The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, called for comprehensive reforms of the Security Council and Bretton Woods during a press conference on Sunday. Speaking at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Guterres emphasized the need for these institutions to align with the current global landscape.
Guterres stated that it was time to reform both the Security Council, the UN’s most influential body, and Bretton Woods, the economic system established in 1944 to stabilize the post-World War II global economy. He argued that these institutions should reflect the contemporary power dynamics rather than those of 1945.
Referring to Bretton Woods, Guterres criticized the existing global financial architecture, describing it as outdated, dysfunctional, and unfair. He highlighted its failure to effectively serve as a global safety net amid the economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The UN chief emphasized the importance of restructuring power structures to align with the realities of the modern world. He stressed that the G7, as geopolitical divisions deepen in a multipolar world, cannot remain a passive observer while billions of people suffer from inadequate access to food, water, education, healthcare, and employment.
Guterres observed a growing awareness among developed nations that insufficient efforts have been made to reform outdated institutions and address the frustrations of the Global South. He urged developed countries to do more, even within the current unfair global rules, to support the economies of developing nations.
To facilitate this support, Guterres proposed that multilateral development banks collaborate and modify their business models and risk approaches. By doing so, they could leverage significant amounts of private finance for developing countries at reasonable costs.
The UN chief expressed optimism regarding the potential impact of the discussions held in Hiroshima, a city known as a global symbol of the catastrophic consequences that arise when nations fail to cooperate and resolve conflicts peacefully.
The G7 summit, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, along with the European Union, took place in Hiroshima, which experienced the devastating impact of the first atomic bomb in 1945.