30 June 2020

Secretary-General, in Commemoration Video Message, Urges National Parliaments to Help Advance Sustainable, Inclusive Responses for Post-Pandemic Recovery

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the commemoration of the International Day of Parliamentarians, observed today:

The International Day of Parliamentarism is a timely occasion to honour the pivotal role of parliaments in giving people a voice and influence to shape policy.  As a former parliamentarian, I am deeply conscious of the responsibility and privilege of representing people and delivering on their aspirations.

Parliaments have a special duty to advance human rights and promote sustainable development.  More than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of these vital tasks.

As the world responds to the pandemic, we see the critical importance of adequate health systems, robust social safety networks and equitable economic growth that generates decent jobs.  We also see the most vulnerable in our societies, especially women, bearing the greatest burden.  Inequalities, stigmas, divisions and the fragilities of our world have multiplied before our eyes.

We must act together to rebuild a more equal, resilient and greener future for all.  I urge national parliaments everywhere to play their full part in advancing sustainable, inclusive responses.  This should include, in collaboration with civil society, national action plans against racial discrimination.

At the same time, let’s remember that no nation can succeed on its own.  Let us seize every opportunity to reshape and secure our common future, take ambitious climate action and place human rights and human dignity at the core of our work.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.