– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

14 May 2020

 

Excellencies, 

Dear Representatives of Civil Society,

and greeting to everyone across the globe who is virtually joining us.

I am delighted to be here today and I thank UN2020 and Together First for their leadership and the opportunity to participate in the UN75 People’s Forum.

I also thank them for e-handing over the UN 75 People’s Declaration & Plan for Global Action “Humanity at a crossroads: global solutions for global challenges” that I am holding in my hands right now.

The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of significant disruption for the world. We are facing an unprecedented threat from COVID-19 with its severe economic and social impacts the elements of which have been well articulated by the two previous speakers.

The United Nations system has long entered multi-stakeholder partnerships with civil society organisations, academia, businesses, among others. In fact, civil society has become an integral part of the United Nations ensuring good governance, and promoting human rights, but also for advancing the implementation of the priorities of the UN.

The theme of my Presidency for the 74th Session of the General Assembly – “Striving Together, Delivering for All” – is inspired by a vision that international cooperation and multilateral system remain crucial for achieving humanity’s global common goals.

It also highlights the importance of all actors in ensuring the attainment of the objectives enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as poverty eradication and zero hunger, quality education, climate action, and inclusion. The SDG Goal 17 is specifically dedicated to underlining the place of partnerships in achieving the SDGs targets.

Excellencies, distinguished Civil Society activists, Ladies and Gentlemen

UN@75 must be a renaissance forged even stronger by our common experience of the necessity to work together in solving global challenges. No other experience is more telling than COVID-19. Civil Society has continued to show its importance in this regard.

However, a partnership can be especially demanding when diverse and competing interests, perspectives and values at times are at stake, and different organisational, political and cultural contexts involved. This also brings with it a heavy responsibility to all who seek to do good together to work globally and to listen for the very purpose of the organization they seeks to help.

UN@75 must be a renaissance forged even stronger by our common experience of the necessity to work together in solving global challenges. No other experience is more telling than COVID-19. Civil Society has continued to show its importance in this regard.

Tijjani Muhammad Bande

President of the UN General Assembly

Over the past decades, the United Nations has created diverse ways of engaging with civil society organisations. We will continue to strengthen our ability to engage with citizens and unlock the power and potential of partnerships to deliver the world we want. Combining our resources with others yields greater impact than we can achieve alone.

I am heartened to see how strong the support is for multilateralism and how committed you are in the spirit of the UN Charter. You have played indispensable roles in the creation of public awareness and political change in the past. You lay the groundwork for a better future for all. 

I am deeply grateful for your dedication, your foresight and personal commitment to our common endeavour.

The challenges we face today may be huge, but I am confident that by striving together, we will succeed in delivering for all.