IISD Reporting Services IISD

Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

Volume 03 Number 09 | Thursday, 24 September 2020


Summary of the High-level Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

21 September 2020 | Online


Languages: EN (HTML/PDF) FR (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage at: http://enb.iisd.org/un/ga75/

“The world has a surplus of multilateral challenges, but a deficit of multilateral solutions,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Member States during the opening of the High-level Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75). “While no one wants a world government, we must work together to improve global governance.”

The official commemoration of UN75, which took place at a socially-distanced UN Headquarters, with Heads of State and Government joining virtually, focused on the theme of “The future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.”

A “Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations” was adopted at the meeting. In the Declaration, Member States recognize that global challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They agree that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity, to build back better for a more equal, more resilient, and more sustainable world, with the UN at the center of efforts. They also recognize that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is necessary for survival.

The meeting was addressed by 111 Heads of State and Government and 14 Ministers, who spoke in support of multilateralism and global solidarity, among other themes. Several speakers expressed support for the UN reform currently being undertaken by the UN Secretary-General, and many called for the reform of the UN Security Council.

The UN Secretary-General launched the UN75 initiative in January 2020 as “the world’s largest conversation about current global challenges, and the gap between the future we want and where we are headed if current trends continue.” The UN crowdsourced views on its future priorities and solutions from the global public, through a survey of over a million people in all 193 UN Member States; more than 1,000 dialogues in 82 countries across the world; and artificial intelligence analysis of social and traditional media in 70 countries, along with academic and policy research mappings in all regions.

UN75 convened on Monday, 21 September 2020 from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm EDT (GMT-4).

A Brief History of the United Nations

Conceived as a means to save future generations from the scourge of war, the United Nations was born 75 years ago. Its founding document, the United Nations Charter, was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 and came into force on 24 October 1945. The Charter calls for the UN to maintain international peace and security; promote social progress and better standards of life; strengthen international law; and promote human rights.

Guided by the Charter, the UN is able to address many issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, including peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.

The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the UN has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.

25th Anniversary: The theme of the 25th anniversary session in 1970 was “Peace, justice and progress.” UNGA, in resolution 2627 (XXV), reaffirmed support for the UN Charter and the principles of international law. The then 127 Member States also recognized that “a grave situation of insecurity still confronts the Organization and armed conflicts occur in various parts of the world, while at the same time the arms race and arms expenditure continue, and a large part of humanity is suffering from economic under-development.” Member States also:

  • acclaimed the role of the UN in the process of the liberation of peoples of colonial, Trust and other Non-Self-Governing Territories, and reaffirmed the inalienable right of all colonial peoples to independence, self-determination, and freedom;
  • condemned apartheid;
  • pledged to continue the struggle against all violations of the rights and fundamental freedoms of human beings;
  • resolved to seek a more effective system of international cooperation to banish economic disparities and secure prosperity for all;
  • called for strengthening the effectiveness of the UN; and
  • reaffirmed a commitment to achieving peace, justice, and progress.

50th Anniversary: During its 50th session in 1995, Member States pledged to give the twenty-first century a UN equipped, financed, and structured to effectively serve the peoples in whose name it was established. In the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations (A/RES/50/6), Member States noted that following the end of the Cold War, and as the end of the century approached, “we must create new opportunities for peace, development, democracy, and cooperation.”

In the declaration, the then 185 Member States also:

  • recognized that action to secure global peace, security, and stability will be futile unless the economic and social needs of people are addressed;
  • called for a dynamic, vigorous, free, and equitable international economic environment for the well-being of humankind and for international peace, security, and stability;
  • reiterated the affirmation by the Charter of the dignity and worth of the human person and the equal rights of men and women and reaffirmed that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated;
  • called for the continued promotion and development of international law with a view to ensuring that relations between states are based on the principles of justice, sovereign equality, universally recognized principles of international law, and respect for the rule of law; and
  • called for reform and modernization of UNGA, the Security Council, and ECOSOC.

Reform of the UN was a dominant theme across anniversary celebrations. The majority of participants called for reform, with many advocating an expansion of the membership of the Security Council. They also stressed the need for greater transparency, democratization, and accountability. Many drew attention to the obligation of Member States to pay their dues in full and on time, and some suggested restructuring the financing regime and finding new and innovative sources of funding.

UN75 Report

The commemoration opened with a video highlighting key moments in the UN’s 75-year history.

In an opening statement, UNGA President Volkan Bozkir reflected on the UN’s achievements to date, including in conflict prevention, electoral and political assistance, human rights, and international development. He called on Member States to mobilize the political will and resources needed to “upgrade” and make the UN more effective to respond to new global challenges, noting that the UN is only as strong as its members.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world faces a “surplus of multilateral challenges, and a deficit of multilateral solutions.” Outlining the global consultations on priorities and concerns undertaken by his office since the beginning of 2020, he noted they demonstrate the public appetite for increased global solidarity and emphasized that improved global governance does not threaten national sovereignty.

UN Security Council President Abdou Abarry said the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 have exacerbated challenges such as the illicit arms trade, human trafficking, and international terrorism. He also noted that there is no other global organization with the legitimacy and convening power of the UN. 

ECOSOC President Munir Akram said the UN Charter recognizes that prosperity and peace are interdependent, but the UN cannot be effective if the UN Security Council is paralyzed, UNGA and ECOSOC are marginalized, and unilateral measures are preferred over multilateral solutions. He said his presidency will focus on mobilizing finance to address the pandemic, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), avoid the climate catastrophe, and invest in sustainable infrastructure.

