HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. ADAMA BARROW
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS
21ST SEPTEMBER 2020
Excellencies, Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to extend to you warm greetings from the people of The Gambia, as we celebrate the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. We pay special homage to the founding fathers of this noble organisation, while seizing the opportunity to express heartfelt sympathy and condolences to those who have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In seven and a half decades of existence, the United Nations (UN) proudly has a lot to celebrate as the premier global diplomatic institution with the legitimacy to address global challenges.
Looking back, the United Nations promoted and supported the decolonisation agenda, resulting to its growth from fifty-one (51) founding Member States to one hundred and ninety-three (193) today. This is a remarkable milestone achievement, which speaks to the consolidation of global governance.
The Gambia took the decision to join the UN in 1965 in support of the collective search for solutions to global challenges through diplomacy, international legitimacy and respect for International Law.
As we celebrate today, we ought to reflect deeper in order to evaluate the Organisation’s successes, setbacks, shortcomings and, most importantly, how to re-construct it functionally to evolve into the World Body we want for the future.
No single country, big or small, can unilaterally tackle the countless challenges confronting the world today. In spite of the bottlenecks, the last seventy-five years were marked by dramatic advances in Science and Technology, particularly in Information Technology, which continues to generate further advances in many other disciplines. This is an outcome of globalisation and international cooperation.
Today, the world has become a global village, and it is reasonable to conclude that multilateralism and international diplomacy contributed to this development. As our interdependence continues to grow, multilateralism will continue to be strengthened. This is more so, as nations continue to develop and new global powers emerge.
Looking ahead, we must redouble our efforts to solve all threats to global peace, security and development. We must not allow the gains made in the promotion and protection of human rights to slip away.
Conflict resolution and management should continue to be a priority at the UN. Terrorism, State insecurity, climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, socio-economic inequalities and disease will continue to confront the international community. It is only through collective action, global solidarity and international cooperation that we can tackle them.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 underscores the importance of multilateralism, international solidarity and cooperation in the search for lasting solutions to such threats. We hope that, at the appropriate moment, we will collectively review our response to the pandemic and draw useful lessons.
The urgency now is to help all nations to save lives, recover from the economic downturn and improve the lives of all.
Another major threat to international peace is the erratic outbreak of wars that destabilise countries and regions. We must address this phenomenon urgently, strive to resolve the on-going conflicts around the world and prevent their recurrence.
The future of the UN and its continued relevance will depend on reforms that adapt it to our ever-changing global circumstances and realities. Essentially, our strength and success as a global family is determined by how much the UN protects and supports small and weak members, and how effectively we react to every crisis that erupts.
Celebrating seventy-five years of existence, provides an opportunity to critically reflect on what will make the United Nations better fitted for its purpose in the 21st century and beyond. Central to this is urgently implementing the much desired reform of the Security Council.
In conclusion, Mr. President, as we embark on the Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, let us truly commit ourselves to lifting all Member States out of the category of Least Developed Countries.
As the highest global multilateral organisation, the UN needs to invest more in a rules-based international system that is more responsive to global matters.
As we venture into the next seventy-five years and beyond, the UN we dream of, which will serve the best interest of all its Members and their future, can only be built by our collective determination and will.
I wish the Organisation very happy and productive Seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations.