(24 October 2020)
On this auspicious occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, I wish to extend our warm congratulations, and our best wishes for the greater success of the Organization in its discharge of the mandate entrusted to it by the UN Charter. The maintenance of the international peace and security and the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples through international cooperation are particular needs for our times.
We are celebrating the diamond jubilee of this world body in the most challenging and gloomy global environment. Today mankind is confronted with multiple challenges: inter alia, rising threat to multilateralism, geopolitical tensions, growing inequalities and a threatening climate crisis. Above all else, the new virus of COVID-19 rampaging in rich and poor countries alike has devoured over one million lives, infected many millions more, and caused wide-spread social and economic disruption around the world.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. It constitutes a test of the unity and solidarity of the international community as we tackle the crisis; it is also a clarion call for imperative global action. Given the ravages caused by the pandemic, the world must come together to mobilize resources and wage a war against this common enemy. At this critical time, the world needs stronger international cooperation and effective multilateralism more than ever to harmonize our collective efforts in response to the common challenges of humanity.
Therefore, this year’s UN theme, “The Future that We Want; the United Nations that We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”, truly reflects the current situation that requires the revival of the spirit of enhanced global cooperation.
We believe that the United Nations represents our collective efforts to improve the socio-economic lives of hundreds of millions of human beings the world over, as has been done over the past seventy-five years, through the promotion of peace and stability, sustainable development, a culture of justice, legality, and rule of law.
Regardless of its imperfections, the United Nations has visibly made the world a better place than it was seventy-five years ago. It has helped to deter major wars, lifted millions of people out of extreme poverty and hunger, and achieved an average life expectancy that is higher than ever before. There is no better alternative to the United Nations for steering multilateral efforts to realize the dream of creating a better world and shaping the future we want.
According to the global consultations recently conducted by the UN with peoples around the world, the priorities identified by the majority of the respondents are: better healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation. To meet their expectations, it is imperative for the United Nations to be revitalized and made more responsive to the priority needs of the sovereign Member States.
Myanmar believes that a rules-based multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart, should be a beacon of hope for developing and small countries. We look to the United Nations as the protector of developing small countries, especially at a time when the world is full of unfairness, injustice, inequality and multiple standards even in the application of international law.
Since joining the United Nations in 1948, Myanmar’s faith in the values of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter has always been firm and solid. Cooperation with the United Nations has always been a cornerstone of Myanmar’s foreign policy. As a country undergoing a complex democratic transition towards building a democratic federal union, Myanmar looks forward to continuing to work together with the United Nations through a more constructive cooperation in our efforts to overcome the multiple challenges with which we are faced, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate the key leadership role of the WHO and the fundamental role of the United Nations system in mobilizing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most pressing task for the humanity today is to work together to ensure timely access to safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, and to prevent developing countries from falling into economic and financial crises and an exacerbation of poverty.
Sadly, COIVD-19 is reversing our development gains towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. We, therefore, must turn COVID-19 into an opportunity to renew our commitment to multilateral efforts to reduce poverty, hunger and social and economic inequalities within and among countries and to build a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and resilient society. Through such efforts, we shall be able to reduce the risk of future shocks to achieve progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I take this opportunity to thank the United Nations and its agencies for their valuable support extended to Myanmar in its struggle against the COVID-19 outbreak. I also wish to congratulate the World Food Programme on the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize awarded in recognition of its outstanding humanitarian works. This epitomizes the critical and life-saving role played by the United Nations for mankind.
We hope that the UN will continue to lead global efforts to steer towards a more peaceful, prosperous and healthy world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. On this historic occasion, we must all renew our commitment to combine our efforts to fulfil our obligations as enshrined in the UN Charter.