UN Secretary General meets with European leaders

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Copyright Virginia Mayo/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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Antonio Guterres has warned that twin crises in Ukraine and Gaza have put the world in an exceptionally dangerous situation.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has held a series of diplomatic meetings in Brussels as he seeks to shore up European support for dealing with simultaneous global crises.

Speaking alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Guterres warned that "We are meeting at a particularly dark moment when Europe’s role on the global stage is more important than ever."

Condemning again Hamas's 7th October massacre and Israel's "collective punishment" of the population of Gaza, as well as focusing on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Guterres warned that the scale of the challenge to global security and human rights must not be underestimated.

"Beyond these wars, mistrust and division rule the day," he said. "Inequalities are rising. Climate change is wreaking havoc. And global frameworks are simply not up to the task.

"From the Security Council to the global financial architecture, we must transform international institutions so that they can respond to the challenges of our time and deliver for all – including the most vulnerable."

His appearance with von der Leyen and meetings with various EU leaders come as the bloc's members prepare for European Parliament elections this summer.

Many in the mainstream of European politics are worried that the vote could shift power toward the continent's radical right and populist parties, many of whom are sceptical of the merits of aid to Ukraine – or in some cases, openly sympathetic toward the Kremlin.

"I am very glad to see you here in Brussels," von der Leyen told Guterres, "at a time when we face several crises that are intricate, interlinked, and international by nature – whether it is Ukraine or Gaza, Sudan or Haiti.

"This makes the cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations more important than ever before. We work together to help restore peace and stability in regions in turmoil."

Guterres doubled down on the importance of European leadership as the world inches towards further disaster.

"Multilateralism and solidarity are in the DNA of the European Union. And many look to the EU as a leading force worldwide.

"We must stand together to silence the guns. Step in to save lives – and protect humanitarian workers. Speak up for human rights, dignity and gender equality. Respect international law. Root out injustice, safeguard our climate and protect our planet.

"As we prepare for the United Nations Summit of the Future in September, I fully trust the EU and its Member States to keep pushing for a more inclusive, effective, and resilient international system.

"Only together we can build a peaceful, prosperous and just future for all."

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