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Amidst World in Peril, Regional Efforts to Build Trust, Confidence ‘More Essential Than Ever’, Secretary-General Tells Astana Conference

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, in Astana today:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I send my warm greetings to the sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.  I commend the Government of Kazakhstan for hosting this important and timely gathering.

You are meeting amidst a world in peril.  Trust and solidarity are ebbing, just as geopolitical tensions, conflicts and humanitarian emergencies are surging.  The climate crisis is wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods everywhere.  COVID‑19 continues to cast a long shadow.  And a cost-of-living crisis is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest — worsening poverty and hunger, and fuelling social and political unrest.

In this extremely challenging context, regional efforts to build trust and confidence are more essential than ever.  In my report on Our Common Agenda, I call for a New Agenda for Peace, which puts renewed focus on regional prevention and engagement with regional organizations.

Over the last 30 years, [the Conference] has grown into a vital platform for dialogue between countries across Asia.  We all benefit from a peaceful and prosperous Asia — and I am grateful for our partnership in pursuit of our shared goals:  advancing sustainable development; promoting human rights, peace and stability; and strengthening multilateral cooperation.

Together, let us meet the tests of our time and secure a better future for Asia and the world.  I wish you every success.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.