Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, declared the annual session closed on Tuesday, and passed the baton to the next president of the assembly, Volkan Bozkir.
“The emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has shown that we have to continue to deepen multilateral cooperation in the health sector, as in other areas, and implement the commitments of our heads of state and government to scale up national and global efforts to build a healthier world for all,” Muhammad-Bande told the closing session.
“It is important that in achieving this, we must continue to deepen cooperation to ensure that, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, we will meet the goal and target we set for ourselves for (the) 2030 (Agenda).”
He emphasized the importance of the General Assembly, the most representative body of the United Nations. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this assembly, which is founded on the equality of voice and vote. Its resolutions reflect the aspirations of humanity, helping (with) the normative development of international law with far-reaching ramifications across a wide breadth of issues for individuals and for states.”
“This is a moment of reckoning for our shared planet and future. This is a time for action, ambition, equality, inclusion and partnership,” he said, stressing the importance of engaging and empowering the youth and underrepresented groups such as women and people with disabilities.
Seventy-five years ago, the founders of the United Nations did not allow cynicism to prevail. It shall not be allowed to prevail now, he said. “To ensure this, we must continue to thoughtfully define our actions and uphold our pledge to leave no one behind, even in the face of disagreement — indeed, in spite of disagreement. We must practice empathy and choose unity over discord.”