The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has warned this Saturday that the worsening of the prevailing economic inequality, motivated for the most part by the impact of the coronavirus, is about to bring society to “a breaking point” .
In Guterres’s words, the pandemic, from a certain point of view, “has become an x-ray that reveals fractures of the fragile skeleton in the societies we have built.”
The crisis, in his opinion, “is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: the lie that free markets can provide health care for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; the illusion that we live in a posttracist world, the myth that we are all in the same boat. “
Guterres described the main drivers of inequality, including systemic racism, the legacy of colonialism, patriarchy, gaps in access to technology, and inequalities in global governance.
“The nations that reached the top 70 years ago have refused to contemplate the reforms necessary to change power relations in international institutions,” Guterres lamented in a forceful speech especially dedicated to members of the UN Security Council, where the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the United States have veto powers.
Thus, the UN Secretary General has called for the creation of “a new social contract and a new global agreement aimed at equal opportunities for all and respects the rights and freedoms of the entire world.”
The new model, in his opinion, would guarantee an inclusive and equal participation in global institutions, a fair globalization, “a stronger voice for developing countries in global decision-making and a more inclusive and balanced multilateral trading system” , as he has made known in a virtual forum in memory of the anniversary of the birth of the late South African president, Nelson Mandela.