Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), said that the world body remains irreplaceable since its establishment more than 75 years ago with its primacy and relevance remaining unmatched.
“The counter-factual is hard to establish, what the world might have been like without the UN, the conflicts not averted, the human suffering not eased. In any case, imperfect as it may be, the primacy and relevance of the United Nations remains unmatched after more than 75 years,” Bozkir said on Wednesday in his opening remarks in the UNGA Interactive Dialogue to Commemorate and Promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
“At a time of distrust and suffering in the aftermath of World War II, the founders of the UN demonstrated foresight in recognising that real peace could not be achieved through the absence of conflict alone.
“Peace would only be possible through the pursuit of shared goals and objectives. Thus, they set about pursuing diplomacy for peace,” he stressed.
Turning to the importance of the world body, Bozkir recalled that during the General Debate in September last year, “more heads of state and government participated in the General Debate than ever before, proving that when the world is in crisis, leaders turn to one another here in the UN to promote solutions”.
“At a time of deepening inequalities within and between countries, multilateral actors and partners are working tirelessly to address the multiplicity of threats facing the people we serve,” said the veteran Turkish diplomat.
“Through constructive debate and negotiations, ideas develop into norms, which in turn drive policy development and implementation, with a view to advancing the course of humanity.
“It was in the General Assembly that the notion of universal human rights was first imagined, and it was here, in 2015, that the world pledged to leave no one behind in achieving Sustainable Development by 2030.
“For some, the first introduction of multilateralism comes at the most difficult moments in life.
“On the frontlines of the most challenging contexts, fractured communities recognize the blue helmets of peacekeepers as a sign that the world has not forgotten them. That the UN is working to support their efforts to bring about peace,” he added.
The UNGA President expressed the hope that “the insights shared here today” will inspire relevant people to accelerate their work “towards creating a better world for all”.
The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on December 12, 2018 through a UN resolution and was first observed on April 24, 2019.