United Nations, As the conclusion of the First World War nears a centenary, the Security Council underlined the significance of multilateralism– or international cooperation and collective problem-solving, while highlighting the crucial role played by the United Nations since its formation 73 years ago.
Terming the global war of 1914-1918 “a colossal tragedy and a frightening harbinger of bloody decades to follow,” UN Secretary General António Guterres, in his introductory statement said that “without mechanisms for international problem-solving,” a second world war took shape.
“It took a second incident of global violence and social upheaval for the multilateral arrangements to come into existence,” he added, referring to the creation of the United Nations in 1945, which developed as a successor to the unsuccessful ‘League of Nations.’
The UN chief quoted several major attainments which happened as a result of the multilateral efforts since then, including eschewing from a third global war; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and the peace operations established by the Security Council over the decades.
“Peacekeeping has helped many countries to recover from the horrors of an armed conflict. Mr Guterres lauded the renewed commitment made earlier this year by 151 nations and four international organisations, known as the Action for Peacekeeping initiative (A4P) which focuses on strengthening these collective partnerships.
However, the Secretary General drew attention to the fact that on some fronts, “multilateral efforts were facing enormous stress”, with the mushrooming of new conflicts, continuance of nuclear proliferation, climate change advances, increase in forced population movements and a deepening of inequality, the United Nations news reported.
“The Security Council can play a central role in exhibiting the value of international cooperation,” with its special stature, powers and responsibilities”, said Mr Guterres, noting that the Syrian crisis, the falling momentum of the peace process in the Middle East and other places had “shaken popular faith in the potential of the international community to deliver solutions”.
The UN Chief encouraged all UN Member States to invest in a fair and inclusive globalisation and in social cohesion, adding, “there should be no room for demonising minorities, migrants and refugees, or for stifling the diversity that enriches societies.”
The UN chief is slated to attend a special Armistice Day ceremony, marking the end of the First World War in the French capital of Paris, on Sunday. In the afternoon, a keynote speech at the first Paris Peace Forum on multilateralism, being hosted by the French President, Emmanuel Macron is also on his schedule.