Ladies and Gentlemen,
When representatives from 46 countries -including my own- met in San Francisco in June 1945 they were faced with a world shattered by six years of war. Freedom, democracy and the rule of law had been preserved, but at unimaginable human cost.
That is why the UN Charter that delegates signed into being that year was underpinned by three fundamental goals: Peace and Security, Development, and Human Rights. As we stand here today, united in our determination to face down a new and evolving set of challenges to our way of life, I am proud to say that Greece joins with the world community in saluting those values on this, the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
Born out of a living nightmare, today the United Nations stands out as a beacon of hope and a genuine example of global cooperation.
The UN’s contribution to peace-keeping, to peace-building and to conflict prevention, is undeniable. Countless lives have been saved because of the actions of the United Nations. Millions of people who have faced internal displacement or have been forced to cross borders in pursuit of safety, have been given refuge, care, and protection by this admired and evolving global institution.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals has raised our common ambition and taken us, as an organization, to the new level, and rightly so. The ongoing reforms of the UN Development system deserve nothing short of our wholehearted support.
The United Nations is of course a powerful vehicle for change. It is up to every member of the international community to seize the potential at our collective disposal. To do that we must remain committed to Multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core.
Upholding International Law lies at the heart of that Multilateralism. Safeguarding respect for Human Rights, international arms control, non-proliferation, the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea, and international peace and security. These are the values of Multilateralism in our 75th Anniversary year.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a prescient reminder of why Multilateralism works, and why it is so needed. The leading role of the United Nations, and of the World Health Organisation in particular, is critical at this juncture. That is why it is time we began work on a new worldwide Health Architecture. Realizing equitable access to vaccines and the unimpeded treatment of COVID-19 for the good of global public health, are key elements in the foundation of tomorrow’s new Health Architecture.
Since its inception, the UN has been helping the world to overcome challenges that otherwise individual member states, no matter how strong, could never have tackled alone. This has remained true even as new challenges have arisen, and new issues have shaped our global reality.
The issues we face are not getting any easier. The outlook is immensely challenging. But I remain optimistic. Together, as we have done before, we cannot only solve these problems, but build the stage for a better world for future generations. I say to you all today the Future We Want is mirrored in the UN We Need, which is the UN we should tirelessly keep building.