UN - United Nations

09/15/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2020 16:50

General Assembly Must Help United Nations Meet ‘High Expectations’ for Upholding Rules-Based World Order, Secretary-General Says, Opening Seventy-Fifth Session

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres' remarks at the opening of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to be with you again for the opening of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly. Let me begin by warmly congratulating His Excellency Ambassador Volkan Bozkir of Turkey on his election as General Assembly President. Mr. President, you can fully count on our support and our committed partnership in this common work.

This year will be a critical one in the life of our Organization. We must continue to respond to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening health systems and supporting the development and equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines.

We must also prepare to build a strong recovery, based on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. All the while, the Assembly will continue with its work across the full range of global challenges: peace and security, disarmament, human rights, gender equality and sustainable development. Ambassador Bozkir, I wish you well in your efforts.

As we mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, it is clear that the world has high expectations of us, as the main platform for multilateralism and cooperation on a rules-based international system. Your emphasis on streamlining the agenda of the General Assembly and balancing the three pillars of our work to achieve concrete results, must help to meet those expectations.

The nature of multilateralism is changing, and I have frequently pointed to the need for a more networked and inclusive multilateralism for the twenty-first century. I therefore welcome your pledge to work towards consolidating trust and cohesion among United Nations Member States, major groups of countries, and other international organizations.

These efforts are essential to the unity and solidarity we need in this next crucial year, as we respond to the pandemic, build a strong recovery and implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

I also thank you for your support for the United Nations reform agenda, and your commitment to work closely with my office and with the Secretariat as a whole. I look forward to working closely with you during the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly to address our shared objectives. The entire Secretariat is ready to offer you all our cooperation and support, and I wish you a very successful mandate. Thank you.