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As the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly closed to usher in the 76th session on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the COVID-19 pandemic had proved to be the most challenging period the world had seen.
Passing on the baton to the new Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, Guterres saluted his predecessor, Volkan Bozkir at the closing of the 75th session of the General Assembly.As the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly closed to usher in the 76th session on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the COVID-19 pandemic had proved to be the most challenging period the world had seen.
‘Throughout this difficult and historic moment, we have all been fortunate to rely on the leadership of His Excellency, President Volkan Bozkir’.
The UN chief credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritising a sustainable recovery, rooted in the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries and communities as they rebuilt systems shattered by the pandemic.
Guterres said that under Bozkir’s leadership, the Assembly had sought to ‘strengthen health systems, deliver COVID-19 testing, treatment, and equipment, and contribute to the most ambitious vaccination campaign in history’.
Moreover, he drove the General Assembly’s vital work in the areas of peace and security, disarmament, human rights, gender equality, and sustainable development.
According to him, the outgoing president had also overseen the adoption of major resolutions on key issues, from peace-building to counterterrorism and preventing crimes against humanity, addressing climate change and ending human trafficking.
‘In short, under President Bozkir’s stewardship, this Assembly has proven, time and again, the value of multilateralism and a rules-based international system,’ the secretary-general said.
In a speech before closing the 75th Assembly’s final meeting, outgoing President Bozkir noted that his tenure took place amidst a “tumultuous, historic, transformative, unequal, challenging and ground-breaking year.
‘From the earliest moments of my Presidency, we knew that COVID-19 would dominate our agenda. However, I can now say that it has reinforced our belief in a more effective and more responsive UN,’ he said.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK