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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo)

We must all strive to preserve peace: UN Chief Guterres

Sep 21, 2020

By Reena Bhardwaj
New York [US], September 21 (ANI): A high-level meeting of the United Nations was held on Monday, marking the 75 years of the organization where the General Assembly adopted a forward-looking political declaration that would give countries a mechanism to combat terrorism, reformed multilateralism and inclusive development.
Addressing day one of the General assembly debate, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made an appeal 'to preserve the longest period in modern history without a military confrontation between the world's most powerful nations.'
"A Third World War -- which so many had feared -- has been avoided," Guterres said. "This is a major achievement of which member states can be proud -- and which we must all strive to preserve." he further added.
With the theme, "The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism," Monday's meeting was aimed at reinvigorating multilateral action to tackle global challenges.
The Secretary-General warned, "Climate calamity looms, biodiversity is collapsing, poverty is rising, hatred is spreading, geopolitical tensions are escalating, nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert" and technologies have opened huge new opportunities "but also exposed new threats."
US President Donald Trump was slated as the speaker for the first member state to address the Assembly, but the US' acting deputy representative to the UN, Cherith Norman Chalet addressed instead and said the UN "has for too long been resistant to meaningful reform" adding that it is lacking in "transparency, and too vulnerable to the agenda of autocratic regimes and dictatorships."
"For the Trump administration, this anniversary is an important moment to mark the many successes of the United Nations, but to do so with clear eyes and a renewed determination to see this important body serve its intended purpose," the US representative added.
Chalet further said that the 75th anniversary of the UN "is the right time to ask questions about the institution's strengths and weaknesses, review and learn from its failures" and "celebrate its accomplishments.
The gathering of the global elite at the UNGA has been cramped by Covid-19 resulting in a mainly virtual address.
Later today Prime Minister Narendra Modi will represent India and deliver the high-level plenary meeting virtually to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN. "His address will certainly be the highlight of our participation in UNGA," India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti told ANI in an interview earlier. (ANI)