As secretary-general of the United Nations, I spend much of my time speaking with world leaders and taking the pulse of global trends. It’s clear to me that we are at a defining moment in international relations. Global decision-making is plagued by gridlock – and a fundamental paradox lies at the heart of it.
On one hand, many of today’s global leaders recognise our common threats – Covid-19, the climate crisis and the unregulated development of new technologies. They agree that something needs to be done about them. Yet that common understanding is not matched by common action. Indeed, divides keep deepening.
We see them everywhere: in the unfair and unequal distribution of vaccines; in a global economic system rigged against the poor; in the utterly inadequate response to the climate crisis; in digital technology and a media landscape that profits from division; and in growing unrest and conflict around the world.
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