UN chief says multilateralism more important than ever

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – UN chief Antonio Guterres said Friday multilateralism is more important than ever amid a growing array of global challenges.

"Multilateral efforts are under immense stress," the secretary general told the Security Council, pointing to climate change threats, increasing conflicts, nuclear proliferation and inequality.

Guterres made his remarks as the world prepares to commemorate the centenary of the World War I, which raged for four years early in the 20th century, claiming 20 million lives.

"There is anxiety, uncertainty and unpredictability across the world. Trust is on the decline, within and among nations," he said.

"The Security Council has a central role to play in showing the value of international cooperation," Guterres said, noting the ongoing conflict in Syria and a defunct Israeli-Palestinian peace process have "shaken popular faith in the potential of the international community to deliver solutions."

"Reform of the UN has a crucial contribution to make, and I look forward to continuing to press ahead across the pillars of that effort. But most of all it is our resilient and still visionary UN Charter that points the way — with its articulation of universal values, its grounding in peace, development, human rights and the rule of law, and its vision of countries living as good neighbors and sharing a common fate and future," he said, according to reports.