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President, International Court of Justice, underscored that the reliance on the international rule of law and peaceful means for dispute resolution is the UN’s greatest success story, and unless this system of rules is respected by all the edifice of multilateral cooperation may collapse.

Participants then heard statements from four youth representatives. Akosua Adubea Agyepong, Ghana, challenged decision-makers to reflect on whether they have remained true to the UN Charter and upheld human rights; pointed to the “silent pandemic” of sexual and gender-based violence; and underscored that youth need to be the architects of their own future.

Sharifah Norizah, Malaysia, emphasized the role of youth in peacekeeping; urged greater inclusion of young people in global decision-making; and called for institutional and financial investments in young people.

Charles Hamilton, the Bahamas, emphasized the COVID-19 pandemic compounded existing inequalities and called for universal healthcare. He described climate change as the defining issue of our time for youth, while urging decision makers to “make this anniversary about more than empty words” and commit to solidarity and multilateralism.

Noting that inequality has reached intolerable levels, Nathan Méténier, France, called for systemic change to break the status quo; looking beyond gross domestic product as a measurement of success; and trusting people, in particular youth, enough to include them in policy-making.

The session was suspended to broadcast the video “UN75: Shaping Our Future Together.”

The Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations was then adopted by acclamation.

Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations

The Declaration (A/75/L.1) recognizes that while there have been many achievements in the past 75 years, the world is not yet the world envisaged by the founders of the UN 75 years ago: it is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change, and pandemics; people are forced to make dangerous journeys in search of refuge and safety; the least developed countries (LDCs) are falling behind; and complete decolonization has not been achieved.

It recognizes that the challenges that the world faces are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity to build back better for a more equal, more resilient, and more sustainable world, with the UN at the center of the efforts. It also recognizes that the 2030 Agenda is a road map and its implementation a necessity for survival.

The Declaration highlights the next ten years, designated as the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development, as the most critical for this generation.

Member States resolve to:

  • Leave no one behind, with particular attention to people in vulnerable situations.
  • Protect our planet, including through transformative measures, and by building back better and greener.
  • Promote peace and prevent conflicts, including through preventive diplomacy and mediation, and respect for international humanitarian law.
  • Abide by international law and ensure justice.
  • Place women and girls at the center, and accelerate action to achieve gender equality, women’s participation and the empowerment of women and girls in all domains.
  • Build trust, by addressing growing inequalities within and among countries, and addressing 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.
  • Improve digital cooperation and ensure safe and affordable digital access for all.
  • Upgrade the UN, including by supporting ongoing reform by the UN Secretary-General. They also commit to instill new life in the discussions on the reform of the UN Security Council; continue the work to revitalize UNGA; and strengthen ECOSOC.
  • Ensure sustainable financing, including by paying assessed contributions in full and on time; and through the full and timely implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
  • Boost partnerships, by engaging with all stakeholders including regional and subregional organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia, and parliamentarians.
  • Listen to, and work with, youth.
  • Be prepared, including by improving the global crisis prevention and response systems; learning and sharing experiences and information to reduce risks and make our systems more resilient; and accelerating development, production, as well as equitable and affordable global access to new vaccines, medicines, and medical equipment.

Statements by Member States

Cherith Norman Chalet, Acting Deputy Representative of the US to the UN expressed pride that the US serves as the UN’s permanent home. She underscored the central role of the US as the largest and most reliable funder of the UN, while lamenting that the UN has been resistant to meaningful reform, lacks transparency, and has, at times, “been subject to the whims of dictators.”

Stressing the importance of recommitting to the ideals of the UN, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, for the Group of 77 and China, highlighted the challenges of eradicating poverty and achieving the SDGs, and called for timely resource mobilization to implement the 2030 Agenda. In his national capacity, he urged making the Security Council more effective and representative.

Describing poverty eradication as a key challenge, Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, for the LDCs, listed five focus areas for the UN: strengthening multilateralism, including through UN reforms; addressing inequality, including the gender gap and digital divide; financing to implement the 2030 Agenda; pursuing holistic approaches to reflect the singular objective of all SDGs; and promoting a people-centric approach.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, for the European Union, underscored the need for COVID-19 treatment to be accessible to all, and for unstinting efforts to overcome misunderstandings and embrace patience, respect, and tenacity in the face of differing national histories and customs.

Moon Jae-In, President of the Republic of Korea, on behalf of Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia (MIKTA), described the group’s efforts to leverage regional and global cooperation to address the pandemic. He called for equitable and universal access to a COVID-19 vaccine, and for multilateralism to be the “driving force” of environmentally-sound pandemic recovery efforts.

Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), called for “revitalization” of the UNGA, and for reform of the UN Security Council for “a more democratic and efficient body, in line with contemporary realities.” He also underlined the continued relevance of the NAM in the post-Cold War era. In his national capacity, Aliyev emphasized the relevance of the UN in resolving ongoing territorial disputes with Armenia. He said Azerbaijan’s response to the pandemic was described as “exemplary” by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, welcomed the renewed commitment to multilateralism in the UN75 Declaration, co-facilitated by Qatar and Sweden. He called for universal representation in the UN Security Council, and for mechanisms for the UN to bind its Member States to its principles.

Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden, announced that Sweden will host a conference in Stockholm in 2022 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment. He called on the international community to support the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General, following the adoption of the UN75 Declaration.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Kyrgyzstan, expressed support for the UN Secretary-General’s reform proposals, saying they should uphold the principles of universality, effectiveness, and broad regional representation. He called for debt restructuring to enable sustainable development.

Xi Jinping, President of China, called for the representation and voice of developing countries in the UN to be increased, so it can be more balanced in representing the countries of the world. He reiterated China’s commitment to: stay actively engaged in reforming and developing the global governance system; uphold a global order underpinned by international law; and defend the UN and its central role in international affairs.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, called for reform of the UN Security Council to make it “democratic, transparent, and accountable” and ensure fair representation.

The Netherlands was represented by King Willem-Alexander and UN Youth Delegate Hajar Yagkoubi. King Willem-Alexander hoped for the success of “architects of a better world,” regardless of background, nationality, or age. Yagkoubi called for a world where fundamental human rights are respected, and both people and planet are protected.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico, called on the UN to respect the principles of non-intervention, self-determination, peaceful dispute settlement, development cooperation, and human rights.

Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, said the 2030 Agenda represents “the future we need,” and underscored the need to engender peace and harmony through multilateral cooperation.

Martín Vizcarra, President of Peru, highlighted the UN’s role in promoting universal values, including: women’s empowerment; disarmament; human rights; nuclear non-proliferation; combating climate change; environmental preservation; and universal education.

Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, called for unity, multilateral cooperation, and international solidarity, and highlighted Tajikistan’s commitment to increase cooperation on water resource management and climate change.

Noting the UN has grown in membership and scope since its inception, Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, underscored the need to reform the Security Council and ensure equitable representation of Africa. He called on Member States to abide by UNGA resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 on granting independence to colonial countries and peoples, saying decolonization is incomplete as long as non-self-governing territories continue to exist.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, pointed to annexation wars, mass detention, and the use of chemical weapons, warning the UN “as our shared home” is in disarray and “its foundations are crumbling.” He underscored the need for countries to respond to human rights violations, the pandemic, and climate change. Citing French poet Edmond Rostand, he said, “it is at night that it is beautiful to believe in light,” and called for all Member States to honor their commitment to multilateralism.

Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras, noted the lack of global solidarity in the response to COVID-19, and underscored the need for equal access to a vaccine.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan, said multilateralism faces greater risks than at any point since the end of the Cold War. He welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s leadership in boosting the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the UN.

Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, noted that the ability of Member States to formulate common responses has been weakening, and global norms and institutions are under increasing pressure. He urged recommitment to the principles of the UN and to multilateral collaboration to respond to global challenges that threaten the very existence of humanity.

Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, delineated his country’s response to COVID-19 and reiterated its commitment to strengthen the UN and fulfill the 2030 Agenda.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, called on the Security Council to honor its commitment to minimize spending on armaments, noting that military spending currently amounts to USD 1.9 trillion per year, while achieving the SDGs requires USD 2-3 trillion annually. He urged permanent members of the Security Council to refrain from using the veto with respect to crimes against humanity and massive human rights violations.

Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia, emphasized his country’s commitment to multilateralism and reported on national efforts to implement reforms of the UN development system.

Luis Alberto Lacalle, President of Uruguay, said developing countries and the most vulnerable need targeted assistance to address the “triple global crisis”—health, economic, and political. He called for a clear, timely, and coordinated response, with a strengthened role for the UN in coordinating financing.

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, called for meaningful international partnerships and cooperation to address the pandemic, and for multilateral lending institutions to be responsive to proposals for debt management.

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, highlighted Poland’s contributions to the UN, including in developing the provisions on the prohibition of genocide, and in peacekeeping and climate change-related efforts. He stressed Poland’s belief in the feasibility of the peaceful coexistence of states, and the importance of protecting peace through law.

Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile, said the world has changed since 1945, noting there are more challenges, but also better solutions. He said all Member States have a responsibility to ensure the UN is fit for purpose, emphasizing it otherwise risks the same fate as the League of Nations. He called for Security Council reform to achieve better representation of Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Šefik Džaferović, Chairman of the Presidency, Bosnia and Herzegovina, said safeguarding peace and security must remain a UN priority, recalling the failure of the UN to prevent the Bosnian genocide. He pointed to mass migration as an example of the interconnectedness of peoples and issues, noting that all Member States have a “moral obligation” to solve problems that at first glance do not concern them.

Prince Albert II, Monaco, highlighted the need for multilateral responses to the climate crisis, noting that “we are a fragile species on this planet, and will contribute to many extinctions including, maybe, our own.” He called for involving young people in policy implementation and for restoring confidence in international organizations.

Igor Dodon, President of Moldova, underscored the need for: environmental protection; building and maintaining peace especially through conflict prevention; leaving no one behind; respecting international human rights law; and building trusted institutions. He also highlighted the necessity for sustainable financing and improving digital cooperation.

Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, said the world is at a crossroads between a multipolar and a unipolar world, as demonstrated by the attacks on the WHO during the pandemic. He expressed support for the WHO and announced that his country has invited a UN technical commission to observe the upcoming election.

Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, said small countries cannot have a decisive impact on global carbon emissions, but should still act as role models for other countries to emulate. She added that education is key to future growth and to foster trust in the UN.

Egils Levits, President of Latvia, said Latvia will mark UN75 with public events focusing on educating young people on how the UN works and why multilateralism matters. He added that the UN must listen to young people’s request for more accountability in global politics.

Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia, said the UN Charter should act as a constitution for the international community, particularly at a time when the pandemic is testing its ability to act jointly.

Kais Saied, President of Tunisia, emphasized the need for a multilateralism based on new values, including greater unity and respect for the right of self-determination for all peoples.

King Felipe VI, Spain, said the pandemic has revealed the necessity for more efficient international cooperation, and political will is needed for the UN to become the “universal organization that its founders envisioned, a common home for humanity.”

Stevo Pendarovski, President of North Macedonia, said current challenges, including religious extremism, the digital divide, systemic inequalities, and social and economic damages, caused by the pandemic can be solved only by investing in the UN.

Danny Faure, President of Seychelles, underscored the need for a more genuinely inclusive form of multilateralism and mutually beneficial approaches to common threats. He said the UN must transition into an organization fit for the purpose of delivering on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, noted that climate change, environmental disasters, transnational crimes, and migration can be solved only through multilateralism. He called for the UN to be adequately funded and for equitable geographic representation in its bodies. He also called for strengthening UN coordination and cooperation with regional bodies such as the African Union.

Alessandro Mancini, Captain Regent of San Marino, said global cooperation is the only way to recover faster and build back better after COVID-19. He called for investing in strengthening the UN’s impact.

Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, said small states remain at the mercy of bigger ones despite international law, and called for respect for the UN Charter. He underscored that “there can be no opt-out from immediate and decisive action” on climate change.

Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, observed that constant assaults on the UN and the existential crisis in multilateralism have been exacerbated by COVID-19. He highlighted the urgent need for “mass recommitment” to global collective action.

Underscoring the UN’s role as the unrivaled platform for global norm setting, Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, urged addressing the surge in armed conflicts and inequality and called for achieving complete decolonization.

Thomas Remengesau, Jr., President of Palau, called for adequate financial support for supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and, pointing to his country’s independence of 25 years, highlighted the importance of defending the UN and the international rules-based system.

Lionel Aingimea, President of Nauru, said climate change remains the biggest threat to sustainable development in small island developing states (SIDS), and called on the UN to support the interests of even its smallest members.

Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon, said his country hosts the highest number of refugees per capita while facing a number of domestic crises. He called for multilateral support for the safe return of displaced Syrian people.

Pointing to the ongoing occupation of Crimea, Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, expressed that “the situation in the world is as challenging as 75 years ago” and called for fully implementing the principles of the UN Charter.

Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, listed several successes of the UN, but noted that old and new challenges remain, including the conflict around the State of Palestine, the SDGs, climate change, and COVID-19. He called on Member States not to abandon the UN when it becomes politically difficult, but work together to make the UN more effective, empowered, and cost effective, so that small countries can continue to have their voices heard as equals among all nations.

Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, said the world is facing unprecedented global turmoil, of which some countries have to bear more than others. He highlighted the challenges of COVID-19; violence, warfare, and terrorism; and climate change, droughts, and floods, adding a ceasefire is a clear and urgent priority for his country.

Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, called for the reform of the UN, particularly the Security Council, to reflect the realities of the 21st century and correct the injustices inflicted on Africa. He also highlighted the role of youth is key in ensuring the future relevance of the UN.

Ilir Meta, President of Albania, described the pandemic as a new and invisible enemy that can only be defeated through global solidarity and coordination. He supported UN reform towards a more integrated and system-wide approach, and the equal participation of women and youth.

George Weah, President of Liberia, emphasized the need to redouble efforts to achieve the SDGs, and use the framework of the 2030 Agenda to guide the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He underscored the importance of multilateralism, international cooperation, and global solidarity, and a UN that is more equitable and inclusive.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, drew attention to the contrast between the intellectual and moral progress with respect to the ideals of the UN on the one hand, and the lack of political will on the part of Member States on the other, which he said undermines the legitimacy of the UN and erodes its work. He lamented the lingering economic gap between rich and poor countries and the lack of access to science and technology for development for the vast majority of Member States.

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Maldives, urged keeping alive the spirit of the founding of the UN, in order to address the challenges raised by COVID-19. He noted that SIDS need assistance from the international community to revive their economies, build resilience by diversifying means of income, and ensure social protection.

Jeanine Áñez, Interim President of Bolivia, said COVID-19 is a wake-up call against ideological polarization. Noting multilateralism should be seen as a means and not an end in itself, she confirmed her country’s commitment to democracy and human rights, and protecting the environment, human health, and the rights of women and indigenous peoples.

Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, said UN75 is an opportunity to reinforce commitments to promote peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights. Noting that current challenges transcend borders and require complex solutions, he stressed the central role of the UN.

Adama Barrow, President of The Gambia, said international diplomacy had contributed to increasing globalization and interdependence, which in turn requires more multilateralism. He said the success of the UN will be determined by how it protects its smallest and weakest members and called for more efforts to lift poorer countries out of the LDC category.

David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of  Micronesia, said the pandemic offers opportunities to build back a greener and bluer world, and called for larger countries to curb their carbon emissions while it is still possible to leave a habitable planet for future generations. 

Taneti Maamau, President of Kiribati, called for a UN that is cognizant of national priorities, and said Kiribati’s 20-year development plan strived for: the development of natural and human capital; a peaceful and corruption-free society; more accessibility and inclusivity; and better access to social infrastructure.

Alois von Liechtenstein, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein, said international law is the “bedrock of prosperity” and a source of protection for small states. He noted that among the UN bodies, the Security Council had moved the furthest away from its original intent and must therefore be reformed first.

