BAKIR IZETBEGOVIĆ, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, called for putting gender equality and empowerment of women at the top of the agenda, noting that María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the President of the General Assembly, is only the fourth woman to hold that position. He deplored the fact that much still must be done in terms of progress, adding that old conflicts have been magnified and new ones created. These crises shake entire regions. Peace, security and prosperity remain a distant hope in the lives of victims of different kinds of crises like armed attacks, persecution, marginalization, human rights violations, natural hazards and migration, he said.
He said that the adherence to multilateralism, international law and rules-based order is the only hope and way to resolve the current challenges like climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, migrations, human rights, security and conflict resolution, stressing that all States must work together in dialogue and cooperation in solving these issues. The dark chapters of our history are a direct result of the community of nations failing to uphold rules and norms, he said. Respecting human dignity and protecting fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens wanting to live in a peaceful world are the United Nations raison d'être. “No Government can focus only on delivering stability and prosperity to its own people while ignoring what goes on beyond its national borders,” he said. The United Nations is the only forum where voices of small and large countries are heard equally. Welcoming efforts of reforming the United Nations, he voiced Bosnia and Herzegovina’s support and commitment.
Upholding the rules-based global order and rule of law, and strong leadership and engagement of the United Nations, he said, are indispensable in crises areas such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Libya, deploring that our responses are marked by inaction and indifference to human suffering and violations of human rights. He pointed to the Middle East, Syria being in its eighth year of crisis, the indiscriminate use of chemical weapons, the constant rise of civilian casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. He also noted the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict lasting for more than 50 years and holding a region hostage, adding that national interest cannot be justified when a large segment of the population lacks basic services and means to sustain life. Commenting on violent terrorism and extremism and the threat of radicalization, he stressed that the world’s response must be decisive, coherent, comprehensive and grounded in the international counter-terrorism framework.
Nuclear weapons and their proliferation remain a grave threat to our civilization, he said, adding that the stakes are as high as ever. Its prevention and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction concern the survival of humankind. He voiced support for the Secretary-General’s vision of mainstreaming conflict prevention and peacebuilding as United Nations priorities, mentioning Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation in peacekeeping missions in over 130 countries and organizations.
On the 2030 Agenda as the most powerful connector, he pointed to its implementation as the most important way to global peace, security and prosperity. He added that the Agenda is a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive development rooted in respect for economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, and as the best prevention against conflicts and instability. The protection and promotion of the values and principles of the United Nations is an obligation of all countries. “If any of us lack the will to uphold these values and principles, then all our endeavours will be less valuable and less successful,” he said