Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali, on Monday, commended the United Nations for the impact the organisation has made over its 75 years of existence.
“We recognise and laud the citizens, international civil servants from every country, including my own, who have served unreservedly and sacrificed unselfishly to make the UN what it is today,” the President said in his address.
President Ali noted that Guyana is satisfied that the existence of the United Nations has been “a distinctive and unrivalled force for good in our world”.
Following is President Ali’s full statement
by H.E. Dr. Irfaan Mohamed Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at the High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations
21 September 2020
Theme: “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”
Mr. President, Colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We are at an important juncture of our Organization’s existence and it is appropriate for us to reflect on the distance we have traveled and the common aspirations that keep us together. Moreover, it is imperative that we recommit to those ideals to ensure that the dignity and worth of every person is respected, and to foster the attainment of social progress and better standards of living for all. We must send a strong and positive signal to the peoples of the world of our commitment to multilateralism and our resolve to strive for peace, justice and development.
Our fragile Planet must be preserved for the benefit of present and future generations.
As we reflect on the state of our world, seventy-five years after the bold step to establish the United Nations, it is disheartening to note that millions of the world’s people are still living in poverty. Eradicating this scourge remains the greatest global challenge and the first priority for our Group.
We must remind ourselves that poverty entails more than a lack of income or productive resources for sustainable livelihoods. It affects many aspects of life and it impedes the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Just five years ago, we adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint and compass to address these challenges. We cannot fail in this aspiration.
The 2030 ‘Agenda’ reflects the major poverty-environmental challenges facing the world’s population: depleted natural capital, climate vulnerability, gender inequality, rural-urban migration and growing resource demands – all of which disproportionately harm the livelihoods and well-being of the poor
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined many of our development gains of the past decades. This pandemic has brought to the forefront the development bottlenecks faced by developing countries, ranging from insufficient financing, inadequate market access for goods and services, the expanding digital divide, restrictions in accessing needed pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and reductions in revenue from tourism and exports, among others. We value and welcome the support provided by the United Nations system in our response to the pandemic and in our efforts to pursue the 2030 ‘Agenda’.
We must seek to strengthen solidarity to address the pandemic, commit to take forward the 2030 ‘Agenda’ and intensify our global partnerships. We also reaffirm that the imposition of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries is an impediment to economic and social development and to dialogue and understanding among countries. We must do everything we can to fulfill our obligations to the peoples of this world, in this Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development. All of our actions must, at all times, ensure democratic rule and adherence to the constitution and the rule of law.
To this end, the Group of 77 and China calls for more resources and actions to be mobilized in a timely manner to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We are committed to taking the actions needed for coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response to the development challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including initiatives on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and beyond, aimed at producing a menu of policy options necessary to resolve the crisis and to ensure resilience.
These and other realities should motivate us to greater action on behalf of all the peoples of our planet. The United Nations is a platform where every Member State has an equal stake in the decision-making process influencing the direction that the Organization takes on the variety of issues on which we engage. It is a platform where every member has a seat at the table and a voice in the search for solutions to the many problems we face. It is critical for us to preserve this great Organization and guard zealously the multilateral ideal as the vehicle on which we will arrive at solutions to the world’s problems. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our roadmap; its implementation is a necessity for our survival.
I wish now to provide some additional perspectives in my national capacity. The Government and people of Guyana join me in saluting the UN on the observance of its 75th
Founded in the aftermath of two devastating world wars, the United Nations was dedicated to the simple but profound conception that working in concert the nations of the world can avoid the worst expressions of inhumanity and thus promote a progressively more peaceful, equal and prosperous world.
Today, Guyana is satisfied that the existence of the United Nations has been a distinctive and unrivalled force for good in our world. Its peacekeepers have stood in harm’s way to shield the most vulnerable. It has inspired agendas for development that have transformed the lives and livelihoods of countless people around the world. Its embrace of values and rights of every human being has conferred dignity on the distressed and downtrodden. And, its promotion of respect for international law has been a compelling disincentive to unnecessary and unmitigated conflict that has nurtured the peaceful coexistence of states, including through the respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states.
We therefore commend the UN for the impact it has made over its 75 years of existence. We recognize and laud the citizens, international civil servants from every country, including my own, who have served unreservedly and sacrificed unselfishly to make the UN what it is today.
We look forward to the UN continuing to address the challenges and needs of our time in in order to live up to its own lofty ideals and promise. Global challenges of our day such as climate change and the impacts of COVID 19 must be successfully countered. We must take urgent action to equip the organization to implement its many decisions, resolutions and outcomes. The debate today in relation to the Security Council and making it more legitimate, effective and representative must be resolved expeditiously.
In 1966, a newly independent Guyana immediately joined the United Nations and pledged to be active in making an honest contribution to advancing and realizing the ideals of the Organization. Guyana renews that pledge today and calls on all member states to commit likewise so that we can indeed transform our world and achieve the future that we want and the United Nations we need.
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