The president of the U.N. General Assembly says that 70 years after its founding the United Nations is not equipped to meet its overriding 1945 objective — to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

At a high-level U.N. General Assembly meeting on Tuesday focused on threats to world peace, Mogens Lykketoft pointed to violence and instability across much of the Middle East and North Africa, impunity for violations of international humanitarian law, “terrorism that is wreaking havoc in many countries,” and sexual violence against women in conflicts.

But he said change is possible.

Liberian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee told the meeting that thousands of people have died in 414 bombings, terrorist attacks, killings and other violent incidents just since January.