David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands, said that, as a former trust territory, the Marshall Islands’ relationship with the UN has evolved over time. The relationship of all Member States with the UN should now similarly evolve, he said, as without a recommitment to multilateralism the world will fail the vision of its founding fathers.

Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon, called for reform of the organs of the UN, starting with the UN Security Council, to better reflect the realities of the world.

Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia, reaffirmed Slovenia’s commitment to multilateralism through the UN, highlighting the need to make progress on human rights and international law.

Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy, reminded participants that the UN system is a “formidable instrument” through which states gained their initial legitimacy. He noted that the UN can promote greater understanding and mutual respect between countries, adding that preventive diplomacy is the way forward.

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, called for: the reduction of corrosive inequalities; a robust opposition to a renewed racism; and reform of unfair international trade rules “that represent literally no less than a new colonialism” and of the Bretton Woods institutions. He said achieving the SDGs is a precondition for our survival, and the UN’s role in promoting new paradigms of critical thought is very much needed.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, called for the reform of the UN Security Council and the inclusion of two permanent members from the African Union, as African states are the most affected by the Council’s decisions.

Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice-President of Sierra Leone, emphasized the implementation of the UN Charter’s provisions is more critical now than ever and called for reforming the Security Council to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the UN.

Speaking for the Pacific Island Forum, Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, recalled the lasting effects of nuclear testing on the lives and livelihoods of Pacific people and underscored the equal sovereignty and voice of Member States as the basis for effective multilateralism.

Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, emphasized the need to step up efforts to protect human rights, foster sustainable development, and address the climate emergency.

Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, pointed to the contribution of his country’s “sufficiency economy philosophy” in achieving the SDGs, and to Thailand’s leadership in the adoption of UN rules for the treatment of women prisoners.

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, said the pandemic has sharpened trends of isolation and unilateralism but also highlighted that a rules-based system with the UN at its core is our best hope to guarantee a stable and peaceful future, including for major powers. He underscored the need to give the UN commensurate latitude and resources to live up to these expectations.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, emphasized that the pandemic threatens hard-earned social progress, and, pointing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of biodiversity, called upon all to act in solidarity through the UN to ensure a world of peace, sustainable development, and gender equality.

Describing the UN as a “temple of dialogue,” Xavier Espot Zamora, Prime Minister of Andorra, underscored it paved the way for all nations to speak and be heard, and called for carving out a space for young people to be heard, noting they are important agents of change.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, highlighted the potential of the UN system as a powerful vehicle for change, and called for a new worldwide health architecture, with equitable access to vaccines.

James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, invoked the counterfactual world without the UN, saying it would be significantly worse than the current reality.

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, welcomed calls for a new, inclusive global deal, highlighting it as an opportunity to reimagine development paradigms, governance, and policies. She underscored that reconstruction of COVID-shattered societies should be the priority for the international financial system, and that middle-income SIDS need fiscal and policy space to build resilience.

Abiy Ahmed, President of Ethiopia, said the hope and optimism for multilateralism created through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda is now under threat, due to rising geopolitical tensions. He called for the historic injustices against Africa to be redressed through adequate representation, and for a stimulus package in the form of capital mobilization, debt relief, and resources.

Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, called on Member States to “use this dark chapter” to re-energize and deepen international cooperation and solidarity, and build back better and greener. Noting that the UN can never be more than the sum of its parts, she said the blueprint for the future already exists in the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta, said the multilateral system has underpinned the growing openness and interconnectedness of the global economy, allowing for rapid sustained global economic growth and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. To address current challenges faced by the system, he called for: giving influence to more countries and consulting with stakeholders; ensuring inclusive growth within and between countries; and focusing on peoples’ well-being, and on the sustainability of the planet and the welfare of generations to come.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, said the UN remains as relevant today as it was 75 years ago, as the world faces challenges related to health, climate change, and economic recession. He said the quest of the UN is to “embody our better angels,” by working on solutions that work for all.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, said the UN is facing “a crisis in competency” that cannot be addressed without substantial reform.

Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia, said the UN has been able to reconcile the selfish impulses of Member States with the need for global cooperation into an effective system of sovereign nations united by common principles. 

Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, said the strength of the UN lies in its ability to convene Member States and stakeholders for the benefit of the “human family,” but warned that greater global solidarity is needed.

Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, Prime Minister of eSwatini, underlined the importance of Security Council reform and reiterated Africa’s call for permanent membership.

Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, said for the UN to survive the next 25 years, UN75 should provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on its commitments.

Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and Grenadines, called for reform of the UN Security Council, updated protocols for trade and finance, and a climate-friendly post-pandemic global economy. He underscored the need to use vulnerability indices in criteria for determining access to finance and for debt relief.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, said the UN has “too often been forced to lag behind its ideals,” noting the interests of individual Member States have repeatedly prevented the international order from functioning as it was intended. She added the Security Council is “all too often deadlocked when clear decisions are called for,” and, urging reforms, said Germany stands ready to shoulder its international responsibility in an extended Security Council.

Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan, underscored the need for international cooperation to prevent COVID-19 and future pandemics from reversing the course of development, which would be devastating for poorer countries.

