UN75: Shaping the future together

UN75: Shaping the future together

Alvaro Rodriguez*
UN75: Shaping the future together

The United Nations (U.N.) is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. Will we emerge stronger and better equipped to work together? Or will distrust and isolation grow further?

The U.N. was established on 24 October 1945, after the end of the Second World War, and Turkey is one of the founding members. The main objective of the founding members then and now is to achieve a great vision for humanity: maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable development, and securing human rights. Its membership now encompasses 193 countries, with its work touching the lives of people in every corner of the globe.

The current problems humanity and our planet face nowadays show the wisdom of the founders of the U.N., as global problems require global solutions.

Today, COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the need for cooperation across borders, sectors and even generations. Our response will determine how fast the world recovers, whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and how well we handle pressing challenges: from the climate crisis to pandemics, inequalities, new forms of violence, and rapid changes in technology and in our population.

But just when we need collective action more than ever, support for global cooperation has been flagging. Will this pandemic bring the world closer together? Or will it lead to greater mistrust? Global dialogue and action are now more urgent than ever.

As António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations has outlined, there is a solution for the shared challenges of our World: Strengthened multilateralism.

The President of the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Ambassador Volkan Bozkır, first-ever Turkish President of the U.N. General Assembly, has stated that the coronavirus had driven home the value of multilateralism “to address our collective challenges”.

But how we can strengthen the multilateralism that will work for the benefit of all?

Secretary General Guterres emphasizes that our world is at breaking point. But by tackling inequality, based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal, we can find our way to better days ahead.

From the exercise of global power to racism, gender discrimination and income disparities, inequality threatens our wellbeing and our future. We desperately need new thinking to halt and reverse it.

A New Global Deal must be based on a fair globalization, on the rights and dignity of every human being, on living in balance with nature, on respect for the rights of future generations, and on success measured in human rather than economic terms.

We need global governance that is based on full, inclusive and equal participation in global institutions. Developing countries must have a stronger voice, from the United Nations Security Council to the Boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and beyond.

This can only be achieved with the support of the member countries. And Turkey’s actions have already demonstrated the support it extends to a multilateralism that benefits all.

From international COVID-19 response to humanitarian aid, from South-South cooperation to peacebuilding, from its support to U.N. Development System Reform to the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, Turkey has displayed, during the 75 years of the United Nations, the value of its contributions to the international system.

The U.N. in Turkey also works with the Turkish authorities, including the committees of the Grand Nations Assembly of Turkey to enhance the cooperation between the United Nations and Turkey.

The Organization has been working in Turkey for many decades, as a partner with the government, private sector, media, women’s groups, NGOs, academia and other representatives of civil society to support the implementation of Turkey’s national vision.

As a result of this enhanced cooperation between Turkey and the U.N., İstanbul has become a regional hub for several U.N. agencies, including the U.N. Development Coordination Office (DCO). The U.N. will continue to further strengthen the close work with the Turkish Government.

U.N. at 75

The world faces grave challenges that no single country or organization can address alone. There is an urgent need for global unity and solidarity. As Secretary General Guterres said, “We are in this together and we will get through this, together”.

As Mr. Bozkır, the President of the U.N. General Assembly said, “On this 75th anniversary year let us remember the fundamental reasons why our predecessors established this organization. And then let us use this knowledge and increased understanding to create change with real world impact. For the most vulnerable and for us all”.

And, at its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is still the only global forum to create change with real world impact and to shape the future together.

*U.N. Turkey Officer in Charge