Antonio Guterres, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, delivered a speech in New York on July 18, 2020, which was at odds with his usual position and line. He declared that the Order established by the Atlantic camp 70 years ago had been destroyed, and called for the establishment of a New World Order.
The annual lecture of the UN Secretary General at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, in honor of the birthday of the legendary African leader, did not receive enough attention from the Turkish press. We present the important parts of the speech published on the website of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
THE EPIDEMIC BECAME X-RAY
The world is in turmoil. Economies are in freefall.
We have been brought to our knees – by a microscopic virus.
The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world.
It has laid bare risks we have ignored for decades: inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation; the climate crisis.
Entire regions that were making progress on eradicating poverty and narrowing inequality have been set back years, in a matter of months.
The virus poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable: those living in poverty, older people, and people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions
We face the deepest global recession since World War II, and the broadest collapse in incomes since 1870.
One hundred million more people could be pushed into extreme poverty. We could see famines of historic proportions.
COVID-19 has been likened to an X-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built.
“It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere:
The lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all;
The fiction that unpaid care work is not work;
The delusion that we live in a post-racist world;
The myth that we are all in the same boat.
Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some of us are in superyachts while others are clinging to the floating debris.
TODAY’S SUMMARY: INEQUALITY
“Inequality defines our time.
More than 70 per cent of the world’s people are living with rising income and wealth inequality. The 26 richest people in the world hold as much wealth as half the global population.
But income, pay and wealth are not the only measures of inequality. People’s chances in life depend on their gender, family and ethnic background, race, whether or not they have a disability, and other factors. Multiple inequalities intersect and reinforce each other across the generations. The lives and expectations of millions of people are largely determined by their circumstances at birth.
In this way, inequality works against human development – for everyone. We all suffer its consequences.
We are sometimes told a rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats.
But in reality, rising inequality sinks all boats.
High levels of inequality are associated with economic instability, corruption, financial crises, increased crime and poor physical and mental health.
Discrimination, abuse and lack of access to justice define inequality for many, particularly indigenous people, migrants, refugees and minorities of all kinds. Such inequalities are a direct assault on human rights.
Addressing inequality has therefore been a driving force throughout history for social justice, labour rights and gender equality.
The vision and promise of the United Nations is that food, healthcare, water and sanitation, education, decent work and social security are not commodities for sale to those who can afford them, but basic human rights to which we are all entitled.
THE GLOBAL NORTH IS RESPONSIBLE
“The Global North, especially my own continent of Europe, imposed colonial rule on much of the Global South for centuries, through violence and coercion.
Colonialism created vast inequality within and between countries, including the evils of the Transatlantic slave trade and the apartheid regime here in South Africa.
After the Second World War, the creation of the United Nations was based on a new global consensus around equality and human dignity.
And a wave of decolonisation swept the world.
But let’s not fool ourselves.
The legacy of colonialism still reverberates.
We see this in economic and social injustice, the rise of hate crimes and xenophobia; the persistence of institutionalised racism and white supremacy.
We see this in the global trade system. Economies that were colonised are at greater risk of getting locked into the production of raw materials and low-tech goods – a new form of colonialism.
And we see this in global power relations.
Africa has been a double victim. First, as a target of the colonial project. Second, African countries are under-represented in the international institutions that were created after the Second World War, before most of them had won independence.
The nations that came out on top more than seven decades ago have refused to contemplate the reforms needed to change power relations in international institutions. The composition and voting rights in the United Nations Security Council and the boards of the Bretton Woods system are a case in point.
INEQUALITY IS AT THE TOP
“Inequality starts at the top: in global institutions. Addressing inequality must start by reforming them.
And let’s not forget another great source of inequality in our world: millennia of patriarchy.
We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture.
Everywhere, women are worse off than men, simply because they are women. Inequality and discrimination are the norm. Violence against women, including femicide, is at epidemic levels.
And globally, women are still excluded from senior positions in governments and on corporate boards. Fewer than one in 10ten world leaders is a woman.
Gender inequality harms everyone because it prevents us from benefiting from the intelligence and experience of all of humanity
NEW WORLD ORDER OPPORTUNITY
“COVID-19 is a human tragedy. But it has also created a generational opportunity.
An opportunity to build back a more equal and sustainable world.
The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it, must be based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal that create equal opportunities for all, and respect the rights and freedoms of all.
A New Social Contract will enable young people to live in dignity; will ensure women have the same prospects and opportunities as men; and will protect the sick, the vulnerable, and minorities of all kinds.
SOLUTION IS STATISM
“For this New Social Contract to be possible, it must go hand in hand with a Global New Deal.
Let’s face facts. The global political and economic system are not delivering on critical global public goods: public health, climate action, sustainable development, peace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the tragic disconnect between self-interest and the common interest; and the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks.
To close these gaps, and to make the New Social Contract possible, we need a Global New Deal: a redistribution of power, wealth and opportunities.
A new model for global governance must be based on full, inclusive and equal participation in global institutions.
Without that, we face even wider inequalities and gaps in solidarity – like those we see today in the fragmented global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developed countries are strongly invested in their own survival in the face of the pandemic. But they have failed to deliver the support needed to help the developing world through these dangerous times.
A New Global Deal, based on a fair globalisation, on the rights and dignity of every human being, on living in balance with nature, on taking account of the rights of future generations, and on success measured in human rather than economic terms, is the best way to change this.
The worldwide consultation process around the 75th anniversary of the United Nations has made clear that people want a global governance system that delivers for them…”
RESULTS: TURKEY SHOULD TAKE THE INITIATIVE!
The establishment of a fair, egalitarian world order has become inevitable. Of course, this new order will not established itself. Imperialism is the main cause of today’s inequality! As Guterres reminds us, the imperialists do not accept an equal, fair and sustainable order by “listening to their conscience”. The world needs a new Bandung Conference to voice the solutions of the oppressed. Turkey can lead this process, and shall!