"Massive investment" needed in international cooperation: UN chief

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Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres speaks in the the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Behind him Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. Photo: European Union 2017- Source : EP

A "massive investment" is needed in international cooperation to ensure that diverse modern societies are a success, the UN chief said on Wednesday.

Secretary-General António Guterres was addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, where he told representatives from the continent's 27 nations that a strong and united Europe was a "fundamental pillar" of a "strong and effective" UN.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr Guterres said that there was a major trust deficit today, between people and the governments that serve them, including international organizations like the UN.

Part of this was due to growing inequality he said, noting that eight people between them control as much wealth as half the global population.

The fruits of globalization need to be shared more evenly, he added.

He said that the UN had to be reformed in order to bring the global body closer to the people it serves, and as part of the process of restoring faith in global solutions, for global problems.

He drew applause from Members of Parliament remarking that increasing diversity in culture, religion, and ethnicity, was "a good thing", not a threat, but warned against complacency.

"We need at global level, to understand that diversity will not be automatically a source of peace and understanding, that we also need a massive investment, an investment in international cooperation to bring people together, respect each other, and to do it in a way in which it's possible to have everybody working together to face the global challenges that are in front of us and that no country can face in an isolated way."

The UN chief said that historic European Enlightenment values embodied in science, culture, and democratic government, needed to continue as a "cornerstone" towards building a more tolerant, fair, just peaceful and prosperous world.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration:  1’21″

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