UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres expressed his concerns in an interview with AP, published on Monday, about another cold war between the United States and China.
Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP that the US-UK deal to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines “is just a small piece of a more complex puzzle … this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States. United States”.
“We need to restore a functional relationship between the two powers,” Guterres told AP in the interview, conducted on Saturday. He added that it is “essential to solve the problems of vaccination [disparities], the problems of climate change and many other global challenges which cannot be solved without constructive relations within the international community and mainly between the superpowers. more dangerous and more difficult to manage. ”Guterres
Background: The submarine deal is part of a new security partnership between the US, UK and Australia known as AUKUS that has angered Chinese officials and North Koreans, who say it threatens the stability of the Asia-Pacific region. AUKUS nations say it’s to make the region safer.
Of note: Guterres told AP that the steps President Biden took to get the United States to join the Paris Climate Agreement from which former President Trump had withdrawn the country and other environmental commitments were ” probably the most important action “he could take.
He noted that the arrival of Biden, who will appear for the first time as managing director at the high-level UN meeting on Tuesday, marks “a completely different environment in relations” between the United States and the UN. Guterres added that he was “proud” to have done “everything” to “ensure that we would keep a working relationship with the United States under the previous administration.”
What to watch: Guterres said that while the powerful Group of 20 nations did not take a united approach at the start of the pandemic, it might still be possible if there was the “political will.”
He called it “totally unacceptable” that richer countries like his native Portugal have vaccinated 80% of their population, while less than 2% have been vaccinated in “many” African countries. , but if the virus continues to spread like wildfire in the south of the world, there will be more mutations. And we know that mutations make it more transmissible, more dangerous. The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.
Flashback: Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches at UN General Assembly on Tuesday
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