“Today we are an Organization with almost four times as many members than in 1945,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted in his remarks to the meeting.
“Today our world continues to be re-shaped by globalization, urbanization, migration, demographic shifts and other seismic trends. New threats have emerged, from climate change to cyber-crime and pandemics.
“In many respects, the world is shifting beneath our feet. Yet the Charter remains a firm foundation for shared progress.”
“He highlighted a number of threads that run through the activities of the Organization, from human rights and peacekeeping to humanitarian assistance and sustainable development.
“These include a greater emphasis on prevention, mediation, and the peaceful resolution of disputes and grievances, as well as strengthening peacebuilding in order to sustain peace and keep post-conflict societies from repeating cycles of disaster.
“He also highlighted addressing the roots of conflict, including through heightened attention on violations of human rights – often the warning signs of worse to come, as well as providing adequate and predictable resources.
“Let us take inspiration from the good news of the past week,” Ban said, highlighting in particular the adoption of the new global sustainable development agenda; tangible support for UN peace operations; momentum on climate change; high-level commitments to gender equality; and encouraging steps to address the refugee crisis.
“Alongside despair in many corners, there remains great hope in the power of working together. That is the founding spirit of the United Nations – and in this 70th anniversary year, in the face of grave and global challenges, it is the spirit we must summon today.”