24 April 2019

More Diplomacy, Conflict Prevention Vital to Address Proliferating Threats, Erosion of Arms Control Regime, Secretary-General Tells International Security Conference

Following is UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ message, as delivered by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, to the Eighth Moscow Conference on International Security, in Moscow today:

I am pleased to greet this Eighth Moscow Conference on International Security.  I thank the Government of the Russian Federation for hosting this gathering.

Conflict dynamics have changed in recent years.  We have seen the further proliferation of threats, including more complex conflicts with multiple adversaries, the widening activities of transnational organized criminals, the geographical expansion of attacks by violent extremists and terrorist groups, and an erosion of the global arms control regime.

The world is also wrestling with economic uncertainty, geopolitical tensions, backtracking on international legal norms and human rights, rising intolerance, increasing inequality, the challenges of human mobility and the implications of advances in technology.  Looming above it all is climate change, the most important systemic risk we face.  The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than scientists had foreseen, yet political will to address it seems to be slowing.  I am convening a Climate Action Summit in September to mobilize solutions, partnerships and finance.

No country or organization alone can address these challenges or seize today’s opportunities for progress.  Yet at a time when global challenges are growing more integrated, our responses remain fragmented.  Rising populism and a deficit in trust in political establishments are making collective responses more difficult precisely when they are needed most.

It is essential for the international community to renew commitment to a rules-based international order and to multilateral approaches, while taking into account the vital contributions of all stakeholders, including civil society, local governments and business leaders.

The United Nations will continue supporting countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  For its part, my Action for Peacekeeping initiative aims to make peacekeeping more efficient in implementing mandates and addressing today’s peace and security challenges.  We will also continue pursuing a surge in diplomacy for peace and a push for greater attention to conflict prevention.

I count on your partnership and leadership across this urgent agenda and wish you a successful conference.

For information media. Not an official record.