UN marks 75 years with new declaration of commitments

The “Declaration on the celebration of the United Nations’ seventy-fifth anniversary” was unanimously adopted today, at the high-level week of the General Assembly, with very limited attendance at UN headquarters in New York and with speeches previously recorded by heads of state , due to the pandemic.

“We are not here to celebrate. We are here to act ”, says the statement adopted today by UN member states, in which it stands out that the covid-19 pandemic is“ the biggest global challenge ”in the history of the organization, created to maintain international peace after the Second World War.

“Over the years, more than one million women and men have served under the flag of the United Nations in more than 70 peacekeeping operations,” reads the statement calling for new measures and new approaches to current problems at a time in which it is argued that the UN is the main world stage for multilateral agreements, cooperation and solidarity.

“We will not leave anyone behind” is the document’s first commitment, explaining that special attention should be given to people in vulnerable situations and that “humanitarian assistance should be provided without obstacles or delays and in accordance with humanitarian principles”.

“Transforming” measures are also called for in order to “protect the planet”.

“We must immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve sustainable consumption and production patterns in line with the national commitments applicable to the Paris Agreement and in line with the 2030 Agenda”, reads the document.

In order to protect the population against terrorism and violent extremism, member states also declare “to promote peace and prevent conflicts”. This objective defends the use of preventive diplomacy and mediation, with a request to the secretary-general to “improve the set of tools to prevent the outbreak, escalation and recurrence of hostilities on land, at sea, in space and in cyberspace”.

“We fully support and promote the Secretary-General’s initiative for a global ceasefire. International humanitarian law must be fully respected ”, continues the statement.

“We will comply with international law and guarantee justice”, with respect to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, “strengthening transparent and accountable governance and independent judicial institutions”, reads.

The declaration adopted on the 75th anniversary of the UN also highlights the commitment to “put women and girls at the center”, because without the equal participation of women, conflict resolution cannot be achieved and human rights cannot be guaranteed. The promise is to “accelerate actions to achieve equality, participation of women and empowerment of women and girls in all areas”.

Also to “build trust”, Member States guarantee that attacks, xenophobic, racist, or gender or sexuality discrimination will be condemned.

“We will address the root causes of inequalities, including violence, human rights abuses, corruption, marginalization, discrimination in all its forms, poverty and exclusion, as well as lack of education and employment,” say the subscribers.

“Improving digital cooperation”, “improving the United Nations” and “boosting partnerships” are three other objectives described in the declaration.

Countries also promise to “guarantee sustainable financing”, with commitments for timely payments and the full value of national contributions agreed with the UN and with strengthening public-private projects and partnerships.

Member States also commit to “listening and working with young people”, with “youth being the missing piece for peace and development”.

Finally, the 18th objective is for countries to be “prepared”: “The covid-19 pandemic caught us off guard”, it reads, which “highlights the need for more cooperation and information sharing”.

The document underlines that there is “an urgent need to accelerate development, production, as well as equitable and accessible global access to new vaccines, medicines and medical equipment”.

Based on the three pillars of the United Nations – Human rights, peace and security, and development – Member States commit to following the “roadmap” of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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