UN boss calls for reform of Bretton Woods financial institutions, Palestinian PM slams Israel occupation

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech on disarmament and denuclearisation. Picture: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech on disarmament and denuclearisation. Picture: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Published Feb 18, 2023


Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

Cape Town-UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the reform of the Bretton Woods financial institutions saying Africa was under-represented.

He said Africa needed to have a voice in these institutions and how funds are channelled for their development and other needs.

He said over the years Africa has borne the brunt of the unfair global financial system.

Guterres, who was addressing the African Union summit in Ethiopia on Saturday, said the continent has developed strong ties with the UN.

He said the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, led by Wamkele Mene, has shown a lot can be done on the continent as the body focuses on job creation and strong economic ties.

In the midst of the global financial crisis, climate change and deep inequalities in the availability of resources Africa has borne the brunt of that, said Guterres.

Africa needs economic action to get out of its social and economic challenges, he said.

“African countries cannot invest in these areas and climb the ladder with one hand tied behind their backs. I have called for a new Bretton Woods moment to radically transform the global financial architecture. Developing countries should have a far greater voice in the global financial systems and financial institutions,” said Guterres.

He said Africa is under-represented in these key financial institutions.

Addressing the summit earlier Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the world must speak out and take action against the occupation of Palestine by Israel.

He said the time for quiet diplomacy was over as it has not worked.

Shtayyeh said Israel has been expanding its settlements for years and the world has been silent.

“What does this mean? This means more settlements. This means squeezing Palestinians into Bantustans. This means institutionalisation of racism. This means the Israeli settler colonial regime is a regime with clear apartheid policies and practice with a legal system. This means the Judaisation of the land and the de-Palestinisation of Palestine,” said Shtayyeh.

For years many countries have been silent and quiet diplomacy has not worked.

On Sunday Palestine will table a motion at the UN on Israel and they know it will be vetoed by the US, he said.

These were the issues that made it difficult for Palestine to move an inch in finding a solution to its issues with Israel.

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