As historical virtual debate, ‘our political leaders have shown their commitment to multilateralism’, says UN President

For the first time in the history of the United Nations, world leaders could not meet in person for the General Assembly’s annual debate, but the president of the 193 body said Tuesday that the precautions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic does not prevent multilateralism from functioning at the highest levels. ‘

To conclude the high-level segment of the 75th session, @UN_PGA @volkan_bozkir emphasized that the majority of the @UN member states emphasized the value of multilateralism. pic.twitter.com/ff2dDUdPPn

“This meeting was substantial and extraordinary,” Volkan Bozkir said. He concluded the 75-year existence at the high level of the Assembly, which was held against the background of the global pandemic.

The historic meeting of the July Assembly to allow world leaders to send pre-recorded video messages, and to ensure physical distancing protocols for personal intervention, means fewer delegates crowd the historic halls of the UN headquarters in New York, and many less traffic on Manhattan’s bustling East Side.

But more Member States than ever took part in the general annual debate, with a full issue, from co-operation on COVID-19 vaccines and the revival of global multilateralism to the promotion of gender equality and climate action.

The President of the Assembly said that Heads of State and Government, as well as ministers, had laid down a complete agenda over the past six days, “which not only supported the priorities I had laid down, but also provided better guidance on the steps needed to overcome the challenges we face. ‘

Power and relevance of the UN

“The fact that so many world leaders have chosen to address this assembly is a testament to the power and relevance of the United Nations,” he said. Bozkir said, adding: ‘No other platform in the international calendar has this convening power. Organization can bring so many world leaders together. No other body has the potential to tackle global challenges like these United Nations. ‘

Through their virtual presence, “our political leaders have demonstrated their commitment to multilateralism and the United Nations,” he said, adding that many people have realized that multilateralism is the most effective system for addressing global challenges, such as the pandemic and climate. alter.

“I thank you for this complete and comprehensive endorsement of the rule-based international order and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” the President of the Assembly said, noting the participants’ strong calls for a reformed and increasingly effective UN, which is in line with the realities of the 21st century.

Solidarity to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

“The call for solidarity is impossible to ignore in the context of the current pandemic,” he said. Bozkir went on to note that each Member State referred in their comments to the catastrophic consequences of this disease.

The call for solidarity is impossible to ignore in the context of the current pandemic

“The unilateral action has not stopped its spread. Significant efforts are needed to combat the current pandemic and prepare for future health shocks,” he said.

Member States asked him to focus on three relevant issues during his presidency: early warning systems: creating conditions to prevent the emergence of another disease; inclusivity in approaches to dealing with the crisis; and equitable access to future vaccines.

In this regard, he said that at the Special Session of the Assembly later this year, Member States are encouraged to present policy solutions on these three issues, to strengthen co-operation and to put the world back on track to meet the Goals for Achieve Sustainable Development (SDGs). ).

“COVID-19 is a practice test that has highlighted our weaknesses and the areas we need to strengthen together,” the chairman of the Assembly said, noting that so many speakers acknowledged the opportunity ‘to better to rebuild ‘so that the world would be better prepared for future crises.

“We all know that we now have to resist preparing for everything that comes tomorrow. And we know we have a roadmap to achieve it: the Agenda 2030,” he declared.

Long-term threat of climate change

“The pandemic has diverted resources and attention. But climate change is still the biggest long-term threat to humanity,” he said, noting that as fires rage, sea levels rise and biodiversity is lost, there is even greater urgency to pursue our climate goals and integrate it into our plans “to better rebuild from the pandemic”.

As such, he has promised to work closely with member states to make COP26, the UN climate conference to be held in Glasgow next year, a milestone in the mutual pursuit of the climate challenge.

Mr. Bozkir also looked forward to discussing the importance of biodiversity, especially with regard to diseases, during the first UN biodiversity summit to be held on Wednesday 30 September in New York.

“We can find practical solutions if we work together to prevent instability and bring lasting peace,” said President of the Assembly Bozkir. “Everyone agrees on the need for a call for a global ceasefire. The time has come to implement it.”

When he shares the concern about the threats to international peace and security, and considers it justified, he regrets that the situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Seventy-five years after the founding of the Organization, conflict is still raging in the world and many protracted crises remain unresolved, he explained and emphasized the devastating effects of conflict on the most vulnerable groups.

He also endorsed the United States ‘concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, saying:’ Peace is more than the absence of war, but I am encouraged to hear, a firm commitment to disarmament, an important tool in conflict prevention, together with preventive diplomacy. ‘

“While sovereign countries can take the actions they see fit, leaders have made it clear that solutions can only come in multilateral action in an interdependent and interconnected world, with the UN at the center,” he said.

“One thing is clear: ‘We are stronger together,’ he recalls. “Our global consultation around UN 75 has revealed that this is exactly what people around the world want.”

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