UNITED NATIONS, July 18. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has put forward an initiative to battle inequality - a New Global Deal that will aim to create a fairer model of global governance, Guterres said on Saturday in his lecture commemorating Nelson Mandela.
"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," he said.
"To close these gaps, and to make the New Social Contract possible, we need a New Global Deal to ensure that power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level," Guterres stressed.
According to the UN chief, another factor that people "have had enough" is the anti-racism movement that has spread from the United States all over the world after the killing of George Floyd.
"[They have had] enough of inequality and discrimination that treats people as criminals on the basis of their skin color; enough of the structural racism and systematic injustice that deny people their fundamental human rights," he continued. "These movements point to two of the historic sources of inequality in our world: colonialism and patriarchy."
Not all in the same boat
The UN Secretary General pointed out that the former model of a social contract has stopped functioning in the modern world.
"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," Guterres listed.
"Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to the floating debris," he stressed.
In Guterres’ opinion, "A New Social Contract within societies 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."
"The New Social Contract, between Governments, people, civil society, business and more, must integrate employment, sustainable development and social protection, based on equal rights and opportunities for all," he explained.
New Global Deal
"Inequality starts at the top: in global institutions. Addressing inequality must start by reforming them," Guterres suggested.
"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," he warned.
"The nations that came out on top 70 years 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," the UN Secretary General said.
He said with confidence that developing nations should have a much stronger voice in global decision-making.
"We also need a more inclusive and balanced multilateral trading system that enables developing countries to move up global value chains," Guterres said.
The United Nations chief plans to discuss his new initiative with all the countries at the next 75th session of the UN General Assembly as well as on other international platforms.