CHANDRIKAPERSAD SANTOKHI, President of Suriname, said the unpredictable turns of the global political and economic landscape demonstrated that multilateral cooperation, international solidarity and concrete action were needed more than ever. Underscoring that all these interconnected challenges could be considered a puzzle, with pieces found in different countries, he urged Member States “to work together to solve this puzzle and secure the future of our planet”.
Turning to COVID-19, he noted with regret that multilateralism and international solidarity came under pressure during the pandemic, while the principle of collective effort and responsibility was replaced by a more individual approach. While highlighting the importance of using science and technology for peaceful purposes, he further urged that a post-COVID-19 strategy be developed, with a focus on improving vaccination levels, rebuilding the economy and setting up a recovery fund with the support of international financial institutions and the private sector. “Access to concessional financing is of critical importance in rebooting our economy,” he said, calling for support of the multidimensional vulnerability index, as proposed by the small island developing States, and for the removal of bureaucracy in supporting these States.
Joining the call for a stronger and more effective United Nations, he stated that societies should be organized based on democratic values, good governance, an independent judiciary and respect for human rights. This could be achieved if States were able to develop sustainable economies without obstacles, especially amidst the pandemic.
Climate change remains an existential threat, he said, urging the global community to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by the high forest and low deforestation developing countries. Those States needed improved access to climate finance. Referring to the upcoming climate change conference, he expressed hope that it would result in ambitious and actionable commitments to support developing countries as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. To this end, he stressed the importance of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization and the need to support its activities aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest and its biodiversity. “It is our obligation, as leaders of today, to build a better world and planet for those living today, but more so for those generations still to come,” he said.
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