News ID: 324242
Published: 0300 GMT September 20, 2022

UN chief warns of upcoming 'winter of discontent'

UN chief warns of upcoming 'winter of discontent'
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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, US, on September 20, 2022.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Tuesday warned international leaders of a looming "winter of global discontent" in a world beset by multiple crises from the Ukraine war to a warming climate.

"A winter of global discontent is on the horizon," Guterres said as he opened the annual General Assembly, AFP reported.

"Trust is crumbling, inequalities are exploding, our planet is burning. People are hurting – with the most vulnerable suffering the most."

Guterres also urged wealthy nations to tax fossil fuel companies and use the proceeds to compensate for damage from climate change and provide relief over rising prices.

"Let's tell it like it is – our world is addicted to fossil fuels. It's time for an intervention. We need to hold fossil fuel companies and their enablers to account," Guterres said.

Warning that the world is in “great peril,” the head of the United Nations said leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality – and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders’ meeting Tuesday, Guterres cited the “immense” task not only of saving the planet, “which is literally on fire,” but of dealing with the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. He also pointed to “a lack of access to finance for developing countries to recover – a crisis not seen in a generation” that has seen ground lost for education, health and women’s rights, AP reported.

 

 

 

 

   
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