Ladies and gentlemen,
One thing the world has learned these past 75 years is that governments alone cannot stand up to the global challenges we face.
COVID-19 and the increasingly destructive longer-term threat of climate change have only served to emphasise this.
As we move beyond the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the world needs a genuinely more collective, inclusive and innovative form of multilateralism.
We must effectively include the voices of the youth, the marginalized, civil societies and the private sector to ensure a global all-of-society approach.
The United Nations must transition into an organisation fit for purpose to deliver on the potential of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the requirements of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Only then can we achieve the fairer and more resilient future we aspire to where no one is left behind, no one feels ignored or overlooked, and no one feels underrepresented.
The world has seen the terrible lost in human lives from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, costing us dearly in terms of global growth. These challenges do not stop at borders. Instead, they should unite us with the shared responsibility to “adapt, adopt and apply” mutually beneficial approaches when tackling common threats.
We should not look at the vulnerabilities and inequalities exposed anew by COVID-19 as just failures of multilateralism. They are oversights we need to learn from, gaps we must fill and differences we should bridge.
A renewed, re-purposed and better-prepared United Nations must remain firmly at the heart of a reinvigorated global response to both the challenge and the promise of the 21st Century.
I speak on behalf of a small island developing state that is doing innovative things with limited capacity and resources to deliver for our people on the challenges of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
I assure you that the smallest, poorest and weakest of nations can contribute ideas as innovative and propose solutions as groundbreaking as the biggest, wealthiest and most powerful countries.
The success of multilateralism in the United Nations’ next 75 years will depend on how well we take account of lessons learnt from all stakeholders, big and small, governments and those outside them, in its design as we go forward.
I thank you.