Health Care

Guterres: It is necessary to revive prevention mechanisms of Cold War period

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that relations between the United States and Russian Federation have deteriorated to an extent comparable "to what we lived during the Cold War".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thurday warned of a return to Cold War-like tensions between the United States and Russia following the West's mass expulsions of Russian diplomats. "But now it is even riskier because unlike then there are no mechanisms in place to prevent tensions rising and there are now several actors instead of just two superpowers", he said.

Guterres noted that a fundamental difference between the present-day situation and the Cold War is that "many other actors that are relatively independent and with an important role in numerous conflicts that we are witnessing, with risks of escalation that are well known".

Former US president Barack Obama expelled 35 in late 2016 over alleged election meddling. Almost 200 countries and organizations had signed the agreement in Paris, after intense negotiations, pledging to reduce their carbon emissions.

The worldwide community wants to limit the rise of temperatures to 2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era but the boss of the United Nations warned that more efforts were needed to reach this goal by 2020.

Under the agreement, the United States can formally give notice that it plans to withdraw in 2019, three years after the accord came into force, and the withdrawal would become effective in 2020. However, the Trump administration has other levers to hobble the fight against global warming, as reported Thursday a New York Times article, indicating that the White House is preparing to relax the regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption of vehicles.

Describing climate change as "the most systemic threat to humankind", Guterres said recent data on extreme weather events showed that "2017 was filled with climate chaos".

Guterres is planning to host a major summit next year to take stock of progress in implementing the climate deal, but it remains unlikely that Trump would attend.

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