The four horsemen of apocalypse that threaten the modern world at present are geopolitical tensions, climate change, global mistrust and the dark side of digital technologies, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.
"Our world is edging closer to the point of no return," he said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
"I see ‘four horsemen’ in our midst -- four looming threats that endanger 21st-century progress and imperil 21st-century possibilities. The first horseman comes in the form of the highest global geostrategic tensions we have witnessed in years," the UN Secretary General went on, TASS reports.
In his words, geopolitical tensions were the reason why "terrorist attacks take a merciless toll" and the nuclear menace has been growing. "More people have been forced from their homes by war and persecution than at any time since the Second World War," he added.
Secondly, according to Guterres, the global community is facing "an existential climate crisis."
"Rising temperatures continue to melt records. The past decade was the hottest on record," the UN chief said. "One million species are in near-term danger of extinction. Our planet is burning."
"The third horseman is deep and growing global mistrust. Disquiet and discontent are churning societies from north to south," Guterres continued. "As one our own reports revealed just yesterday, two of every three people live in countries where inequality has grown. Make no mistake, in today’s world, rising inequality sinks all boats. Confidence in political establishments is going down. Young people are rising up. Women are rightly demanding equality and freedom from violence and discrimination."
He identified "the dark side of the digital world" as the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.
"Technological advances are moving faster than our ability to respond to - or even comprehend - them. Despite enormous benefits, new technologies are being abused to commit crimes, incite hate, fake information, oppress and exploit people and invade privacy," Guterres said.