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Joint statement of the WEOG member states on the occasion of the election of PGA75

Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson - mynd

Statement by Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson, the Permanent Representative of Iceland, on behalf of the Member States of the WEOG on the election of the PGA – HE Mr Volkan Bozkir
22 June 2020

Mr President, Mr President-elect, Mr Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Member States of the Western European and Other States Group, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to His Excellency Mr Volkan Bozkir of Turkey on his election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

HE Mr Bozkir has a long-standing and distinguished career in public service, both as a diplomat and politician. His vast experience will contribute greatly to this important role and we look forward to working under his leadership.

Mr President,

We are facing unprecedented challenges. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a human crisis with severe health and socio-economic consequences. Everybody is affected and our resolve, as a world community, is continuously tested.

Now, more than ever, we are reminded that key global challenges can only be addressed collectively. We need closer international cooperation – With the United Nations at its core.  The UN membership must work together to build back better for a more resilient and sustainable future. Also, our working methods, including within the General Assembly, should keep pace and adapt in accordance with the core values of our Organization, such as multilingualism. Furthermore, the UN must open itself to the peoples of the world. Strong and consistent engagement with civil society and private sector is key in helping us make progress on our common goals.

In these extraordinary times, we will count on the President-elect to bridge gaps and foster unity between member states, to exercise his duties whilst enhancing moral authority, integrity and credibility, and to manage and oversee an efficient and focused 75th session. We place trust in his effective, inclusive, and transparent guidance, as well as commitment to the rules-based international system, human rights for all, and to the Sustainable Development Goals as we embark on the Decade of Action.

We welcome and seek the President-elect’s attention to vulnerable groups and people in need, with emphasis on humanitarian action, as well as his dedication to the achievement of gender equality, including gender parity, at all levels of the United Nations.

Mr President,

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations is an important occasion to strengthen and renew our collective commitment to international law, multilateralism, and the United Nations as the cornerstone of the international rules-based system.

Our common values and principles, inscribed in the UN Charter, have proven their worth and are, perhaps, more important now than ever. We appreciate the emphasis placed on this unique opportunity by the President-elect. We wish him every success in his endeavours and assure him of the support of the Member States of the Western European and Other States Group.

We would also like to express to you, Mr President, our deep appreciation for your work throughout the current session of the General Assembly, under enormously challenging and unusual circumstances. Your unwavering commitment, innovative solutions and leadership enabled us to continue the important work of the General Assembly during the ongoing pandemic.

We commend the emphasis you placed on conflict prevention, strengthening global action to tackle climate change, promoting partnerships for advancing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as accentuating inclusion, human rights and empowerment of youth and women.

We also, Mr President, appreciated your style and manners. You are always accessible to member states and your good wits and charisma often carried us the extra mile needed.

We look forward to working with you during the remaining weeks of your term in office and, again, congratulate HE Mr Bozkir on his election as the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Thank you.


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