September 28, 2021

Message by Amb. Mavroyiannis, United Nations, June 26 2020

Ceremony for the 75th Anniversary from the signing  of the Charter of the United Nations, on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco

United Nations, New York, 26 June 2020

The United Nations emerged from the ashes of the war as the embodiment of “never again” and the catalyst for a new era in international relations, more humane, more democratic, more equal and fair,   more respectful of values and rights, with more solidarity and empathy and a lofty vision for humanity, with effective multilateralism as its main vector.

As the constitution of the organized  international community, the United Nations Charter has defined how we relate to one another as sovereign and equal states and reflects our will to live together in peace, as a prerequisite for human dignity, development, prosperity, tackling all the big challenges facing humanity, from health to the protection of the environment,  from the eradication of poverty to  the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and so on and so forth.

The Charter is irreplaceable and indispensable, as much as it is enduring, because it contains all the elements necessary for humanity to exist as intended. It is an ecumenical contract for peace and the degree to which its parties respect its foundations is the degree to which we limit the suffering of humans due to this suffering’s primary and longest lasting source: conflict.

It took an immense amount of time for humanity to establish a framework of rules that obliges it to stop operating in a lawless vacuum without regard for the rights of others and prohibits it from doing so without any consequence.  With all its imperfections and weaknesses the Charter is and will remain, in the foreseeable future our best hope and our best tool for positive change.

While it is clear to all of us that the universal pact we have entered into, has been breached many times, we all know that there is no alternative. So, we must fight against the complacency that threatens us with oblivion as to why we were compelled to form this pact in the first place.

None of us are immune from re-committing the mistakes of our forebears. There is no international order – irrespective of how solid the rules it is built on – that will stop the use of force, or eliminate hunger, or administer justice, if we are not relentless – all of us – to ensure that this is the case.

We need greater accountability for failures to uphold this contract it if we want it to have the impact its drafters envisaged.

It is up to all of us, and it is not too late, to respect the Charter the way it deserves.