World leaders on Wednesday voiced strong support for the United Nations (UN) in their speeches delivered virtually at the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, deeming the organization instrumental in coping with world’s common challenges and threats.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said that the UN system is “the most important instrument” to deal with global issues, noting that the COVID 19 pandemic highlights how interlinked the world has become.
“Kyrgyzstan has significantly diminished the spread of the virus that has taken a heavy toll on the country, in no small part due to ongoing assistance from the UN and other international partners,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that in technological terms, the UN can be described as the “software” that has saved the world from critical errors since its founding.
Guyana President Irfaan Ali thanked the UN for supporting Guyana’s democratic will and pledged to pursue political inclusion and enact institutional reforms to ensure democracy, the rule of law, and constitutional rights are protected.
He stressed that each country, big or small, “gets one equal vote” within the General Assembly and that the UN system is “instrumental” in alleviating poverty and hunger, as well as upholding human rights.
The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the greatest challenge to the international community, he said, noting that the pandemic is reversing gains on health, poverty, and education.
More than ever, the resolve of the UN is being tested and it is evident that “no single country can overcome the debilitating effects alone,” he said, placing his country’s trust on the organization to ensure fair and timely access to preventive tools.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that to face all these challenges, the international community must uphold the founding principles of the UN.
“The values enshrined in human rights texts must not be seen as unachievable ideals and aspirations, rather, they must be actualized. Achieving the promises of peace, dignity, justice, and freedom calls for unprecedented cooperation, frameworks that present pragmatic solutions, and a United Nations capable of fulfilling its goals,” he said.
Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga stressed that the UN is the “optimal structure” of multilateral cooperation. It was, indeed, a tremendous achievement when the world’s nations united under the spirit of the UN Charter, set out to resolve their differences and hurdles through negotiations and cooperation.
“We have no doubt that upon release of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the United Nations and its system organizations will play a major role in ensuring equal access to the vaccine for developing and least developed countries, as well as vulnerable groups, such as children, women, the elderly and indigenous peoples,” he said.
President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga said that the UN is indispensable for the promotion of peace and security in the world more than ever. “It embodies the causes of human rights, sustainable development and a world governed by the rule of law. We would do well to work together to achieve the goals of the UN because they benefit all of us, and they make us stronger.”
“My country is proud to contribute to the achievement of the UN goals, even if it is not always easy. It is difficult to translate the goals we have set ourselves — on climate or gender equality for example — into national policy,” she added.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic noted that the COVID-19 pandemic strongly confirms the need and necessity of the existence and strengthening of the role of the UN. “The relevance of this forum must never be questioned.”
“We firmly believe that only by mutual cooperation, harmonization of positions and mutual respect, can a global response in facing this modern plague be found,” he said.
Liberian President George Weah said that “without a doubt, the UN remains today as the most important forum for peace, conflict resolution, the prevention of war, and the settlement of disputes between nations of the world, as well as the premier international organization for serving the needs of all mankind through its various humanitarian agencies.”