UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has offered the world a large-scale initiative to combat inequality вЂ” a new global compact aimed at creating a more just world order on the planet. He presented his strategic initiative today, delivering a lecture in memory of Nelson Mandela.
вЂњThe coronavirus pandemic has revealed a sad gap between personal interests and the interests of society, as well as huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks,вЂќ the Secretary-General said. вЂњTo eliminate them, we need a new global compact that ensures a broader and fairer distribution of power, wealth, and opportunity at the international level.вЂќ
According to the UN chief, another factor вЂ” the anti-racism movement that spread from the US around the world after the murder of George Floyd вЂ” was a sign that people were tired. вЂњThey are tired of inequality and discrimination, of being treated as criminals because of their skin color. People are tired of racism and injustice that deprive them of their basic human rights, вЂњ he said. вЂњThese movements point to two historical sources of inequality in our world: colonialism and Patriarchy.вЂќ
The Secretary-General noted that the previous model of the social contract in the modern world has actually stopped working. вЂњThe coronavirus is compared to an x-ray that reveals cracks in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built,вЂќ said Antonio Guterres. вЂњIt highlights widespread misconceptions and lies.вЂќ
According to the UN Secretary-General, the new social contract will allow young people to live in decent conditions, provide women with the same prospects and opportunities as men, and protect the sick, vulnerable, and members of various minorities. вЂњThe new social contract concluded between governments, people, civil society, businesses, and other stakeholders should cover employment, sustainable development, and social protection on the basis of equal rights and opportunities for all,вЂќ he explained.
вЂњCountries that succeeded 70 years ago refuse to consider the reforms necessary to change power relations in international institutions,вЂќ said Antonio Guterres. вЂњAn example is the composition of the UN Security Council and the boards of directors of the Bretton woods institutions and the right to vote in them.вЂќ
The head of the organization also expressed confidence that developing countries should be better represented in the decision-making process at the global level. вЂњWe need a more inclusive and balanced multilateral trading system that allows developing countries to move up global value chains,вЂќ he said.
Antonio Guterres stressed in his speech: вЂњInequality is a characteristic feature of our time. More than 70% of the world's population lives in conditions of growing inequality in income and wealth. вЂњThe world's wealthiest people have as much wealth as half the world's population.вЂќ
However, inequality is measured not only by income, wages, and wealth, but he also said. вЂњThe chances of people succeeding in life depend on their gender, family and ethnic origin, race, whether they have disabilities and other factors,вЂќ the Secretary-General said.
According to him, after the pandemic, developing countries were in an even more vulnerable economic situation than before. вЂњNot only do we need to provide debt relief for them, but we are also in favor of establishing special drawing rights for these countries,вЂќ he said.
вЂњDeveloped countries today spend trillions on response measures and on supporting the economy,вЂќ the Secretary-General added. вЂњ Africa should be able to do the same. It needs direct support of about 10% of GDP, and it needs a transfer of about $200 billion.вЂќ
The Secretary-General intends to discuss the вЂњnew global compactвЂќ initiative with all countries during the upcoming 75th-anniversary session of the UN, as well as on other international platforms.