Blinken speaks to Guterres on wide-ranging issues

In a first phone call after the US rejoined the Paris Climate Accords and the World Health Organization (WHO), Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during which they discussed wide-ranging issues.

Taking to Twitter following the call on Thursday, Blinken said: “On a productive call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we discussed US-UN cooperation to address many global challenges, from Covid-19 to climate change. UN is the anchor of the multilateral system, and the US is back.”

Since President Joe Biden’s administration came to power on January 20, the US has rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, the WHO, has also said that it was “ready to re-engage” with the UN Human Rights Council.

Former President Donald Trump had withdrawn the country from all the of three mentioned above.

Speaking about the call at a press briefing on Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that while Blinken praised the world body for its numerous efforts and ongoing work, he also expressed the Washington “interest in close coordination” to resolve global issues.

“Underscoring President Biden’s focus on bringing the pandemic under control, the Secretary praised the central role the UN and UN agencies play in coordinating our global response, highlighted the US re-engagement with the World Health Organization, and expressed our deepened focus on promoting health and advancing global health security,” The Hill news website quoted Price as saying.

According to Price, Blinken and Guterres also discussed other issues, including the Syrian conflict and the crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

“On Syria, both reaffirmed their commitment to the political process under UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the extension of a cross-border authorization to deliver aid and help relieve the suffering of the Syrian people.

“On Ethiopia, both reconfirmed their commitment to support Ethiopia’s efforts to respond to the crisis in Tigray,” the Department spokesman added.