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UN chief says it’s time to reform Security Council, Bretton Woods

Hiroshima, Japan
Reuters

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that it was time to reform both the Security Council and Bretton Woods to align with the “realities of today’s world”.

Speaking at a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan, where the Group of Seven summit meeting had been held, Guterres said both institutions reflected the power relations of 1945 and needed to be updated.

“The global financial architecture became outdated, dysfunctional and unfair,” he said. “In the face of the economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has failed to fulfil its core function as a global safety net.”

United Nation's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the audience during a joint press conference with Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness (not pictured), in Kingston, Jamaica, on 15th May, 2023.

United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the audience during a joint press conference with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness (not pictured), in Kingston, Jamaica on 15th May, 2023. PICTURE: Reuters/Gilbert Bellamy.

Guterres also spoke of how he felt that at the G7 summit there was a growing consciousness among developing countries that not enough was being done to reform outdated institutions or “remove the frustrations” of the Global South.

India’s economy will grow over six per cent this year and next, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook this January.

China and India together will account for about 50 per cent of world growth in 2023, IMF chief economist and director of the research department Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said at the time.

The wealthy G7’s economic clout has also shrunk in the past 30 years, accounting for 29.9 per cent of global GDP in 2023 compared to 50.7 per cent in 1980, according to the IMF.

“We will see now what is the impact of the discussions that were held here in Hiroshima,” Guterres said. “The G7 members were able to discuss with some of the most important emerging economies in the world.”

G7 host Japan made a point of inviting figures from the so-called Global South to Hiroshima for talks. Invitees included Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

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