UN / GUTERRES INTERVIEW

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19-Sep-2021 00:05:10
Ahead of the General Assembly’s General Debate, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said it is “time to ring the alarm bell,” adding that his message to world leaders is: “wake up, change course, unite, and let's try to defeat the enormous challenges we are facing today.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES INTERVIEW
TRT: 5:10
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: PRE-RECORDED 16 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

16 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Guterres being interviewed
3. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“My main message is: it's time to ring the alarm bell. We are on the verge of a precipice, and we are moving in the wrong direction. Look at the vaccination, look at the difficulties in bringing together all countries to make sure that we make COP 26 a success, look at the multiplication of conflicts we have witnessed in the last few months. We need to change course, and we need to wake up. So, my message to the leaders: wake up, change course, unite, and let's try to defeat the enormous challenges we are facing today.”
4. Med shot, interviewer listening to the Secretary-General
5. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“So, we need a strengthened multilateralism. It's clear that only cooperating, we can solve the problems. But the institutions we have have no teeth - and sometimes even when they have teeth, like it is the case of the Security Council, they have not much appetite to bite. We need a multilateral group of institutions networked, working together because everything now is interlinked, and with more authority in order to be able to mobilize the whole international community to solve the problems that we face. And that is exactly one of the objectives of the Common Agenda.”
6. Wide shot, Guterres being interviewed
7. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“We are on the verge of the abyss. And the truth is that the objective very clearly fixed by the scientific community - that temperature should not go above 1.5 degrees until the end of the century - we are risking not to be able to do it because countries are not cooperating among themselves. There is a lot of mistrust between developed countries, developing countries.”
8. Med shot, interviewer listening to the Secretary-General
9. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The problem is this virus is spreading like wildfire in the global south. And spreading like wildfire - it is mutating. It is changing, and there is a risk that at a certain moment, one of these mutations will bring the virus that is able to resist the vaccines that now are applied. And on that day, nobody will be safe in the south and in the north, not even in the countries where everybody was vaccinated. So, this is a reason to understand that the priority must be to vaccinate everybody everywhere. And that is why we made an appeal for all the measures to be taken in order to guarantee that 70 per cent of the population of the world will be vaccinated in the middle of next year.”
10. Med shot, interviewer listening to the Secretary-General
11. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“So, we need to engage. We don't know how things we will develop, but we know that if we don't engage, they will probably go in the wrong direction. And then we need to mobilize the international community to provide humanitarian aid. The Afghan people are suffering so much. It is vital to bring to the Afghans food, medicine, and other basic forms of support to avoid the catastrophic situation in the country.”
12. Wide shot, Guterres being interviewed
13. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Well, I think if one looks at a situation like the Sahel, I'm very worded. We see a reduction of the French presence. We have seen Chad moving troops from the most dangerous area. And we see the terrorist groups emboldened by the situation in Afghanistan, the victory of the Taliban. And so, I think it's time to really rally efforts to make sure that we create an effective security mechanism in the Sahel.”
14. Wide shot, Guterres being interviewed
15. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Power today in the world is still essentially concentrated on men and with a male dominated culture. And power is usually not given. Power is taken. So, we need women to fully fight for their rights. And we need the men that understand that only with full gender equality the world will improve and the problems will be solved - we need those men to engage effectively in the fight for gender equality.”
16. Med shot, interviewer listening to the Secretary-General
17. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The biggest problem today is the lack of trust, and especially the lack of trust among the big powers. You see that in the difficulties of the Security Council to take adequate decisions to address the different crises in the world. And with this division, with this divide among the big powers, with this lack of trust, what we see we see is an environment of impunity. People think they can do whatever they want. So, we need to rebuild trust, and we need to rebuild trust among those that have more influence in world affairs to be able to cooperate in order to make sure that we are able to unite the international community in addressing the crises that are multiplying now.”
18. Wide shot, Guterres being interviewed

STORYLINE:

Ahead of the General Assembly’s General Debate, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said it is “time to ring the alarm bell,” adding that his message to world leaders is: “wake up, change course, unite, and let's try to defeat the enormous challenges we are facing today.”

