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António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on Climate Change at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Doha, Qatar
15 Dec 2018 -  Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, today issued a stark warning that accelerating climate change is threatening the future of mankind. Speaking at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Doha, Qatar, Guterres said: “The central threat for humankind today is climate change, and everybody recognises that climate change is running faster than we are, and the response is not as fast as necessary.
“Even the scientific predictions that were made are, to a certain extent, wrong because things are getting worse than was forecast. We see glaciers melting much more quickly than before. We see the temperature of the water rising much more quickly than expected. We see the cap of the arctic being reduced to such a level that, soon, it will completely disappear.”
Guterres delivered a speech entitled: The Importance of Multilateralism in a Time of Unprecedented Challenges, in which he stressed the importance of education in tackling global threats including climate change, terrorism and people trafficking.
“Education, training and skills are absolutely vital, but it no longer has any meaning to teach people to do things. What is necessary is to teach people to be able to learn permanently. Because, for the students who are here, you will have jobs in the future that today do not exist, and are not even imaginable. All our educational systems need to adapt to this new reality of permanent change.”
HBKU, part of Qatar Foundation, has recently launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Solar Energy in Hot Desert Climates. The degree program has the potential to provide access to higher education for hundreds of thousands of young people around the world who have previously been denied the opportunity to pursue such courses. Guterres highlighted the crucial role that youth have to play in addressing global issues.
“Young people have an absolutely crucial role, more than ever, in the evolution of our society, because technology is evolving in such a way that my granddaughters understand it much better than me. The contribution of young people to the drafting of policies and solutions to problems…is absolutely essential.”
Guterres stressed the central role that the UN has to play as the “honest broker” when it comes to solving the world’s most pressing issues, and underlined the need for multilateralism to remain at the core of international policymaking.