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SG/SM/20145
26 June 2020

Civil Society Operates as Indispensable Partners Fighting against COVID-19, Racism, Inequality, Secretary-General Says in Video Message to Networks

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to civil society networks Together First and UN2020 on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to greet Together First and UN2020 as we mark the seventy‑fifth anniversary of the United Nations Charter.  I commend your efforts to engage global citizens in this anniversary and to capture their hopes for the future in your “people’s declaration”.

Civil society groups were a vital voice at the San Francisco Conference.  You have been with us across the decades, in refugee camps, in conference rooms, and in mobilizing communities in streets and town squares across the world.

You are with us today as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.  You are our allies in upholding human rights and battling racism.  You are indispensable partners in forging peace, pushing for climate action, advancing gender equality, delivering life-saving humanitarian aid and controlling the spread of deadly weapons.  And the world’s framework for shared progress, the Sustainable Development Goals, is unthinkable without you.

In these trying times, your passion, pressure and policy advice are needed more than ever.  The pandemic must be a wake-up call.  We cannot go back to a pre‑COVID world of inequality and fragility.

We count on you to help us to recover better and to build inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.  You can count on the United Nations to do our utmost to protect and promote civic space.

I am also committed to an inclusive multilateralism based on deep interaction with civil society.  I look forward to even closer ties as we work to bring the Charter’s vision to life.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.