Statement 187 Views

Secretary-General’s remarks to the 12th ASEAN-UN Summit

November 11th, 2022  •  Author:   United Nations Secretary-General  •  5 minute read
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Prime Minister Hun Sen,

Thank you very much for your warm hospitality and for the wonderful organization of this Summit.

Distinguished Leaders of ASEAN,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is a pleasure to be here in person for the first time in three years.

My thanks to Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN for its important efforts at this time of serious global challenges.

Deepening divisions threaten global peace and security. Dangerous rhetoric is raising nuclear tensions.

Many countries in the Global South, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, face severe restrictions on their access to food, energy and finance – exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and crushing debt.

Geopolitical divides are contributing to global insecurity, triggering new conflicts and making it increasingly difficult to end old ones.

There is a growing risk that the global economy will be divided into two parts, led by the two biggest economies – the United States and China.

A divided global economy, with two different sets of rules, two dominant currencies, two internets, and two conflicting strategies on artificial intelligence, would undermine the world’s capacity to respond to the dramatic challenges we face.

This decoupling must be avoided at all costs.

And ASEAN member states are particularly well-placed to help bridge it.

We need to strengthen our collective efforts to find multilateral solutions, weather geopolitical storms, and get the SDGs back on track.

Regional organizations, including ASEAN, have a vital role to play.

Excellencies,

The political, security, human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar is sliding ever deeper into catastrophe.

I condemn the escalating levels of violence, the disproportionate use of force, and the appalling human rights situation in Myanmar.

Indiscriminate attacks on civilians may constitute war crimes under international law.

I repeat my call on the Myanmar authorities to release all political prisoners and launch an inclusive process immediately to return to the democratic transition.

This is the only route to lasting peace and security.

I welcome ASEAN’s principled approach through the Five-Point Consensus, and urge all countries, including ASEAN members, to seek a unified strategy towards Myanmar, centred on the needs and aspirations of Myanmar’s people.

And I also appreciate the strong support of ASEAN member states for the work of my Special Envoy on Myanmar.

I urge ASEAN countries to maintain open borders and provide protection and assistance to refugees from Myanmar. No refugee should be forced to return to suffering and danger.

And I reiterate the need for urgent action by the Myanmar authorities to create conditions for the voluntary return of almost one million Rohingya refugees.

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar remains desperate, and we are committed to close coordination with ASEAN’s AHA Centre and other humanitarian partners.

Excellencies,

I have just come from COP27, where I urged leaders of high-emitting countries to meet the urgency of this moment.

Developed economies must lead on cutting emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 in order to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.

They must also mobilize each year the 100 billion dollars pledged to support developing countries to address climate impacts and build resilience and adaptation.

And they must reach agreement on compensation for countries that did nothing to create this crisis – including through an institutional mechanism to address loss and damage also in its financial aspects.

Now is the time for an historic pact – a Climate Solidarity Pact – between developed and emerging economies.

Developed and emerging economies must agree on a joint strategy to combine their capacities and resources, for the benefit of humankind.

Wealthier countries, Multilateral Development Banks and technological companies must provide financial and technical assistance at scale so emerging economies can transition to renewable energy.

I commend those ASEAN countries that are already rising to the challenge and participating in multistakeholder partnerships to achieve a just transition to renewables.

Greater climate ambition is needed from ASEAN, starting with the elimination of all new coal investments and the phasing out of coal power by 2030 for OECD countries, and 2040 for all others.

Excellencies,

The crisis in access to food, energy and finance will be my top priority when I meet G20 leaders in Bali next week. I am pushing G20 leaders to adopt an SDG stimulus that will provide governments of the Global South with the investments and liquidity they need, and speed up debt relief and debt restructuring.

We are also working with all stakeholders to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and to increase supplies of fertilizers, which cost up to three times more than before the pandemic.

And rice is the crop that can be most badly affected by lack of fertilizers.

Removing all remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian fertilizers is an essential step towards global food security.

Excellencies,

The United Nations greatly appreciates ASEAN’s strong partnership and steadfast commitment to multilateralism and regional cooperation.

ASEAN has an essential role in advancing human rights, fundamental freedoms and inclusive political participation as elements in building true, stable and peaceful societies. And ASEAN has a key role to play in the development of a strong global economy worldwide.

The United Nations will remain your resolute partner throughout the challenges ahead.

Thank you.


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