UN / GUTERRES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM

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11-Dec-2020 00:02:18
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for global solidarity and greater international cooperation and must be turned into an opportunity for fundamental change, Secretary-General António Guterres said in a keynote address to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM
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DATELINE: 11 DECEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY / RECENT

SHOTLIST:

RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, United Nations headquarters

11 DECEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“No vaccine can undo the damage that has already been done. We face the biggest global recession in eight decades. Extreme poverty is rising; the threat of famine looms. These inter-generational impacts are the result of long-term fragilities, inequalities and injustices that have been exposed by the pandemic. We need a reset.”

RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

3. Close up, United Nations flag

11 DECEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The pandemic is a crisis like no other, in which the world faces a common enemy. Unfortunately, governments have not mounted a joint response to this global threat. From the start, the World Health Organization provided factual information and scientific guidance that should have been the basis for coordinated global action. But the response has been fragmented and chaotic, with countries, regions and even cities competing against each other for essential supplies and frontline workers.”

RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

5. Close up, United Nations flag

11 DECEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Carbon should be given a price; fossil fuel subsidies should end; coal must be phased out. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to build this momentum into a movement, and to integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into every economic and fiscal policy and decision.”

RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

7. Close up, United Nations flag

11 DECEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

8. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“We cannot respond to this crisis by going back to what was or withdrawing into national shells. We need more international cooperation and stronger international institutions. The consultation process should address the inequalities at the foundations of global power relations. The nations that came out on top more than seven decades ago have refused to contemplate reforms. The composition and voting rights in the United Nations Security Council and the boards of the Bretton Woods system are a case in point. Many African countries did not even exist as independent states 75 years ago. They deserve their rightful place at the global table.”

RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

9. Close up, United Nations flag

STORYLINE:

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for global solidarity and greater international cooperation and must be turned into an opportunity for fundamental change, Secretary-General António Guterres said in a keynote address to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum today (11 Dec)

Guterres said, “no vaccine can undo the damage that has already been done. We face the biggest global recession in eight decades. Extreme poverty is rising; the threat of famine looms. These inter-generational impacts are the result of long-term fragilities, inequalities and injustices that have been exposed by the pandemic. We need a reset.”

The ever-growing economic and social fallout means the world is facing the biggest global recession in 80 years. The Nobel discussion focused on multilateralism and global governance in the aftermath of the pandemic, which has affected practically every corner of the planet.

The Secretary-General said, “the pandemic is a crisis like no other, in which the world faces a common enemy. Unfortunately, governments have not mounted a joint response to this global threat. From the start, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided factual information and scientific guidance that should have been the basis for coordinated global action. But the response has been fragmented and chaotic, with countries, regions and even cities competing against each other for essential supplies and frontline workers.”

Nearly a year has passed since COVID-19 first emerged in China. More than 68 million cases have been reported globally, including some 1.5 million deaths, according to latest data from the WHO.

Looking beyond the pandemic, the UN chief saw other areas for global concern, and thus the need for greater global cooperation and governance. Addressing the climate emergency, he called for carbon pricing.

He said, “carbon should be given a price; fossil fuel subsidies should end; coal must be phased out. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to build this momentum into a movement, and to integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into every economic and fiscal policy and decision.”

More than 100 countries have committed to achieve carbon neutrality in the next three decades. On Friday, the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) announced that they had reached agreement to raise their target for CO2 emissions cuts, to 55 per cent by 2030, up from 40 per cent, putting the EU on track to net-zero by 2050.

Guterres called for countries to address the inequalities at the foundation of global power relations, in efforts towards achieving a more inclusive and fairer world.

He said, “we cannot respond to this crisis by going back to what was or withdrawing into national shells. We need more international cooperation and stronger international institutions. The consultation process should address the inequalities at the foundations of global power relations. The nations that came out on top more than seven decades ago have refused to contemplate reforms. The composition and voting rights in the United Nations Security Council and the boards of the Bretton Woods system are a case in point. Many African countries did not even exist as independent states 75 years ago. They deserve their rightful place at the global table.”

Today’s event was held the day after the UN World Food Programme (WFP) officially received the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its lifesaving work assisting millions of hungry people across the globe.
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