António Luís Santos da Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, noted that the corrosive effects of nationalism, populism, extremism, racism, and gender discrimination are weakening the foundations of democracies and threatening regional and global stability. He expressed support for the UN Secretary-General’s reforms and highlighted that only multilateralism can regulate markets, stop climate change, and eradicate poverty.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, called for rejecting populism and polarization, and urged recommitting to the principles of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She added that gender equality and environmental protection should be at the forefront of post-pandemic reconstruction and implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal, said there is no alternative to unity and solidarity when it comes to fighting against pandemics, the climate crisis, and ensuring the total elimination of all chemical, nuclear, biological, and other radiological weapons.

Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, observed that the UN system remains unprepared for fighting climate change, pandemics, and terrorism. He called for strengthening its ability to safeguard human rights and ensure the fulfilment of obligations enshrined in international law.

Sophie Wilmès, Prime Minister of Belgium, highlighted the need to rebuild trust between nations and between citizens and their representatives.

Pointing to trends of nationalism and protectionism among “global superpowers,” Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, said the world stands at a time of great disruption.

Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, underscored the UN’s vital role in Samoa’s journey towards becoming an independent nation and underscored that UN membership is grounded on the promise of peace, rule of law, equality, and justice that it offers to all Member States.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said the UN has become a global safety net for the most vulnerable, but its ability to act and improve the lives of people depends on political will of Member States. He called on Member States to double down to ensure no one is left behind, saying the lives of billions hang in the balance.

Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria, noted the COVID-19 crisis illustrates the world’s interconnectedness and shows that no country can fight global challenges alone.

Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos, lauded the UN’s role in promoting dialogue and consultation as means of dispute resolution, pointing to its role in the independence of some countries, and in poverty alleviation.

Moeketsi Majoro, Prime Minister of Lesotho, called for reflection on the vital role of international solidarity and collaboration to respond to global challenges, and for reform of the Security Council by increasing both permanent and non-permanent membership.

Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, Prime Minister of Tonga, highlighted the urgency of combating climate change and sea level rise, and called for continuing reform to the UN system to ensure a more positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said the UN is the anchor of multilateralism, which has worked well for its members in achieving their goals. Stressing that global problems require global solutions, he said the UN is indispensable and urged joint action and unified leadership.

Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam, observed the world faces unprecedented challenges, and stressed that people must be at the heart of all development efforts. Highlighting the importance of independence and freedom for Viet Nam, he emphasized his country’s commitment to realizing the SDGs.

José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, said the devastating impact of climate change knows no boundaries, and that the UN75 Declaration comes at a moment when strengthened multilateralism is essential.

Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia, lauded the UN for its achievements to date, such as reducing levels of extreme poverty, but noted that climate change cannot be addressed without substantial UN reform.

Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia, spoke of the findings of the UN75 initiative, which shows public support for a UN that better protects the environment, reduces conflict, and promotes the provision of basic health services.

Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid, Acting Prime Minister, Somalia, described three decades of conflict and political instability in his country, noting the importance of fighting radicalization and extremism through strategic investment.

Yahya bin Mahfoudh al-Mantheri, Head of the State Council of Oman, observed that UN’s activities have grown with the growth of its membership and of the world population, and urged support to enhance its capabilities to fulfil its mission of maintaining global peace.

Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform, Bulgaria, underscored the need for “renewed impetus and enthusiasm” for the UN’s work on peace, the 2030 Agenda, climate change, combating terrorism, and promoting human rights.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the rule-based international order is meddling in the domestic affairs of nations. He underscored the need for increased multilateralism, committing to the UN Charter and international law, and settling conflict through peaceful and diplomatic means.

Wilfred Peter “Sedi” Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize, for the Alliance of Small Island States, observed that the UN has served as a moral compass for national and international action. However, he noted, the organization is failing at tackling climate change. Small island states could disappear under water as a result, denying them their sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination, and human dignity.

Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Foreign Minister of Egypt, called on the UN to protect state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and cultural differences; enhance the national ownership of development; promote human rights; and support mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, said the UN must work towards global economic resilience and a strengthened health care system.

Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla, Foreign Minister of Cuba, described the threats to multilateralism and international law by the greatest power in the world through, among other things: instigating conflict and unilateral measures; an “arms race of its own making”; ignoring global treaties and agreements related to environmental protection and arms control; and squandering resources while refusing to cooperate during global crises. He called for a reaffirmation of commitment to international law and multilateralism, and empowerment of the UN, for a democratic, just, and sustainable international order.

U Kyaw Tin, Minister of International Cooperation, Myanmar, recognized the role of the UN in deterring war and lifting millions of people out of poverty and hunger, and called on the organization to remain a beacon of hope for developing countries like Myanmar, by helping, not hindering, their efforts to overcome challenges.

Ayman Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jordan, said multilateral action is necessary in the Middle East to achieve fair and holistic peace. He called on the international community to mobilize resources to ensure that UN organizations can provide vital services; and to support a two-state solution on the basis of 1967 borders to resolve the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, recognized the role of the UN in preventing war; advancing arms control; tackling climate change and environmental protection; creating a freer, more equal, and more rule-based world; and ending hunger, disease, and poverty through the SDGs. He listed the Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine disputes as long-standing challenges.

Amadou Ba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senegal, stressed that challenges like climate change need a reinvigorated approach to multilateralism, and the pandemic has shown even more clearly the need to work together. He called for using this anniversary to ensure that the UN can be tailored to the current political reality, and for tackling the financial implications of the pandemic.

Bogdan Aurescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romania, said the spirit of unity, solidarity, and cooperation remains crucial for achieving the goals of the UN and called for innovation and reform for “the future we want and the UN we need.” He urged a universal political commitment to digital security, to ensure that digital technologies are human-centered.

Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Philippines, suggested that the UN was less about nations than about peoples, and it must be strengthened and stay at the core of the multilateral global order. He stressed the importance of making COVID-19 vaccines universally available.

Ine Marie Eriksen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway, noting the global context of a renewed rivalry between global powers and increasing pressure on the rules-based world order, appealed for a commitment to international law. She called for reinvigorating the multilateral system and adapting it to the challenges of our time.

Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, expressed support for the UN Secretary-General’s reform proposals. He noted that, in times when the rules-based multilateral order is questioned by those tempted to use force rather than reason, the UN system should be strong and capable of tackling the challenge.

Exercising a right to reply, India decried the statement made by Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir.

UNGA President Volkan Bozkir announced that due to the lateness of the hour, the remaining speakers will be heard on a date to be announced later. He closed the meeting at 9:00 pm.

A Brief Analysis of UN75

Eagerly, musician. 
Sweep your string, 
So we may sing. 
Elated, optative, 
Our several voices 
Interblending, 
Playfully contending, 
Not interfering 
But co-inhering, …

Hymn to the United Nations, written by W.H. Auden on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the UN

The creation of the United Nations is easily one of humanity’s most ambitious projects, born out of audacious optimism and a belief that after centuries of violent conflict, nation states and human beings could co-inhere in peace and work together for mutual prosperity.

Seventy-five years later, there has been no third world war, and the UN has played an important role in mitigating conflict. Significant improvements have been made in human wellbeing, spearheaded by the UN, including in the reduction of poverty and hunger, the eradication of disease, and the recognition of human rights. A body of international rules and laws exists, most prominently in the form of international treaties negotiated under the UN and customary international law, to keep the selfish impulses of nation states in check by offering them the fruits of global cooperation.

Yet, the mood during the commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary was more optative than elated. Leaders who addressed the commemoration were somber, introspective, and uncertain of the future of multilateralism, rather than playfully contending. Almost without exception, they acknowledged the critical role of the UN. If such an organization did not exist, said many, we would have to create it. But while the UN and its Member States have travelled a long road, as their words implied, a longer road lies ahead.

“This is no time for contented self-congratulation,” said Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados. “We must acknowledge the reality that confronts us now, sobering though it might be. The world is once again on the brink of devastation.”

This analysis briefly summarizes the challenges and priorities that world leaders listed for the UN on its 75th anniversary.

Mortals Beware

Let mortals beware 
Of words, for 
With words we lie,
Can say peace 
When we mean war, 
Foul thought speak- fair 
And promise falsely
, … 

At 75, the UN wakes up to a world that is fragile to the extreme and brought to its knees in a few short months by the COVID-19 pandemic. This “pervasive new enemy,” as Prime Minister Mottley called it, has exposed the vulnerabilities of even the strongest. It has left the weakest reeling. “One disaster can wipe out much social progress and take us back years in our development efforts,” said President Thomas Remengesau, Jr., Palau.

For many speakers, the COVID-19 pandemic not only highlighted existing fragilities, but also reinforced the need for the UN. The pandemic has sharpened the trends of isolation and unilateralism, observed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore, but also highlighted that the rules-based system with the UN at its core is our best hope to guarantee a stable and peaceful future, including for major powers.

The impact of the pandemic is particularly severe in some of the “weak spots” of the UN’s track record. As the Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations notes, “Our world is not yet the world that our founders envisaged 75 years ago.” It is still plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change, and pandemics. People in different corners of the world are forced to make dangerous journeys in search of refuge and safety. The LDCs are falling behind, and complete decolonization has still not been achieved.

In their statements, world leaders reiterated and added to the to-do list contained in the Declaration.

Chief among their concerns was the rising tide of nationalism and the receding tide of multilateralism and global solidarity at a time of great need. “Our ability to form common responses has been weakening. Norms and institutions built over decades are under increasing pressure and international agreements are being challenged,” said President Sauli Niinistö, Finland.

This is particularly bad news for Member States who believed that even the brand of multilateralism practiced over the past 75 years was not strong enough. “It is inconceivable that after 75 years, science and technology for development continue to be the preserve of only a few states,” said President Teodoro Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea. “We cannot accept that there is still the supremacy of only a few states who trample on the weak.”

The political failures of multilateralism listed by world leaders include ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine, and India and Pakistan; the use of unilateral measures and sanctions; failures to respect national sovereignty, the right to self-determination, and decolonization; and the failure of powerful Member States to sign or implement international agreements and treaties, particularly those related to disarmament, climate change, and biodiversity loss.

“The everlasting dualism of international relations is expressed in the dual nature of states, which show both selfishness and cooperation,” reflected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia. He added “The UN converted these two incompatible notions into an effective system of sovereign nations united by common principles. Revisionists, however, will try to score from perceived weaknesses of the international order.”

The cracks appearing on the facade of multilateralism are reasons to start bolstering, leaders agreed, not dismantling. “Unless the system of international rules is respected by all, the edifice of multilateral cooperation may collapse,” warned Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President, International Court of Justice.

“Multilateralism faces greater risks than at any point since the end of the cold war,” said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakhstan, echoing the sentiments of several other leaders. “We should not abandon shared ideals. We need to continue building rules-based communities to avoid returning to lawlessness.”

