“Going it alone is not a viable option”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the world is changing in the United Nations’ favour as more people and governments understand that multilateralism is the only path in an interdependent and globalizing world, so going it alone is not a viable option.

In his message to mark United Nations Day, today, the UN Secretary-General said, “Global problems demand global solutions and going it alone is not a viable option.”

He noted further that, “Whether we are speaking of peace and security, development, or human rights, demands on our organization are growing every day,”

And noting that security and development are two pillars of the UN’s work, he identified human rights as the third. The UN Secretary-General then undertook to work with member states and civil society to “translate the concept of the Responsibility to Protect from word to deed, so as to ensure timely action when populations face genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity,” the message stated.

He also emphasized his determination to ensure that progress is made on pressing current issues, step by step, building on achievements along the way, working with member states and civil society. “That means,” he added, “strengthening the UN’s ability to play its role to the fullest extent in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building. And it means invigorating our efforts for disarmament and non-proliferation.”

At the same time, the message continued, “we must redouble our efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in Africa.”

Meanwhile, Ban pledged that he would seek to “mobilize political will and hold leaders to their commitments on aid, trade and debt relief.”

And he also declared that he would continue to do all he could to galvanize global and decisive action on climate change. “The UN is the natural forum for building consensus on this pressing issue,” he stated, “as we saw in the high-level event held a month ago on the margins of the General Assembly.”

According to the UN Secretary-General, the many leaders who attended sent a clear message to the Bali negotiations in December under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: “this is no longer business as usual, and we must build momentum across industrialized and developing countries to ensure results. Protecting the climate for present and future generations is in the common interest of all.”

Finally, Ban asserted that the UN itself must be transformed and must “adapt to meet new needs, and ensure the highest standards of ethics, integrity and accountability, so as to demonstrate that we are fully answerable to all member states and to people around the world.”

“We will be judged in the future on the actions we take today – on results. On this United Nations Day, let us rededicate ourselves to achieving them,” the Secretary-General concluded.

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