World leaders call for multilateralism at UNGA

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Amid complex global multilateral challenges, Gambian President Adama Barrow told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday that countries need to work together to solve global problems.

“No country can thrive or solve all its challenges in isolation. Our salvation, as human beings, lies in strengthening our multilateral institutions and fostering greater international cooperation to collectively address global challenges,” he said.

Every year in September, global leaders and change-makers gather for UNGA at United Nations headquarters in New York for two weeks to discuss burning issues and set the global agenda for the year ahead.

The Gambian President was speaking at the general debate of the 73rd session of the UNGA.

The general debate provides a platform where every country’s leader gets to address the world.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is also part of the world leaders in attendance. He delivered his maiden general debate address as President of the Republic of South Africa at UNGA on Tuesday.

Addressing leaders, Barrow said the UN provides the platform and opportunity for greater collaboration.

He stressed that decisions and actions rooted in a rules-based international system, which is underpinned by multilateral agreements, form the basis of successful relations between and among nations.

Barrow said joint efforts allow nations to tackle climate change, address terrorism, disarmament, trade and development.

Calls for more funding of the UN


In stressing the importance of the work of the UN, Barrow observed that during these times of multiple global challenges, the UN’s work is being undermined through inadequate funding.

“Those of us who value the UN, as well as those who have benefitted immensely from its work, should be at the forefront to call upon all member states to step up support for the organisation,” he said.

Free trade area and reform of UNSC

Taking to the podium to address the assembly’s general debate, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a strong case for free trade, highlighting its benefits for countries with little natural resources.

“Other than coal that supported modern Japan’s industrialisation, our nation has had no other resources to speak of. But upon devoting itself to reaping the blessings of trade, post-war Japan succeeded in realising growth that was called a miracle, even though it lacked resources,” said Prime Minister Abe.

“The very first country to prove through its own experience the principle that exists between trade and growth – a principle that has now become common sense – was Japan.”

In his address, Prime Minister Abe highlighted a pressing need for reforming the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

He also announced that Japan, together with Secretary-General António Guterres will push forward with the reform of the council as well as the reform of the United Nations. –