Former Presidents, Prime Ministers, UN leaders and Government Ministers Call for a Strengthened United Nations System

Ahead of the September 21 High Level Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, a group of prominent former government and UN leaders are calling on current world leaders to take action to strengthen the United Nations system.

In an Open Letter published September 18, 49 former UN and government officials from around the world are calling for the 75th anniversary to lead to “a stronger, more accountable, inclusive multilateral system.” 

According to Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “The 75th anniversary of the United Nations should provide an opportunity to do more than look back and celebrate past achievements. Governments must take stock of the current challenges facing the UN. The hard months and years ahead will require determined and principled leadership. Multilateralism is not an option: it is the only path that can deliver a green, sustainable and equitable recovery.”

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and former Foreign Minister of Ecuador said, “The United Nations is an irreplaceable organization. It has a critical role in leading a concerted, coordinated response to the COVID pandemic, and its recovery process which should allow us to “build back better.” This year’s commemoration of the UN 75th anniversary is a golden opportunity to rejuvenate and retool the organization to build a more effective and inclusive multilateral system.”

And Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia, noted that, “The 75th Anniversary of the United Nations is a reminder of the Organization’s rich experience, its unique convening power and legitimacy, assets that remain vital for the future of the world.”

The UN75 Declaration, expected to be adopted September 21 by world leaders, mandates Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report back before the end of the 75th session of the General Assembly “with recommendations to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges.”