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UNGA president calls for recommitting to multilateralism

Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tuesday called on world leaders to recommit to and strengthen multilateralism.

“As we commemorate the UN’s 75th anniversary, we must recommit to and strengthen multilateralism and acknowledge its achievements,” Bozkir said in his opening remarks at the general debate of the 75th session of the UNGA.

In his remarks, Bozkir extended his sympathy to those who have been impacted by COVID-19. “Rarely has the whole of humanity faced, such an imminent and common threat.”

“To recover from the pandemic, we can plan, innovate and build back better, for a sustainable, inclusive, and just recovery,” he noted, while adding “doing this alone, will cost more lives and more resources.”

Bozkir also emphasized that UN members should continue to strengthen the efforts of UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, to combat the pandemic.

“Today, we must leave our differences and disagreements aside … we must renew our collective commitment to multilateralism … we must combine our efforts to address this global problem, and we must make sure that no one is left behind,” he said.

The General Debate of the 75th session of the UNGA opened on Tuesday with the theme of “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism — confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.”

This year, world leaders are unable to travel to New York for the high-level week due to COVID-19. Instead, their pre-recorded statements were played in the General Assembly Hall, which can hold some 2,500 people. Yet only about 200 delegates are allowed to be physically present.

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