threat of climate change, South-South and triangular cooperation is more essential than ever,” said Guterres.

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