What It Could Be

So may the story 
Of our human city 
Presently move 
Like music, when 
Begotten notes 
New notes beget 
Making the flowing 
Of time a growing 
Till what it could be, …

Reflecting on the past, leaders sought to identify the reasons why the UN has not been as effective as it could be. Many, including Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark, spoke to the root of the problem: the UN can never be more than the sum of its parts. It can only be as strong as its Member States let it be.

Others delved into specifics. “The UN Charter recognizes that prosperity and peace are interdependent—but this cannot work if the UN Security Council is paralyzed, UNGA and ECOSOC are marginalized, and unilateralism is privileged over multilateral solutions,” said ECOSOC President Munir Akram. “The course on which we are threatens to erode our structures, including the UN. This would be a tragedy of epic proportions. Let’s reverse this course.”

Calls for UN reform reverberated throughout the day. Several leaders supported the UN Secretary-General’s reform proposals. These mainly relate to the reform of the UN development system, proposed by Guterres and adopted by UNGA in 2018, to align the UN development system with the 2030 Agenda, ensure more effective capacities to tackle conflict and sustain peace, and improve the UN’s internal management and ability to deliver.

Many leaders from across the geographical and economic spectrum, however, also sought far deeper institutional changes to reflect the realities of the 21st century. Leaders from African, Asian, European, Latin American, and Caribbean countries made unequivocal calls for UN Security Council reform, saying the world is not the same as it was in 1945, when the decision was taken to have only five permanent members to the Council (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) and six non-permanent members serving two-year terms. The membership has changed only once in 75 years when in 1965, the Security Council was expanded from 11 to 15 members. They believed that this structure, combined with the veto power of the “Permanent 5,” is not only unfair because the number of Member States have increased from 55 in 1945 to 193 in 2020, but it also makes the UN less responsive during a crisis. The inability of the Permanent 5 to agree, in a timely manner, on a resolution calling for a truce in global conflicts to better tackle the COVID-19 outbreak is a case in point.

 “The Security Council is all too often deadlocked when clear decisions are called for,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We need reforms.” Supported by several African leaders, Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, called for the reform of the UN Security Council to correct the historic injustices inflicted on Africa.

Like the calls for UN reform, the calls for expansion of the membership of the UN Security Council are not new. Both were called for in the declaration adopted at the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1995. While overall UN reform has proceeded slowly and incrementally, the calls for UN Security Council reform have stalled.

In the 2000 Millennium Declaration, Member States agreed to intensity their efforts for Security Council reform “in all its aspects.” There are several proposals on the table, including one from the “Group of Four” (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan), to enlarge the membership of the Council so that they, together with two states from the African Group, including South Africa, can have a permanent seat with the same privileges as the current members. The number of non-permanent seats would also be increased to 14, resulting in a Council of 25 members. Meanwhile, the Uniting for Consensus Group, consisting of Canada, Italy, Argentina, Pakistan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, and others, favors a simple increase in the number of seats occupied by non-permanent members from 10 to 20. Two proposals for Security Council reform were also put forward by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2004. Yet, no proposal has received the unanimous support of the Permanent 5 or of the alternative threshold of two-thirds of UN Member States.

The most recent intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform were initiated in 2008, but progress has been slow, with the most recent round postponed indefinitely in May 2020 following lack of progress attributed to the virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process has once again sputtered to a halt.

A further challenge for the UN, highlighted by Member States, is that of resources—for its own functioning, and for Member States to implement the actions agreed under its auspices. The UN accrued a staggering deficit of USD 520 million by the end of 2019, triggering a temporary hiring freeze and threatening to paralyze its field operations. While some leaders called for a more cost-effective UN, most pointed the finger back to Member States. Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada called on Member States to honor their commitment under Article 26 of the UN Charter, to reduce the diversion of the world’s human and economic resources towards armaments. Global military spending stands at USD 1.9 trillion annually, he told his audience, while achieving SDGs needs USD 2-3 trillion annually.

The World-Clock

For peace means to change 
At the right time, 
as the World-Clock 
Goes Tick- and Tock

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Guterres underscored that discussions on the future of the UN are not about “creating a world government,” but about improving global governance for the benefit of all.

The leaders speaking during the day-long commemoration made it clear that they have the vision to realize the critical importance of multilateralism, global solidarity, and the UN. To go a step further and truly commit to global governance, however, would mean a genuine commitment to global good, sometimes over national benefit. President Michael Higgins of Ireland laid out the options: “Our choice is stark: to seize a new moment for global solidarity or seek to hide in the thickets of systemic failure.”

When the world leaders gather to commemorate the UN centenary in 25 years, will they still be calling for reform to reflect “new” realities, or will we look back and celebrate having seized the opportunity for change?   

Upcoming Meetings

High-level Event on Financing for Development: This high-level event is convened by the UN Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica. It aims to articulate a coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response to the urgent financing for development crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. date: 29 September 2020 location: virtual www: http://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/financing-development

Summit on Biodiversity: UNGA 75 will convene the UN Summit on Biodiversity under the theme “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.” The Summit will seek to provide political direction and momentum to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. date: 30 September 2020  location: virtual www: https://www.unenvironment.org/events/un-day/un-general-assembly-75-leaders-biodiversity-summit

Beijing+25: UNGA 75 will convene the UNGA High-level Meeting to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in Beijing, China, in September 1995. The theme of the meeting is “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” date: 1 October 2020  location: virtual  wwwhttps://www.un.org/pga/74/event/high-level-meeting-on-the-twenty-fifth-anniversary-of-the-fourth-world-conference-on-women/

For additional meetings, see http://sdg.iisd.org

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