It is a pleasure to greet the renowned Horasis Forum. As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, I welcome your focus on overcoming the extreme disruptions it has caused.
The virus is the greatest global test since the founding of the United Nations. It has devastated lives, economies and communities everywhere and undermined our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations continues to push for a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, and for a vaccine that is affordable and available to all – a people’s vaccine. We are also pressing for a global cease-fire to focus on our common enemy: the virus.
The pandemic also exacerbated many longstanding inequalities, and exposed global fragilities more generally. COVID-19 is not only a wake-up call, it is a dress rehearsal for the world of challenges to come – climate change above all. As countries rebuild and reset their economies, we must accelerate the transition to renewable energy and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Against this backdrop, the United Nations this year commemorates its 75th anniversary and the visionary steps taken by world leaders to recover from a calamitous global war. Today, we face another foundational moment. I look forward to working with all partners to build a future of peace, dignity and sustainable development for all on a healthy planet.
Please accept my best wishes for a successful forum.