I am pleased to greet the Global People’s Summit.
The United Nations Charter commits nations to work together to end conflict, promote human rights and improve the well-being of all.
Over the decades, humanity has achieved much.
But today, we face acute and, indeed, existential challenges.
Conflicts – not least the ongoing brutal war in Ukraine – are causing death and suffering on a scale we hoped we would never see again.
And unmet global challenges threaten to undo decades of progress:
The triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and the destruction of biodiversity;
An ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has exposed the frailties and inequities of our health, education and social systems and the lack of effective international solidarity;
And, now, an acute food, energy and finance crisis, aggravated by the war in Ukraine, on top of the deep inequalitites in the resources available in the recovery from COVID-19.
Developing countries are the worst hit, but persistent inequalities and a disregard for fundamental human rights are dragging us all down, degrading our solidarity and feeding violent extremism.
We, the peoples, are being let down.
We need to demand more from our leaders.
Over the next few days, you will discuss your vision for a world that is socially and environmentally just.
We have a blueprint.
The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Your responsibility – and your right – is to speak up and hold leaders to account for the commitments they have made and demand they act now.
I commend you for your commitment.
The United Nations will continue to work with you so global leaders can hear and respond to the voices of We, the Peoples.
Together, we can build a truly sustainable, carbon-neutral and equitable world, where no one is left behind.