JAKUB KULHÁNEK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, said that 20 years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, vigilance against terrorism is needed more than ever. Afghanistan is a major challenge that requires joining forces to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. He expressed concern at Taliban actions directed at women and girls and called on them to ensure unhindered access to humanitarian workers and United Nations personnel, including those who are female. Underscoring the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that ongoing reform of WHO should deliver value for money. “We must learn our lessons and act in solidarity to leave no one behind,” he said.
By connecting the immediate pandemic response with prevention and resilience-building, it is possible to build back better and greener, with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement at the centre of joint efforts, he said. The impact of climate change on peace and security should be integrated into the Security Council’s work. The increase in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure is appalling and the use of disinformation as a means of aggression against States is utterly unacceptable. States must ensure that new technologies are enablers of human progress, not a tool for surveillance, oppression and control. He called for the immediate release of all those unlawfully detained in Belarus for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; underscored his country’s unwavering support of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and Georgia; and emphasized Israel’s right to self-defence.
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