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REMARKS by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande,
President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly
Your Royal Highness
Mr. Prime Minister
Secretary-General of The Commonwealth
At the outset I thank His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, The Commonwealth, and the Governments of Canada and Jamaica for organizing this event.
I extend my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I reaffirm my solidarity with Member States who are fighting the disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic fallouts have revealed fault lines in our global systems. Many countries are dealing with severe constraints as they contend with the pandemic, and its social and economic consequences.
Even before the current crisis, many countries were not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs. Climate change and financing constraints have obstructed their progress. In order to achieve the SDGs by 2030 we need to reimagine our economic systems so that they work for everyone. It will require leadership, political will and collaborative efforts among a wide variety of actors to safeguard the future for generations to come.
We need to act urgently and decisively on a number of areas which currently restrict an effective response to the crisis and recovery. Now is the time to address comprehensive and systemic issues. We must focus on key challenges around public, private and external financial resources. These will need to be mobilized not only for rapid recovery, but also for longer-term progress and green recovery efforts that will go toward achieving the 2030 Agenda.
I urge you to harness the potential of blue and green economies. Strategic investments in that area have the capacity to generate 100 million jobs by 2050, facilitating global recovery efforts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
There is no time to lose. We must seize this moment as Governments and organizations across the globe plan their recovery processes. This is an opportunity to rebuild in a different way to create a better world, a climate-resilient world.
While planning our economic recovery, we have a responsibility to course-correct from the highly polluting pathway we have traversed. Global CO2 emissions need to be reduced by at least 50% in the next decade. We need to find a new way of working which will endure the challenges met by future generations.
Let us seize the moment to shape a more sustainable, resilient world. To this end, I welcome His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales’, initiative, The Great Reset. This initiative will play an important role in providing guidance on how to re-think the world we want to live in and the future we need.
Together, we must continue to address the most urgent issues we are facing. The United Nations is the ideal forum to convene specialized policy communities and bring together all actors to facilitate these discussions.
The challenges we face are unprecedented, but they are not impossible to address successfully. Together, we have the capacity to overcome them.
The genesis of the United Nations, seventy-five years ago, was based upon a choice. In 1945, the founding members of our Organization chose to unite in San Francisco to sign the Charter of the United Nations. These leaders chose hope at a time of despair. And how right they were!
We have a responsibility to follow that path they created. It served us well at that time, it will serve us even better now.
I thank you.