White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hold a news conference Tuesday as the United Nations General Assembly in New York moves on.
The event is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET. Watch in the player above.
The head of the United Nations, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Tuesday warned world leaders that nations were “locked in a colossal global dysfunction” and unready or unwilling to address the challenges that threaten the future of humanity – and that of the planet. “Our world is in danger – and paralyzed,” he said.
Speaking at the opening of the General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting, Guterres stressed that there is still hope. But his comments reflected a tense and worried world. He cited the war in Ukraine and multiplying conflicts around the world, the climate emergency, the poor financial situation of developing countries and setbacks to the UN’s 2030 goals, including an end to extreme poverty and quality education for all children.
He also warned of what he called “a forest of red flags” surrounding new technologies, despite promising advances in curing disease and connecting people. Guterres said social media platforms are built on a model “that monetizes outrage, anger, and negativity.” Artificial intelligence, he said, “compromises the integrity of information systems, the media, and indeed democracy itself.”
The world lacks even the beginning of a “global architecture” to deal with the ripples these new technologies are causing due to “geopolitical tensions,” Guterres said.
His opening remarks came as leaders from around the world convened again at the UN headquarters in New York after three years of pandemic disruptions, including an all-virtual meeting in 2020 and a hybrid meeting last year. This week, the halls of the United Nations are once again filled with delegates who reflect the cultures of the world. Many faces were visible, although all delegates are required to wear masks except when speaking to ward off the coronavirus.
Guterres made sure he started with a glimmer of hope. He showed video of the first UN-chartered ship transporting grain from Ukraine – part of the Ukraine-Russia deal that the UN and Turkey helped broker – to the Horn of Africa, where millions of people have been displaced Facing a famine, he said, is an example of promise and hope “in a world in turmoil.”