By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has expressed optimism that multilateralism remained the solution to solving global challenges, noting that it was struggling to find the path to effective implementation.
She said this at Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to mark the 2021 UN Day, celebrated on Oct. 24 to remember the official creation of the UN.
Amina Mohammed said in the space of six months of the COVID-19 crisis, cooperation among the world’s top scientists had developed vaccines and multilateralism had delivered a vehicle to ensure their distribution across the world, the COVAX facility.
“And yet today, we are still struggling to get the resources and cooperation required to ensure vaccine equity and to muster up a recovery that would put us on a better path,” she said.
In 2015, the landmark Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were established to deal decisively with the climate crisis and end poverty by 2030.
“Yet, there have since been struggles to “translate global commitments and the goodwill of a host of stakeholders into national actions and international finance commensurate with the challenge,” the deputy UN chief said.
“Although the world has the tools, knowledge and forums to prevent conflict, it continues as the planet experiences “the largest humanitarian crisis since the beginning of the Second World War.
“This points to an international order that is not yet capable of following through on its own best intentions. International cooperation and the United Nations have come a long way, but we have so much more to give,” Amina Mohammed said.
With 192 nations represented, the Deputy UN Chief described the Expo as an “auspicious occasion” to mark 76 years of multilateralism, guided by the founding UN Charter.
“The focus of Expo 2020 on sustainability and connecting minds to change the future is at the heart of…Our Common Agenda…vision for ensuring that multilateralism ensures that we – as one human family – breakthrough together,” the top UN official said.
According to her, it is only through inclusion that we can renew our social contract and rebuild trust.
Against the backdrop of a global crisis of confidence, trust and collective action, she upheld the need for more effective multilateralism, renewed social contract, deepened solidarity, and stronger investments in youth – with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core.
“It is only through inclusion that we can renew our social contract and rebuild trust. Inclusion can only be achieved if we place our youth and women at the centre of the equation.
“As the UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow fast approaches, the world “must do better” at ensuring both women and young people are shaping “the critical decisions we need to make as a global society.
“What gives me immense hope is that UN staff right across the world are dedicated to nothing more and nothing less than securing that decisive breakthrough.
“From troubled corners like Afghanistan or Ethiopia to the world of diplomacy, common ground and solutions in New York or Geneva and from teams on the ground in Small Island States to UN Country Teams around the world, UN staff is working hard to achieve the Organisation’s aspirations.
“And sustainability is not only a common theme in all pavilions but the SDGs are incorporated in many of the Expo’s presentations and exhibits.
“Let us mark this day in full knowledge of the fact that the UN is not some abstract international organisation but the will and commitment of the nations and peoples of the world to secure a better future.
“Let us capitalise on the powerful opportunity Expo offers us to unite in solidarity to end poverty, protect the planet, secure peace and improve the lives of everyone, everywhere in this critical Decade of Action,” she said.