Global call for strengthening UN ahead of 75th anniversary

Ahead of a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN, a group of prominent former government leaders are calling for strengthening the world

In an open letter, titled ‘A Time for Renewal: Calling for a Strengthened Multilateral System’ released on Friday, 48 former UN and government officials from around the world expect the 75th anniversary of the 193-nation body to lead to “a stronger, more accountable, inclusive multilateral system”, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the letter, the leaders said “the institutional framework of global governance, with the UN at its core, must do more to provide the guidance, leadership and decisions required to ensure human safety, security and sustainable development in our interdependent world”.

“From climate change to human rights, gender and racial equality, and from sustainable development to international peace and security – the international community should honour its commitments to the UN’s founding Charter, Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement.

“There is an urgent need for an explicit recognition by global leaders that we are at a turning point and must act decisively to defend and rejuvenate multi-lateralism,” they said, stressing that recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic needs national leadership and effective global cooperation.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “Multi-lateralism is not an option: it is the only path that can deliver a green, sustainable and equitable recovery.”

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and former Foreign Minister of Ecuador, said that “the UN is an irreplaceable organization. It has a critical role in leading a concerted, coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its recovery process which should allow us to build back better”.

“This year’s commemoration of the UN 75th anniversary is a golden opportunity to rejuvenate and retool the organization to build a more effective and inclusive multilateral system,” Espinosa said.

The signatories also include Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General; Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Mminister; and Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland.

The letter will remain open for additional signatures until October 24.