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76th General Assembly get underway at UN Headquarters in New York

Passing on the gavel to the brand new Assembly president, António Guterres saluted his predecessor: “Throughout this difficult and historic moment, we have all been fortunate to rely on the leadership of His Excellency, President Volkan Bozkir”. 

The UN chief credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritizing a sustainable restoration, rooted in the 2030 Agenda, and supporting nations and communities as they rebuild methods shattered by the pandemic. 

Ambitious vaccination marketing campaign  

Mr. Guterres mentioned that below Mr. Bozkir’s management, the Assembly had sought to “strengthen health systems, deliver COVID-19 testing, treatment and equipment, and contribute to the most ambitious vaccination campaign in history”.  

Moreover, he drove the General Assembly’s important work in the areas of peace and safety, disarmament, human rights, gender equality and sustainable growth whereas additionally overseeing the adoption of main resolutions on key points – from peacebuilding to counterterrorism and stopping crimes towards humanity – addressing local weather change and ending human trafficking.  

“In short, under President Bozkir’s stewardship, this Assembly has proven, time and again, the value of multilateralism and a rules-based international system”, mentioned the Secretary-General.  

‘Unequal, challenging and ground-breaking’ 

In a heartfelt speech earlier than closing the seventy fifth Assembly’s ultimate assembly, outgoing President Bozkir famous that his tenure happened amidst a “tumultuous, historic, transformative, unequal, challenging and ground-breaking year”. 

“From the earliest moments of my Presidency, we knew that COVID-19 would dominate our agenda. However, I can now say that it has reinforced our belief in a more effective and more responsive UN”, he mentioned. 

Before stepping down, Mr. Bozkir made a sequence of suggestions that ranged from strengthening the Assembly to realigning “a serious mismatch in the way this Organization treats its employees and the world’s highest political office”. 

He additionally instructed a shift from specializing in procedures “at the cost of substance” to a “more streamlined, priority driven agenda” and to prioritize the UN as a single entity of respect, integrity and progress.  

Before bringing down the gavel for the final time, he known as for a second of silent prayer or meditation. 

Pushing by challenges 

Newly sworn in General Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, then opened the new 76th session, noting that his nation’s flag is “flying at the highest peak today”.  

He spoke of near-universal “collective anxiety” and hopelessness, not all of which is pandemic-related, saying: “the narrative must change”, and that the General Assembly “must play a part in this”. 

This second in historical past requires hope above all, he mentioned, to display to the world inhabitants that “we are aware of their plight…are listening…and are willing to work together to overcome problems”.  

And that we can discover the braveness to “push forward”, “vaccinate the world” and spur a greener, extra inclusive, pandemic restoration. 

Read our unique and in-depth interview with Mr. Shahid, right here.   

‘Beating heart’ of the UN 

This spirit of partnership, of uniting in widespread trigger, is “the beating heart of our work here at the United Nations”, Mr. Guterres informed the opening session of the 76th General Assembly. 

Congratulating Mr. Shahid of the Maldives on his election, the UN chief outlined his longstanding diplomatic expertise and famous that “coming from the Maldives, he brings a fresh perspective on the unique experience of small island States”.  

“Mr. President, I look forward to close collaboration as we work to serve and support countries during this extraordinary moment in time, and live up to the great promise and potential of the multilateral system and the United Nations”, he mentioned, promising the UN household’s “full support and partnership”. 

Busy months forward 

The UN chief mirrored on battle and local weather change; deepening poverty, exclusion and inequality; and “a pandemic that continues to threaten lives, livelihoods and futures”. 

“These challenges are worsened by the divisions scarring our world…between the rich and poor [and] between those who take basic services for granted…and those for whom these essentials remain a distant dream”, he mentioned.  

He underscored the necessity to speed-up our response to COVID-19, with vaccines, therapy and gear for all; to take a position in human growth, well being care, diet, water and training; and commit, and commit and stay as much as daring local weather targets at the COP26 UN local weather convention in Glasgow, in November.  

“The war on our planet must end”, he mentioned. “These challenges and divisions are not a force of nature. They are man-made”. 

Mr. Guterres additionally burdened the necessity to re-commit to the UN values of human rights, supporting essentially the most susceptible, peace by dialogue and solidarity. 

“Over the next year, every day, let us keep this better world in view. Let us live and breathe our values in this Assembly, and across our work”, he mentioned, telling the brand new president: “The entire Secretariat is at your disposal”. 

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Abdulla Shahid, President-elect of the Seventy-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General António Guterres (proper) meets with Abdulla Shahid, President-elect of the Seventy-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

#Note-Author Name – Global Issues

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