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Why should the UN listen to the private sector?

The UN is used to mostly dealing with governments, which represent member states, but they no longer monopolize power. That's why Secretary-General António Guterres says he also wants the private sector, cities, civil society, and especially youth to have a voice. In fact, young people make Guterres feel optimistic about the future, and he hopes that they'll continue waking up political leaders as citizens of the world.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: UN Sec-Gen: Without trust, catastrophe awaits

How did COVID affect climate, US-China relationship?


On the one hand, UN Secretary-General António Guterres believes COVID has fractured trust between mainly rich and poor countries, especially on vaccines, as the pandemic "demonstrated our enormous fragility." On the other hand, it generated more trust in science, especially on climate — practically the only area, Guterres says, where the US and China can find some common ground these days.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: UN Sec-Gen: Without trust, catastrophe awaits

Who said what at the 76th UNGA

Most of the hard-hitting conversations at the UN General Assembly take place behind closed doors. Still, during High-Level Week, when leaders get up to speak at the podium, it's their one big shot to send a message to representatives from the entire world. Here's some of what went down today:

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Biden's UN speech avoids China mention; US lifts travel restrictions

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at US President Biden's UN General Assembly speech, eased US travel restrictions, and Canadian PM Trudeau's election gamble.

How did President Biden's first address to the United Nations General Assembly live go?

It was okay. I thought it was very notable that China was not directly mentioned at all. So my mother used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Did say that the US didn't want to be in a "Cold War". That's notable, because a lot of people out there are pushing in that direction in the US and in China. Certainly it was all about multilateral leadership. The Americans want to do more. We want collective leadership. We care about values. We care about democracy, but increasingly not seen as credible by a number of Europeans, as well as by the developing world, particularly when it comes to Afghanistan, COVID, and climate. Can't just say the words, have to have a pathway to get there. It's getting more challenging for the Americans. This is a tough UNGA meeting.

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UN Sec-Gen: Without trust, catastrophe awaits

António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, does not mince words when it comes to the dire state of the world. "We are standing at the edge of an abyss," Guterres warns. COVID is "defeating" the global community and a climate catastrophe is all but assured without drastic action. Amidst this unprecedented peril, there remains a startling lack of trust among nations. And yet, there is still hope. In a frank (and in-person!) GZERO World interview, Ian Bremmer heads to the UN ahead of the annual General Assembly week to discuss COVID, climate, the US-China rift, and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

Does the UN have any actual authority?

76 years after the United Nations was founded, amid an unending pandemic and growing climate and refugee crises, today's UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stark words for member nations: "In our biggest shared test since the Second World War," Guterres says, "humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough." But if something as immediate and catastrophic as a deadly pandemic can't spark a renewal of global cooperation, then what can? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer explores the question: if the United Nations doesn't have the authority to force its members to take drastic measures to avoid global catastrophes, what is it actually good for? (Quite a lot.)

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: UN Sec-Gen: Without trust, catastrophe awaits

UN Secretary-General Guterres has a warning for disunited nations

In a frank (and in-person!) interview, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, speaks with Ian Bremmer at the UN ahead of the annual General Assembly week. Guterres discusses COVID, climate, the US-China rift, and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, and does not mince words when it comes to the dire state of the world. "We are standing at the edge of an abyss," Guterres warns. COVID is "defeating" the global community and a climate catastrophe is all but assured without drastic action. Amidst this unprecedented peril, there remains a startling lack of trust among nations. And yet, there is still hope.

How can we bridge the "digital Grand Canyon"?

The UN likes to say that having half the world's population offline is like a "digital Grand Canyon" of exclusion. So, how can we bridge it? The International Communications Union's Doreen Bogdan-Martin says that the only way is to get all concerned parties — the UN, governments, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society — to work together. "No one can do this alone. We need all hands on deck."

Bogdan-Martin weighed in during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly.

Learn more: Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

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