The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus on Monday a forward-looking declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the world body that calls for strengthening mechanism to combat terrorism, reformed multilateralism, inclusive development and better preparedness to deal with challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The landmark 'Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations' was adopted at the high-level meeting of the 193-member Assembly to commemorate the milestone anniversary of the world body.
In the declaration, the Heads of State and Government vow to leave no one behind, protect the planet, promote peace and prevent conflicts, abide by international law and ensure justice, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation, upgrade the United Nations, ensure sustainable financing, boost partnerships, listen to and work with youth.
It is notable that India's priorities for its tenure as non-permanent member of the Security Council find "resonance" in the declaration that echoes New Delhi's call for strong mandate against terrorism, reformed multilateralism and inclusive development.
India played an active role during the negotiation process, working constructively with the President of General Assembly, co-Facilitators and like-minded Member States to ensure a "concise, substantive, forward-looking and unifying text".
The declaration, negotiated through an intergovernmental process, says that the next 10 years, which have been designated as the Decade of Action, will be the most critical of "our generation." It is even more important as nations build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It calls for a strong UN development system and effective collaboration between the United Nations and the international financial institutions, with particular attention to people in vulnerable situations. It calls for immediately curbing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving sustainable consumption and production patterns in line with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
UN Member States also underscored in the declaration that the UN must better address all forms and domains of threats.
"Terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism are serious threats to international peace and security," the declaration said, voicing full support to Secretary-General's initiative for a global ceasefire.
The member states agreed that conflicts will not be resolved, and sustainable development not occur, without the equal and active participation of women at all levels. "We will accelerate action to achieve gender equality, women's participation, and the empowerment of women and girls in all domains." Condemning acts of xenophobia, racism, intolerance, hate speech and disinformation, world leaders vowed in the declaration that they will address the root causes of inequalities, including violence, human rights abuses, corruption, marginalization, discrimination in all its forms, poverty and exclusion, as well as lack of education and employment.
They further said that shaping a shared vision on digital cooperation and a digital future that show the full potential for beneficial technology usage, and addressing digital trust and security, must continue to be a priority "as our world is now more than ever relying on digital tools for connectivity and social-economic prosperity." The leaders also categorically noted that the world of today is very different from what it was when the United Nations was created 75 years ago. "Our working methods need to keep pace and adapt. We support the ongoing reforms by the Secretary-General.We reiterate our call for reforms of three of the principal organs of the United Nations. We commit to instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council and continue the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council." The world leaders said that for too long, the voices of youth have been sidelined in discussions about their future. "This has to change now through meaningful engagement with youth." The world leaders also pledged to "be prepared" as the COVID-19 pandemic caught nations off-guard.
"It has served as a wake-up call for improving our preparedness for not only health related crises but also other challenges and crises. We need to strengthen international cooperation, coordination, and solidarity," they said.
The world leaders said they commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations "with a sense of awe and deep respect for the founders who created this Organisation...No other global organisation gives hope to so many people for a better world and can deliver the future we want." The declaration asserts that strengthening international cooperation is in the interest of both nations and peoples.
It outlines the priorities of the world body and calls for greater action and international cooperation to meet varied global challenges in the years ahead. It notes that the world of today is not yet the "world our founders envisaged 75 years ago. It is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change, and pandemics." "What we agree today, will affect the sustainability of our planet as well as the welfare of generations for decades to come...We will work together with partners to strengthen coordination and global governance for the common future of present and coming generations," it said.