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UN chief calls for strong multilateral action to address common crises

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations, USA |  XINHUA |  United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for strong multilateral action to address the common crises and threats that the international community is facing.

“We need strong multilateral action now, to emerge from the pandemic safely, to address the climate crisis, and to build stronger, safer communities and societies,” the UN chief said in his video message marking the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, which falls on April 24 annually.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragic reminder of how deeply connected we are,” said the top UN official. “There is a clear and urgent need for concrete multilateral solutions, based on common action across borders for the good of all humanity, starting with the equitable distribution of vaccines as a global public good.”

Guterres noted that this need “goes far beyond the pandemic.”

“It applies to all the transnational threats we face: the climate crisis; air and water pollution; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the development of new technologies in the absence of agreed principles and norms.”

“We need a more networked multilateralism, with stronger coordination between regional and international organizations, international financial institutions and public/private alliances,” the secretary-general said.

“We need an inclusive multilateralism, that draws on civil society, business, local and regional authorities and others, and shares power more broadly and fairly,” he added.

“Today, as we mark the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, let’s renew our commitment to global multilateral solutions that deliver for people and planet,” concluded the secretary-general.

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on Dec. 12, 2018 through a UN resolution and was first observed on April 24, 2019.

Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental for promoting and supporting the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development and human rights.

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