The Fate of the World at the U.N. General Assembly

There was an overwhelming tone of dread at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, a series of meetings during which the top officials of the governments represented at the U.N. address the top issues in the world today.

This year, the meetings were held from Tuesday, September 21, to Monday, September 27—with the exception of Sunday, September 26.

The annual general debate is significant in the fact that the General Assembly isn’t just talk. According to the official U.N. website, “the General Assembly is a critical opportunity for all to come together and chart a course for the future” and “plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law.” 

Since 2017, one of its key figures has been Secretary-General António Guterres, the U.N.’s “chief administrative officer,” a position once dubbed “the most difficult job in the world.” A Catholic socialist and former prime minister of Portugal, Guterres has the responsibility to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.” 

The Security Council is an entity of the U.N. “[primarily responsible] for the maintenance of international peace and security. … In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.”


Sounding the Alarm

Guterres also regularly delivers a “state-of-the-world speech” to kick off the debate.

“We are on the edge of an abyss—and moving in the wrong direction. … I’m here to sound the alarm. The world must wake up,” Guterres said bluntly this year.

On the U.N. site is a list of evils believed to have brought the world to this breaking point: “The pandemic is not the only issue the world faces. Racism, intolerance, inequality, climate change, poverty, hunger, armed conflict, and other ills remain global challenges. These challenges call for global action.” It read like Christ’s own prognostication for the signs ushering in the end of the world (Luke 21:10–19, 25, 26).

Guterres’ sentiments were echoed en masse by the nations’ leaders. It was also clear that the star culprit was climate change. Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih even cautioned that “further rising temperatures are a ‘death sentence’ for his country.” 

But perhaps most interesting was the speech given by the representative of the only country that had deliberately “[chosen] not to be a member of the United Nations.” 

In the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church’s address to the nations, given on Saturday, September 25, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin heavily dissected the theme of this year’s general debate “Building Resilience Through Hope” by pulling largely from Pope Francis’ past speeches and latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti. In many ways, it seemed an extension of fellow Catholic Guterres’ opening monologue. 

In it, Parolin appeared to define “the way of hope” as the uniting of all people throughout the world. He quoted a part of Francis’ recent talk in Hungary: “The God of the covenant asks us not to yield to separatism or partisan interests. He does not want us to ally ourselves with some at the expense of others. Rather, he wants individuals and communities to be bridges of fellowship with all.”

Parolin also spotlighted the vital role of the Security Council in “constantly recommitting themselves to place international peace and rule of law above national interests or partisan ideologies.”


The Hope of the World

“The God of the covenant” doesn’t like “separatism”? He doesn’t want us to “come out from among [the unrighteous] and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17), to “come out of [Babylon]” (Revelation 18:4)?

In actuality, what the Catholic Church attributes to the human race is, according to the Bible, possible only through “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). It is Christ alone who is the Bridge (John 1:51), the “one Mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5), “the Repairer of the Breach” (Isaiah 58:12).

While Parolin touts “fraternal closeness and hope grounded in the ‘reserves of goodness present in human hearts’” as “the medicine the world needs,” the Word of God states that “no one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). There is only one Great Physician who administers that medicine. “The leaves of the tree [of life are] … for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2) and found in only one kingdom, God’s heavenly kingdom.

The Bible prophesies that the world peace the U.N. is so desperately promoting will nearly be attained when “all the world [marvels] and [follows] the beast” (Revelation 13:3), when “all who dwell on the earth will worship him”—except for those “whose names have ... been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (v. 8). There will even be a universal law crafted that “[causes] as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (v. 15), perhaps even under the guise of “[maintaining] or [restoring] international peace and security.” 

To learn about the culmination of these final events, watch Pastor Doug Batchelor’s presentation “The Mark of the Beast.” 

Yes, there are even darker days coming upon the world. And yes, there is indeed an alarm to be sounded—albeit different from the one raised at the general debate. Do you know the three angels’ messages? Study through our free lesson “Angel Messages from Space” to find out how you can prepare yourself and the world for the return of the Great Hope, Jesus Christ. 

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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