PIETRO PAROLIN, Secretary of State of the Holy See, stated that, due to the pandemic, five years of progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals was halted, and in some cases reversed. Sustainable development must always incorporate the poor, their gifts and creativity as agents of their own integral development. The upcoming COP26 was an important opportunity for the international community to commit anew to the protection of the planet. Describing the natural disasters in Haiti as a clear call to the international community, he urged leaders to work together in solidarity for a durable and sustainable development.
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing political tensions in Syria and Lebanon are a stark reminder of the impact that conflicts press upon peoples and nations, he continued. Therefore, he added his support for a global ceasefire and for shared humanitarian responsibility. Humanitarian and security issues require the world to end the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures towards nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and prohibition. In that regard, the recent entry into force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was a major step forward. Far too often humanitarian law has been taken as a recommendation rather than an obligation by both State and non-State actors alike.
To foster the resilience necessary to help the world emerge better from the various crises, the United Nations must constantly be renewed, he emphasized. The need for a healthy politics based on the pursuit of the common good is particularly important at the Security Council, whose members are called to place international peace and rule of law above national interests or partisan ideologies. However, far too often, the latter inevitably leads to gridlock, while the poorest and most vulnerable, who look to the Council for hope, continue to suffer. Revitalizing the Organization must include examining whether the structure conceived in 1945 remains adequate for 2021 and beyond. “Let us see in the eyes of migrants and refugees that they are full of suffering and hope. Let us work together to give them a future to blossom in peace,” he said.
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