The world observed International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace on Friday, April 24.
Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation is fundamental to promote and support the three pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, development and human rights. In today’s context when the world is fighting the COVID-19 menace and a virus has challenged the entire mankind, the relevance of multilaterism has got a new meaning. In his message on the occasion, UN Secretary General António Guterres has sought to underscore this aspect and stressed on the need of “networked…and inclusive multilateralism”.
We reproduce his message below:
Message of the UN Secretary-General
The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragic reminder of how deeply connected we are.
The virus knows no borders and is a quintessential global challenge. Combatting it requires us to work together as one human family.
We must do all we can to save lives and ease the economic and social devastation. Crucially, we need to draw the appropriate lessons about the vulnerabilities and inequalities the virus has laid bare, and mobilize investments in education, health systems, social protection and resilience.
This is the biggest international challenge since the Second World War. Yet even before this test, the world was facing other profound transnational perils – climate change above all.
But multilateralism is not only a matter of confronting shared threats; it is about seizing common opportunities. We now have the opportunity to build back better than in the past, aiming at inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.
It is not enough to proclaim the virtues of multilateralism; we must continue to show its added value. International cooperation must adapt to changing times.
We need a networked multilateralism, strengthening coordination among all global multilateral organizations, with regional ones able to make their vital contributions; and an inclusive multilateralism, based on deep interaction with civil society, businesses, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders… where the voice of youth is decisive in shaping our future.
At this key moment for international cooperation, and in this 75th anniversary year of the United Nations, let us strive as one to realize the founders’ vision of a healthy, equitable, peaceful and more sustainable future for all.