The United Nations’ (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday reiterated his calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and stressed the importance of the two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel issue.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum here, Guterres said, “The world is standing by as civilians, mostly women and children, are killed, maimed, bombarded, forced from their homes and denied access to humanitarian aid.”
“I repeat my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, and a process that leads to sustained peace for Israelis and Palestinians, based on a two-state solution,” he said. “This is the only way to stem the suffering and prevent a spillover that could send the entire region up in flames.”
In his address, the UN chief also called on global leaders to tackle the existential threats posed by climate change and the unchecked development of artificial intelligence (AI).
Noting that 2023 was the hottest year on record with droughts, floods and other natural disasters pummeling countries and communities, Guterres said that “the phase-out of fossil fuels is essential and inevitable” and “we must act now to ensure a just and equitable transition to renewable energy.”
Sounding the alarm on the risks posed by AI to human rights, personal privacy and societies, Guterres urged governments to work with tech companies on risk management of AI development and called on the private sector to join a multi-stakeholder effort to develop a “networked and adaptive” governance model for AI.
He also called for systematic efforts to increase access to AI and bridge the digital divide so that developing countries can also benefit from the technology’s enormous potential. ■