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UN Secretary-General puts climate, Ukraine and SDGs on the agenda of the European Council

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has been invited by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to participate in a meeting with the Heads of State and Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

“This visit demonstrates the excellent cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations at a crucial moment,” Guterres told the press as he walked into the European Council.

During the meeting with the members of the European Council, the UN boss will discuss climate change, the war in Ukraine and the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the 27.

Bilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel © UNRIC / Miranda Alexander-Webber
Bilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel © UNRIC / Miranda Alexander-Webber


“The Sustainable Development Goals are moving backwards. More hunger, more poverty, less education, less health services in so many parts of the world. And, it is clear that our international financial system is not fitting the purpose to deal with such a huge challenge,” Guterres said.

The UN boss “very much counts on the European Union to lead the transformations that are necessary in order to put the 2030 Agenda back on track.”


He also referred to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which shows a dramatic situation. “We’re close to the tipping point that will make 1.5 degrees impossible to achieve. We need an acceleration agenda and once again we count on the leadership of the European Union in this regard.”


Finally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be discussed during the meeting. It is “causing tremendous suffering to the people of Ukraine, but it is also having a huge impact globally and we will take profit of this occasion to exchange views on how to confront these challenges,” the Secretary-General concluded his words to the press.

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