UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his plea for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and the unconditional release of hostages during the recent summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Kampala, Uganda, which concluded on Saturday.
Leaders from the 120-member bloc convened amidst global divisions, including escalating geopolitical tensions, climate crises, widespread poverty, and conflicts in Sudan, Ukraine, and Gaza.
Guterres condemned the Hamas attacks on October 7, highlighting the unprecedented destruction in Gaza and the alarming civilian casualties. He emphasized the challenges faced by humanitarian efforts due to constant bombardments, damaged infrastructure, communication blackouts, and restricted access.
The Secretary-General stressed the urgency of addressing disease and hunger, stating that people are dying from not only direct violence but also from the lack of essential resources like food and clean water, powerless hospitals, and grueling journeys to escape conflict zones.
Guterres insisted on an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of hostages, urging prevention of the conflict’s spillover into neighboring regions.
He decried the rejection of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, asserting that it prolongs the conflict, threatens global peace, and emboldens extremists. The NAM, originally formed during the Cold War, was urged to lead efforts towards cooperation and shared global prosperity.
Guterres emphasized the need for reforming institutions like the UN Security Council to address geopolitical divisions hindering effective solutions. He called attention to the urgency of achieving sustainable development, combating hunger, and ensuring access to healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and education.
The Secretary-General reiterated his call for reforming the global financial system and encouraged governments to invest in education, health, nutrition, and social protection systems. He urged the NAM to hold leaders accountable for fulfilling commitments, particularly in climate finance, as contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund remain limited.
In conclusion, Guterres urged the NAM to play a pivotal role in promoting reforms and fostering collaboration to address the current global challenges.