Gaborone — The current situation where nations are facing the unprecedented test of combating COVID-19 underlines the importance of having an institution like the UN to harness global efforts, says President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.
"This pandemic is a tacit reminder that we need to continue to work together as member states to not only defeat the pandemic, but all other tribulations confronting humanity today," he told a special UN general assembly marking the organisation's 75th anniversary Monday.
President Masisi decried the growing retreat from multilateralism globally.
"I reaffirm Botswana's commitment to the UN multilateral framework and the principles of its charter," Dr Masisi said.
President Masisi said much had been achieved through the implementation of the organisation's pillars of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.
He however said in celebrating the successes, the organisation also needed to reflect on what still had to be achieved.
The President said the world still faced a myriad of challenges such as armed conflict, poverty, inequality, diseases and incomplete decolonization adding that not all peoples had attained full self-determination.
"These issues should remain high on the agenda of the UN," said President Masisi.
The UN, he said, had throughout its 75 years of existence worked to enhance diplomatic relations between the world's nation-states, and served to enhance peace, security, human rights and development globally.
President Masisi said the organisation therefore held an "unrivalled position as the foremost multilateral platform for global norm-setting, through which solutions to global challenges are sought at the negotiating table rather than through the barrel of a gun".
The President further said the UN displayed dedication to the empowerment of the world's marginalised through its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the attendant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"The most prominent symbol of the UN dedication to the upliftment of the most vulnerable groups is the Agenda 2030 and its SDGs.
Taken together as an integrated outfit, the SDGs remain a far-reaching blueprint that carries our last hope to realize a better world and to reduce inequalities within and between our countries," Dr Masisi said.
He said in order to recover faster, better and stronger, nations must heed the UN secretary-general's clarion call to accelerate implementation of the SDGs.
President Masisi commended the secretary-general for launching the UN 75 global dialogue which draws public opinion on the world's challenges to inform the political declaration to be adopted by the assembly.
"As global leaders, we must always heed the concerns of our citizens and listen carefully to their hopes and their fears," he said.
Dr Masisi paid homage to UN pioneers for their work in harnessing resources for the global good.
"I pay homage to the UN founders, successive secretary generals, world leaders as well as past and current generations who have contributed to making the UN the most universal and representative multilateral body it has become," Dr Masisi said.
Source : BOPA