UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the annual UN General Assembly that he had “no power at all”.
On demand in an interview with CNN Of the executive powers he holds in the session, Guterres said: “No power at all.”
“The Secretary of the United Nations has no power and there is no money,” Guterres continued. “What we have is a voice and that voice can be loud and I have a duty to make it loud.”
The general debate for the 78th session of the UN General Assembly began this week, allowing countries to announce their plans, concerns and calls for action to other world leaders.
Guterres said the General Assembly is sometimes able to convene more than just countries, citing the power of member states.
“Sometimes we manage to bring together different actors, not just countries, but also the private sector, civil society, women and youth organizations, scientific experts and academia,” Guterres said. “But the power lies in the member states.”
Guterres said the exercise of that power was blocked because of divisions between superpowers since World War II.
“We have a level of division between the superpowers that has never been seen since World War II,” Guterres said. “Even in the Cold War, things were more predictable than they are today.”
At a two-day summit that began Monday, Guterres sought to galvanize action to achieve the 17 goals adopted by world leaders in 2015, reminding leaders that they “made the promise to build a world of health, progress and opportunity for all – a promise to leave no one behind and a promise to pay for it.”
General Assembly President Dennis Francis added that the assembled leaders were “falling behind” on their promise, according to The Associated Press (AP).
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