Welcoming Remarks by Amakobe Sande at UN Day 2020

H.E. Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China




Distinguished Guests,


Colleagues from the United Nations,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


On behalf of the UN system in China, thank you for joining us for this auspicious occasion as we commemorate the coming into force of the UN charter in 1945.


The Charter begins with the powerful phrase “we the peoples…..” signifying that at its birth, the United Nations was a symbol of global unity for member states and all people. And the global conversations launched by the UN in China and around the world under the 75th anniversary theme of 2020 and Beyond – Shaping our Future Together” – have demonstrated just that - a deep desire and a conviction for a “peoples’ UN” that stands with and delivers for all people.


This year’s commemoration is taking place at a time of colossal challenge brought about by COVID-19. As the Secretary General has said – “a small microscopic virus has brought the world to its knees” and has sounded a wake-up call for global solidarity and shared responsibility. International cooperation is the only way out of the pandemic (as well as other borderless challenges we face in our interconnected world).


The case for re-invigorated multilateralism has never been stronger but so too is the clarion call for getting back on course in this “Decadeof Action”, to deliver on Agenda 2030. We must use recovery efforts to examine how we “build back better” and in so doing ensure that we “leave no one behind”, and also that we “leave no country behind”.


While commemorating our 75th anniversary during a sobering and reflective time, nothing could have brought a more sweeter validation than the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 to the World Food Programme "for (and I quote) its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict." (end of quote).


The prize (and other prizes to UN agencies before) is about the UN in action on behalf of its member states. We measure the success of the United Nations by the lives we save, the suffering we ease, the peace we build, the opportunities we create, and the rights we protect.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen


UN day is an opportunity to say thank you to our host government and the people of China.


We are able to congregate today because of the phenomenal efforts made by the Government and the People of China, to bring the COVID-19 epidemic under control. That is no mean achievement, and we know it has been made at great personal (and other) sacrifice.


We salute China for its steadfast commitment to multilateralism both in financial terms and in action. We are encouraged by China’s increasingly active participation on various multilateral platforms and we were particularly pleased by its recent decision to join COVAX and to contribute broadly to what Secretary General Guterres calls a “People’s Vaccine”.


As we look ahead to 2030 in this “Decade of Action”, we must single out China’s most remarkable poverty alleviation efforts. They deserve great recognition for the contribution they make towards realization of SDG 1 globally. And the UN will be pleased to continue working with China in building on achievements to-date in order to move to full realization of SDG 1 by 2030.


Secondly, President Xi’s recent pledge at the UN General Assembly that China will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 is a powerful response to the Paris Accord and the Secretary General’s call for strong climate action.


Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Looking forward, let me assure the Government of China and its people of our continued close partnership as it now focuses on high quality development. A new Cooperation Framework, mutually agreed and signed between the UN and the Government of China (2021-2025) ensures alignment with the upcoming 14th year plan and embodies the vision and aspirations of Agenda 2030


Friends, Comrades……the foundation of the UN system’s work on the ground is partnerships with all of you and on this special UN anniversary we also salute and thank you.


The UN also extends special thanks to partners that made today’s event possible. The Sino-Scandinavian Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centre and Teochew International Federation my dear sister and friend of the UN Ms. Tian Wei, for guiding us smoothly throughout today’s programme.


Last but not least, I am personally inspired every day by the talent and dedication of the UN team you see in front of you and the wider United Nations Family in China. They are the spirit of the United Nations – they embody the spirit of service for the good of humanity.


With your support, we will never, ever give up in our mission and in our work to fulfil the enduring vision of the UN Charter in China and the world.


Please allow me to propose a toast…


Please Join me in a toast to the enduring spirit of the UN Charter and to We, the peoples….


I thank you.

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