UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a possible new Cold War between China and the United States and called on the two major powers to restore their “completely ineffective” relationship.
“We need to avoid a Cold War at any cost that is different from the past and perhaps more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” Guterres said ahead of the annual UN General Assembly meeting of world leaders – a call Covid, climate concern and debate across the planet.
Guterres said the world’s two major economic powers should cooperate on climate change and discuss trade and technology more vigorously, even in the South China Sea where there are political rifts over human rights, the economy, online security and sovereignty.
“Unfortunately, we only had a face-to-face fight today,” Guterres said in an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday.
“We need to re-establish a working relationship between the two forces,” he said. Between the international community and mainly the superpowers. “
Two years ago, Guterres warned world leaders that at the risk of the world splitting into two camps, the United States and China were creating rival Internet, currency, trade, financial rules “and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategy.”
He reiterated that warning in an AP interview, adding that the two rival geopolitical and military strategies would create “danger” and divide the world. Thus, he said, the founding relationship must be repaired – and soon.
The so-called Cold War between the Soviet Union and its former bloc allies and the United States and its Western allies began shortly after World War II and ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Superpower with rival ideology – communism and authoritarianism on the one hand, capitalism and democracy on the other.
The UN chief said a new Cold War could be more dangerous because Soviet-US antipathy had made clear rules and both sides were aware of the risk of nuclear destruction. As a result, back channels and forums “guarantee that things will not get out of control,” he said.
“Now, today, everything is more fluid, even with the experience of dealing with the crisis that we had in the past,” Guterres said.
He said the United States and Britain had agreed to provide Australia with a nuclear-powered submarine so that it could operate without being identified in Asia.
The secret talks angered China and France, who signed an agreement with Australia for at least b 2 billion worth of French conventional diesel-electric submarines.
In an extensive AP interview, the secretary-general also spoke about three key issues that world leaders will address this week: the growing climate crisis, the still epidemic and the uncertain future of Afghanistan under its new Taliban rulers.
The Taliban government took power on August 15 without a fight between US-trained forces as US forces were in the final stages of withdrawing from the country after 20 years of fighting.
What will be the role of the United Nations in the new Afghanistan? Guterres called it “imaginary” that UN involvement would “suddenly be able to create an inclusive government, respect all human rights, guarantee that there would be no terrorists in Afghanistan, and that drug trafficking would stop.”
After all, he said, the United States and many other countries had thousands of troops in Afghanistan and could not solve the country’s problems by spending billions of dollars – but some said they had made them worse.
Although the United Nations has “limited powers and limited leverage,” he said it was playing a key role in major efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghans. He said the United Nations was drawing the Taliban’s attention to the importance of an inclusive government, especially respecting the human rights of women and girls.
“There is clearly a power struggle between different groups within the Taliban leadership. The situation is not yet clear, ”he said, adding that this was another reason for the international community to join the Taliban.
Former US President Donald Trump has tied the knot with the “America First” policy, and President Joe Biden য who will be the first to appear as chief executive at a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Tuesday করেছেন has reaffirmed the US commitment to multilateral institutions.
Guterres said Biden’s commitment to global climate action, including joining Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, was “probably the most important of these.”
Guterres said there is a “completely different environment” in relations between the United Nations and the United States under Biden. But, he added: “I’ve done everything – and I’m proud of it – to make sure we have a working relationship with the United States in past administrations.”
Guterres also lamented the failure to work together to combat global warming and ensure that people in every country are vaccinated.
In the last year of the Covid-1 struggles, he said: “We have made no real progress in effectively coordinating global efforts.”
And about the climate: “A year ago, we saw a much clearer movement in the right direction, and in the recent past that movement has slowed down. So if we are not going to disaster, we need to speed up again.”
Guterres called it “completely unacceptable” that 100 percent of the population in his native Portugal had been vaccinated, while in many African countries, less than 2 percent of the population had been vaccinated.
“It’s completely stupid from the point of view of defeating the virus, but if the virus continues to spread like wildfire around the world, more will change,” he said. “And we know that mutations are making it more contagious, more dangerous.”
He also called on the world’s 20 largest economies in the G20 to take united action against Covid-1 in early 2020 to create the conditions for a global vaccination plan. Such a plan, he said, must bring vaccine-producing countries together with international financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies to double production and ensure equitable distribution.
“I think it’s possible,” Guterres said. “It depends on political will.”
The secretary-general said rich, developed countries were spending about 20 percent of their GDP on recovery, middle-income countries about 1 percent and least developed countries 2 percent of a small GDP. He said it has created frustration and mistrust in some parts of the developing world that have not been helped by vaccinations or recovery.
The division between developed countries in the north and developing countries in the south is “very dangerous for global security,” Guterres said, “and very dangerous for the ability to unite the world in tackling climate change.”