Passing connected the gavel to the caller Assembly president, António Guterres saluted his predecessor: “Throughout this hard and historical moment, we person each been fortunate to trust connected the enactment of His Excellency, President Volkan Bozkir”.
The UN main credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritizing a sustainable recovery, rooted successful the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries and communities arsenic they rebuild systems shattered by the pandemic.
Ambitious vaccination campaign
Mr. Guterres said that under Mr. Bozkir’s leadership, the Assembly had sought to “strengthen wellness systems, present COVID-19 testing, attraction and equipment, and lend to the astir ambitious vaccination run successful history”.
Moreover, helium drove the General Assembly’s captious enactment successful the areas of bid and security, disarmament, quality rights, sex equality and sustainable development while also overseeing the adoption of large resolutions on key issues - from peacebuilding to counterterrorism and preventing crimes against humanity - addressing clime alteration and ending quality trafficking.
“In short, under President Bozkir’s stewardship, this Assembly has proven, clip and again, the worth of multilateralism and a rules-based planetary system”, said the Secretary-General.
‘Unequal, challenging and ground-breaking’
In a heartfelt speech before closing the 75th Assembly’s last meeting, outgoing President Bozkir noted that his tenure took place amidst a “tumultuous, historic, transformative, unequal, challenging and ground-breaking year”.
“From the earliest moments of my Presidency, we knew that COVID-19 would predominate our agenda. However, I tin present accidental that it has reinforced our content successful a much effectual and much responsive UN”, helium said.
Before stepping down, Mr. Bozkir made a bid of recommendations that ranged from strengthening the Assembly to realigning “a superior mismatch successful the mode this Organization treats its employees and the world’s highest governmental office”.
He also suggested a displacement from focusing on procedures “at the outgo of substance” to a “more streamlined, precedence driven agenda” and to prioritize the UN arsenic a azygous entity of respect, integrity and progress.
Before bringing down the gavel for the past time, helium called for a moment of soundless supplication oregon meditation.
Pushing done challenges
Newly sworn in General Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, then opened the new 76th session, noting that his country’s flag is “flying astatine the highest peak today”.
He spoke of near-universal “collective anxiety” and hopelessness, not each of which is pandemic-related, saying: “the narrative indispensable change”, and that the General Assembly “must play a portion successful this”.
This infinitesimal successful past calls for anticipation supra all, helium said, to show to the global population that “we are aware of their plight…are listening…and are consenting to work together to flooded problems”.
And that we can find the courageousness to “push forward”, “vaccinate the world” and spur a greener, much inclusive, pandemic recovery.
Read our exclusive and in-depth interrogation with Mr. Shahid, here.
‘Beating heart’ of the UN
This tone of partnership, of uniting successful communal cause, is “the beating bosom of our enactment present astatine the United Nations”, Mr. Guterres told the opening league of the 76th General Assembly.
Congratulating Mr. Shahid of the Maldives connected his election, the UN main outlined his longstanding diplomatic experience and noted that “coming from the Maldives, helium brings a caller position connected the unsocial acquisition of tiny island States”.
“Mr. President, I look guardant to adjacent collaboration arsenic we enactment to service and enactment countries during this bonzer infinitesimal successful time, and unrecorded up to the large committedness and imaginable of the multilateral strategy and the United Nations”, helium said, promising the UN family’s “full enactment and partnership”.
Busy months ahead
The UN chief reflected on conflict and clime change; deepening poverty, exclusion and inequality; and “a pandemic that continues to endanger lives, livelihoods and futures”.
“These challenges are worsened by the divisions scarring our world…between the affluent and poor [and] betwixt those who instrumentality basal services for granted…and those for whom these essentials stay a distant dream”, helium said.
He underscored the request to speed-up our effect to COVID-19, with vaccines, attraction and instrumentality for all; to put successful quality development, wellness care, nutrition, water and education; and commit, and perpetrate and unrecorded up to bold clime targets at the COP26 UN clime conference in Glasgow, successful November.
“The warfare connected our satellite indispensable end”, helium said. “These challenges and divisions are not a unit of nature. They are man-made”.
Mr. Guterres besides stressed the request to re-commit to the UN values of quality rights, supporting the astir vulnerable, bid done dialogue and solidarity.
“Over the adjacent year, every day, let america support this amended satellite successful view. Let america unrecorded and respire our values successful this Assembly, and crossed our work”, helium said, telling the caller president: “The full Secretariat is astatine your disposal”.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Abdulla Shahid, President-elect of the Seventy-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.