UNITED NATIONS - In an alarming assessment, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told world leaders Tuesday that nations are "gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction" and aren’t ready or willing to tackle the major challenges that threaten the future of humanity and the fate of the planet.Speaking at the opening of the General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting, the U.N.
chief pointed to the war in Ukraine, multiplying conflicts around the world, the climate emergency, the dire financial situation of developing countries, and recent reversals of progress on such U.N.
goals as ending extreme poverty and providing quality education for all children."Our world is in peril — and paralyzed," Guterres said.But he said there is hope.Stressing that cooperation and dialogue are the only path forward, he warned that "no power or group alone can call the shots.""Let’s work as one, as a coalition of the world, as united nations," he urged leaders gathered in the vast General Assembly hall.THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.
AP’s earlier story follows below.Warning that the world is in "great peril," the head of the United Nations says leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality — and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders' meeting Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited the "immense" task not only of saving the planet, "which is literally on fire," but of dealing with the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.