the top diplomat shepherding the General Assembly through its 75th year — Global Issues


Ambassador Volkan Bozkir (left) of Turkey, incoming President of the 75th Session of the UN Normal Meeting, meets with Secretary-Normal António Guterres again in January 2020. Credit score: UN Picture/Manuel Elias
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Mr. Bozkir, a extremely skilled public servant, and not too long ago Minister for European Affairs, with virtually 50 years {of professional} expertise, was elected from the Western European and Others (WEOG) group of countries, and follows Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

Mr. Bozkir joined Turkey’s overseas service in 1972, and has held a number of senior diplomatic positions, together with Consul Normal in New York, Ambassador in Bucharest, and Everlasting Consultant of Turkey to the EU.

Forward of the 75th session, Mr. Bozkir sat down with UN Information, to debate how to make sure that the UN stays related within the a long time to return, why it’s he will probably be making the safety of susceptible folks and communities a key difficulty throughout his yr within the presidency, and the way he intends to deal with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GA President: In fact, COVID-19 has develop into an awesome precedence and focus proper now. That’s the reason I selected to adapt the theme for the 75th session of the UN. Member States selected the theme: “The long run we would like, the United Nations we’d like: reaffirming our collective dedication to multilateralism”. I added to that, “confronting COVID-19 by efficient multilateral motion”, as a result of the pandemic is testing our establishments like by no means earlier than: we’ve got an obligation to take efficient motion on the world stage to beat this virus, and the havoc it’s wreaking on our economies and societies.

UN Information: The UN is 75 years outdated this yr. What does this anniversary imply to you as President of the GA throughout this session?

GA President: COVID-19 is a worldwide disaster the world hasn’t recognized because the UN was created out of the ashes of World Conflict Two. It’s not solely a well being disaster, however a social and financial disaster, which has exacerbated present challenges the UN is looking for to beat by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Improvement and the Sustainable Improvement Objectives.

The entire of humanity is on this battle collectively. It’s time for unity. Member States have by no means had a extra compelling purpose to work intently collectively for the frequent good. And I’m sure that, collectively, we are going to come out of it stronger.

In all these endeavours the UN, specifically, the Normal Meeting has a central position to play. Via this physique, Member States set norms and direct our collective sources to addressing frequent challenges. Vaccines is a working example. Will the COVID vaccine be a worldwide frequent good shared equitably? It is a illness that doesn’t respect nationwide boundaries. We aren’t protected till we’re all protected.

GA President: This landmark anniversary is a novel alternative to look again on what has already been achieved and construct on these achievements to beat the challenges at present going through multilateralism and the UN.

Establishments have to adapt and reform themselves to remain related and match for goal. I help the UN reform agenda, and the sweeping modifications we’ve got seen within the areas of peace and safety, improvement and administration. These steps are essential to make your complete UN household extra united and coherent.

The United Nations, to this present day, is the one worldwide group with common membership that establishes the norms for coping with world issues by multilateralism. And the Normal Meeting is the one UN organ the place all Member States have an equal voice.

UN Information: Why have you ever made susceptible folks and teams a spotlight of your presidency?

GA President: World challenges and crises take the worst toll on essentially the most susceptible individuals and international locations. Folks in want or beneath oppression ought to really feel that their issues are being heard within the UN’s most democratic physique. I’ll work to convey the voices of the world’s folks into our discussions.

UN Information: 2020 is a major yr for girls’s rights. We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for motion and the 20th anniversary of the landmark UN Safety Council decision on Girls, Peace and Safety. What actions will you’re taking to make sure the empowerment of girls and ladies?

GA President: Proof reveals that gender equality helps larger ranges of peace and prosperity. Girls typically lack entry to first rate work, equal pay, high quality training and satisfactory well being care. They undergo from violence and discrimination and are sometimes under-represented in political and financial decision-making processes. And sadly, with the unfold of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the good points made previously a long time are susceptible to being rolled again. That should change.

Enhancing ladies’s lives makes our societies extra inclusive and productive, which helps everybody. Because the principal worldwide standard-setting establishment, the United Nations bears a particular accountability to guide by instance.

Individually, I’ve paid particular consideration to gender parity whereas forming my very own group, which now contains extra ladies than males, and is at gender parity in senior administration. And I’ll guarantee a gender lens is utilized to the work we do throughout peace and safety, human rights, humanitarian points, and sustainable improvement.

UN Information: On a private stage, how did you develop into considering public service? What motivates you?

GA President: As a profession diplomat and politician for almost 50 years, I’ve spent my total skilled life in public service. It was a supply of satisfaction for me to serve my nation and my nation.

Now I’m originally of a brand new and equally proud chapter, the place I will probably be serving all UN members. My motivation for taking up this difficult new position is my robust conviction within the effectiveness of multilateral diplomacy, and likewise my want to serve and make a contribution, even small ones in historical past’s stream, to the general well-being of humanity. I can’t consider a significantly better place than the UN to work for that.

Observe @IPSNewsUNBureau

© Inter Press Service (2020) — All Rights ReservedUnique supply: Inter Press Service


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