UN Chief: 'Absolutely Essential' to Create Mechanisms to Inject Cash Into Afghan Economy
Essential to Avoid Humanitarian Catastrophe in Afghanistan
"It's essential, at the present moment, to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the country", Guterres said.
On Monday, Guterres hosted an international pledging conference in Geneva, during which international donors mobilised some $1.2 billion to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan, exceeding the UN's previous appeal for $606 million for this year.
Waivers for Some Sanctions Against Taliban Necessary
"I've been appealing for a number of waivers in the sanctions that allow for operational aspects to be possible... It will be necessary for practical reasons to make some waivers in some of the sanctions in order to allow for the contexts that are needed and for the humanitarian aid to be effectively distributed", Guterres said.
"I think that this is a matter the Security Council needs to be considering in the future", the UN chief stated.
"It is my belief that the UN must engage with the Taliban and the UN must play a very important role in support of the Afghan people in this difficult moment and mobilise the international community for effective humanitarian support to the Afghans. They have suffered too much", Guterres said.
Strategic Interests of Russia, US on Syria Overlap
UN Chief Says He Cannot Deny Entry to Unvaccinated World Leaders Coming to General Assembly
"I also have said very clearly that there is no way I can tell the head of state coming to the UN that if not vaccinated they cannot enter", Guterres said. "I [am not] the authority to tell a head of state that [they] cannot enter the UN if not vaccinated."
New Code of Conduct Needed to Regulate Use of Social Media by States
UN Chief Says He Expects to Meet With Biden at UNGA on Monday
"I think I will meet President Biden on Monday", Guterres said.
The White House earlier confirmed that Biden will travel to New York on 21 September to lead the US delegation at the upcoming event.
Meeting With Lavrov on Sidelines of UNGA Already Scheduled
"I will meet Foreign Minister Lavrov in one of the days of the week, I cannot say now exactly, but it's already in my programme", Guterres said.
UN Chief Guterres Says His Next Car Will Be Electric
Guterres went on to say that governments should take measures that help citizens make the right choices.
"For instance, if you shift taxation from income to carbon, that will influence the behaviour of consumers. If you end subsidies to fossil fuels and use that money to promote social security, universal health coverage or whatever, that again improves the behaviour of people", he said.
Additionally, efforts should be made to hold meetings online as much as possible and reduce travelling "to what is absolutely essential".
"So, there are many things that we can do in our life in the way we behave, in the way we relate with others, in which we can all contribute to climate action", the UN chief said, adding that "we are not yet there".
Guterres noted that if the present commitments — the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions — are implemented at their current pace, there will be a temperature rise at the end of the century of 2.7 degrees, "which means a catastrophic situation for the world".
"So, a lot must be done between now and the COP to increase the financial support of developed countries to developing countries, in which we are far from what was promised in Paris, and it's essential to be done; to increase the amount of this climate finance at the disposal of developing countries for adaptation, for building resilience of their communities, their infrastructure, because they are already suffering the dramatic impacts of climate, and also to ask those countries that still foresee an increase in emissions, especially, some emerging economies, to make an extra mile of effort in order for us to be able globally to reduce emissions in the next decade by 45% in relation to 2010 in 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality in the middle of the century", Guterres concluded.
The UN chief also stressed that it was time to end wars on each other and commit to peace and fighting the common enemy - the pandemic.
The new session of the UN General Assembly starts on 21 September. The high-level week of the assembly will be held from 21-27 September.
US President Joe Biden plans to virtually convene the Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better on the margins of the UN General Assembly on 22 September.