The United Nations (UN) has pledged to further cement its three pillars, namely peace and security, development and human rights, and to strengthen multilateralism as well as international cooperation in the interest of both nations and peoples, the international body said in a latest declaration to mark its 75th anniversary.
“We have come far in 75 years but much more remains to be done. We have the tools and now we need to use them. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our road map and its implementation a necessity for our survival. Urgent efforts are required,” the UN said in the Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations.
The world has been plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change and pandemics, it noted, adding that these global challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism.
“Multilateralism is not an option but a necessity as we build back better for a more equal, more resilient and more sustainable world. The United Nations must be at the center of our efforts,” the declaration stressed.
Being the largest global challenge in UN’s history, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused death and serious illness, but also global economic recession, increased poverty, anxiety and fear, leaving no one untouched, the international body said in the declaration.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us in the most powerful way that we are closely interconnected and only as strong as our weakest link,” it said, calling for unity and solidarity to end the pandemic and build resilience against future challenges.
As COVID-19 caught the world off guard, it has reminded all nations to improve their preparedness for various challenges and crises by strengthening international cooperation, coordination and solidarity, it said.
“It is important to learn and share experiences and information to reduce risks and make our systems more resilient,” the United Nations noted. “There is an urgent need to accelerate development, production, as well as equitable and affordable global access to new vaccines, medicines and medical equipment.”
In this regard, it mentioned that apart from cross-border cooperation, cooperation across the whole society is also a must to deal with today’s challenges.
“We have to make the United Nations more inclusive and engage with all relevant stakeholders, including regional and subregional organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia and parliamentarians to ensure an effective response to our common challenges,” it noted.
Notably, the United Nations highlighted the importance of digital cooperation, as digital technologies have profoundly transformed society and shown a potential to speed up the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Shaping a shared vision on digital cooperation and a digital future, as well as addressing digital trust and security must continue to be a priority, as the world is now more than ever relying on digital tools for connectivity and socioeconomic prosperity, it stressed, adding that safe and affordable digital access for all must be ensured.
The world body also reiterated the importance of abiding by the UN Charter, international law and the Security Council’s resolutions to resolve armed conflicts and threats, so as to promote peace and safeguard human rights.
“The purposes and principles of the Charter and international law remain timeless, universal and an indispensable foundation for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world,” it said.
As terrorism and violent extremism pose serious threats to international peace and security, international arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament agreements and their architectures need to be upheld, it said, adding that the diplomatic toolbox of the Charter needs to be used to its full potential, including preventive diplomacy and mediation.
It also pledged that it will continue to promote respect for democracy and human rights and to enhance democratic governance and the rule of law by strengthening transparent and accountable governance and independent judicial institutions.
“International humanitarian law must be fully respected,” it noted. “We are guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human right treaties and instruments and will ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of everyone.”
In this regard, particular attention must be given to people in vulnerable situations, the United Nations said, specifying that human rights should also be enjoyed by all women and girls given persistent gender inequalities and abuse, including sexual and gender-based violence.
“We will accelerate action to achieve gender equality, women’s participation and the empowerment of women and girls in all domains,” it stressed.