The AP Interview: UN chief warns China, US to avoid Cold War

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CAMEROON – Warning of a imaginable caller Cold War, the caput of the United Nations implored China and the United States to repair their “completely dysfunctional” narration earlier problems betwixt the 2 ample and profoundly influential countries spill implicit adjacent further into the remainder of the planet.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to The Associated Press this play up of this week's yearly United Nations gathering of satellite leaders — a convening blemished by COVID, clime concerns and contentiousness crossed the planet.

Guterres said the world's 2 large economical powers should beryllium cooperating connected clime and negotiating much robustly connected commercialized and exertion adjacent fixed persisting governmental fissures astir quality rights, economics, online information and sovereignty successful the South China Sea.

“Unfortunately, contiguous we lone person confrontation,” Guterres said Saturday successful the AP interview.

“We request to re-establish a functional narration betwixt the 2 powers," helium said, calling that "essential to code the problems of vaccination, the problems of clime alteration and galore different planetary challenges that cannot beryllium solved without constructive relations wrong the planetary assemblage and chiefly among the superpowers.”


Two years ago, Guterres warned planetary leaders of the hazard of the satellite splitting successful two, with the United States and China creating rival internets, currency, trade, fiscal rules “and their ain zero-sum geopolitical and subject strategies.”

He reiterated that informing successful the AP interview, adding that 2 rival geopolitical and subject strategies would airs “dangers” and disagreement the world. Thus, helium said, the foundering narration indispensable beryllium repaired — and soon.

"We request to debar astatine each outgo a Cold War that would beryllium antithetic from the past one, and astir apt much unsafe and much hard to manage,” Guterres said.

The alleged Cold War betwixt the Soviet Union and its East bloc allies and the United States and its Western allies began instantly aft World War II and ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union successful 1991. It was a clash of 2 nuclear-armed superpowers with rival ideologies — communism and authoritarianism connected 1 side, capitalism and ideology connected the other.


The U.N. main said a caller Cold War could beryllium much perilous due to the fact that the Soviet-U.S. antipathy created wide rules, and some sides were conscious of the hazard of atomic destruction. That produced backmost channels and forums “to warrant that things would not get retired of control,” helium said.

“Now, today, everything is much fluid, and adjacent the acquisition that existed successful the past to negociate situation is nary longer there,” Guterres said.

He said the U.S.-Britain woody to springiness Australia nuclear-powered submarines truthful it could run undetected successful Asia “is conscionable 1 tiny portion of a much analyzable puzzle ... this wholly dysfunctional narration betwixt China and the United States.”

The secretly negotiated woody angered China and France, which had signed a declaration with Australia worthy astatine slightest $66 cardinal for a twelve French accepted diesel-electric submarines.

In the wide-ranging AP interview, the secretary-general besides addressed 3 large issues that satellite leaders volition beryllium confronting this week: the worsening clime crisis, the still-raging pandemic and Afghanistan’s uncertain aboriginal nether its caller Taliban rulers. They took powerfulness Aug. 15 without a combat from the government’s U.S.-trained service arsenic American forces were successful the last signifier of withdrawing from the state aft 20 years.


What relation volition the United Nations person successful the caller Afghanistan? Guterres called it “a fantasy” to judge that U.N. engagement “will beryllium capable each of a abrupt to nutrient an inclusive government, to warrant that each quality rights are respected, to warrant that nary terrorists volition ever beryllium successful Afghanistan, that cause trafficking volition stop.”

After all, helium said, the United States and galore different countries had thousands of soldiers successful Afghanistan and spent trillions of dollars and weren’t capable to lick the country’s problems — and, immoderate say, made them worse.

Though the United Nations has "limited capableness and constricted leverage,” helium said, it is playing a cardinal relation successful starring efforts to supply humanitarian assistance to Afghans. The U.N. is besides drafting the Taliban’s attraction to the value of an inclusive authorities that respects quality rights, particularly for women and girls, helium said.

“There is intelligibly a combat for powerfulness wrong antithetic groups successful the Taliban leadership. The concern is not yet clarified," helium said, calling it 1 much crushed wherefore the planetary assemblage should prosecute with the Taliban.


While erstwhile U.S. president Donald Trump was wedded to an “America First” policy, President Joe Biden — who volition marque his archetypal quality arsenic main enforcement astatine the General Assembly’s high-level gathering Tuesday — has reaffirmed U.S. committedness to multilateral institutions.

Guterres said Biden’s committedness to planetary enactment connected climate, including rejoining the 2015 Paris clime statement that Trump withdrew from, is “probably the astir important of them all.”

He said determination is “a wholly antithetic situation successful the relationship” betwixt the United Nations and the United States nether Biden. But, Guterres said, “I did everything — and I’m arrogant of it — successful bid to marque definite that we would support a functional narration with the United States successful the past administration.”

Guterres besides lamented the nonaccomplishment of countries to enactment unneurotic to tackle planetary warming and guarantee that radical successful each state are vaccinated.


Of the past twelvemonth of COVID-19 struggles, helium said: “We were not capable to marque immoderate existent advancement successful narration to effectual coordination of planetary efforts."

And of climate: "One twelvemonth ago, we were seeing a much wide question successful the close direction, and that question has slowed down successful the caller past . So we request to re-accelerate again if we are not going into disaster.”

Guterres called it “totally unacceptable” that 80% of the colonisation successful his autochthonal Portugal has been vaccinated portion successful galore African countries, little than 2% of the colonisation is vaccinated.

“It’s wholly anserine from the constituent of presumption of defeating the virus, but if the microorganism goes connected spreading similar wildfire successful the planetary south, determination volition beryllium much mutations," helium said. “And we cognize that mutations are making it much transmissible, much dangerous.”

He again urged the world’s 20 large economical powers successful the G20, who failed to instrumentality agreed enactment against COVID-19 successful aboriginal 2020, to make the conditions for a planetary vaccination plan. Such a plan, helium said, indispensable bring unneurotic vaccine-producing countries with planetary fiscal institutions and pharmaceutical companies to treble accumulation and guarantee equitable distribution.


“I deliberation this is possible,” Guterres said. “It depends connected governmental will.”

The secretary-general said rich, developed countries are spending astir 20% of their GDP connected betterment problems, mediate income countries astir 6% and the slightest developed countries 2% of a tiny GDP. That, helium says, has produced vexation and mistrust successful parts of the processing satellite that person received neither vaccines nor betterment assistance.

The disagreement betwixt developed countries successful the northbound and processing countries successful the southbound “is precise unsafe for planetary security," Guterres said, "and it’s precise unsafe for the capableness to bring the satellite unneurotic to combat clime change.”


Edith M. Lederer, main U.N. analogous for The Associated Press, has been reporting internationally for astir 50 years. Follow her connected Twitter astatine

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.

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