UN Secretary General to participants of the summit in Astana: the SCO is strong and must achieve peace

Генсек ООН – участникам саммита в Астане: ШОС в силах и должна добиваться мира

The UN Secretary General spoke at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana. UN Secretary General to participants of the summit in Astana: the SCO is strong and must achieve peace Peace and Security

Humanity needs a single global economy, a global market, a global Internet, as well as a single set of rules for the use of new technologies, especially artificial intelligence. This was stated by the UN Secretary General, speaking on Thursday in Astana at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Challenging global conditions

The UN Secretary-General expressed concern that geopolitical differences are preventing the international community from effectively addressing pressing issues that affect everyone. In particular, he identified two existential threats – climate change and the development of digital technologies.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is the largest regional organization in the world – in forces and must strive for peace

“We are meeting in difficult global conditions. Raging wars. Geopolitical disagreements. Epidemic of impunity. Departure from the Sustainable Development Goals. Cynicism and crisis of confidence. People are losing faith in multilateralism,” he said, citing broken promises, double standards and growing inequality. Countries can solve these global problems only by joining forces, Guterres is convinced.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The head of the UN is not accidental raised these issues at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. The total population of the SCO countries is approximately 3.5 billion people. “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the largest regional organization in the world, has the power and must achieve peace,” Guterres noted. 

The SCO was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and was later joined by India, Pakistan and Iran.  On Thursday, Belarus became a full member of the SCO. 

The main goal is peace 

“Now is the time to reaffirm our shared commitment to multilateralism,” the Secretary-General emphasized.  He added that at the center of these efforts is the United Nations, which operates on the principles of the UN Charter, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

“The central goal of our multilateral system must be peace – a necessary condition for sustainable development and respect for human rights,” he emphasized, speaking to the leaders of the SCO. 

Peace in the Middle East and Ukraine

Today, the Secretary General continued, peace is needed throughout the Middle East – a ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages captured on October 7.

According to him, in Ukraine it is necessary to establish peace “based on the UN Charter and international law.” He called for peace for other countries: from Sudan to the Sahel, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Somalia, from Myanmar to Haiti and Afghanistan.

Two existential threats

The UN Secretary-General called for action on the “climate emergency”, including cutting emissions to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to Guterres, countries must take decisive steps in this direction before the UN Climate Conference (COP-29).

The second existential threat, as the UN chief noted, comes from digital technologies. Artificial intelligence has enormous potential to accelerate sustainable development for the benefit of all.

But today, technology advances are outpacing efforts to gain control over this process. Thus, the UN chief believes, the imbalance of power is worsening, human rights are being undermined, tensions and divisions are increasing.

“We urgently need the full participation of governments working with technology companies, academia and civil society to agree on a framework for managing the risks associated with AI, as well as ensuring the monitoring and implementation of measures to mitigate harm,” Guterres warned, recalling the UN’s work in this direction.

Future Summit

The Future Summit, which will be held in New York in September, according to the UN Secretary-General, will provide an opportunity to renew efforts to overcome the common problems facing humanity. As Guterres said, among other things, the summit will address issues of changing the global financial architecture and reform of the UN Security Council, which “will help prevent and resolve conflicts, balance geopolitical relations and give developing countries a proportionate voice on the world stage.” 

“I look forward to welcoming you to New York in September,” the UN chief concluded his speech.

Tour of Central Asian countries

On the sidelines of the SCO summit, the UN Secretary General held a number of bilateral meetings on Thursday, including with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. During the meeting, Guterres stated the need to end the war in Ukraine based on the principles of the UN Charter, international law and respect for territorial integrity. 

The UN Secretary-General also expressed concern about the situation with human rights in Belarus. He noted that the amnesty announced in Belarus the day before is a step towards full respect for human rights and ensuring fundamental freedoms in this country. 

Today the UN head concludes his two-day visit to Kazakhstan and is heading to Tajikistan. Earlier, as part of this trip, we recall that Guterres visited Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.   


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