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Source: United Nations 4

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s remarks to the virtual informal meeting of the General Assembly with the President-elect of the General Assembly for its seventy-fifth session, in New York today:

I thank the President of the Assembly, His Excellency Tijjani Muhammad‑Bande, for his very able stewardship of this body at this extraordinary time.

You have displayed great dexterity in moving to new working arrangements that have enabled the Assembly to remain open for business during the COVID-19 crisis.

As a scholar, you have naturally stressed the importance of facts and science in addressing the pandemic.  As a diplomat, you have rightly emphasized the need for international cooperation, and skilfully guided the Assembly to adopt important resolutions, in particular to enhance and ensure access to life-saving medicines and vaccines.

You are a champion for the eradication of poverty and for making education a global priority.  And you have also brought welcome attention to the key issue of illicit financial flows.  Thank you for these and other contributions.  I am sure there will be many more during the remaining months of your tenure.

I congratulate the President-elect, Ambassador Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, on being chosen to lead the next session of the Assembly.

Ambassador Bozkir, you will preside across a crucial year in the life of the Organization.  One priority will obviously be to continue our wide-ranging response to the profound consequences of the pandemic.  We will also mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of this Organization — a moment to highlight the value of multilateralism.  And day in and day out, the Assembly will need to address the full range of global challenges, from climate change to human rights, from gender equality and our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

You bring decades of diverse diplomatic experience to the task.  I agree with your sense that we must “build back better” from the pandemic and address the severe inequalities and fragilities that the crisis has so painfully exposed.  I especially welcome your intention to build trust among countries; this is essential for progress at any time, but especially now.

We look forward to hearing your voice as we work together to address our shared objectives.  You can count on our total cooperation.  Congratulations again.  You can count indeed on my support and that of the entire Secretariat in the critical period ahead, and I thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.

MIL OSI United Nations News