HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Said al-Thani, and the Permanent Representative of Sweden Ambassador Anna Enestrom, co-chaired the first formal session to facilitate consultations on the political declaration for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
The declaration is to be adopted at the high-level meeting on September 21, 2020 in the presence of heads of states and governments.
The session was attended by the President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Mohamed-Bande, who praised in his opening speech HE Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Said al-Thani and Anna Enestrom.
He expressed pleasure at appointing two women of diplomatic experience for this ambitious task that calls for a deep view of the future work and achievements of the United Nations, and looking deeply at issues that are often complex. He praised their tireless work in playing a leadership role with determination to reach fruitful and beneficial results, and called on member states to provide strong support for them.
The President of the UN General Assembly stressed the need to reaffirm commitment to the United Nations Charter, and to reinforce the principle of pluralism and the main role of the international organisation, saying that commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations is an essential opportunity to look back at the important achievements, and a unique opportunity to look forward to finding solutions and addressing current and emerging challenges.
He urged member states to participate in the negotiations in good faith and political weight in this process in order to collectively reaffirm the commitment to the United Nations Charter.
For her part, HE Sheikha Alya expressed the hope that the consultations and discussion would be characterised by momentum, spontaneity and to be fruitful.
She said that the first session of consultations for the member states aims to discuss some of the guiding issues and the topics raised in a paper presented by the co-facilitators entitled "Food for Thought", stressing the importance of the participation of all stakeholders in the political declaration negotiations, including civil society organisations, women and youth.
The first session saw a wide participation by some regional groups such as the European Union Group, the Asia-Pacific Group, and the group that includes New Zealand, Canada and Australia, in addition to other member countries including the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Argentina and Brazil.
The consultations focused on basic principles that participants were keen on including in the political declaration, which are the promotion of the international law, pluralism, preventive diplomacy and mediation.
The participants also reviewed the challenges facing the United Nations, such as conflicts, violent extremism, climate change and cyber attacks. They stressed the importance of human rights and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as an important path towards peace and poverty eradication.
In January, president of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly appointed HE Sheikha Alya and Anna Enestrom, co-facilitators leading the intergovernmental negotiations on the declaration for the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.