United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for stronger ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in tackling climate crisis and geopolitical tensions amid COVID-19 recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic "has exacerbated vulnerabilities, inequalities and fragilities across the world. The recovery will require global cooperation to protect lives and livelihoods, and to keep economies and businesses afloat. We count on the strong engagement of SCO member states, and we stand ready to share good practices and provide technical expertise to your pandemic recovery plans," the UN chief said in his video message to the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The climate crisis, like the pandemic, is a global threat that knows no borders. "Ambitious multilateral action is urgently needed to save lives and livelihoods. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underpin the work of the United Nations and should be central to national decision-making too," said the UN chief.
"The tide is turning. The European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, together with more than 110 other countries, have committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and China before 2060," Guterres elaborated.
"I call on more governments to join this net zero coalition and to align their COVID-19 recovery plans and 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions with this objective. And I urge all governments to bring concrete policies and plans to the Climate Ambition Summit I will co-host with several member states on Dec. 12," the secretary-general added.
"I welcome the support of the SCO, as a leading player in regional diplomacy in Eurasia, for my appeal for a global ceasefire. I look forward to your further advocacy and action to end hostilities around the world before the end of this year," said the UN chief.
The secretary-general warned that "when people fight each other, the only winner is the virus. We have seen this most recently in Armenia and Azerbaijan, where the pandemic has taken on new ferocity since the conflict re-ignited."
Guterres stated that regular exchanges between the United Nations and the SCO "provide us with ways to enhance our cooperation on regional issues."
He expressed his gratitude to the members of the SCO for their "firm commitment to inclusive multilateralism and the principles of the United Nations Charter."