In an interview with UN News ahead of the high-level week, Guterres said the world was “on the verge of a precipice, and we are moving in the wrong direction.” He noted that the world was unable to come together to define an equitable global vaccination plan and the fight against climate change was facing similar challenges.

He said, “We are on the verge of the abyss. And the truth is that the objective very clearly fixed by the scientific community - that temperature should not go above 1.5 degrees until the end of the century - we are risking not to be able to do it because countries are not cooperating among themselves. There is a lot of mistrust between developed countries, developing countries.”

Guterres stressed the need to strengthen multilateralism. He said, “It's clear that only cooperating, we can solve the problems. But the institutions we have have no teeth - and sometimes even when they have teeth, like it is the case of the Security Council, they have not much appetite to bite. We need a multilateral group of institutions networked, working together because everything now is interlinked, and with more authority in order to be able to mobilize the whole international community to solve the problems that we face. And that is exactly one of the objectives of the Common Agenda.”

The Secretary-General underscored the need for a global vaccination plan, bringing together all those that produce or can produce vaccines to double the production, with equitable distribution.

He added, “The problem is this virus is spreading like wildfire in the global south. And spreading like wildfire - it is mutating. It is changing, and there is a risk that at a certain moment, one of these mutations will bring the virus that is able to resist the vaccines that now are applied. And on that day, nobody will be safe in the south and in the north, not even in the countries where everybody was vaccinated. So, this is a reason to understand that the priority must be to vaccinate everybody everywhere. And that is why we made an appeal for all the measures to be taken in order to guarantee that 70 per cent of the population of the world will be vaccinated in the middle of next year.”
Asked about Afghanistan, the Secretary-General said the situation in the country is unpredictable. He said the entire international community wants to see Afghanistan have an inclusive government, to respect human rights, particularly women and girls’ rights, and to never again be a center for terrorists, but it is difficult to forecast what is going to happen.

He added that the UN must continue to engage with the Taliban. He said, “We don't know how things we will develop, but we know that if we don't engage, they will probably go in the wrong direction. And then we need to mobilize the international community to provide humanitarian aid. The Afghan people are suffering so much. It is vital to bring to the Afghans food, medicine, and other basic forms of support to avoid the catastrophic situation in the country.”

Asked about a statement he recently made in which he said the events in Afghanistan could also influence what happens next in certain volatile hotspots in Africa, Guterres gave the example of the Sahel.

SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Well, I think if one looks at a situation like the Sahel, I'm very worded. We see a reduction of the French presence. We have seen Chad moving troops from the most dangerous area. And we see the terrorist groups emboldened by the situation in Afghanistan, the victory of the Taliban. And so, I think it's time to really rally efforts to make sure that we create an effective security mechanism in the Sahel.”

The Secretary-General said he was advocating for a strong African force, with support from the Security Council and mandatory contributions. However, he noted that a military force is not enough, adding that development assistance was also need in addition to combatting climate change and improving governance in the area.

On gender equality, Guterres said there are many dimensions to supporting the cause, including increased representation, economic support and empowerment, and combating gender-based violence among others, but the central question is about power. He said, “Power today in the world is still essentially concentrated on men and with a male dominated culture. And power is usually not given. Power is taken. So, we need women to fully fight for their rights. And we need the men that understand that only with full gender equality the world will improve, and the problems will be solved - we need those men to engage effectively in the fight for gender equality.”

On Security threats and conflicts, the Secretary-General said the “biggest problem today is the lack of trust, and especially the lack of trust among the big powers.” He said this is reflected in the “difficulties of the Security Council to take adequate decisions to address the different crises in the world.” He added that with divide and lack of trust among the big powers, “what we see is an environment of impunity. People think they can do whatever they want. So, we need to rebuild trust, and we need to rebuild trust among those that have more influence in world affairs to be able to cooperate in order to make sure that we are able to unite the international community in addressing the crises that are multiplying now.”

Guterres underscored the need for a Security Council that is united and strong, and for that there needs to be a serious dialogue among the big powers to try to find common ground.
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