– As delivered –

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

18 June 2021

Mr. Secretary-General,

President de Sousa,


Congratulations, Mr. Secretary-General, on your reappointment to the eminent position of the United Nations Secretary-General, the chief administrative officer of the United Nations.

Mr. Secretary-General,

As the world’s top diplomat and advocate, you have, and I am sure you will continue to lead the United Nations with sincerity and integrity. I would like to highlight your work to prioritize gender parity at the United Nations as a particular example of your efforts to ensure this Organisation is fit for purpose and reflective of its ideals. I would be remiss if I did not thank you for providing support to my office this session.

You have led the Organisation through a challenging but interesting period in the history of the United Nations. To your credit, you have sought to bring this Organisation closer to the peoples it serves and their needs.  Last year, you launched a global conversation on building a better future for all. You gathered the voices and opinions of a diverse range of people on future priorities and obstacles, and the role of international cooperation. Over 1.5 million people from all countries and all walks of life were asked about their priorities for the future. And in September you will present your recommendations on the United Nations’ response to current and future challenges. We look forward to them. It is clear that your work is shaping this organisation so it is fit for purpose and can meet the needs of the people it serves.

Amongst many other global challenges, a key test of our generation is surely on climate. Without action today, the world, as we know, it will cease to exist. You have woven ambition on climate into the United Nations system. You have listened to the people of the world who are demanding urgent action. You have encouraged Member States to work together, using the multilateral system, to take collective action to tackle this communal threat. I am encouraged by the progress that has been made so far and urge you to maintain the momentum of this issue. Our actions on this issue will determine the success of the multilateral system.

When setting out your vision for your second term as Secretary-General, recovery from the pandemic was fittingly first on the list. Member States gave us a clear message at high-level week. In the Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations they reaffirmed the necessity of multilateralism as we build back better for a more equal, more resilient and more sustainable world. These efforts have only just begun. As the world begins to turn a corner towards recovery, I have no doubt you will ensure the United Nations is positioned to foster connections and collaboration to strengthen our weakest link, and leave no one behind. When the pandemic hit, you ensured the UN continued to deliver for those we serve, despite the additional challenges, inspiring staff around the world.

Mr Secretary-General, while the pandemic has impacted us all, it has hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Your efforts to ensure human dignity is at the core of your work is more crucial now than ever. Dignity must be at the core of our efforts on sustainable development and peace and security. 

Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the interconnectivity between people and counties continues to increase, the need for a multilateral system that is fit for purpose grows. I welcome the strong universal support from Member States for your reappointment, and urge all Member States to continue to empower you to steer this Organisation to meet the needs of those we serve.

Once again, I congratulate you, Mr. Secretary-General, and look forward to working with you until the end of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I thank you.