The 77th session must be a moment of transformation — for people and the planet alike, says UN chief Antonio Guterres in remarks at opening of 77th Session of General Assembly.

Next week, dozens of heads of state and government from around the world will take turns speaking at the General Assembly.
Next week, dozens of heads of state and government from around the world will take turns speaking at the General Assembly. (AFP)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for solidarity and cooperation to address a "world in peril" at the opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

"We face a world in peril across our work to advance peace, human rights and sustainable development," Guterres said on Tuesday, citing conflicts and climate crisis, a "broken global financial system," poverty, inequality, hunger and divisions.

"Addressing common challenges will require continued solidarity as we demonstrate the great promise and potential of this organisation," he said ahead of the start of the General Assembly's high-level event.

Next week, dozens of heads of state and government from around the world will take turns speaking at the General Assembly.

While there are currently no changes to the schedule, the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II next Monday, which many leaders are expected to attend, leaves uncertainty about the week's proceedings.

A summit on education scheduled for Monday, for which 90 leaders had previously confirmed their attendance, will go ahead.

Guterres will not travel to London for the queen's funeral, his spokesperson said.

READ MORE: Humanity going in 'wrong direction' on climate crisis

World in 'wrong direction' 

Humanity is "going in the wrong direction" on climate crisis due to its addiction to fossil fuels, the UN said on Tuesday in an assessment showing that planet-warming emissions are higher than before the pandemic.

The UN's World Meteorological Organization and its Environment Programme warned catastrophes will become commonplace should the world economy fail to decarbonise in line with what science says is needed to prevent the worst impacts of global heating.

They pointed to Pakistan's monumental floods and China's crop-withering heatwave this year as examples of what to expect.

"Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency," said Guterres.

The UN warned last month that the drought gripping the Horn of Africa and threatening millions with acute food shortages was now likely to extend into the fifth year.

"There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity's fossil fuel addiction," said Guterres.

The UN's United in Science report underscores how, nearly three years since Covid-19 handed governments a unique opportunity to reassess how to power their economies, countries are ploughing ahead with pollution as normal.

READ MORE: Why Pakistan suffers from climate change despite minimal carbon footprint?

READ MORE: As the climate is changing, which animals will adjust and survive?

Source: AFP